Even when you live in a city as thriving as Tampa, Florida, it’s easy to get in a rut going to the same date spots day in and day out. But if that’s the case, you’re doing you (and your date!) a disservice.
After all, Tampa has so much to explore, from its restaurant scene down to its natural scenery, and its warm and sunny climate means you can enjoy this city year-round. Whether you’re looking for an adrenaline-inducing date spot or a more casual evening out on the town, this city promises to deliver.
To help inspire your next romantic outing, we’ve gathered some of our favorite date ideas in Tampa. No matter if you’re looking to plan a successful first date, make a great first impression, or surprise your long-term partner on your anniversary, these special date spots are sure to be a hit!
1. Get a Thrill at Busch Gardens Tampa Bay
Instead of going the predictable dinner and a movie route, why not surprise your date with tickets to Busch Gardens Tampa Bay? The two of you will have a blast exploring this amusement park together as you muster up the courage to ride the 91-degree drop on the Iron Gwazi coaster, make a splash on the Congo River Rapids, and get scared silly on the Falcon’s Fury drop tower. You’ll feel like kids at heart as you jump from one ride and attraction to the next, surely having more fun than you’ve had in ages!
2. Admire the Sea Cows at Tampa’s Electric Manatee Viewing Center
If you’re looking for a fun date idea in Tampa, then we recommend heading over to Tampa’s Electric Manatee Viewing Center in Apollo Beach. Because manatees began flocking to the Big Bend Power Station to enjoy the warm waters in the cooler months, Tampa Electric designed a special viewing walkway for visitors to admire these gentle giants basking in the warm water discharge canal. You and your date will love getting to see these fascinating sea cows in their natural habitat—just remember; they’re protected by law, so keep a safe distance and do not touch, harass, or interfere with them.
3. Venture to the Dali Museum
The Dali Museum offers an interesting indoor date idea in Tampa that is sure to impress. Showcasing Salvador Dali’s finest works, this museum features everything from his iconic melting clock paintings to his thought-provoking sculptures. What’s more, the museum recently revealed the Dali Alive 360° immersive exhibit that boasts a multi-sensory display with light and sound. Trust us when we say you and your date will have plenty to talk about after exploring some of the most surreal and trippy artwork from this famous artist!
4. Have Dinner for Two at Bern’s Steakhouse
Bern’s Steakhouse is easily one of the most romantic date spots in Tampa, from its elaborate decor down to its famous dessert room. This steakhouse is renowned for its aged steaks, massive wine collection, caviar offerings, and, of course, its dessert. After enjoying an exquisite meal paired with the finest wine, make your way to the dessert room, where you two can cozy up in a booth made from wine casks and nibble on decadent treats, such as the peanut butter truffle, French silk pie, and banana cheesecake. You’re sure to score a second date after an evening at Bern’s!
5. Cheer on the Local Sports Teams
If you and your date are sports nuts, then get tickets to see the city’s finest out on the court, field, or ice. If it’s fall or winter, root for the Buccaneers at Raymond Stadium or the Tampa Bay Lighting down at the ice rink, but if it’s spring or summer, then go see the Rays hit a home run or get rowdy at a Rowdies soccer match. The beauty of this sports-centric city is that you can catch a professional game almost any time of year, making it the ideal date spot for those who share a love of sports.
6. Find Serenity at the Sunken Gardens
Looking for a romantic spot in Tampa? Then look no further than the Sunken Gardens in neighboring St.Petersburg. Considered the city’s oldest living museum, the Sunken Gardens invite you and your date to explore the peaceful walkways engulfed by thousands of lush plants and flowers. As you meander around the paths, you’ll come across enchanting waterfalls, coconut groves, ponds, and even flocks of flamingos, along with macaws and cockatoos! This peaceful retreat offers a calm and quiet respite from the hustle and bustle of the city.
7. Sip Cocktails at Ciro’s
If you’re interested in a unique date idea in Tampa, then Ciro’s belongs on your list. This Prohibition Era-inspired cocktail bar features sultry vibes with its handsome decor and dazzling elixirs. Talented mixologists whip up enticing cocktails like the Bees Knees, concocted with gin, lemon, and honey, and the Amelia, which expertly combines vodka, blackberry, lemon, and mint. And as if the speakeasy ambiance wasn’t alluring enough, you can’t get into this coveted spot without knowing the secret password. Call ahead to make reservations and receive the code word for a charming evening with your date.
8. Lunch at La Segunda
Cuban culture has strong roots in this area, and sampling some traditional cuisine is one way to appreciate it. For this date idea in Tampa, make your way to La Segunda in the Cuban District in Ybor City. La Segunda has been baking Cuban bread—topped with a palmetto leaf— since 1915, so you know this spot is authentic! Celebrated for its warm Cuban sandwiches piled high with Mojo marinated roast pork, this bakery consistently gets recognized for its delicious fare. Stop in for some cafe con leche, sandwiches, and some tres leche for dessert, and then pursue the local boutiques and vintage shops in the area.
9. Spend a Day at the Beach
It might not be the most romantic or unique date idea in Tampa, but a beach day is quite possibly one of the best ways to spend a laid back afternoon with your date. Find a swatch of sand and set up shop on one of the local beaches, where you can play a round of Frisbee, go for a dip, beach comb along the shoreline, or simply kick back on your beach blanket and enjoy a picnic together. Between the crystal clear water, swaying palm trees, and idyllic stretches of sand, you have the perfect backdrop for a memorable date!