Sightseeing in Tampa


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After becoming a success in the railroad and steamship industries, 1800s businessman Henry B. Plant set his sights on a new venture: building a luxury hotel near Florida's cerulean shores. His vision landed him in an area that was but swampland and sand in 1889 Tampa. But three years and $3,000,000 later—including $500,000 in furniture and art—he successfully opened The Tampa Bay Hotel, a 511-room luxury destination sprawled over six acres. Today, Henry's architectural and engineering feat serves as the home of the Henry B. Plant Museum, an institution that educates visitors on Plant's life, the Victorian period, and life in early Tampa. Among the building's groundbreaking aspects, the hotel was among the first in Florida to feature electrified rooms and pampered guests with in-house billiards, a babershop, and a telegraph office. His guests even enjoyed in-room telephones and private baths with hot and cold running water, a lofty accomplishment considering man wouldn't invent soap for another 13 years. The museum has now been restored to its former glory, showering current visitors in Victorian opulence, art, and its historic achievements.
401 W Kennedy Blvd
Tampa,
FL
US
Since its construction in 1944, the 455-foot SS American Victory has weathered quite a few storms, including World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. From those storms, the steamship developed a rich history filled with stories that echo throughout its three-level cargo holds, hospital, flying bridge, mess halls, crew cabins, and lifeboats. Located in downtown Tampa, behind The Florida Aquarium, the cargo vessel now serves as a museum with exhibits showcasing rare artifacts including photographs, uniforms, medals, documents, and naval gear. Guests on the shipboard museum may take in the history at their own pace with self-guided tours, or book a guided tour led by knowledgeable docents able to walk backward as smoothly as Michael Jackson.
705 Channelside Drive
Tampa,
FL
US
The Florida Aquarium gives families a glimpse into the mysteries and magic of the undersea world and some of the land that surrounds it. For the holidays, the Aquarium is celebrating with its Holiday FantaSea, which starts December 26th and goes through December 30th. During the celebration, there will be light shows and exhibits open late along with a play area where guests can enjoy real snow. The new Journey to Madagascar exhibit provides a look into the island's unique wildlife and diverse geography as well as the nearby Indian Ocean coral reef. The marine life exhibits spotlight the creatures that live in the bay or deeper underwater, even allowing kids to touch rays and sharks at Stingray Beach or lock eyes with sea turtles. Kids also see the sights of a 60-foot dive at the coral-reef exhibit's walk-through tunnel, whose underwater coral cave and brightly colored fish earned the aquarium a place in Parents magazine's top 10 aquariums for kids. A trip down the Wetlands Trail allows visitors to get face to face with playful otters and more circumspect Burmese pythons, while the Penguin Point opens a window into the lives of the best dressed of the flightless water birds.
701 Channelside Dr
Tampa,
FL
US
Head to Sono Cafe - Tampa Museum of Art in Downtown for a steaming cup of joe. Those looking to shed a few extra pounds are advised to put their diet on hold, as Sono Cafe - Tampa Museum of Art serves anything but a low-fat menu. Little guys and gals will also love dining at Sono Cafe - Tampa Museum of Art, which offers a family-friendly environment (and menu). Free wifi is on hand here as well. Come order a flavorful feast at Sono Cafe - Tampa Museum of Art, and sit outside if it's nice! Sono Cafe - Tampa Museum of Art can provide comfortable seating options for parties of any size. No need to leave Fido outside — pooches are very welcome at Sono Cafe - Tampa Museum of Art. Take it nice and easy at Sono Cafe - Tampa Museum of Art, where casual dress is the rule of the day. Enjoy Sono Cafe - Tampa Museum of Art's cooking from your own home with their carry out and delivery options. Call Sono Cafe - Tampa Museum of Art for catering if you have a big event coming up. At Sono Cafe - Tampa Museum of Art, you can park quickly and safely in a lot next door. Frugal foodies will especially love the prices at Sono Cafe - Tampa Museum of Art, with a meal typically hovering under the $15 mark. Sono Cafe - Tampa Museum of Art happily accepts all major credit cards as a form of payment.
120 West Gasparilla Plaza
Tampa,
FL
US
Tampa resident and history lover Lonnie Herman?s longtime fascination with history has evolved into a broad expertise about the area's vibrant streets where newspapers are printed in three languages. The personable former executive also has the gift of being an evocative storyteller. This convergence of interest and talents resulted in Lonnie's company, Ybor City Historic Walking Tours. The guides' upbeat narration carry small groups down vibrant 7th Avenue with detailed anecdotes that reveal the complex past behind Ybor City's cigar factories, Columbia Restaurant, and the story of the eponymous Vicente Martinez-Ybor, who founded the city as a place to store his statues of himself.
1601 East 7th Avenue
Tampa,
FL
US
Tampa's Museum of Science & Industry—also known as MOSI—has all the answers; even to questions you hadn't thought up yet. What would it be like to live on the moon? Head over to Mission: Moonbase for a detailed simulation. What did the night sky look like in the distant past and what will it look like in the future? The Saunders Planetarium can conjure the starscape of any era. These are just two of the museum's 450 hands-on activities, which also include The Amazing You—an interactive exhibit that explores the process of human development—and the BioWorks Butterfly Garden. All of these activities feed into the nonprofit, community-based museum's mission of making science fun and accessible to curious citizens of all ages. It is home to a massive children's museum, a water treatment facility that doubles as an exhibit on marshy ecosystems, and an IMAX dome theater—the only one of its kind in Florida.
4801 East Fowler Avenue
Tampa,
FL
US
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