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“Find the secret door...”

Henry B. Plant Museum
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$29.99*
and up
Tampa History Cruise
Ranked #15 of 201 things to do in Tampa
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Owner description: Once the Tampa Bay Hotel, this museum focuses on the hotel's role in the Spanish-American War.
Reviewed July 15, 2012

Ye museum is great and the hotel is beautiful. Every time I go, I walk up tithe fourth floor and start pulling on doors. Eventually I find one that is open and leads up to one of the miniarets. The view is not to be missed but watch out for wasps!

Thank Rgoodwi3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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"tampa bay hotel"
in 70 reviews
"spanish american war"
in 43 reviews
"audio tour"
in 35 reviews
"gilded age"
in 26 reviews
"victorian christmas stroll"
in 24 reviews
"grand hotel"
in 17 reviews
"victorian era"
in 16 reviews
"teddy roosevelt"
in 15 reviews
"original hotel"
in 12 reviews
"turn of the century"
in 17 reviews
"original furnishings"
in 9 reviews
"college campus"
in 9 reviews
"beautiful building"
in 21 reviews
"its heyday"
in 8 reviews
"tampa history"
in 30 reviews
"step back in time"
in 19 reviews
"self guided"
in 14 reviews
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595 - 599 of 671 reviews

Reviewed July 6, 2012

The price was fair and the Tampa Bay Hotel is amazing. We really enjoyed the tour. If you go into the main hotel lobby (now part of Tampa University), you can see the Music room, Great hall, 1st electric elevator in Florida, and the beautiful entry way. We almost missed this part, and best thing is that theses areas are free.

Thank stevenhallav
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2012

So glad we finally visited this wonderful museum! The web site does not do it justice, as far as how much there is to see. If you like Victorian-era collections, this museum fits the bill. (But don't be put off by "Victorian", because it's not the frilly stuff.)

The audio tour is free with your admission. Unlike audio tours at some other attractions, this one does not read the signage to you; you will learn a lot from the audio that you do not learn from the signage.

There is a short introductory movie that tells the story of Henry Plant, the building itself (formerly the Tampa Bay Hotel, an upper-crust vacation resort), and post-Civil War Tampa.

The architecture and interior details of the building itself are worth marveling over, such as the flocked wallpaper door panels and egg-shaped door handles. From the outside, the building is absolutely beautiful and exotic-looking. There are several rooms to visit, all chock full of artifacts. One notable room chronicles famous people who visited and performed at the Tampa Bay Hotel. Don't miss the old-fashioned telephone earpieces on the wall - pick them up and listen to the type of music that was typically played in the Hotel's heyday! In the long hallway you'll find more interesting pieces, such as the huge mirrors hung opposite each other that create a seemingly infinite reflection.

A couple of the rooms are so crowded with pieces that you feel like you're in a storage room instead of looking at a nicely-arranged display, but most of the rooms are nicely laid out. You feel like you have stepped back in time, since the room decor is contemporary to the building itself.

Traveling exhibits are also featured. When you're done with the museum, explore the rest of the building (which comprises the University of Tampa). Walk to the far end to see what used to be the grand dining hall. The grounds are also very nice, complete with a wonderful fountain out front.

If you want to see everything the museum has to offer, plan on about two hours at a leisurely pace. You will leave with an appreciation of what it was like to visit this place in its heyday.

During December, the museum does a Christmas "Victorian Stroll" with costumed guides and live entertainment.

In all, this was a very pleasant surprise and exceeded our expectations. We would definitely visit again!

1  Thank mlasp
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 27, 2012

What a great museum! Only $10 to get in & includes the audio tour which gives you tons of information. Lots of original items from the 1800's & lots of completely finished rooms. The staff
are very friendly. Be sure to walk through the othger part of the building used by the University also. We even ate our lunch out on the veranda. Loved this visit!

Thank Kathy N
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed June 26, 2012

Downtown location, near the river and the Crosstown expry, great place for photos.

Thank Elizabeth B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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