100 Date Night Ideas in Tampa Bay

100 Date Night Ideas in Tampa Bay

I’m guessing you’ve arrived here in search of Tampa Bay date night ideas, right? Let us help you out with our expert list of 100 top date night ideas. You can thank us later!

Note: Some of the activities and events listed here may be temporarily closed or canceled to ensure public safety. Use this list as inspiration for future dates!

1. Stroll hand in hand along the Tampa Riverwalk

The Tampa Riverwalk is one of downtown’s best features. Waterfront views, a wide multi-use trail and plenty of activities along the way make it a one-stop shop for a fun and cheap date night by the water.

2. Go kayaking in a clear kayak

Check out what’s in the water around and below you on a guided kayaking tour of Shell Key with Get Up and Go Kayaking Tampa Bay. Visit a sandbar, look for playful dolphins, paddle through mangroves and more on this guided tour. Tours are $55/person and last 2-2.5 hours. There’s also a Tarpon Springs tour offered during manatee season.

Get Up and Go Kayaking Tampa Bay Shell Key tour
Image credit: Get Up and Go Kayaking Tampa Bay

3. Have a romantic picnic in one of Tampa Bay’s best parks

Lucky for Tampa locals, there are loads of scenic places for a picnic from the quintessential Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park to more romantic spots like Honeymoon Island State Park. Check out our picks for Top Tampa Bay Parks for the Perfect Picnic Date.

4. Soak up the sun at Fort De Soto Park

From renting kayaks to playing on the beach with your four-legged friend, hiking the trails or hopping on the ferry to visit nearby Egmont Key, Fort De Soto Park is ideal for a full-day outdoors date. FYI: Admission is $5.

5. Bike the Pinellas Trail

The 38-mile Pinellas Trailis a former railway that was repurposed as a multi-use trail. Make pit stops to check out the Tarpon Springs sponge docks, and park for a refreshing brew and stroll through hip downtown Dunedin. If you don’t have wheels of your own, rentals are available through companies like Kafe Racer in downtown Dunedin. Read our guide to the Best Bike Rides in Tampa Bay for even more ideas.

Bike rental Dunedin - Kafe Racer
Rent bikes from Kafe Racer to explore Dunedin and the nearby Pinellas Trail | Image credit: Kafe Racer

6. Have a legendary date at Bern’s Steak House

No list of date night ideas in Tampa is complete without mentioning this historic eatery. In business for more than 60 years, Bern’s Steak House is the best place in Tampa for a romantic steakhouse date night. Enjoy top-notch steaks, sip wines from one of the largest wine collections in the world, and finish the night with an indulgent treat in the sultry Harry Waugh Dessert Room. Reservations are a must, and we recommend making them well in advance.

7. Take a cooking class

It’s getting hot in the kitchen, baby! Taking a cooking class together is a great way to level up your date nights at home. Our top cooking class picks include The Epicurean Theatre (events with top chefs), The Rolling Pin in Brandon (interactive, demonstration-style and hands-on options), Sur La Table and more.

8. Toast to your love at a rooftop bar

Nothing says romance like watching the sun set over the downtown skyline or the ocean. Take the stairs or elevator up a few floors to one of these 14 rooftop bars in Tampa Bay and see the city from a different angle while enjoying a drink or two.

Image credit: M. Bird

9. See a show at The Straz

Impress your date with tickets to see a Broadway production at The Straz Center. Tampa’s top performing arts center features an annual Broadway season plus a lineup of stand-up comedy performances, concerts, opera, and more each season. Check out what’s on the calendar.

10. Go on a hot air balloon ride

If a hot air balloon ride has long been a fixture on your bucket list, Big Red Balloon Sightseeing Adventures offers hot air balloon tours taking off at sunrise. It doesn’t get more romantic than seeing the surrounding landscape from above, set aglow in the golden morning light. Tours are $195/person including a champagne toast and full breakfast, or splurge for a private flight at $650/couple.

Outdoor activities in Tampa - Big Red Balloon hot air balloon ride
Image credit: Big Red Balloon Sightseeing Adventures

11. Check out the St. Pete Pier

On July 6, 2020, the reimagined 26-acre waterfront St. Pete Pier opened at last in Downtown St. Petersburg. This much-anticipated new pier, situated along the waters of Tampa Bay, is a spacious new attraction ideal for picnicking, biking, relaxing, waterfront dining and so much more. Date night highlights include waterfront dining, a new rooftop bar, beach area, walking paths, public art and more.

12. Do a progressive dinner at Armature Works

Located in the Tampa Heights neighborhood, Armature Works is a public market and food hall. With a waterfront setting, rooftop bar, multiple food vendors, event spaces and large outdoor areas for eating and mingling, it’s the perfect setting for a first date or your 50th. For a memorable date, stop at a different food vendor to pick up appetizers, drinks, entrees and dessert.

13. Take a sunset cruise

If you really want to wow your date, book a sunset cruise. There are loads of options throughout Tampa, but our top picks for date night include the Yacht Starship which includes dinner and open bar for $59.95/person and Island Ferry’s St. Pete Beach Sunset Cruise. The sunset cruise is a private experience limited to no more than 6 people. You’ll enjoy dolphin sightings along with a stunning Gulf sunset. The cost is $54/person.

Yacht Starship sunset cruises - Tampa Bay date night ideas
Image credit: Yacht Starship

14. Pick up provisions at a local farmer’s market then cook dinner together

Whether you’re seeking honey produced in nearby apiaries, baked goods lovingly prepared in nearby kitchens or greens grown in nearby fields, this guide to our local farmers market scene will help you dive into close-to-home cuisine in and around Tampa Bay.

15. Get day passes to a local resort

ResortPass is a unique website that allows you to purchase day passes to local resorts without having to stay overnight. Enjoy special perks like pool and beach access, poolside food and beverage service and more. Here’s a list of participating Tampa Bay hotels and resorts.

16. Treat yourselves to a couples massage

Several Tampa Bay area spas offer luxurious and unique options for couples. Book wine-inspired treatments at Spa Evangeline, unwind with a custom playlist and feel the bass through the massage table at The Rock Spa & Salon, or release stress together side by side in a spa suite at Spa Jardin.

Spa Jardin - Tampa Bay Spas
Image credit: Spa Jardin

17. Spend the day (or weekend) on Anna Maria Island

Calm turquoise water, white sandy beaches, homemade ice cream, and a quaint beach town are just a few of the things you’ll find on Anna Maria Island, a 7-mile island about an hour south of Tampa. Plan a romantic getaway with our guide to Three Perfect Days on Anna Maria Island, which details where to stay, activities, and top spots to dine and drink.

18. Splash and play in one of Florida’s springs

Hop in the car and arrive to scenic cold springs in as little as an hour. Nearby springs include Weeki Wachee Springs State Park (home of the infamous mermaid show), Crystal River National Wildlife Refuge (for spotting manatees), Rainbow Springs State Park (for an epic day floating down the river in a tube) and many more.

19. Cuddle up and watch a movie at a local drive-in movie theater

For a nostalgic date, pack snacks and park the car for an old school date night at the local drive-in. Multiple drive-in move theaters are accessible from Tampa including Funlan Drive-In, Ruskin Family Drive-In, and the Silver Moon Drive-In in Lakeland, just 30 minutes away. Admission is affordable at $6-$7/adult for both movies being screened that evening.

Ruskin Family Drive-In Theater
Image credit: Ruskin Family Drive-In Theater

20. Listen to live jazz

Break the monotony of dinner and a movie with some good music and great company while checking out our local jazz scene. Here’s a guide to help you on your way.

21. Spend the afternoon at The Dalí

Experience the awe-inspiring surrealist works of Spanish artist Salvador Dalí at The Dalí Museum in St. Pete. The spacious outdoor garden, waterfront setting, artful café and impressive collection make for an awesome day date sure to spark creativity and connection.

A Day Date at The Dalí Museum - Date night ideas in Tampa Bay
Image credit: Stephanie Patterson

22. Go on a mural tour in St. Pete

St. Pete’s colorful murals are a fixture of the vibrant city, adding pops of color and interest to local buildings. Map out a route for a self-guided tour of your favorites using this handy map, or join an official St. Pete Mural Tour for $19/person. On the guided walking tour, you’ll visit 30+ murals while learning more about the artists who created each.

23. Explore some of Tampa Bay’s best kayaking spots

Kayaking is pleasurable year round in Florida, but especially during the breezy, cooler months of spring and fall. Paddle among dolphins and other wildlife in a clear kayak at Shell Key Preserve, weave your way through mangroves in Lido Key and Weedon Island Preserve, or visit a sandbar and paddle out into the gulf from Longboat Key. Our list of 10 Great Spots to Go Kayaking in Tampa is full of ideas for an active date.

24. Take a hike at a local nature preserve

For a totally free date, visit a nearby nature preserve to climb a lookout tower, search for local wildlife, stroll on a boardwalk or hike quiet trails. Weedon Island Preserve features a multiple trails and observation towers, plus scenic boardwalks for walkers and paddling trails for kayakers. Also check out the Lower Hillsborough Wilderness Preserve, which includes 60 miles of hiking trails and loads of wildlife.

25. Go horseback riding on the beach

If your idea of romance includes galloping along the beach with your love on horseback, The Real BeachHorses has you covered. This local company offers guided beachfront horseback rides in Bradenton. During your 1.5-hour experience, you’ll get to ride horses along the beach and even wade into the water. Tour groups are kept small at just 2-6 riders per tour. Reservations are required in advance and the cost is $140/person but here’s a pro tip: book your tour at least 30 days in advance and it’ll knock the cost down to $98/person (use code 30for30 during online checkout).

Beachfront horseback ride - Date night ideas in Tampa Bay
Image credit: The Real BeachHorses

26. Try zip lining

From aerial adventure courses to dedicated zip line parks, there are a handful of awesome places to soar above the trees throughout Tampa Bay. Empower Adventures in Oldsmar is one of our favorites, thanks to the 2.5-hour Zip Line Adventure. Highlights include 5 zip lines, a suspension bridge and aerial challenges. Read our guide to zip lining in Tampa Bay for the full scoop.

27. Visit flora and flamingos at Sunken Gardens

Get lost in a botanical oasis together while walking hand in hand through St. Pete’s lush Sunken Gardens. Besides the gorgeous plants lining the paths of the 100+ year old park, the resident flamingos are a main draw. Admission is $12/person and parking is free.

28. Get up close and personal with animals at ZooTampa

Enhance your next date day at the zoo by adding on an animal encounter experience. Get backstage access to the zoo’s Manatee Critical Care Center, meet penguins or a koala, feed an Indian rhino, and more.

Date night ideas in Tampa Bay - ZooTampa animal encounters
ZooTampa at Lowry Park | Image credit: Stephanie Patterson

29. Rent a mini powerboat

Did you know you can rent a mini powerboat for two to cruise Tampa’s waterways? Riverwalk Boating Company rents these cute two-seaters which start at $40 for a half hour up to $90 for two hours. Pick up your rental along the Riverwalk and then head out on a self-guided adventure in any direction you choose. The boats go between 10-20mph, so plan for a relaxed trip on the water with your love.

30. Join the daily sunset celebration at Pier 60

A right of passage for locals and visitors alike, the lively and iconic sunset celebration at Pier 60 in Clearwater is a fun way to end a perfect day at the beach. The daily festival kicks off a few hours before sunset and lasts several hours after the sun has dipped below the horizon. After a romantic stroll on the beach towards the pier, sit and stay awhile to interact with street performers.

31. Rent paddleboards

For fans of water sports like kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding (referred to as SUP) is an equally fun activity that’s surprisingly easy to pick up, even as a first timer. Tampa Bay SUP offers rentals, lessons and eco-tours from their location along the Tampa Riverwalk downtown. Urban Kai also offers rentals plus fun tours through Downtown Tampa or in dense mangroves.

32. Plan a Tampa Bay Lightning game date

If you and your loved one are Lightning fans, or simply love the game of hockey, there is no better date night than a Tampa Bay Lightning Game at the infamous Amalie Arena.

Tampa Bay Lightning Game

33. Attend Gasparilla together

You can’t call yourself a true Tampa local until you’ve experienced your first Gasparilla. This annual festival is a right of passage and draws a huge crowd every January for the epic Gasparilla Pirate Fest, which includes the legendary Gasparilla Invasion and Parade of the Pirates. This is one event you don’t want to go into without a solid plan, so keep our Ultimate Gasparilla Guide handy.

34. Complete an Escape Room

Put your problem solving skills to the test as you work to solve mysteries and decode clues to escape your themed room before your designated time is up. Our Guide to Local Escape Rooms includes six mind-bending options.

35. Swim with sharks at The Florida Aquarium

Yep, you read that right. Adventurous couples can hop into the tank at The Florida Aquarium as part of the Shark Swim Program. You’ll swim alongside hundreds of fish (including barracudas), a sand tiger shark, a sea turtle, stingrays and more. Groups are limited to no more than four snorkelers at a time and the experience is $110/person ($100 for members).

36. Laze the day away at Epperson Lagoon

Epperson Lagoon is an over the top, 7-acre manmade lagoon located within a planned community in Wesley Chapel. While it’s slated to eventually be exclusively for the community residents, it’s still open to the public by way of day passes. You can upgrade your experience by renting a private cabana, or paddling the lagoon on a paddle board or in a kayak. Did we mention there’s a swim-up bar? Day passes are $24.95/person.

37. Sip bubbly at the Champagne Bar and explore Oxford Exchange

Sip bubbly at Oxford Exchange’s bright and cheery Champagne Bar. Located within The Shop, you can slide up the bar to order wine, champagne and champagne cocktails (we love a good French 75). Sip while you shop, then continue on for a meal at Oxford Exchange’s restaurant and pick up a new book to dive into together at the bookstore.

Image credit: Oxford Exchange

38. Play bar trivia

Inject a bit of healthy competition into date night by playing bar trivia. We love to play at 3 Daughters Brewing (Monday nights at 7pm), World of Beer South Tampa (select nights with fun themes) and The Patio (Wednesdays at 7:30pm – currently on hold).

39. Board the Brew Bus to visit local breweries

There are dozens of breweries throughout the Tampa Bay area and it can be overwhelming to come up with a plan to tackle them all. The Brew Bus allows you to knock out several brewery visits all in the span on an afternoon during a unique chauffeured bus tour. Choose from hop on, hop off options or opt for the Full Pour Tour. This tour lasts 4.5 hours and visits three breweries, with a pint included at each. You’ll also get to enjoy two craft brews on the bus.

40. Join an outdoor community fitness class

Work up a sweat together at one of Tampa’s notable outdoor fitness events. Yoga in the Park is a free weekly class at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park every Sunday with a class led by local studio Lucky Cat Yoga. You can also flow with fellow yogis at Armature Works during weekday yoga sessions on select Tuesday mornings (free). If yoga isn’t your jam, check out Hyde Park Sweat featuring an outdoor barre class with Pure Barre ($20; Wednesdays at 6pm).

Sunday Yoga at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park | Image credit: Tampa Downtown Partnership

41. Cheer on the Tampa Bay Rays

Calling all baseball fans! Enjoy a classic ballgame date cheering on the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Pete. Save this idea for the future when in-person attendance for games resumes. In the meantime, you can tune in from home.

42. Join a local food tour

Get a taste for Tampa Bay by joining a knowledgable guide for a food tour through various Tampa Bay neighborhoods. From Ybor City to St. Pete and Safety Harbor, our guide to Food Tours in Tampa Bay highlights a handful of affordable options for your next foodie date.

43. Go on a booze cruise with Kraken CycleBoats

If a booze cruise if your idea of a good day, book a trip with Kraken CycleBoats, frequently spotted along the Hillsborough River. You will have to do a little work, pedaling the boat to earn your sips. You’ll need to supply your own alcohol while your captain supplies the cups and ice. The tour also includes a bit of sightseeing as you paddle past the Tampa Riverwalk, Armature Works, Curtis Hixon Park and more.

Image credit: Kraken CycleBoats

44. Give axe throwing a try

Axe throwing is one of the latest out of the box experiences to take Tampa by storm. Get in touch with your adventurous side by visiting one of Tampa’s axe throwing venues, or go all out by visiting a smash room where you can smash and break things, sans guilt.

45. Go on a u-pick date to pick berries in season

During the spring months, you can pick your own berries at multiple farms throughout the Tampa Bay area.

46. Spend the day at Honeymoon Island

Situated off the coast just minutes from Dunedin, Honeymoon Island State Park offers natural beaches, crystal clear waters, spectacular sunsets and unspoiled coastline dotted with unique shells. Besides lazing on the beach, there are kayak rentals and nature trails to explore. For an added fee, you can hop on the ferry to secluded Caladesi Island for more fun in the sun. Admission to the park is $8 and the ferry to Caladesi Island is $16/person.

47. Have dinner at a local wine bar

Wine and dine your date, literally, by hitting up a cozy local wine bar for your next night out. Sip on a glass of your favorite red or white wine while sharing a cheeseboard and indulging in light bites. Get inspired with our list of 10+ Wine Bars in the Tampa Bay Area.

48. Explore Ybor City

Take a scenic stroll through the Ybor City Historic District for a fun way to spend an afternoon. Enjoy a free visit to Jose Marti Park and the Oakwood Cemetery or peruse the local art galleries. And for a nominal $4/person, you can stop by Ybor City Museum State Park housed inside a historic bakery from the 1920s. You’ll also be able to check out the museum’s cozy Mediterranean-style garden. Here are some more Ybor City Date Night Ideas.

Image Credit: Yborcityonline.com

49. Hang out at Sparkman Wharf

Sparkman Wharf is a one stop shop for date night with multiple dining options, a biergarten, and outdoor activities right along the water. Make it a complete date by visiting during a special event, including movies on the lawn select nights, live music on the weekends, trivia and more. You can check out what’s on the event calendar here.

50. Relax at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

Situated along Sarasota Bay, Marie Selby Botanical Gardens‘ Downtown Sarasota location boasts 15 acres of lush gardens to discover. Walk the mangrove boardwalk, marvel at the large banyan trees, and take in the waterfront views. The gardens are open daily from 10am-5pm and admission is $15/person.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens
Image credit: Marie Selby Botanical Gardens

51. Sip brews at a local craft brewery

Discover new locales and sip local brews by visiting one of Tampa Bay’s dozens of breweries. We’ve listed out a few of our favorites here.

52. Kayak with manatees at Crystal River

Crystal River is the only place in the entire country where you’re legally allowed to hop into the water and come face to face with manatees. There are dozens of tour companies offering snorkeling tours including the Plantation on Crystal River, River Ventures and Manatee Tour and Dive. While manatee season lasts from mid-November to March, it’s best to go during the colder months.

53. Join a Tampa tour

Whether you want to check out local art, cruise around on a bike while learning something new, or join a food tour, Tampa has endless tour options for couples. Check out our guide to Tampa Tours Locals Love, join one of these fun Ybor City Walking Tours, or pick a guided tour from Tampa Downtown Partnership’s awesome list of local tours.

54. Check out free planetarium shows

Stargaze with someone special select Friday nights at St. Petersburg College’s Planetarium & Observatory. When school is in session, the Planetarium opens up to the public for Friday night shows at 7pm and again at 8:15pm. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis so arrive early to snag a seat. After the show, head up to the rooftop observatory to gaze at the night sky through the 20-inch reflecting telescope.

Free things to do in Tampa - shows at the SPC Planetarium
Image credit: St. Petersburg College Planetarium

55. Join History Bike Tampa for a tour

Every other month, join History Bike Tampa for a themed community bike tour that will teach you a little slice of Tampa history. Past themes include historic cemeteries, secret societies, love stories and more. The fun kicks off at Kahwa Coffee in downtown Tampa on select Saturdays at 9:30am. There is a suggested donation of $5/person.

56. Attend a local street festival or art walk

Each month, a handful of street festivals and art walks pop up all throughout Tampa Bay. Check out St. Pete’s Second Saturday ArtWalk for an after-hours visit to multiple art galleries, or take advantage of free admission to multiple Downtown Tampa art venues during Fourth Friday Tampa. Or, find food truck fare and live music at 3rd Thursday Tampa and peruse goods from local artisans at the Heights Night Market on the 2nd Wednesday of each month.

57. Stroll Florida Botanical Gardens

Fourteen themed garden and natural areas comprise this nature oasis including a butterfly garden, shaded tropical walk, and succulent garden. Couples will love the Wedding Gardens decked out with white flowers plus a jazz garden, rose garden, topiary garden and cottage garden. There are also several art installations throughout the grounds. Check the website before your visit to see what’s in bloom. Oh and, admission is free!

58. Learn shuffleboard with St. Pete Shuffle

For a truly out of the ordinary date night idea in Tampa Bay, attend St. Pete Shuffle’s weekly Friday session. Learn the basics from a volunteer and get your game on from 7-10pm. There’s a suggested donation of $2 per person in order to participate.

Image credit: St. Pete Shuffle

59. Have a coffee date

Short on time? Meet your favorite person for a coffee date at one of Tampa Bay’s best coffee shops. We put together a comprehensive Guide to Coffee Shops in Tampa Bay to help you sift through the options.

60. Go on a beach picnic

For an affordable date, hit up a nearby beach and pack your own romantic picnic to enjoy instead of dining out or hitting the closest snack shack. Want to bring along some adult beverages in an insulated cup? These local beaches allow alcohol on the beach (just remember – no glass bottles).

61. Visit a local speakeasy

Take a step back in time to the roaring twenties at Ciro’s Speakeasy and Supper Club. You won’t find the venue easily, but here’s a tip: the speakeasy is tucked inside the historic Bayshore Royal building. True to speakeasy form, you’ll need to knock — and offer up the daily password — to get in.

Image credit: Ciro’s Speakeasy and Supper Club

62. Go on a self-guided Riverwalk pub crawl

Do you know about the Riverwalk cup program? 10+ Riverwalk restaurants offer special to-go cups that you can take with you as you stroll along the Riverwalk. A few participating restaurants include Columbia Cafe at Tampa Bay History Center, Ulele, Palio’s Steak House and Anchor & Brine at Tampa Marriott Water Street. The full list of participating stops can be found on the Riverwalk’s website.

63. Join a dinner cruise

Enjoy dinner and dancing on a romantic sunset cruise along Tampa’s waterways. Yacht Starship is one of Tampa Bay’s premier dinner cruise options. Besides enjoying a 2.5-hour cruise with romantic sunset views, you’ll also be treated to a 3-course meal, open bar (beer and wine) and plenty of time for dancing. Tickets begin at $59.95/person. StarLite Cruises offers sunset dining cruises departing from St. Pete and Clearwater. Your ticket includes admission for the 2.5-3 hour cruise with dinner as an add-on once you board.

64. Do date night dinner at the historic Columbia Restaurant

Open since 1905, this Ybor City staple serves up Cuban cuisine and boasts the title of Florida’s oldest restaurant. While there are multiple Columbia Restaurant locations throughout the state, the Ybor City institution is where it all began. The layout is well known for being a “city within a city.” Maxing at over 1,700 people, this restaurant has customers spread throughout fifteen distinct spaces each with their own story.

65. Book a getaway at a boutique hotel

The Tampa area is home to plenty of great hotel options with a smaller, boutique feel that will set your stay apart from the big chains and their hundreds of rooms. Typically, boutique hotels are hotels with 10-100 rooms with a unique atmosphere. Check out our personal favorites in our Guide to the Best Boutique Hotels Across Tampa Bay.

66. Stay in a tiny home

For a unique staycation not too far from Tampa, spend a few nights in a tiny home! There are two fun tiny home villages nearby offering overnight stays: Tiny House Siesta and Matlacha Tiny Village. The former is located just across the bridge from Siesta Key beach and has 10 available tiny homes for a mini getaway. Each tiny features colorful beachy decor, and some even incorporate lifeguard stands into the exterior design. The latter is located a bit further south near Cape Coral in Matlacha right on the water. You’ll love strolling the tiny town to check out the funky boutiques and eateries along the water. Choose from three tiny rentals beginning at $149/night.

Image credit: Matalcha Tiny Village

67. Go on a self-guided selfie tour for new photos with your boo

Everyone wants to capture the perfect photo, and if you’re on the hunt for Tampa’s Instagrammable spots for your next date, look no further! We’ve compiled a list of photo-worthy places for you to explore and take the best selfie with bae.

68. Discover Weedon Island Preserve

Weedon Island Preserve is a 3,190-acre nature preserve located in St. Petersburg ideal for hiking and kayaking. As an added bonus, admission to the preserve is free. You can rent kayaks from Sweetwater Kayaks or bring your own to the launch site to explore the 4-mile loop South Paddling Trail. Paddle your way through shady mangrove tunnels while watching for wildlife including mangrove crabs and wading birds.

69. Go horseback riding

Immerse yourself in a slice of Old Florida on a peaceful horseback trail ride right outside of downtown Tampa. Local companies In the Breeze Ranch and Cypress Breeze Farm both offer guided trail rides for couples to enjoy. The former is a fully operational horse ranch and the latter specializes in guided trail rides.

70. Root for the Bucs

Tampa Bay is home to a number of incredibly talented athletes that represent our great city on a professional scale. From baseball to hockey to soccer and football, Tampa Bay has a sports team for everyone. Cheer on our local football champs, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium for a sporty date night you won’t soon forget.

71. Spend the day in Gulfport

Located between Downtown St. Pete and St. Pete Beach, Gulfport is an artsy locale with a waterfront village comprised of adorable eateries (try Pia’s Trattoria!), independent shops, galleries and boutiques, all locally owned. Line your visit up with the first or third Saturday of each month, when artisans gather along Beach Boulevard to showcase their creations for the Gulfport Art Walk. Check Facebook for the latest events schedule.

Pia's Trattoria patio Gulfport, FL
Image credit: Pia’s Trattoria | Photo by Bear Karry Productions

72. Tour a local distillery

Situated in Historic Ybor, Florida Cane Distillery is a local distiller specializing in a variety of Florida Cane vodkas made with Florida Sugar Cane, plus rum, gin, moonshine and Bourbon whiskey. Get acquainted with these local spirits on a tour which includes free tastings, too!

73. Book a staycation at a beachside resort

Soak up the stress-relieving vibes only the beach can provide by booking a weekend away at a beachfront resort. A few of our local favorites include the luxurious Don CeSar, the cozy Postcard Inn and the sprawling Tradewinds Island Grand Resort, all located along St. Pete Beach.

74. Visit Egmont Key

If you find yourself at Fort De Soto Park, don’t leave without taking the 30-minute ferry ride over the Egmont Key. Enjoy the secluded beach, search for shells, wander around Fort Dade and splash in the water. More information can be found on the Egmont Key website.

75. Try goat yoga

The goat yoga experience at Grady Goat in Thonotosassa is best described as delightful, hilarious chaos. As the gate is opened, a herd of playful goats gallop out, dispersing through the crowd. Goats jump on your back, nibble on your hair, jump from your back to your neighbor’s back and more. Expect 95% goat love and 5% yoga.

Image credit: Grady Goat Yoga Tampa Bay

76. Take a walking tour

Many self-guided walking tours are available online and in person for free. Marvel at local buildings on an architecture tour through Downtown, Ybor City and Hyde Park. Or, join one of the Tampa Downtown Partnership’s walking tours ($5 donation suggested) October-May on select Fridays at noon. Or, enjoy the free Postcard Tour, an audio tour that will take you around the grounds of the historic Tampa Bay Hotel.

77. Visit a nearby state park

Enjoy some refreshing time in the great outdoors by visiting one of Florida’s fabulous state parks. Here are a few of our favorite Florida State Parks near Tampa:

  • Honeymoon Island State Park
  • Caladesi Island State Park
  • Egmont Key State Park
  • Myakka River State Park
  • Hillsborough River State Park
  • Anclote Key Preserve State Park (accessible only by boat or ferry service)

78. Dine at one of Tampa’s most romantic restaurants

Over the years, we’ve discovered quite the assortment of romantic locales throughout Tampa Bay worthy of inclusion in your date night rotation. To help you sift through all of the options and to better aid you in your quest to have a perfect romantic evening, here’s a summary of top picks based on accolades and ambiance.

Photo credit: Bern’s Steak House

79. Plan a romantic date in Hyde Park Village

Home to dozens of shops and eateries, Hyde Park is a picturesque district located in South Tampa that’s perfect for date night. Check out a community event, have dinner at one of the restaurants (we love bartaco and On Swann) and do a little shopping for the perfect Hyde Park Date Night.

80. Take a day trip

Hop in the car and head to a nearby town or attraction for a change of scenery. Here are a few nearby ideas:

81. See a movie at Tampa Theatre

It doesn’t get more classic than a movie date at Tampa’s stunning historic movie palace, Tampa Theatre. Enjoy first-run movies and classic flicks plus special events throughout the year.

Tampa Theatre
Image credit: Tampa Theatre

82. Drive along a scenic highway together

Whether you and your honey are planning to hit the road for a weekend away, or if you just need to get out of the house for a change of scenery, Florida offers a collection of scenic roadways. These designated scenic highways are woven throughout the entire state of Florida.

83. Walk the boardwalk at Lettuce Lake Park

Lettuce Lake Park is a 240-acre natural oasis that typically sees over a million visitors a year. Visitors can hike, kayak, exercise and fish. Don’t miss the 3,500-foot boardwalk and observation tower, which overlooks the Hillsborough River and the floodplain that makes up the majority of the park. Admission is $2/vehicle.

Date night ideas in Tampa Bay - hike Lettuce Lace Park
Image credit: Hillsborough County

84. Explore local attractions together with CityPASS

CityPASS is a ticket experience you can purchase online to enjoy multiple attractions across Tampa Bay. Here’s how it works: Tampa residents can purchase mobile or printable tickets and begin using the pass right away, or within one year of the purchase date. Once you begin to use your CityPass, it’s good for a 9-day period. Each pass includes admission to five popular local attractions, including Busch Gardens, The Florida Aquarium, ZooTampa at Lowry Park, Clearwater Marine Aquarium, MOSI, and more! CityPASS is $119 per adult.

85. Have a dinner date on a patio

Take your food, drinks and conversation outside with this guide to the best Tampa Bay patios. A few of our personal favorites include Ulele, Pia’s Trattoria, and Red Mesa Cantina.

86. Go on a moonlight kayaking tour

There are dozens of amazing places to kayak throughout Tampa Bay, but at Canoe Outpost Little Manatee River you can embark on a truly unique kayaking tour. The monthly moonlight paddling trip invites you to cruise the serene Little Manatee River under the light of the moon. Tours last approximately four hours and cost $75/couple.

87. Hit the beach

A major perk of living in the Tampa Bay area is close proximity to the area’s incredible, award-winning beaches. Head to Madeira Beach to stroll the shops at John’s Pass Village & Boardwalk, or laze the day away on the quaint and full of character Anna Maria Island. Other local go-tos include St. Pete Beach, Indian Rocks Beach, Fort De Soto ($5 beach parking), and Clearwater Beach. Or, do as the locals do and watch a sunset from Ben T. Davis Beach.

Anna Maria Island
Anna Maria Island | Image credit: Stephanie Patterson

88. Plan a Tampa Bay getaway

Put together the perfect weekend with our Guide to Tampa Bay Getaways, or get even more in depth by following one of these Three Itineraries for a Tampa Bay Staycation.

89. Make your own Tampa themed “Instead of Netflix” date jar

One of our team members came up with the “Instead of Netflix” Jar for the nights she and her husband look at each other and don’t know what to do, and thus end up just watching Netflix. Check out what Sarah and her husband put in their jar in our post here, or come up with a list of Tampa adventures to add to your own.

90. Day trip to Dunedin

Planning a beach day to Honeymoon Island? Make it a full day trip by stopping to explore downtown Dunedin, too. You’ll find several craft breweries (I love 7venth Sun), access to the Pinellas Trail, a waterfront marina and pier, scenic park, and dozens of shops and eateries.

Edgewater Park in Dunedin - Perfect Picnic Spots
Image credit: Stephanie Patterson

91. Support the arts at Mahaffey Theater

From Broadway musicals to concerts from top performers and dance productions, the Duke Energy Center for the Arts – Mahaffey Theater is a jewel of St. Pete’s vibrant cultural scene. The waterfront location and European box-style seating lend an extra romantic ambiance.

92. Enjoy a concert from The Florida Orchestra

Romance your date with the sound of the symphony by snagging tickets to a concert from The Florida Orchestra. Each season features dozens of concerts at venues like the Straz Center, Mahaffey Theater and Ruth Eckerd Hall. Season highlights include Masterworks performances, pops concerts and coffee concerts.

93. Share cheese & charcuterie

Calling all cheese lovers! Enjoy your own cheese and charcuterie date night by hitting up a local restaurant or wine bar known for its fabulous spreads. We recommend The C House (champagne, charcuterie, cheesecake), Haven, On Swann, and Oak & Ola.

Image credit: On Swann

94. Paddle St. Pete

For a romantic paddle, join a guided tour with St. Pete company Coastal Kayak Charters. Date night-approved options include the twilight tour in Pass-A-Grille and sunset tours at Shell Key. All tours are $42/person and must be booked online in advance.

95. Enjoy a courtyard dinner for two

If you’re in search of a dining spot with an extra romantic setting, head to a local restaurant that has garden or courtyard seating. Our guide to Gardens & Courtyards: Tampa’s Prettiest Dining Spots includes several options.

96. Explore Mazzaro’s Italian Market

If you and your partner are dreaming of Italy, travel to Mazarro’s Italian Market to stock up on all of the Italian goodies you need for an Italy-themed date night at home.

97. Join Oxford Exchange’s monthly book club

If you and your partner are bookish types, join Oxford Exchange’s monthly book club. In-person events typically take place on the second Tuesday of each month. Tickets, which are $28/person, include wine and light bites plus the book discussion.

oxfordexchange.com

98. Hitch a ride on the Pirate Water Taxi

If you get tired of walking along the Tampa Riverwalk, just hop aboard the Pirate Water Taxi to get to fun stops like The Florida Aquarium, Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park, Armature Works and more. You can hop on and off all day long for just $20/person. Show your wristband for deals at select restaurants, bars and attractions along the route.

99. Go indoor rock climbing

Ready to try something new and adventurous? Vertical Ventures St. Pete is a 20,000 square foot indoor rock climbing gym with routes up to 40 feet tall. Memberships are available if you fall in love with the experience and want to make it a regular date night challenge.

100. Do date night around the world

Travel the world without leaving town by planning an international date night dinner. Our Date Night Around the World dining series features picks for Indian, Mexican, Italian, Thai, French and German-inspired dates.

Still looking for more date night ideas in Tampa Bay? Read our list of 50 Free Things to do in Tampa Bay.

Feature image credit: The Tampa Riverwalk


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