- Museums Type
- 1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
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If you're interested in learning more about Florida's first inhabitants, then a stop at the Smithsonian-affiliated Tampa Bay History Center should be on your itinerary. Spanning 60,000 square feet and ideally situated on Tampa's waterfront, the history center showcases 12,000 years of Florida's history through three floors of exhibits, educational films and interactive displays. Learn about Tampa's cigar industry and immigrant communities in Ybor City with the center's "Cigar City" exhibit, which features a model of a West Tampa cigar factory. Or, brush up on your knowledge of Florida's first European explorers with a look around the "European Exploration Story" exhibit.
Many recent visitors reported being pleasantly surprised at the interactive, informative features at the history center, including the short films that accompany many of the exhibits. Travelers also said the center does a good job appealing to younger visitors thanks to its kid-friendly displays and welcoming personnel. Reviewers were also complimentary of the on-site eatery, Columbia Cafe, which serves Spanish-and Cuban-inspired dishes.
The center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily. Admission for adults costs $12.95; seniors, college students and young adults ages 13 to 17 get in for $10.95. Children between the ages of 4 and 12 can enter for $7.95. The history center is located just southeast of downtown Tampa. If you arrive by your own set of wheels, you can get your parking validated with any admission purchase. You can also get here by bus (take the No. 8 route to Channelside Drive and Jefferson Street) and by streetcar (the center is situated between station No. 8 and 9).
- Thing to Do