Henry B. Plant Museum

#8 in Best Things To Do in Tampa
Henry B. Plant Museum picture
Courtesy Henry B. Plant Museum

Key Info

401 West Kennedy Boulevard

Details

Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
3.6scorecard
  • 4.0Value
  • 4.0Facilities
  • 5.0Atmosphere

Travelers like the setting of this museum and National Historic Landmark just as much as its contents. Housed in the Moorish Revival Tampa Bay Hotel on the University of Tampa campus, the Henry B. Plant Museum preserves a Gilded Age feel and affords visitors a glimpse into turn-of-the-century living and lodging. It also offers insight into the life and work of its creator, railroad magnate Henry Bradley Plant.

Those who've visited say the museum is a great experience if you love antiques, architecture and history  specifically Florida history. The museum boasts several permanent exhibits, which feature the hotel's original rooms reconstructed with furniture and other artifacts to reflect the property's Victorian origins. The museum also features temporary exhibits, most notably the annual "Victorian Christmas Stroll," which takes place from Dec. 1 to 23 every year. During December, the museum is dressed in traditional holiday garb, including a 15-foot tree, carolers and 14 exhibit rooms, each decorated with trimmed trees designed in 19th century themes and antique holiday accessories.  

The Plant museum is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Sundays from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $7 for students and seniors and $5 for kids ages 4 to 12. Visit the official website for further details.

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Busch Gardens
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Type
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1 of 10
#1 Busch Gardens

Spanning 297 acres and boasting more than 12,000 animals, live shows, restaurants, shops and games, Busch Gardens is a popular way to spend a day under the Tampa sun. Did you know that Busch Gardens is actually older than nearby Disney World? It's also cheaper and includes themed lands on Morocco, the Congo, Timbuktu, Egypt and Nairobi; plus animal exhibits based on the Serengeti Plain and the Myombe Reserve (and that's just scratching the surface). 

Recent visitors enjoyed the combination of entertainment and education found here, but warn that prices are high and crowds are thick. To avoid some of the crowds, travelers recommend going through the park in reverse. In other words, start in the back of the park and work your way to the front. Reviewers said this method will allow you to bypass the bottlenecking that clogs the front of the park, and puts you closest to the entrance when you're ready to leave.

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