The Henry B. Plant Museum in Tampa, Florida is a unique museum housed inside of Plant Hall on the University of Tampa campus. Long before it became a part of the university, this beautiful Moorish Revival building was the historic Tampa Bay Hotel, a large resort hotel that first opened in 1891 with a golf course, racetrack, casino, and indoor swimming pool designed to attract elite guests. Although the hotel closed in 1930 due to the Great Depression, you can still experience what it was like to stay there by visiting the Henry B. Plant Museum, which contains a wide range of exhibits related to the building's history as well as other interesting topics.
Things to Do
- View the Strolling in a Perfect Paradise exhibit, which features historic photographs of the Tampa Bay Hotel's gardens in the early 19th century as well as decorative pieces that were in the original garden.
- Check out Facing the Late Victorians, an exhibit that focuses on popular culture during the Victorian era.
- Learn all about the fascinating life and work of Henry B. Plant, the museum's namesake and founder of the Tampa Bay Hotel, who developed a system of railroads and steamboats that provided transportation throughout the South in the early 1900s.
Henry B. Plant Museum Insider Tips
- If you're visiting Tampa in December, don't miss your chance to attend the annual Victorian Christmas Stroll, when you can explore various historic rooms of the hotel decorated for Christmas in the 19th century fashion, play games, and enjoy treats like spiced cider and cookies while singing carols.
- View the museum's calendar to learn about other upcoming events that your family might be interested in attending.
- Stop by the museum store to find items like vintage-style Victorian jewelry, history books, and a wide collection of old-fashioned toys.