We are the absolute experts on different things to do in downtown Tampa, but what if you’re planning for a date? No worries! We’ve assembled some of our favorite things to do in downtown Tampa for an amazing date night. Check out our master guide below and let us know which you are going to head to first!
What could be a more perfect date than a romantic dinner on the water? Elevate your date night with a long time favorite of Tampa locals. Book your experience at Yacht StarShip Cruises for brunch cruises, dinner cruises, and different holiday events – like Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day! After dinner and cocktails, get ready to shake off the calories as every dinner cruise includes a live DJ and a dance floor.
Kayak Your Way Through Downtown Tampa
Take advantage of the Florida weather by getting outdoors with some kayaks! There are so many different areas to set up some kayaks in Tampa, but one of our favorite spots is Downtown Tampa. Watch the city space pass you by along with many other landmarks like The University of Tampa and the Tampa Convention Center. Check out kayak rentals in the Downtown Tampa area here!
For more information on different places to kayak in Tampa, check out our blog on kayaking in Tampa here!
Paddle Board Down the Hillsborough River
Staying on the theme of outdoor activities, paddleboarding is super popular in the Downtown Tampa area! Launch from one of the many paddle board rental spots and enjoy the fresh air of paddling down the Hillsborough River. Paddle boarding welcomes people of all skill levels, as you can kneel on the board or stand for a more expert level. It’s a great way to spend the weekend and after working up a sweat, you can grab a bite at Armature Works for some rest!
For more details on water activities you can do together all around Tampa Bay, check out our blog here!
Show off your boat captain skills on your date! No worries, you won’t need a boating license for these. The electric boats by eBoats Tampa are super easy to navigate. We recommend enjoying a boat during the night to enjoy Downtown Tampa’s lights along the Hillsborough River. It’s also a great option for a double date, as their boats hold up to 10 passengers!
Pro-Tip: Check out their website for different deals and packages!
If you’re looking for a more upbeat activity, you need to check out Kraken Cycleboats! You may have heard their boats moving down the river while walking on the Tampa Riverwalk. On these cycleboats, it’s always a party full of great music! Bring some drinks and music requests, you’ll be set for a fun day of cycling on the water.
Only in Downtown Tampa can you find a floating tiki bar to host your dream date. From day to night, Pirate Tiki launches from Armature Works to slowly make your way down the Hillsborough River. They’ll provide the captain, a cooler with ice, and a bluetooth sound system – you provide the drinks and tunes! Together you’ll create a scenic party where you can sit back, relax, or dance on the water.
Ride Bird or Lime Scooters
Electric scooters are a great way to get around Downtown Tampa! Beat the traffic and get through the city at your own speed; find new restaurants, coffee, shops and bars as you wander around. You can find scooters all around the city, from Armature Works and all the way to Amalie Arena. You and your date will have so much fun while zooming around!
Visit the Florida Aquarium
The Florida Aquarium is one of our favorite spots for dates in Downtown Tampa! It’s so much fun to wind through the double decker aquarium, looking at everything from fish and sharks to lemurs. They even have an interactive stingray tank where you can touch and feed real stingrays! After spending hours at the museum, you can even take a short walk to the nearby Sparkman Wharf for various yummy food stalls.
Go Bowling at Splitsville
Bowling is always a solid date idea, but elevate it by going bowling at Splitsville! Located at Sparkman Wharf, this luxury bowling alley has plenty of lanes, a cocktail bar, and an amazing restaurant. Not only does their restaurant serve regular alley food, but you can get yummy flatbreads, Southern inspired entrees, and even house made sugar doughnuts! After you get tired of bowling, get competitive with their pool tables or catch a game on their sports bar televisions.
Located at the Peter O. Knight Airport in Davis Island is flyVENTURE; Tampa’s take on helicopter tours. As one of the largest and most reputable helicopter companies in the nation, you can have a smooth flight with one of their experienced pilots. Fly above downtown Tampa, beaches, or experience their one of a kind Doors Off Experience – perfect for adrenaline junkies and photographers!
Catch a Show at the Straz Center
Get all dressed up and go to a show at the theatre! The Straz Center is the perfect place to start when looking for shows in Tampa. From musicals, concerts, to interesting speakers, check out their online schedule to see when your favorites come into town! Not only do they plan amazing entertainment, but the theatre is beautiful as well – with tiered seating and an ornate atmosphere.
Tampa Museum of Art
For a low key and artsy date, the Tampa Museum of Art is the perfect option. With visiting exhibits and an amazing collections, you and your date will love to peruse through historical art, photography, modern paintings, and huge installations. Check out their website for schedules on new exhibits!
If you want a more hands on experience, they even offer creative classes where you can try out new art making techniques. After, visit their in-house Riverwalk Cafe where you get get delicious handcrafted meals, coffee, and gelato!
Tampa Bay History Center
Did you know that Tampa has a super rich history? From its first Native American inhabitants, to the creation of Ybor City’s cigar industry, learn about it all at the Tampa Bay History Center! Learn more about our amazing city through the different exhibits and historical features. They even have a reproduction of a 1920’s cigar store. After learning about Tampa Bay, visit their gorgeous outdoor restaurant; The Columbia, for authentic Cuban eats.
Florida Museum of Photographic Arts
Are you a photography buff? Get some new inspiration for you and your date at the Florida Museum of Photographic Arts! Located in the heart of downtown Tampa, this museum is dedicated to historic and contemporary photographic artists. Not only is the collection amazing, but the atmosphere is beautiful – with tons of windows for natural light. Definitely go during the day!
Henry B Plant Museum
Since The University of Tampa is housed in the old Tampa Bay Hotel from 1891, they have access to some amazing historical Tampa wares. From art pieces, furniture, and Teddy Roosevelt memorabilia, the Henry B Plant Museum has it all! If you haven’t been yet, this is definitely a must visit for the Tampa area. It’s especially beautiful during Christmas time as well!
Watch a Film at the Tampa Theater
Built in the 1920’s, The Tampa Theatre is a city landmark in Tampa Bay! This old school style movie theater is a gorgeous spin on the classic dinner and a movie. You’ll love to watch a movie in their ornate digs. Check out their schedule for movie selections and times, highlighting indie movies that are perfect for the film buff in your life!
Take a Romantic Stroll on the Riverwalk
Sometimes the simplest dates are the best. Walk, talk, and enjoy the view of the Tampa Riverwalk! Stretching from Armature Works to Sparkman Wharf, the Tampa Riverwalk takes you through all of the city’s greatest spots. In the daytime, the stroll is beautiful as you get to have a bright waterfront view. At night though, the Tampa Riverwalk lights up with multicolored lighting to add a mood to your stroll! Take a look at our Riverwalk guide for some fun ideas for along the way!
Cocktails at M. Bird
M. Bird is one of the best rooftop restaurants in the downtown Tampa area. Their aesthetic atmosphere and multi-bar setup is perfect to have a date! Chat over their creative cocktails and watch the sun go down over the beautiful Tampa skyline and the Hillsborough River. Not to mention, they have amazing shareables like Jerk Chicken Egg Rolls!
Listen to Live Music at Sparkman Wharf on Weekends
Sparkman Wharf is a super chill date spot, especially if you love live music! On the weekend, Sparkman Wharf hosts some of the best live music in the city. Lounge on their grass lawn and grab a couple snacks from their food stalls!
If you’re looking for an intimate spot to take a date, look no further than Gin Joint. This restaurant and cocktail bar is one of our favorite spots in Tampa Bay. They have an ornate bar, delicious drinks, and amazing service. You can even catch a live band on weekends! This is one spot that we definitely recommend making a reservation for, as it is extremely popular and worth the extra effort.
Are you looking for a more formal experience? Go for a luxurious date at Malio’s, a local downtown Tampa steakhouse. Their elegant setting is the perfect spot to order a steak and other American style steakhouse eats. It’s also perfect for the wine lover in your life! They have a huge wine list and educated staff.
Grab a Drink and See the Sunset at Remedy
There’s something so romantic about watching the sun set. One of the most gorgeous sunset views is at Remedy, near the Tampa Riverwalk and Curtis Hixon Park. Remedy is an open air patio bar, full of modern elegance. Grab one of their signature cocktails and sit at their high top tables overlooking the river and The University of Tampa. As the sun sets, the sky turns all sorts of beautiful colors and you have a front row seat.
JW Marriott Tampa Water Street
The JW Marriott is one of the most elegant destinations in the Downtown Tampa area, plus there is so much to do! Whether you’re starting off a night on the town or just want to sit back and chill, there’s something for you at the JW. Before heading off to a game or concert, check out their lobby bar – The Driftlight Lounge – a beautiful space surrounded by four stories of windows for natural light. Or, chill out for dinner at SIX, their pool front bistro that serves up delicious modern American eats!