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Henry B. Plant Museum

The 1891 Tampa Bay Hotel, now a National Historic Landmark, is home to The University of Tampa and the Henry B. Plant Museum. During the 1880s, Henry Bradley Plant was building an empire of railroads, steamships and hotels. He wanted that empire to have a palace and that palace was the Tampa Bay Hotel – now referred to as Florida’s “first Magic Kingdom.”

Today, the Henry B. Plant Museum, located in the south wing of the original Tampa Bay Hotel, features original opulent furnishings and artifacts from the hotel collected by Mr. and Mrs. Plant on several buying trips to Europe and the Orient. The museum transports you through educational exhibits and events to the late Victorian period, the beginning of Florida’s tourist industry, and the early years of the City of Tampa. Learn the significance of the hotel during the early stages of the Spanish American War and how Tampa was thrust into the world arena in the summer of 1898.

The museum hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Sunday, noon – 5 p.m. It is closed on Mondays, Christmas Day and Thanksgiving Day.

The Museum will be closed Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016.

Admission prices:

Adults - $10
Seniors - $7
Students - $7
Children - $5
University of Tampa Students, Faculty and Staff - Free

Henry B. Plant Museum is located at 401 W. Kennedy Boulevard, Tampa, Fl 33616. For general information, please call (813) 254-1891.

Book a Field Trip

Contact Heather Brown, Curator of Education, for dates and availability at (813) 258-7304 or

Book Adult Tours

Contact Lindsay Huban, Museum Relations Coordinator, for dates and availability at (813) 258-7302 or

Featured Events


The Gasparilla invasion takes over the Henry B. Plant Museum this year! Join us for an exhibit on the rich history of Tampa’s oldest and most fun-loving community festival. The new exhibit, Gasparilla: A Tampa Tradition, explores Tampa’s premier party, attended by a motley crew of the famous and infamous, the beautiful people and bad dudes. Learn their stories as you explore pirate booty and things of beauty during the city’s only exhibit of Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla memorabilia. The exhibit includes coronation robes, ball invitations, programs, crowns and costumes as well as vintage photographs. Gasparilla: A Tampa Tradition will run from Jan. 15 to Feb. 21, 2016, and is underwritten by Jan and Rob Kelley.

In addition to early memorabilia and original gowns worn by former Gasparilla royalty, visitors can enjoy film coverage on the celebration. "Memories of Gasparilla Festivals" includes scenes from the 1920s and reveals pirate capers and images of early parades. This film is from the private collection of the Howell family. It is narrated by John Boushall, III; H.L. Culbreath, Jr.; L.G. "Ted" Delavergne, Jr.; Jerry E. Fogarty; George B. Howell, III; Fred R. Martin, III; Mary Alsbrook Smith and Frances Thomas Toole. Film footage from Joseph V. Reineman describing the life of a pirate on Invasion Day will also be shown continuously.

Over the years, the original Ye Mystic Krewe of Gasparilla has been joined by dozens of new krewes (social clubs), all of which contribute to the general merriment and community pride of the occasion.