Start your Tampa Bay adventure off at the 1891 built Tampa Bay Hotel, otherwise known as the Henry B Plant Museum. Henry Bradley Plant was a railroad, steamship, and hotel tycoon from the late 19th century who built this 6-acre grand dame hotel, designed as a quintessential Victorian palace. Now a National Historic Landmark, this hotel turned museum features authentically restored rooms of splendid Moorish architecture. Your group will see opulent furnishings, spectacular tropical gardens, and be transported back in time to the days of 10 course meals, veranda waltzing, and midnight alligator hunting, as Henry Plant very much loved.
The South Wing of the first floor of this hotel is the actual Henry B Plant Museum room, created in 1933 and featuring interpretations of Victorian lifestyle in the American Gilded Age. Explore the history of this railroad resort, the Victorian period in general, the beginning of the booming Florida tourist industry, and the basics of the city of Tampa and its history at the museum. The latest exhibit, Passionate Design, explores furniture, metal work, block prints, pottery, and tiles from the reform period and teaches guests about the importance of that period and those works. Before you go, be sure to save plenty of time to fully check out the 150 acre grounds, in its day featuring a multitude of fancy amenities, such as an 18 hole golf course, tennis court, boat house, horse stables, casino, bowling alley, spa, and conservatory! This iconic and historic Tampa Bay destination will be sure to entertain and educate your group to full satisfaction!