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Tampa Bay History Center

801 Old Water Street, Tampa, FL 33602
813-228-0097
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88%
Ranked #12 of 60 Attractions in Tampa
Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: History Museums, Museums
Owner description: Experience 12,000 years of powerful stories at the Tampa Bay History Center. During your journey...
More attraction details
Attraction details
Type: History Museums, Museums
Hours:
Sun - Sat 10:00 am - 5:00 pm
Owner description: 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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211 reviews from our community

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    5
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Date | Rating
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English first
Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey
Senior Contributor
35 reviews 35 reviews
5 attraction reviews
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 16, 2014 NEW via mobile

Visited on a rainy Monday since outdoor was not an option this day. Glad I went. When first entering the main lobby, there is a Columbia Restaurant (Ybor City) satellite cafe there. Decided to have lunch consisting of black bean soup, Cuban sandwich and couple beers before starting the museum tour. Food was very good and inexpensive. When paying for... More 

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Devon
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
14 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2014

Two floors of excellent exhibits, particularly the film presentations on the first floor showing the history of early Tampa. The Columbia Restaurant inside also offers good food and wines.

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Odessa, Florida
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 3, 2014

Very approachable and entertaining! So many informative exhibits. The Columbia restaurant is inside, ready to take your order for a pressed Cuban and Spanish Bean Soup!

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Sun City Center
Top Contributor
57 reviews 57 reviews
18 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2014

For the history buff, this attraction is a treasure. The museum delves into the indigenous cultures of the area as well as Cracker history. Recent visit included a display of paintings from the Highwaymen, a group of black painters who painted and sold their paintings on Florida's east coast. The facility also has a restaurant and gift shop and they... More 

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Albuquerque, New Mexico
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
9 attraction reviews
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 2, 2014

This museum has some well curated exhibits on the native indian population and the Seminole war, along with exhibits on the tobacco industry, and the cattle industry. Some of the exhibits don't work, but those that do do a very good job. The restaurant by it, the Columbia cafe, has some very good relatively inexpensive food.

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Clearwater, Florida
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
16 attraction reviews
6 helpful votes 6 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 21, 2014

What a great museum. Living here all this time I learned so much more about the history of Tampa Bay very informative and fun. Thanks we lost track of the time we enjoyed it so much.

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Tampa, Florida
Contributor
11 reviews 11 reviews
6 attraction reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed November 6, 2014

I visited Tampa Bay History Center on a free day sponsored by Smithsonian Institute. This happens each year in September, so you may want to check it out on the Smithsonian website. The Tampa Bay History Center is in a beautiful building between Channelside and the Convention Center. I parked in the hourly parking near the Convention Center and it... More 

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San Diego, California
Reviewer
3 reviews 3 reviews
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 stars Reviewed November 2, 2014

It took us 20 minutes to cover 2 floors of this exhibition. Too boring, too short...at least for me and my wife. Maybe someone else find this educational, but not for me...sorry

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Tampa
1 review
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 30, 2014

My husband and I (both Tampa natives) recently visited the Tampa Bay History Center to see the traveling exhibit on prohibition - We were VERY impressed by the entire center. Very classy, well-done - liked the areas that gave children a "hands-on" experience thru-out. Can't wait to take our grandchildren - will definitely visit again!

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Indian Rocks Beach, Florida
Senior Contributor
31 reviews 31 reviews
8 attraction reviews
28 helpful votes 28 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 14, 2014

Are you a history buff? Do you like finding out about interesting, unusual and significant pieces of history? All done well? Then this history center might be right up your alley! I take my girlfriend out on regular adventures...and she loves history...so thought I would take her here. Didn't know much about the place. Just that it was kinda hidden... More 

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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?