Valentine’s Day isn’t the only day of the year for romance. So whether you are planning a staycation or a day trip, add a little romance and celebrate your relationship all year long in Tampa Bay.
The Tampa Bay region has a plethora of wonderfully romantic things to do year-round, and we have compiled a list of things to do on both sides of the bay.
Whether you’re a hopeless romantic or consider yourself romantically hopeless, this list is sure to have something for you. So go ahead, plan that romantic outing and be sure to let us know how it goes.
Romantic Things to Do in St. Petersburg
Experience a Pass-a-Grille Beach Sunset
Sunsets at Pass-a-Grille Beach are nothing short of spectacular on their own. Add a blanket, a picnic basket, and a bottle of wine, and you have one of the 10 most romantic things to do in Tampa Bay.
If it’s a last-minute plan or you don’t want to pack your own food, Gracie’s Pasta and Provisions has amazing charcuterie boards. Voted one of the top 10 charcuterie boards in St. Petersburg in 2019, it’s sure to please the palate.
If you prefer to pack your own picnic, then pick up one of these top-rated collapsible and insulated picnic baskets to keep your food chilled during the warmer summer months.
Wine and charcuterie under a watercolor canvas sky? Um, you may need to get a room and plan a staycation at the Coconut Inn.
Kayak Weedon Island and Get-a-Way For Lunch
Weedon Island Preserve is one of St. Petersburg’s most beautiful places to kayak. Bring your kayak or rent one there. Experience the romance of nature while kayaking under the shaded canopies of mangroves.
After taking in some of the most beautiful nature that St. Petersburg has to offer head down to the Get-a-Way. Living up to its name, you feel like you have disembarked a cruise ship and are dining somewhere in the Caribbean.
Enjoy drinks and casual, delicious fare with your toes in the sand on cheerfully colored picnic tables. The walls of tropical foliage and palm trees provide a barrier to the outside world, allowing you to feel like you have indeed gotten away.
Depending on the time of day you visit, you may even have a dolphin dining experience, too.
Gulfport Art Walk and Dinner at Pia Trattoria
From the delightfully decorated houses to the crisp bay breeze on your face, walking down Beach Blvd. in Gulfport is something everyone should experience.
Stroll hand in hand with your lover down the eclectic streets browsing unique galleries, boutiques, and shops. Gulfport’s waterfront art district has an ambiance that is all it’s own.
Attend an Art Walk on Beach Blvd., and then head a block down the street to Pia Trattoria Italian Restaurant. Pia’s is an extension of the Gulfport artistic experience.
Dining on the back patio is like walking into a painting of an old Italian cafe’. It’s adorned with strands of lights, linen table cloths, and old-world brick pavers.
Surrounded by trees and foliage, you’ll find yourself unable to believe you aren’t in a garden in Italy. It’s rustic, authentic, and the food is fantastic. Just relax and let yourself enjoy the slow, laid back style of the true Italian experience.
It’s one of the 10 most romantic things to do in Tampa Bay that will leave all your senses satiated.
John’s Pass Village and a Sunset Cruise
Since we already know that sunsets are romantic and that Tampa Bay has some of the best sunsets on the planet, why not enjoy one from a boat on the water with your love? A sunset cruise out of Hubbard’s Marina at John’s Pass Village is certainly one of the most romantic things to do.
John’s Pass Village and Marina has over 100 shops and restaurants. Spend the day exploring the shops, eating sweets with your sweet and dining with a water view at one of the many restaurants on the Pass.
Wrap up the day with an hour and a half long sunset cruise serving beer and wine for the duration. If you’re lucky, you might even spot a dolphin or two. It’s the perfect end to a relaxing and romantic day. So have your phone at-the-ready to snap a photo.
Then pop your image in a digital frame to memorialize your special day. We love this digital frame from Amazon!
Take in a Museum and Dinner at the St. Petersburg Pier
There is no shortage of great Museums to explore in Tampa Bay. Two of the most popular are the Salvador Dali Museum and the Chihuly Collection right here in St. Petersburg.
Spend the day admiring the many musings that were Salvador Dali or the contemporary color and form of Dale Chihuly. Discussing the unique interpretations and colorful intricacies of art in all its forms is a wonderful exercise in cultural communication.
Continue your artistic experience by heading over to the St. Petersburg Pier. The newly reimagined pier is a work of architectural art. The 26-acre Pier park is also adorned with huge pieces of original artwork commissioned specifically for the St. Pete Pier.
Wrap up your day with dinner at the pier. Enjoy Doc Fords Rum Bar & Grille or Fresco’s Waterfront Bistro for casual dining. The Spa Beach Bistro or Driftwood Cafe’ for grab and go foods. Or if you are looking for a night of dining and dress, make a reservation at Teak.
A perfectly romantic day with a splash of culture.
Romantic Things to Do in Tampa
Riverwalk and Ulele
Take an evening stroll down Tampa’s Riverwalk and experience the true heart of Tampa. With the Hillsborough River on one side and Downtown Tampa on the other, the area is rich with historical landmarks, outdoor art, ambiance, and of course, romance.
From the riverwalk, you can see the beautiful minarets atop the University of Tampa, the 1903 Waterworks building that houses the amazing restaurant Ulele (pronounced you-lay-lee) and all of the downtown architecture both old and new.
After taking in the sights on the Riverwalk, head down to Ulele for a unique dining experience in the old 1903 Waterworks building, it has a rustic, industrial flair with a hint of glam, and the food is to die for. It’s a unique dining experience inside and out.
The Straz Center for the Performing Arts is within walking distance of Ulele if you want to surprise your love with a Broadway show.
ZooTampa at Lowry Park
ZooTampa at Lowry Park emphasizes endangered, threatened, and vulnerable species of animals from countries that have similar climates to Florida. Their park areas include Asia, Australia, Africa, and Florida.
ZooTampa has both indoor and outdoor attractions, as well as many opportunities to interact with the animals. Feeding a giraffe will create a wonderful memory for the animal lover in your life.
If you get hungry, there are cafes, a sweet shop, a beer and wine garden, and even a smokehouse. Spend the day together learning about endangered species and what you can do to help protect them.
Rent an eBoat
What could possibly be more romantic than navigating the high seas with your love? Ok, well maybe it’s not exactly the high seas, but it’s the Hillsborough River. You can rent an electric boat and get an altogether different view of the city from eBoats of Tampa.
They provide a cooler and ice, so all you have to do is bring your picnic lunch and drinks. But if you would rather, you can stop at any of the riverfront restaurants along your journey. Stops include Ulele, Ricks on the River, Harbor Island, Columbia Cafe, Sono Cafe, and more.
You don’t have to have any boating experience at all. They will teach you everything you need to know. However, if you still feel a little leery you can rent a captain too. Either way, it’s an exciting day on the river with a picnic lunch or a stop at one of your favorite Riverwalk eateries.
Go to a Drive-in Movie
The Ruskin Family Drive-In Theatre has been open and continuously running for the past 50 years. They opened in 1952 with a showing of Singing in the Rain.
Watch first-run movies on their 2000 square foot movie screen right from the comfort of your own car. They do allow you to sit on blankets in the grass if you prefer. Stock up on your favorite munchies from the snack bar and recline your seats for some retro romance.
If you’re looking to make the date even more romantic, gift you partner a basket filled with drive-in goodies, like the one found here.
Yacht Starship Dinner Cruise
Enjoy delicious food and cocktails while you cruise around Tampa Bay on a Starship Dinner Cruise. Take in the picturesque Tampa Bay skyline from the water at your private table on a gorgeous Starship yacht.
After you have had your fill of appetizers, upscale cuisine and dessert, head up to the promenade deck and share an after-dinner drink with your love. Let the sea breeze hit your face as you dolphin watch, enjoy the scenery, or look for shooting stars. There’s romance around every corner.
They also offer a brunch cruise if you would rather sail during the day. Special holiday cruises, including Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve cruises, are also available if you want to spice up the holiday season with a little bit of romance.
So you see, there isn’t any reason to wait around for Valentine’s Day to get your romance on. There are so many wonderfully romantic things to do in Tampa Bay. And now that you have read this list, the excuses are off the table.
Pack up your date and your sense of adventure and choose one thing on the list to do this weekend. There is nothing like a new adventure to breathe a breath of fresh air into your relationship. If you love it, try everything on the list over the next year.
And if these ideas tickling your fancy, check out our complete Tampa travel guide page for a list of top restaurants, cultural attractions and landmarks to visit. All can be romantic!
**Disclaimer: There is a good chance that this post contains affiliate or sponsor links. If you make a purchase through them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you (for which we are extremely grateful).
Also, while we do our best to highlight LGBTQ-friendly destinations and businesses, info provided is based solely on personal experience and recommendations by community partners. We hope that nobody experiences discrimination or homophobia while visiting Florida, but we make no guarantees. Please inform us if you experience discrimination or homophobia while visiting any destination so we can make updates to our recommendations.