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“Victorian Christmas Stroll”

Henry B. Plant Museum
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Tampa History Cruise
Ranked #15 of 196 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.
Washington DC, District of Columbia
Level Contributor
36 reviews
16 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Victorian Christmas Stroll”
Reviewed May 21, 2013

While the Plant Museum is open and very fantastic all year round, I wanted to particularly review the Victorian Christmas Stroll which gets set up every year at Christmastime. It is a beautiful vignette into what life was like back then, particularly as it relates to Christmastime. It is interesting to see what was important then and how that has morphed into today's traditions. The tree is beautiful and each room has its own theme. Highly recommended!

Visited December 2012
1 Thank travelgirl1020
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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571 reviews from our community

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Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
187 reviews
74 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“UNIQUE old Buildings”
Reviewed May 20, 2013

Beautiful Verando to sit out on and enjoy drings and cookies. Wonderful Museum with lots of interesting details about the Tampa area and Florida.

Also very Beautiful at Christmas time - all decorated and lit up for the holidays!

Visited May 2013
Thank Jean C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Santa Maria de Dota, Costa Rica
Level Contributor
45 reviews
34 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 21 helpful votes
Reviewed May 19, 2013

This museum allowed you to step back into time and get a feel for how life was. Educational, informative.

Thank kipnoodle
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Middle Island, NY
Level Contributor
90 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
“Indulge yourself in the past”
Reviewed May 10, 2013

I attended the University of Tampa from 1975 until graduation in 1979. Despite the time I spent here as a student, I never toured the Henry B. Plant Museum. I brought my fiancé to Florida so she and my parents could meet. During our visit I brought her to UT, so she could see where I went to school. Once on campus, it suddenly dawned on me to visit the museum, since she loves museums; and besides, it would give her more insight into the building's rich and storied history. We both enjoyed ourselves immensely!
When you enter, a personal audio device is issued, which explains highlights and features of the museum. Numerous artifacts and antiques are on display in rooms decorated as they were when the Tampa Bay Hotel operated here. But the highlight of the museum is the video presentation, which lasts about 20 minutes and explains the Hotel's history- from it's inception and construction by railroad magnate Henry Bradley Plant; to its operation from 1891 to 1930; to the numerous activities available for its elite, wealthy and celebrated guests; to its importance in the development of the city of Tampa; to its closure due to the Great Depression; to its operation as the University of Tampa, founded in 1931. The video ended by noting that the minarets which adorn the top of the building have become a recognizable symbol for the entire city of Tampa.
Be sure to tour the side of the building occupied by the University as well, which is home to the first elevator installed in the state of Florida. Also see the grand staircase, the main lobby and the great hall, where hotel guests were once transported through the long hotel corridors using rickshaws. Walk around the grounds and Plant Park along the banks of the Hillsborough River, and check out the building's historic architecture and restored, stainless steel minarets.
Interesting and informative. A must-see for history buffs. Before visiting the museum, I knew of the history of the Tampa Bay Hotel and University of Tampa. After visiting, I now know even more. When we left I told my fiancé, "I never realized just how much this place means to me."

Visited February 2013
Thank BigRedJonson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
West Chester, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
22 reviews
8 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Step into a treasure of the past.”
Reviewed April 29, 2013

The Henry Plant Museum is a step back into the past of a Tampa that was finding its early footing as an American city. Inside this unique architecture, they have an amazing collection of photos, furniture and artifacts woven into the story of early Tampa. The story of Mr. Plant and the hotel is somewhat like that of 'Citizen Kane', where Mr. Plant risked millions to build a one of a kind hotel filled with European treasures to attract Americans down to Tampa. This story even includes a chapter with Teddy Roosevelt and the Spanish American War. The veranda columns and woodwork are amazing craftsmanship, and so well preserved. Look at the wood doors, also incredible. Most of the building is now used by Tampa University, but this one wing was saved for the Museum. By the way, visit the main lobby also. Well worth the time for a visit.

Visited April 2013
Thank Robert S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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