401 W Kennedy Blvd., Tampa, FL 33606
Admission: $10, $7 seniors/students, $5 ages 4-12
Formerly a luxury hotel spanning 150 acres, the building holding the Plant museum is now permanent home also to the University of Tampa. Exhibits include The Grand Hall, Writing and Reading Room, the Garden Room, Women and their Pastimes, the Parlor Suite and the Spinning Girl. There are six levels of membership ranging from $50 to $2,500, with varying amenities attached to each level. The museum is presently a target destination for school and volunteer groups.
The building was established in 1891 as the Tampa Bay Hotel. Its 511 rooms were the first in the state of Florida to get electricity. The hotel was funded with entirely private monies by Henry Plant himself. Its original amenities included a golf course, flower conservatory, tennis courts, croquet courts, boathouse, hunting and fishing grounds, stables, racetrack and kennels among other luxuries. It operated until 1932 as a hotel.
During the Spanish-American War, it played host to Teddy Roosevelt and his Rough Rider troops when they came through Tampa on their way to fight in Cuba.
Today, it plays host to Victorian age and style events and parties such as the Great Gatsby Party and the Victorian Christmas Stroll, in accordance with its mission to preserve that era of time.
Currently on display: Gasparilla: A Tampa Tradition, runs through Feb. 21.