Explore Tampa Culture and Heritage at 10 World-Class Museums

Visitors to Tampa Bay never fail to be impressed with the number and quality of the area's world-class museums. On both sides of the Bay, whether it's Tampa or St. Petersburg/Clearwater, there are fun and engaging opportunities to explore the diverse history and culture of the region.

To help you find near-by opportunities that match your interests, check out our list of top options to choose from in the City of Tampa. Many of the most popular choices are located in the downtown arts district. Conveniently connected via the pedestrian-friendly Riverwalk, it's easy to make a family-friendly day of museum hopping.

One of the museums found on the Riverwalk is the Tampa Bay History Center. This state-of-the-art museum offers 60,000 square feet of fascinating interactive displays that trace over 15,000 years of regional history. Make a day of it and dine in the Columbia Cafe to get a taste of Spanish/Cuban history you've explored next door.

Another option convenient to downtown is the Ybor City Museum State Park. Ybor City is Tampa's historic district founded by Don Vincente de Ybor to house his cigar workers in the  mid 1800s. The area quickly became the cigar capital of the world and the late 1800s were a rollicking good time for the residents of Ybor City. This museum explores the neighborhood's rich history and is a perfect starting point before taking a closer look on foot.

A charming historic haven set in modern-day Tampa, this living history museum, located on the Florida State Fairgrounds, recreates life in a rural 1890s Floridian town. Named after the Florida "Crackers" who were 19th century, cow-herding...  Read More

Tampa Firefighters Museum
Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers

The Tampa Firefighters Museum is located in downtown Tampa next to Tampa Fire Rescue Station One. Built in 1911, the beautifully restored building served as the Fire Department Headquarters until 1974. A tribute to all those who have served and...  Read More

A highlight of the Tampa art scene, this beloved gallery is one of only a few museums in the US dedicated solely to photography. Promoting photographic art as central to our culture, the museum exhibits both historic and contemporary...  Read More

Museum of Science & Industry
Photo courtesy of Tampa Museum of Science and Industry

Located across the street from the University of South Florida, MOSI has an exhibit for everyone in your party. It strives to cover all disciplines of science, including biology, anatomy, physics, and meteorology in its massive space. Equally...  Read More

The Tampa Museum of Art is a boldly designed riverfront museum housing six temporary exhibits and an extensive permanent collection of Greek and Roman antiquities and 20th-century sculpture. After browsing the galleries, visitors can wander...  Read More

Conveniently located close to downtown in Channelside, the American Victory Ship is one of Tampa's hidden gems. One of only four WWII ships that are fully-functioning, the Ship is a memorial to the dedicated men and women of the American...  Read More

Glazer Children's Museum

Kids have so much fun here that the adults end up accidentally having some as well. If you've never been to a children's museum, it's not like an adult museum. It's loud, rambunctious, and exciting for all kids. There are many hands-on exhibits...  Read More

Ybor City Museum State Park
Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers

Built to preserve and celebrate Ybor City's colorful history, this museum is a highlight of Tampa's colorful historic district, also known as the "Cigar Capital of the World." Housed in the renovated historic Ferlita Bakery, the museum boasts...  Read More

Built in 1891 by railroad magnate Henry B. Plant, this history museum is located in what was originally the Tampa Bay Hotel, an extravagant resort that drew such guests as Teddy Roosevelt and Babe Ruth. Now home to the University of Tampa,...  Read More

Tampa Bay History Center
Photo courtesy of Skye Rodgers

The Tampa Bay History Center, a 60,000-square-foot waterfront museum, presents 12,000 years of Tampa Bay history through innovative, interactive exhibits that engage visitors of all ages. Visitors can explore a vast array of Seminole artifacts,...  Read More


Meet Skye Rodgers

Skye has lived in Tampa for over 16 years and spends much of her time exploring the region and discovering its hidden treasures. As a native of Canada, Skye has happily embraced the no cold, no...  More About Skye

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