Showcasing the region’s rich cultural history, the Tampa Bay History Center is a sprawling museum overlooking the Garrison Channel. It’s set across three floors and features interactive exhibits exploring around 12,000 years of human habitation around Tampa Bay.
Get up close to a 1902 Oldsmobile and a Tampa streetcar in the Icons of Tampa Bay exhibit, then learn about the first European explorers to arrive in Florida at the Winds of Change Theater. See ancient tools, pottery and weapons belonging to the native Tocobaga and Calusa tribes in the Florida’s First People exhibit, then browse the artefacts of the Seminole and Miccosukee tribes.
Walk through a 1920s-era cigar factory while learning about Tampa’s influential cigar industry and the immigrant communities of Ybor City, then experience a cattle drive on Kissimmee’s Lightsey Ranch. There’s a hands-on Discovery Center that will keep young children entertained, as well as a rotating schedule of travelling exhibitions on various themes.
The Tampa Bay History Center is easily accessed from either the HSBC or Amalie Arena light rail stations, which connect to the downtown area. Tampa International Airport is around 15 minutes’ drive away.