Best New Tampa Bay Restaurants + Experiences for Couples in 2022

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Best New Tampa Bay Restaurants + Experiences for Couples in 2022

We could all use some good news right about now. Luckily, with new restaurants, experiences and attractions on the way, 2022 is looking like a bright year for Tampa Bay. Read on for the scoop on the best new date night experiences for couples in the year ahead. Check back often as we update this page with new info!

Date-Worthy New Tampa Bay Restaurants + Bars Arrive in 2022

Looking for new places to do date night with your partner this year? Loads of noteworthy new restaurants are set to open in 2022.

Water Street Tampa continues to grow with the addition of several new restaurants this year. Among them is The Pearl from Cameron Mitchell Restaurants, set to open in 2022. Menu highlights include seasonal oysters, craft cocktails, scratch-made entrees, a curated wine list and more. Boulon Brasserie, a French bistro, will also join the area in 2022.

Fans of Cru Cellars can look forward to multiple new concepts this year from Tampa-based Cru Hospitality Group. Small Giant Bar & Restaurant will serve Ohio-style pizzas alongside craft beer and cocktails, while Wine on Water will function as a wine bar and wine/liquor shop in one, featuring an outdoor garden and wines by the glass. Both are set to open at Water Street Tampa in spring 2022. Lastly, we’re eagerly awaiting news regarding an opening date for Bouzy, a Champagne bar announced last January that is set to eventually open in Hyde Park Village.

Another unique concept to look forward to, Union New American will be a two-story restaurant and lounge with a focus on modern American eats.

Over in St. Pete, locals can look forward to several new restaurants and an exciting new food hall. Steak, seafood and cocktails will be the focus at The Crane, while Good Intentions will serve New American vegan fare in modern digs. The much-anticipated, multi-story Central Park Food Hall is also underway although there is no official opening date yet. The food hall will include several concepts, including a St. Pete location of Speaks Clam Bar.

Rendering of The Pearl Tampa from Cameron Mitchell Restaurants
Rendering of The Pearl Tampa

The Michelin Guide is Coming to Florida

The Michelin Guide will expand into Florida for the first time ever in 2022 with the arrival of the inaugural Michelin Guide Miami, Orlando and Tampa. We can’t wait to see which Tampa restaurants the Michelin inspectors choose for inclusion in the guide this year. Florida will be the guide’s fifth destination in the US.

Iron Gwazi Opens at Busch Gardens in March 2022

Get ready to ride North America’s tallest hybrid coaster, and the fastest and steepest hybrid coaster in the world this March! Riders will plunge from a 206-foot peek into a 9-degree drop and reach speeds of 76 miles per hour. Iron Gwazi will race along more than 4,075 feet of purple steel track and includes a dozen airtime moments and three inversions.

Iron Gwazi at Busch Gardens - New in Tampa Bay 2022
Image credit: Busch Gardens Tampa Bay

Gasparilla Makes a Triumphant Return

Gasparilla is BACK for 2022! After being canceled in 2021, we’re thrilled to see Tampa’s iconic pirate party returning. More than a day or an event, Gasparilla now spans a 3-month season consisting of parades, parties, music and art festivals, movies, a marathon, and much more. The Seminole Hard Rock Gasparilla Pirate Fest takes place on Saturday, January 29, 2022 but there are loads of other events throughout January, February and March.

You can find all of the info you need in our Ultimate Gasparilla Guide for 2022, but key dates for 2022 are:

  • Children’s Gasparilla: Saturday, January 22, 2022
  • Seminole Hard Rock Gasparilla Pirate Fest: Saturday, January 29, 2022
  • Nighttime Sant’Yago Knight parade in Ybor: February 12, 2022
  • Gasparilla Outbound Voyage: February 26, 2022
  • Gasparilla Distance Classic Marathon: February 26 – 27, 2022
  • GMF Gasparilla Music Festival: February 27 – 28, 2022
  • Gasparilla Art Festival: March 5 – 6, 2022
  • GIFF-Gasparilla International Film Festival: March 10 – 13, 2022

ZooTampa will unveil Florida Wilds in Spring 2022

Opening in Spring 2022, the new Florida Wilds area will feature remarkable close-up encounters and inspiring moments for families to connect with endangered Florida panthers and protected black bears. This newly expanded habitat will house three black bears and three panthers who were rescued by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and have been deemed non-releasable and serve as conservation ambassadors for their species.

Fairgrounds St. Pete Offers New Things to Explore

Fairgrounds St. Pete opened in fall of 2021, showcasing the imagination of local and national artists through interactive art installations. But it wasn’t until late December 2021 that the immersive 15,000 sq. foot space celebrated its official grand opening, debuting a new entrance and new artwork. If you haven’t yet visited, make plans to explore this one-of-a-kind attraction in 2022. New artwork is now on display from Chad Mize, Danielle DeGuglimo, and Shane Carey.

Fairgrounds St Pete new permanent entrance| Image by Bob Croslin

Tampa Gets its First Five Star Hotel

Overnight getaways will get a swanky upgrade with the addition of The Tampa EDITION, Tampa Bay’s first five-star hotel set to open this year at Water Street Tampa. Amenities include 172 guest rooms, a rooftop bar and terrace, spa, and multiple food and beverage outlets.

A Pablo Picasso Exhibition Exclusively Visits The Dalí

Calling all art lovers! Head to The Dalí from January 29 – May 22, 2022 for a peek at 70+ paintings, drawings and collages from Pablo Picasso. The exhibition, Picasso and the Allure of the South, is presented in collaboration with the Musée national Picasso-Paris, and focuses on the influence of southern Europe on the artist’s work. Nearly half of the featured works have never before been displayed in the United States.

Two new waterslides make a splash at Adventure Island in March 2022

Two new attractions will be making a big splash this March! Rapid Racers will feature the world’s first dueling saucers. Riders will board a two-person raft before racing and swirling through nearly 600 feet of slide, high-speed tunnels, and turns during this side-by-side experience. Wahoo Remix (formerly Wahoo Run) will be the park’s first waterslide to feature synchronized light and sound elements. Delivering ultimate party vibes, this high-energy family raft experience will feature glowing tunnels and over 600 feet of fun.

Also new for 2022, beginning in March, Adventure Island will be open year-round! With new heaters and comfortable water temperatures, guests can enjoy the endless summer vibe all year long.


Feature image credit: Water Street Tampa


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