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Tampa Bay History Center

Certificate of Excellence
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Address: 801 Old Water St, Tampa, FL 33602-5418
Phone Number:
+1 813-228-0097
10:00 - 17:00
Open now
See all hours
Sun - Sat 10:00 - 17:00

Experience 12,000 years of powerful stories at the Tampa Bay History...

Experience 12,000 years of powerful stories at the Tampa Bay History Center. During your journey, you will stroll through a 1920s-era cigar store, row up the Hillsborough River, ride along with a cattle drive and learn about the early exploration of Florida. This waterfront building, with an eclectic Museum Store and the signature Columbia Cafe, is a memorable experience for families, history enthusiasts, Tampa area natives and beyond.

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TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 435 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 210
  • 132
    Very good
  • 38
  • 10
  • 0
FIne overview of Tampa history

This museum is located close to the cruise ship docks and has easy parking facilities. A fine museum with exhibits starting with the natives, the 16th century Spanish explorers... read more

Reviewed 22 January 2016
Charlotte, North Carolina
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435 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 390: English reviews
Level Contributor
296 reviews
119 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 147 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 January 2016

We really enjoyed the section on cigar manufacturing and the special exhibit on Florida. The movie was entertaining as well. We wanted to spend more time on the other exhibits, but were limited due to parking. We were told that we could park in the "blue lot" next to the museum and then get a voucher in the museum so... More 

Thank Judy B
Charlotte, North Carolina
Level Contributor
41 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 January 2016

This museum is located close to the cruise ship docks and has easy parking facilities. A fine museum with exhibits starting with the natives, the 16th century Spanish explorers encounters with the native Americans through the development of the huge cigar-making industry, cattle-ranching and other industries in Tampa area. Excellent exhibit regarding the Seminoles and Seminole-American wars. Very worthwhile visit!

Thank agrathwol
Trinity, Florida
Level Contributor
164 reviews
42 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 January 2016

The docents that conducted our group were amazing. GREAT exhibits that explain the history of the Tampa area and Florida. Well worth the price. I think I will return many times with friends and family. Close to the Aquarium which is a good attraction too.

Thank ParTcake
Southport, NC, United States
Level Contributor
252 reviews
91 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 89 helpful votes
Reviewed 17 January 2016

The museum as a whole is very informative and provides a great diversion from the routine Tampa Bay tourist stuff. We particularly enjoyed the two movie theaters and their films presenting the early history of the Tampa Bay region. It is not very expensive, less than $10 per person. It also has an adjoining cafe that was also very enjoyable... More 

Thank Leon H
Clearwater, Florida
Level Contributor
588 reviews
173 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 267 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 January 2016

This is first class, well done, clean, bright and beautiful. Not a big museum (which is something I also liked about it), but full of quality items. They have a film-type presentation that was wonderful explaining the Seminole War. I learned many thing here and could recommend it to anyone. 2nd floor was interactive and fun. Even got to "ride... More 

Thank Gena C
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
31 reviews
18 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 4 January 2016 via mobile

The trip started with my dad going to buy tickets and I walked out on the deck only to see two Manatees swimming in the Hillsborough River. Nothing in the museum could top that although some exhibits were very fascinating.

Thank Rkraw22
Largo, Florida
Level Contributor
68 reviews
9 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 December 2015

My son and his girlfriend took her mom and myself to downtown Tampa for the day to see River Walk and the History Center. Really neat place with lots of interesting displays about cigar making, cattle herding, the Port of Tampa and recycling. Very interesting.

1 Thank WestTennesseeNanc
Vancouver, Canada
Level Contributor
369 reviews
62 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 194 helpful votes
Reviewed 27 December 2015

This museum has wonderful interactive exhibits with lots of audio visual support and offers new perspective and information on the local Tampa and Florida history I had never seen anywhere else. The staff is outstanding and patient with questions. There is something for all ages here, and three floors will keep you busy for a half day. Time it right... More 

1 Thank sola123
Level Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 December 2015 via mobile

We were looking for a place to visit for a couple of hours before our flight home. Nice museum with displays on Florida's history. Well done. Nice location on the water. Was just what we needed to fill the gap.

1 Thank NAL1852
Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
226 reviews
72 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 December 2015

I very much enjoyed the museum and think it's one of the best city history museums I've visited. Very clean and organized, excellent displays and a wide variety of items to see. Strongly recommend it.

1 Thank mdfloyd322

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Questions & Answers

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Typical questions asked:
  • Do I have to buy a ticket for my infant?
  • How do I get there using public transportation?
  • Is there a restaurant or café onsite?