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Learning about Tampa Bay's history is a fascinating trip from migrant tribes 1,500 years ago through the captains of industry to modern day cowboys. The Tampa Bay History Center offers tours that trace this history with pictures, artifacts and more. Walking through the doors of the salmon-colored building is like taking a step into the past. The gift shop offers clothing, books and coffee mugs.
Walk the corridors of the Tampa Bay Hotel, now a museum and a National Historic Landmark, and experience a stroll through time when exquisite art, elegant furnishings and opulent grandeur conveyed the image of the Gilded Age. Built in 1891, the hotel, with its Moorish architecture and spiraling minarets, was created as a resort for the rich and affluent. Reservations needed for groups of 10 or more. Parking is free in front of the building and in a nearby parking garage.
Ybor City Museum State Park is a terrific museum that educates you on the Ybor and Tampa cities history. An inexpensive museum that provides information about the Italian bakery that baked Cuban breads and the cigar making industry. You can browse through the cigar maker's home, bakery and visit the ornamental garden that has certain rules and regulations. A great place to have a private events and a social gathering. If you love history or simply want to kill some couple of hours, visiting this museum would surely be worth it.
St. Petersburg Museum Of History has been amassing exhibits since 1920, the early boom days of St. Petersburg. A decidedly eclectic collection, the items range from fossilized footprints to St. Pete's famous green benches. There's an audio-visual presentation, hands-on exhibits of costumes and the Flight One gallery, devoted to pilot Tony Jannus. In the archives are 30,000 objects relating to the history of local tourism and businesses. Those are available to the public by appointment only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.