If you enjoyed the Best Museum Exhibitions of 2013, then you will love all of the guided museum tours that can be found in the Tampa Bay area, especially if you are a lover of history or the arts. Museums offer an escape from our often hectic and chaotic lives and help us to focus on beautiful and interesting works of art or artifacts, giving us a peek at the human soul. Guided tours can take you to the next level as experts explain minute details you may not otherwise have known when exploring your favorite museum. Here’s a short list of some of the best-loved museum tours in Tampa Bay.
Tampa Museum of Art
120 W. Gasparilla Plaza
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 274-8130

If you and nine of your closest friends are looking for a guided tour to Tampa’s finest art museum, you’re in luck. Tours are offered between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday through Friday for $10 per person. You can choose to have a tour of a specific gallery or a general tour of the whole museum. The Tampa Museum of Art features rotating exhibits, so you can tour the museum a dozen times over and never have the same experience twice. Tours must be scheduled at least two weeks in advance.

Henry B. Plant Museum
401 W. Kennedy Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33606
(813) 254-1891

This national historic landmark includes both self-paced audio tours and docent-led tours in the price of admission. If you would like to experience a docent-led tour, make sure you are in the museum lobby before 1 p.m. on either Tuesday or Thursday — no reservations required. Learn about the beautiful architecture, luxurious furnishings and fascinating history of what used to be the Tampa Bay Hotel. Let the experts transport you to the 1890s — a time of railroads, steamships and the Henry B. Plant empire.

The Dali Museum
1 Dali Blvd.
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 823-3767
www.thedali.org/visit/toursThe Dali Museum boasts the largest collection of Spanish artist Salvador Dali’s works in the United States. This magnificent museum offers tours in a variety of language besides English, including Spanish, Italian, French, German and Dutch, just to name a handful. Private tours may be scheduled for an additional fee, but public docent-led tours are included with admission and are offered seven days a week. You can also choose the art gallery tour or the architecture tour, both equally fascinating. If you would rather do a self-paced tour, audio tours are included in the price of admission.

Related: Best Art Museums In Tampa

Florida Holocaust Museum
55 5th St. S.
St. Petersburg, Florida 33701
(727) 820-0100

Learning about the horrors of the Holocaust may not be your idea of a cheery afternoon, but the mission of the Holocaust Museum is to educate people to prevent this kind of systematic extermination from ever happening again. Docent-led tours are available for 15 or more people and must be booked through the museum’s website. Tours last approximately two hours. The museum’s permanent exhibits include historical photographs, original documents and artifacts, as well as exhibits about current human rights issues in the United States and the world.

Ybor City Museum
1818 E. 9th Ave.
Tampa, FL 33605
(813) 247-6323

Here’s one for the extra-adventurous. Walking tours in Ybor include a stop in the museum, which details the history of the cigar industry and how Ybor City became the “Cigar Capitol of the World,” as well as the baseball museum portion dedicated to Al Lopez. The museum isn’t all, however. You can decide which type of walking tour you’d like to experience, including ghost tours, limousine tours, cigar industry tours, tours given by native-born Ybor City guides and others. You will be able to experience the authentic Cuban food, cigar-crafting, unique shops and so much more that makes up historic Ybor City.

Related: Best Museums For Dates In Tampa Bay

Amanda Mole has been writing since she was old enough to hold a pencil and cooking since she was tall enough to reach the stove. She believes that food provides more than just vital nutrients: it is an irreplaceable part of countless cultural and social activities. As a Tampa Bay resident for the past 21 years, she is well acquainted with the incredibly diverse range of restaurants, bars, and food festivals that the area has to offer. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.