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Tampa Bay History Center

The Tampa Bay History Center is a state-of-the-art museum dedicated to the rich historical and cultural heritage of the Tampa Bay area. Situated along the scenic waterfront in Tampa, Florida, the center provides an interactive experience that spans 12,000 years of Florida history.


As a Smithsonian Affiliate museum, the Tampa Bay History Center (TBHC) offers three floors of permanent and temporary exhibitions that highlight the diverse stories of the Tampa Bay region, from its earliest inhabitants to the present day. The museum’s approach to storytelling includes a variety of artifacts, maps, and interactive displays that engage visitors of all ages.


Opening its doors to the public on January 17, 2009, the TBHC was the culmination of decades of effort by historians, city leaders, and community supporters to create a world-class history museum in Tampa. The center not only preserves and exhibits local history but also serves as a research hub for historians and enthusiasts alike.


  • Location: The TBHC is part of Tampa’s Channelside district, adjacent to the Riverwalk.
  • Facility: The building encompasses 60,000 square feet of exhibit space, a museum store, and the Columbia Cafe, a branch of the historic Columbia Restaurant.
  • Exhibits: Permanent galleries cover topics such as the First Floridians, European exploration, the cigar industry, and the development of the greater Tampa Bay area.
  • Education: The center offers educational programs for schools, adults, and families, including a vibrant outreach program.


The Tampa Bay History Center is located at 801 Water Street, Tampa, FL 33602. It is easily accessible by car, and its location near the downtown area makes it a convenient stop for those visiting other nearby attractions.


For the most current information on exhibits, events, and educational programs, the Tampa Bay History Center’s official website is an excellent resource: www.tampabayhistorycenter.org.

Opening Hours

Opening hours for the TBHC are usually from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily, but it is recommended to confirm on the website or call ahead to ensure the museum is open during your planned visit, especially on holidays.

Things to Do

  • Explore Exhibits: Delve into the rich past of the region, from prehistoric times to the present.
  • Attend Events: Participate in the center’s events, which include lectures, walking tours, and reenactments.
  • Visit the Touchton Map Library: Explore an extensive collection of Florida cartography.
  • Enjoy the Columbia Cafe: Taste local flavors at the museum’s on-site restaurant.
  • Shop at the Museum Store: Find unique gifts and souvenirs related to Tampa’s history.

Tips For Visiting

  • Parking: There is a parking garage located adjacent to the museum, and parking can also be found along the street.
  • Accessibility: The museum is fully accessible to visitors with disabilities.
  • Free Wi-Fi: Take advantage of the free Wi-Fi available throughout the museum.
  • Membership: Consider purchasing a membership for benefits like free admission and discounts at the museum store and cafe.


The Tampa Bay History Center offers a comprehensive look at the historical development of the Tampa Bay area, with its engaging exhibits and educational programs. It is an essential visit for anyone interested in understanding the past and present of this dynamic region. Whether you are a history buff, a family with curious kids, or a visitor looking to learn more about Tampa’s heritage, the TBHC provides a captivating experience that connects the past with the present.

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