In my opinion, the best museums in Tampa would likely be the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (FMOPA) and the Florida Aquarium. OK… The aquarium may not technically be a museum but it’s one of the best things to do in the afternoon near Amalie Arena before a Tampa Bay Lightning game.
While St. Petersburg’s museums may have a lot more of a concentration of artwork, Tampa art museums have more to offer when it comes to variety. In the evening, I highly recommend checking out the “Sky (Tampa)” which is the outdoor light installation on the building exterior of the Tampa Museum of Art. Besides the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts (FMOPA) and the Tampa Museum of Art, there are two other art museums right outside of downtown Tampa. These museums are the Henry B. Plant Museum housed in the old Tampa Bay Hotel on the University of Tampa campus and the Contemporary Art Museum (USFCAM) located on the University of South Florida campus.
If you are traveling with kids, check out the Glazer Children’s Museum. Also, Tampa CityPass has a ticket for $107 ($97 child) which includes The Florida Aquarium, Bush Gardens Tampa Bay, Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, and the Museum of Science and Industry.