From Cowboys to Citrus Growers, Explorers to Cigar Makers
The Tampa Bay History Center takes visitors through 12,000 years of Florida's history. Interactive, family-friendly, exhibits tell the stories of the lives of Florida’s first inhabitants: European explorers, cowmen and crackers, citrus growers, cigar makers, entrepreneurs who brought trains and ships to Florida’s coasts, and everyday soldiers of World War II.
There are three floors of multi-media presentations that take the visitor from early history to present day. Along the way there is the opportunity to design your own citrus label, sit in a saddle while “riding” in a cattle drive, guide trains and ships into a replica of Tampa Bay, and create Seminole patchwork patterns. For the map-lover there are over 400 years of Florida maps on exhibit.
After traveling through the centuries, visitors can stop for a meal in the Columbia Café, a branch of the famous Ybor City Columbia Café. Seated in a sunny atrium with a view, you can enjoy the Columbia’s signature Cuban Sandwich, the 1905 Columbia Salad, a mojito and more.
The gift shop has an exceptional selection of books covering all things Florida: history, biographies, nature, and travel. There are also a wide selection of children’s toys and games, housewares, and clothing.
The Center is located on the banks of the Garrison Channel in downtown Tampa with convenient parking. It is easy to walk to the Center along the Riverwalk from many downtown hotels or from Teco Line Streetcar Station 9.