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No more sitting around wondering, “What should we do tonight?” This list of date ideas in Tampa Bay is jam-packed with fun, unique suggestions from low key to extravagant, and boujee to ballin on a budget.

There are daytime dates in Tampa as well as romantic evening date ideas. Some of these Tampa Bay date ideas are great for any old date night, and some are awesome for special events, holidays, and birthdays shared with your significant other (or even your friends!).

Date ideas in Tampa Bay for the romantics

Have a picnic

If you’re looking for the ultimate romantic date idea in Tampa Bay, a picnic is it! Picnics are so fun and intimate. When the weather is nice, it’s so enjoyable to just be in each other’s company enjoying nature and maybe even some wine.

Now, of course, you can set this up by yourself— if you do, I love this picnic backpack! It has everything you could possibly need for a picnic setup, and it’s so easy to carry!

But, if you really want to go the extra mile, you can use The Picnic Babe and let Cas provide you with the most beautiful picnic setup!

I was BLOWN AWAY by the beautiful setup that The Picnic Babe presented. You can have them set up at a park, the beach, or even inside your home! I chose the beach to up the romance factor, and boy did it!

It was so romantic enjoying the sunset together with our adorable setup. The Picnic Babe puts effort into the details. Her “The Picnic Babe” set up so many fun add-ons, a few of them including:

This is easily one of my top picks for the best date idea in Tampa Bay.

Dinner Cruise

Dinner cruises are so underrated— so long as you don’t have any seasickness issues of course. But really, how nice is it to enjoy a nice night on the water with a yummy meal? Sounds like the perfect date to me! Check out this dinner cruise in St. Pete or Clearwater Beach.

StarLite even has additional add-ons if you’re celebrating a birthday or anniversary! If cruises aren’t your thing, there are plenty of amazing waterfront dining restaurants in Tampa as well!

Starlite Dinner Cruise Clearwater

Drive in movies

Drive-in Movies made a comeback during the pandemic, but honestly, I don’t understand why their popularity died in the first place! I mean, it’s slightly more ideal if you have an SUV or truck where you can make a nice, comfy laying area, but it can still be enjoyable in a car!

Make the date about more than just seeing the movie and prepare some fun movie snacks together, linking a couple of my favorites here and here! Then, set up your viewing space extra cute for a little more romance!

If you’re wondering where to go, check out the Ruskin Family Drive-In which is about 40 minutes south of Tampa.

Set up some hammocks and watch the sunset

There are so many things that I think we don’t think about doing because we live here and somewhat take it for granted. The sunsets here are something that I will never get tired of.

A fun little Tampa date night activity could be taking some hammocks to the water and just relaxing and enjoying the sunset together. My favorite places to do this are Vinoy Park (St. Pete), Dunedin Causeway (Dunedin), and the Courtney Campbell Causeway (Tampa).

All of these areas have trees where you can set up shop, but if you don’t have a hammock— no worries, just take a couple of blankets and you can still have a nice setup and enjoy the sunset together.

Woman relaxing on a green hammock held up by two palm trees

Salsa lessons

Do private dance lessons together! It doesn’t have to be Salsa, but I feel like here in Tampa it’s a very popular style of dance! It can be really fun to learn a new skill together, and I’m sure you’ll get some good laughs throughout.

Remi and I recently took a salsa lesson, and it was so much fun! I learned so much about the fundamentals, which I have been able to take home and continue to practice.

Date ideas in Tampa Bay for the competitors

Personally, these are some of my favorite types of dates. I think that it’s so fun to bring out the competitive side of each other. And while you’re at it, take things up a notch and make sure to make some fun bets for what the loser has to do!

Topgolf

Even for those who don’t like golf, Topgolf is fun. Is it embarrassing when you attempt to swing and miss the ball completely in front of your date (speaking from experience)? Sure. But after a few of their yummy cocktails, you’ll be convinced you’re the next Tiger Woods (minus the scandal). This is also really fun for groups, so invite your crew and make it a group date!

Topgolf now has locations in Tampa and St. Pete, so you can enjoy this date night activity on either side of the bridge.

Woman putting at Topgolf

Dave and Busters

SO MANY GAMES. Places like this are so fun because it doesn’t matter what type of game person you are— they have something for you! Basketball, DDR, the classics like Pac-Man, etc. It makes you feel like a kid again running around here.

Dave and Busters isn’t the only place in the area with a ton of fun game options though! Check out some other fun game spots in the Tampa Bay Area!

Pro tip: sign up for Dave and Buster’s emails to get monthly savings as well as $10 in free gameplay with a $10 gameplay purchase for joining!

Escape room

I did this activity on Clearwater Beach and enjoyed this way more than I thought I would, to be honest! It is so fun working together (or maybe against each other) to solve riddles and clues and try to beat the clock to get out of the room! What makes escape rooms even more fun is there are so many different themes to choose from!

Book one of the most popular escape rooms in St. Pete here!

Pirate and code themed escape room entry way on Clearwater Beach

Hard Rock

Dress up a little bit and head to the Hard Rock! Grab a bite to eat at The Rez Grill (or one of the casino’s numerous options) and try your odds at the slots or tables! If you win, up the ante by treating yourselves and getting a room for the night!

They also often have fun pool parties with DJs if you want to start your shenanigans early.

Check out a sporting event

Tampa Bay has been killing it these last couple of years in sports. The games are so fun to watch and be a part of. Depending on the season, cheer on one of our Tampa Bay teams, whether it be The Rays, The Bucs, or The Lightning!

Horseback riding on the beach

I mean, does it get any more romantic than horseback riding on the beach? Yes, if you do it at sunset and end with a picnic set up by Simple Escapes! That’s a proposal-level date y’all! You’re welcome for planning your engagement 😉

Date ideas in Tampa Bay for the adventurers

Check out an aerial adventure park

TreeHoppers is located in Dade City and is the largest zipline aerial adventure park in Central Florida. With your ticket, you get three hours of climbing on eight courses with over one hundred different elements.

Hot Air Balloon Ride

Is this extra as all hell for a date? Sure. Did I still convince Remi that it’s how we should spend our Wednesday morning? Yup. This experience was truly amazing and surreal (read about my experience here).

Big Red Balloon is a more pricey date idea, but it’s such a cool, unique idea for a special morning together. So if you want a special way to celebrate a birthday or an anniversary, this could be super neat!

Kayak

This is one of my favorite activities! No matter how many times you do it, it feels like a new adventure every single time! Not only that, there are an ENDLESS amount of locations you can explore.

Get Up and Go Kayaking has clear kayaks to make the experience even more awesome! They have several different locations AND even include glow tours! The glow tours are at night and have underwater LED lights on your clear kayak.

There are truly plenty of great kayak spots in the Tampa Bay Area, but if you don’t mind taking a little drive, Weeki Wachee is my favorite place that I have found for kayaking!

Helicopter ride

This is another date that is a little bit on the extravagant side, but it’s seriously such a thrill and a very unique date! At The Hangar, you can do a helicopter ride through Tampa Bay Aviation and get an aerial view of this beautiful area we call home!

There are different options from the length of the ride, to the area you want to see, and what time you want to go. Of course, a sunset one will be the most romantic, but you’ll enjoy the ride regardless of when you go. Afterward, grab a drink at The Hangar!

Two women inside of a helicopter in Tampa smiling
I did this one with my mom, we both loved it!

Busch Gardens

Coming from someone who grew up on “America’s rockin’ roller coast,” I didn’t think that Busch Gardens would do much for me, but I was so wrong. If you haven’t been there before, just know it’s more than just roller coasters and rides. There are tons of animal exhibits and even a safari!

You and your significant other will have a total blast at this amusement park! We enjoyed a fun boozy day here and already can’t wait to go back!

Date ideas in Tampa Bay for the creatives

Bike and check out St. Pete murals

Don’t have a bike of your own? No worries, there are places you can rent them downtown! And even if you think you’ve seen them all, there are plenty of new murals around St. Pete since the Shine On Festival! Here’s a complete list and map for you to follow and check out!

Woman leaning up against a mural in downtown St. Pete that says "Stick with what you love"

Dali Museum

It’s honestly so cool that we have the Dali Museum so close— aside from Europe, St. Petersburg, Florida, houses the largest collection of Salvador Dali’s work. If you’re into art (and honestly, even if you’re usually not), this museum is a unique experience, and there are always new exhibits for those who have already visited before!

I think visiting the Dali Museum paired with taking a nice stroll down to Fresco’s Waterfront (one of the best restaurants in St. Pete) for a bite to eat is the perfect day date in Tampa!

Dali Museum in St. Pete, amazing date idea in Tampa Bay for creatives

Get hands-on Artsy

Glass blowing, Painting with a Twist, making pottery— there are so many fun options in the Tampa Bay area! AR Workshop has a studio where you can create fun home decor (charcuterie boards, wood signs, etc.)! If you and your partner want to explore your creative side a little bit, the options are truly endless! And the coolest part? All of these provide you with a cute little keepsake from your date.

I had a blast at Sugar Cream Clay in downtown St. Pete (shown below)!

💲SAVE MONEY ON THIS TAMPA DATE NIGHT IDEA💲

You can often find Zen Glass Studio in St. Pete on Groupon!

Click herе to book

Comedy Club

Who doesn’t love a good laugh? I mean, I think we easily laughed as much at my Top Golf game, but sometimes it’s nice to not be the reason for the laughter, ya know?

At Improv in Ybor, they often have names and faces you’ll recognize, such as Marlon Wayans. Make a day or evening of it and explore some of the other fun Ybor activities while you’re in the area.

Do your own wine and paint night

Going to a place is fun, but sometimes being in the comfort of your own home and not having to change out of your PJs is the move. We did this when quarantine first hit and had SO much fun with it! Painting with a Twist has DIY art kits for purchase with all the supplies you’ll need!

Or you can do what we did and look up a YouTube video of a painting tutorial, go to Hobby Lobby to get your supplies, and hope for the best!

Stay in paint night with charcuterie board and wine

Date ideas in Tampa Bay for foodies

Cooking class

Heat things up in the kitchen together! Sur La Table in Hyde Park offers cooking classes with dishes from all over the world. I love spending time in the kitchen, and I always feel extra close to Remi when we prepare a meal together, so I love date ideas like this.

They also offer online classes, or you can look up a walk-through on YouTube and prepare a meal together at home if you want to stay in!

Bern’s

If you have yet to go to Bern’s, it is such an experience. The food is exquisite. They even have a “Dessert Room” where you go after dinner to get an even more exciting culinary experience. They have 50+ options for dessert, so naturally it’s home to some of the best desserts in Tampa. If you order the bananas Foster, they prepare it right in front of you and it’s just absolutely delectable. 

They aren’t currently doing them, but typically they do tours of the wine cellar and restaurant where they talk about the process they go through to get their beef and the history. It’s all very interesting and just takes the experience to another level.

Whatever you do, don’t leave the dessert room without getting the Cappuccino Bern’s Steak House. It’s got a little more than just coffee in it 😉

This is easily one of the best date night restaurants in Tampa Bay, but reservations need to be made months in advance!

Foodie tour

This is one of my and Remi’s absolute FAVORITE things to do. We’re total foodies, and there are always so many places that we want to check out! We will start at one place and just start walking and pop into whatever places look good. We will get a drink (if they sound good) and an appetizer at each place and just nibble.

Sometimes we’ll do a couple of appetizers from a few different places and then share an entrée. Downtown St. Pete, Dunedin, and The Heights area have been my favorite spots to do this!

If you don’t want to do any of the planning and just want to be led, Tampa Bay Food Tours does tours through Tampa, St. Pete, and Dunedin! We usually like to go at our own pace, but I think we will be giving one of these a try sometime to switch things up!

Brewery hop

We have a ton of breweries in the Tampa Bay Area, but the amount in close proximity in downtown St. Pete is perfect for spending the day together hopping around and trying a sip at each. Some of my favorite spots to hit are 3 Daughters, Right Around the Corner, OverFlow Brewing, and Cage Brewing. For a full list check out the best breweries in downtown St. Pete.

Even if you’re not too into beers (like myself), these spots often have other options like hard seltzers and ciders, and many of these spots have games to help keep you entertained as well. The loser buys the next round!

Dunedin and Clearwater also have some awesome breweries! Check out this list of breweries in Dunedin, the best breweries in Tampa, and breweries in Clearwater.

Speakeasy

If you know me, you know I love a good speakeasy! Luckily Tampa Bay has a few speakeasies to choose from. I think it’s a nice chill but enjoyable Tampa date night idea. Speakeasy vibes usually have a very intimate, sexy feel.

They are dimly lit and often have little areas tucked away for you and your partner to enjoy some small bites and amazing craft cocktails. Some of my favorites in the area are The Saint (downtown St.Pete) and Ciro’s (Tampa).

Sunday Market at Wat Mongkolratanaram

I feel like Wat Tampa is a pretty unique date idea in Tampa. The Temple grounds are open daily between 9 am and 6 pm, if you want to go aside from the Sunday Market.  

If you do visit the Sunday Market, get there early because they do sell out! They only make a certain amount of each menu item. Also, it’s cash only, so don’t forget your wallet.

Everyone I know who has visited raves that it’s the best Thai food in the area, and from the pictures, I believe it! You can even enjoy your meal at one of the picnic tables by the Palm River.

Wat Tampa Thai Temple

Gigglewaters Social Club and Screening Room

Have you heard of this place?! It’s located in Safety Harbor and has total speakeasy vibes. To top it off it also has bomb menu items, craft cocktails, AND they also show old movies (Cry Baby, Dirty Dancing, The Sandlot, etc.) in its intimate screening room.

Date ideas in Tampa Bay for nature and animal lovers

Sunken Gardens

Check out Sunken Gardens together! You can see 50,000 tropical plants and flowers, including some of the oldest tropical plants in the region here. Enjoy strolling around little trails while viewing beautiful lush, exotic plants.

They even have flamingos and a walk-through butterfly encounter. I think doing little activities like this and then grabbing a bite to eat at one of St. Pete’s several delicious food spots are the best.

This is another date idea in Tampa that you can usually find a Groupon for!

Weedon Island

If you’re a nature-enthused couple, Weedon Island Preserve is a cool spot for you guys to explore together. It has miles of boardwalks and trails, a Cultural and Natural History Center, as well as kayak and SUP rentals in case you get bored of exploring on foot!

Beach day

This suggestion is one of the more simple date ideas in Tampa, yet I feel like this is a date option Remi and I totally take for granted!

Seriously, act like you’re on vacay and go get some pina coladas and relax together. Play in the water, put your toes in the sand, and maybe spice things up by renting some jet skis or going parasailing!

Take the date to the next level by renting a setup from The Cabana Club! This is one of my favorite things to do in St. Pete Beach. They take care of everything for you (set up and tear down) and provide water, sunscreen, a speaker, a portable charger, and more. Like truly you name it, The Cabana Club has got it covered! And how cute is this setup?!

Weekend date ideas in Tampa Bay

Do a staycation or explore local surrounding areas

We are SO lucky to live in the Tampa Bay Area— there is so much to explore in just this area that it’s almost overwhelming! So get out there and explore it together! Spend the weekend in Dunedin, Sarasota, St. Pete, Clearwater, different areas of Tampa, or Anna Maria Island. These are just a few of my favorite day trips from Tampa!

But if you don’t mind driving further, there are plenty of amazing weekend getaways just a short drive from Tampa too!

I mean seriously, we don’t have to travel far and it certainly doesn’t have to be expensive to take some time and get away for a little romantic outing! If you want to drive a little farther, Miami is always fun (they also have so many fun restaurants for my fellow foodies), and St. Augustine is beyond charming! If you want to head even further south, check out my list of fun things to do in Key West.

Pick a cute place to stay and get out there and explore the area! Decide on a couple of activities to knock out and pop around to some different restaurants or cocktail spots!

Go to Ocala for the night or the weekend

I know, I know. You read that right, I’m suggesting Ocala. There is a super cool Airbnb experience that I enjoyed SO MUCH. It was such a nice romantic retreat!

Couple enjoying a picnic date together at a beautiful Airbnb in Ocala, Florida for a nice weekend getaway

While these are great suggestions for dates you can do any time, the Tampa Bay Area is ALWAYS throwing cool, fun events! So make sure to check out Facebook to see what events are coming up!

If you check out any of these spots for your next date night, use the hashtag #guidedbydestiny on Instagram so I can follow along!

Check out some of my other posts before you go!

ULTIMATE Tampa, Florida Guide

20+ Free Things to do in Tampa

Best Rooftop Bars in Tampa Bay

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20 Comments

  1. So many great recommendations for things to do in Tampa even if just traveling. I’d go kayaking at night. I love that there are lights under the kayaks to light everything up.

    1. I totally agree! Most of these are just super fun things to do! I myself have yet to do the night kayaking, but I can’t wait to try it! Such a fun twist.

    1. Yes, my boyfriend is Cuban and has been dying to teach me how to salsa haha, I thought it could be a super fun date idea for everyone though 🙂

    1. We had SO MUCH FUN with it! Remi’s was 100% better than mine haha, but we even have to results hung up in the apartment. We really enjoyed doing it!

  2. Happy to say I actually did a few of these things during our time in Tampa!! We only went to Berns Dessert room so I really need to come back for the actual restaurant! Great article and I love how you separated it by type of date!

  3. Some great inspiring ideas in here that have me itching to get back out on a fun date once things start reopening in Los Angeles.

  4. We did a Dave and Busters trip for my husband’s birthday a couple of years ago and I thought I would just be bored and a little useless since I never really played arcade games before, but it was so much fun! Great suggestion.

  5. Omg, I love how romantic your picnic looks!! What a beautiful way to enjoy the beach! I’d love to explore the St. Pete murals too, they look stunning! Thanks for the inspiration and the great guide!

    1. So happy you enjoyed it! The picnic was truly the most romantic experience I’ve ever had. It was totally magical and definitely recommend!

  6. Such great ideas. Have been wanting to take a road trip to Tampa soon. Great guide for me and the husband. Excellent post and pinning so I have these activities handy when we go!

  7. The foodie in me is loving the cooking class and food tour suggestions. I think you might have given me an idea for Valentine’s Day this year!

  8. I really need to visit Tampa! I love all of these date ideas, especially brewery hopping and a foodie tour. I’d like to go to Bucsh Gardens too.

    1. Tampa is truly amazing!! The great thing is a lot of these ideas can be great for anywhere! Except Busch Gardens, you definitely have to come here for that 😉

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