Top 10 Tampa Museums
Let us face it, it is hot out right now so take advantage of the heat and visit the Top 10 Tampa Museums. I bet you did not know that Tampa has some of the best nationally recognized museums. Tampa has museums of technology, arts and even history. Your job?
Find your favorite from the Tampa Traveler’s Top 10 Tampa Museums list:
The Henry B. Plant Museum, built in the Moorish Revival style, is a historic hotel turned university/museum. It is one of the world’s most recognized buildings, and if you are a fan of architecture and early cracker life this is a must see. The museum is easy to find as you can see its moorish turrets from 275 and pretty much anywhere downtown Tampa. The hotel was built in the late 1880’s and was unrivaled in luxury and opulence in the Tampa Bay area at that time. I visited a few summers ago, July to be exact, to my dismay I was told it had no AC. Anyone in Tampa in the summer knows how incredibly hot it can be so I thought I would regret my decision to visit in the summer. I was wrong. The hotel was built with age-old technology that released heat and circulated air and the hotel was cool with no AC. I was shocked. I now suggest people visit in the summer to experience this amazing technology from the last century and in December for its amazing Christmas displays.
401 W Kennedy Blvd, Tampa, FL 33606
The Dali Museum in downtown St. Pete has the most Salvador Dali art outside of Europe. It is a major hot spot for Dali fans. The new Dali museum building (the Enigma, yes , it has it’s own name) is a work of art in its own right. The grounds are breathtaking and the museum faces Tampa Bay. Not one aspect of the Dali Museum will disappoint. The St. Pete Dali Museum has Dali work from early scribbles, to well-known pieces that will awe. I personally love love love his early doodlings as it gives an insight into his playful personality and endeared Dali to me forever. The Dali is a must-see.
1 Dali Blvd, St Petersburg, FL 33701
The Armed Forces History Museum is phenomenal. Having a military father I was compelled to go. I was amazed and honored to have visited. This museum has everything from early military uniforms to tanks, planes, and mock villages of WWII. All I can say is, “Wow”. After being given a small glimpse of what our military goes through I am forever in their debt. Freedom is not free. This museum is worth visiting and will give you pride in your American heritage.
2050 34th Way North, Largo, FL
The Florida Museum of Photographic Arts is dedicated to photographic arts. The exhibits change continuously to keep one coming back for more. The building itself is a must see. The FMoPA is not just a museum but has courses in photography. It even has a program called “Your Fifteen Minutes of Fame” – where members and “not-yet-members” can exhibit their own work and have their own 15 minutes of fame. The FMoPA is progressive and fun. A must visit.
400 N Ashley Dr, Tampa, FL 33602
The Tampa Bay History Center has permanent exhibits as well as exhibits that come and go. My favorite is the Highwaymen Exhibit. The TBHC teaches of our rich Florida heritage. This museum is KF, kid friendly. Something especially interesting to me is the cartography exhibit, they represent 500 years of Florida cartography. The TBHC should give you a good feel of us Floridians.
801 Old Water St, Tampa, FL 33602
I adore the MoFA and not just because my cousin had his wedding there. This museum has been a part of my life since I was a child. For decades, this museum has stood sentinel in downtown St. Pete for art and guarded the city so other museums could find root and grow. As a child, I had my first real “art moment” at the MoFA during a school field trip. Yes, the MoFA is my art crush. Visit it for a wonderful experience and once finished walking its hallowed halls, go outside for a photo op at its massive tree. It is world famous, too. Once a year it grows unbelievable red flowers which then drop and create a red carpet on the side of the MoFA. Google it. You will not believe it.
255 Beach Dr NE, St Petersburg, FL 33701
The Contemporary is pretty darn neat. I personally love the public art they have. Public art is usually so playful and large, two attributes I like. The Contemporary has art by Calvo, Doner, Zimmerman and Casey. The exhibits coming next are by Richard Beckman, “Curve of Reason”. The museum is presently closed until June 16th, due to prepping for the summer installations. I cannot wait to see what they have done now. Also, this is a learning museum where the museum itself is a “laboratory for scholars, museum professionals, artists and students”.
3821 USF Holly Dr, Tampa, FL 33620
The Glazer is a museum that has been designed for children, with children in mind, and with the capabilities to have children. Children can learn about planes, cars, grocery shopping, houses, and pretty much anything else a child can imagine – they have an exhibit for it. Amazing for young children. Check their calendar for up to the moment ideas and deals and bring your play clothes.
110 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, FL 33602
The Tampa Museum of Art is fantastic. It has everything from permanent collections that contain Greek and Roman Antiquities to traveling exhibits that contain Young Chinese Artists and really everything in between. As with many museums of art, the building is art itself. TMA’s exterior is made of programmable LED lights, 45 feet high and 300 feet long. The installation glows and does a hypnotic dance of light.
120 W Gasparilla Plaza, Tampa, FL 33602
The MOSI is the Museum of Science and Industry – it is geared toward children of all ages. Many a field trip is conducted here and it is worth your visit. There is a hurricane booth so you can feel hurricane force winds, a tornado creation station where you can create a tornado, and even traveling exhibits such as Bodies. If that was not enough, the museum also has a rope course that is not just fun, it is affordable (Scary, too, I got stuck on the top). The second building is all for smaller children – even toddlers or young elementary aged children can explore and learn. This museum is perfect for a field trip or summer vacation.
4801 E Fowler Ave, Tampa, FL 33617
All of these Tampa Museums provide an unique experience in their own right. If you have the time, I strongly recommend visiting every single one of them.