Hotel Registration Deadline: 10 February 2009
A block of rooms has been reserved at the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront Hotel, 333 First Street South, St. Petersburg, FL 33701-4342, USA, at US$189 per night plus tax for one or more occupants.
These discounted rates are available 7-18 March 2009. Please request a reservation under "SE GSA 2009" when you call the Hilton St. Petersburg Bayfront reservation line, +1-727-894-5000 or +1-800-HILTONS. You can also make a reservation via the Hilton Hotel Web site. Refer to the group code “SEM” when making your on line reservation.
Airfares 10% below the lowest available AirTran one-way fare at the time reservations are made to Tampa International Airport (TIA) have been arranged through the AirTran Airways EventSavers Program. To get the discount, you MUST make your reservations through the AirTran EventSavers desk at +1-866-683-8368 using the event code TPA031009 and referencing the 2009 GSA Southeastern Section Meeting.
Discounted rates using the group code QGADT have been arranged with SuperShuttle between Tampa International Airport and the convention hotel.
The St. Petersburg-Tampa Bay area offers a wide variety of cultural, geologic, and entertainment opportunities for visitors. We highlight only a few of these here-all readily accessible from our meeting venue:
- Caladesi Island State Park: Rated the Best Beach in America for 2008, Caladesi Island is accessible only by ferry from nearby Honeymoon Island. It is home to a perched freshwater aquifer that supports pine flatwoods vegetation and a freshwater pond, as well as to extensive bayside mangrove marshes, and one of the longest expanses of Florida Gulf beaches undisturbed by development, where one can observe a vast array of coastal wildlife while enjoying sun and sand. Visits are limited to four hours, and the island reaches its tourist capacity near midday, so it's recommended that you go early!
- Honeymoon Island State Recreation Area: Next door to Caladesi Island, Honeymoon Island offers more accessible beaches and more amenities for visitors, including showers. As well, there is a nature trail and long sections of new-born beach at the northern end of this young (<7000 years) and growing barrier island.
- Fort DeSoto Beach Park: Named by TripAdvisor as America's top beach, and the 2005 winner of Best Beach in America.
- Weedon Island Preserve: An archaeological preserve along Tampa Bay that includes artifacts from some of the region's earliest Native American residents.
- Anclote Key Preserve State Park: Only accessible by ferry, an undisturbed and unimproved Florida barrier island.
- St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts: Within walking distance from the convention hotel, a world-class collection of art, and varied special exhibits.
- Salvador Dali Museum: The largest collection of Dali's surrealist art outside of Spain.
- The Florida Aquarium: In Tampa, the aquarium's displays are based on the hydrologic system in Florida and the Gulf Coast.
- Lowry Park Zoo: Recognized as one of the best "small zoos" in the nation, it is unique because of its resident Florida manatees.
- Busch Gardens Tampa Bay: A blend of amusement park and zoo, specializing in African animals. Very close to the Tampa Campus of the University of South Florida.
- Walt Disney World/Epcot, Sea World, Universal Studios, and other parks and entertainments are ~2 hours away by car, in Kissimmee, Florida.