The center of St. Petersburg is about an hour by car north of Sarasota.  The old downtown has largely been eclipsed, and much of the city is a sprawling suburb of little interest to the visitor.  The downtown includes a large old resort hotel, the city's art museum, and a Salvadore Dali museum based on a private collection.  In 2007 I went mostly to visit the art museum, which turned out to be in the midst of a major expansion, so only part fo the permanent collection was available. 
MFA St Petersburg
The Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg, FL
downloaded from the museum's web site
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