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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
Closed 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 424 reviews
Visitor rating
  • 205
  • 127
    Very good
  • 38
  • 9
  • 0
Great experience

I have been to the history center many times and always enjoy it. They have fun permanent displays that tell the interesting story of Florida's history, and also bring in rotating... read more

5 of 5 bubblesReviewed 4 days ago
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424 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 379: English reviews
Level Contributor
8 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 days ago NEW

I have been to the history center many times and always enjoy it. They have fun permanent displays that tell the interesting story of Florida's history, and also bring in rotating exhibits on the top floor. Good place for both kids and adults. You find something new to explore every time you visit. Also, they have a perfect location on... More 

Thank generaltraveling
St. Petersburg, Florida
Level Contributor
153 reviews
33 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

This is a very interesting place if you don't know about the early settlers in Florida. The first floor is all about the American Indians we captured and kicked out of their own land. Very sad movie shown about them fighting back but eventually being outnumbered and sent to Arkansas. Second floor shows how the land became used for cattle... More 

Thank DHerman_12
Tampa, Florida
Level Contributor
11 reviews
7 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 days ago NEW

If you really want to know more about Tampa Bay this is the place for you. From how Tampa was founded to our present...

Thank Marvene813
Level Contributor
6 reviews
4 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago NEW

A guided tour is worth a wait. Docent provided additional information and I have been there 3 times. Love the map exhibit. The gift shop has treasures for all ages. Best of the restaurant is a must do.

Thank Barbara O
St. Petersburg, Florida
Level Contributor
251 reviews
55 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 92 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 weeks ago

The museum is a nice introduction to the Tampa Bay area. The displays are well done, easy to read for any ages and includes many interactive exhibits for kids and adults. The videos are very informative and kids will enjoy them too. We were sorry we didn't allow more time but we will come back. The museum is on the... More 

Thank Cyndi D
Manalapan, New Jersey
Level Contributor
365 reviews
198 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 126 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago

This museum has excellent exhibits on the history of Tampa, from the Indian days to the present. It is very well done. I loved sitting on the saddles to watch the cowboy exhibit. Learned a lot and next to the riverwalk, very convenient.

1 Thank Proclaimer1
Level Contributor
224 reviews
82 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 56 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

Went here as we were close, Not at all disapointed Learned things about the Indians I did not know in Fl. Great films and features. Great for kids with a hands on hands.

Thank Dolores W
Munhall, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
21 reviews
12 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago via mobile

When I first went down to Tampa Bat, I didn't think that it would be very interesting at all, since I thought that they didn't have a lot of history. Well, it turns out that they have TONS of history. I was amazed by how much they influenced the growth of the cigar industry and how the Seminole tribe had... More 

1 Thank PittsburghMan19
Riverview, Florida
Level Contributor
103 reviews
27 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 37 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 31 December 2016

Spent about 2 hours touring, including the wonderful Clyde Butcher exhibit. Could have spent more time, but naps were calling. Very helpful staff.

Thank Larry B
Temple Terrace, Florida
Level Contributor
166 reviews
28 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 52 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 December 2016 via mobile

On an outdoor elevated patio, adjacent to Tampa's new downtown Riverwalk and attached to the History Center is a delightful dining experience. The Columbia Restaurant has long been an Ybor City/Tampa restaurant landmark. Their new patio dining experience will soon join their well deserved reputation as one of Tampa's "must-do" dining experiences. Friends invited us to join them for a... More 

Thank RichDowns

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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?