Dive into art, history, and culture by getting lost in the exhibitions at the best museums in Tampa Bay. From historical stories from the 1800s to modern art and interactive learning, museums in Tampa Bay have something for everyone.
Embrace your curious side and keep scrolling for the must-visit museums in Tampa Bay!
The Henry B. Plant Museum
Step into a time machine of Tampa Bay’s history at the Henry B. Plant Museum. Look no further for an afternoon experiencing a Victorian lifestyle.
Housed in the 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel, the Henry B. Plant Museum has the actual furnishings from back in the day. A visit to this museums in Tampa Bay is a great way to learn more about Tampa and its history with the beautiful architecture, astonishing furniture and European art that paint the walls.
After you’re done soaking up Tampa’s historical culture, take a stroll around the University of Tampa or walk along the Hillsborough River!
The Ringling Museum of Art
One of the most photoworthy museums in Tampa Bay is definitely the Ringling, located in Sarasota. This 66 acre estate was the legacy of John and Mable Ringling.
The Ringling Museum of Art is The State Art Museum of Florida and has a remarkable collection of artwork, statues, circus history, and so much more. While at The Ringling, which overlooks Sarasota Bay, you can also tour the Circus Museum, Ca’ d’Zan Mansion, The Historic Asolo Theater and the extensive gardens.
Be prepared to spend a whole day here, it’s absolutely worth it!
Pro-tip: Visit on a Monday when admission is free!
Glazer Children's Museum
Located along Tampa’s Riverwalk, the Glazer Children’s Museum is a fun, interactive museum perfect for kids and families. The Glazer Children’s Museum makes learning exciting with hands-on activities and informative lessons.
Pro-tip: If you’re active military, a first responder, educator, or senior, you’re eligible for discounted admission.
Tampa Museum of Art
Another museum gem right along Tampa’s Riverwalk, the Tampa Museum of Art is one of the fantastic museums in Tampa Bay for modern and contemporary art, along with Greek, Roman and Etruscan antiquities. There’s a variety of art styles to please all sorts of art lovers!
To gaze through all of the Tampa Museum of Art it will take visitors around 2 hours. Be sure to stop and enjoy the view of the river from the second story viewing balcony!
Pro-tip: If you’re a college student, show your student ID to receive free admission!
The Chilhuly Collection
Your mind will be blown at The Chihuly Collection showcasing breathtaking glass sculptures by the legendary glass artist, Dale Chihuly. A gaze through the stunning collection is an incredible experience with bold and contrasting colors, shapes, and sizes.
You’ll be so amazed that you’ll want to create your own glass piece after a visit here, and you can! Visit the Glass Studio & Hot Shop at the Morean Arts Center to watch glass blowing demonstrations and even register to create your own!
Pro-tip: Be sure to pre-purchase your tickets online before visiting!
Tampa Bay History Center
It’s not a list of museums in Tampa Bay without the Tampa Bay History Center! This lively museum commemorates the past through exhibitions that explore Tampa’s first native inhabitants, historical figures, and local delicacies like the Cuban cigars.
After making your way through the museum, be sure to stop at the Columbia Cafe. As part of the museum, this iconic Tampa restaurant is known for their 1905 salad and Cuban sandwich, so give it a try!
Packed with interactive exhibits that allow you to expand your mind, The Museum of Science and Industry, MOSI for short, is ideal for kids and families.
MOSI is a scientific playground with no shortage of hands-on bells and whistles that will appeal to younger visitors. While at this museum in Tampa Bay, you might just end up feeling like you’re on a school field trip again at MOSI!
Set out on an unforgettable voyage of discovery at the American Victory Ship and Museum! As one of only 4 fully-operational WWII ships in the country, the American Victory Ship is a true American icon, floating right here in Tampa Bay. This is one of the most unique museums in Tampa Bay, because of its originality.
At the ship and museum you will discover real artifacts from the wars the ship has served. How cool?! We recommend climbing to the top deck for really awesome views!