Kids, this is the story of how I met your mother, and it was all thanks to TBAYtoday.
Ok, so maybe that’s not exactly how the 2000s sitcom went, but if Ted Mosby had consulted us for date night ideas, we could’ve shaved the show down to two seasons (and saved his kids a lot of time). Regardless, of whether you’ve met “the one” or are hoping to impress someone new, we’ve got 25+ local date night ideas that are legen — wait for it — dary.
For the ones who want a night out on the town
- Book tickets to one of the hundreds of indie performances that come through The Orpheum or The Ritz Ybor.
- Meat Market is the place to be seen in TBAY. The Hyde Park Village spot is popular for its smoking cocktails, steaks, and bougie patio.
- Jam out at the historic Floridan Social Club or boogie the night away at retro bars like Good Night John Boy or Lost & Found.
- Take in 360-degree views of the 813 and indulge in craft cocktails + innovative bites at The Beacon at JW Marriott (Tampa’s highest bar).
- Experience the Michelin Star modern Mediterranean restaurant Lilac at EDITION and wow your date with their four-course prix fixe dinner menu.
If the way to their heart is through their stomach
- Stop by newly-opened Lona at Tampa Marriott Water Street for an authentic Mexican meal. We’re eyeing the Red Snapper Aguachile and Skirt Steak Fajitas.
- Impress your date with high tea at Vinoy. The historic hotel recently launched a history and high tea experience — with a one-hour walking tour, followed by Earl Grey tea and in-house sweet treats from the pastry team.
- Order piping hot ciabatta loaves, chicken piccata, and Sour Orange pie on the romantic patio at Pia’s Trattoria.
- Stop by for Sunday brunch at Jackson’s. There are chefs on hand to make you personalized pasta and omelets, fresh sushi, and a host of other treats.
- Roam tons of local food vendors at Armature Works + take your spoils to the lawn’s Adirondack chairs.
- Sample everything from barbecue to peanut butter banana pudding at food truck lot St. Pete Social.
- Try the Eggs In Purgatory or Dutch Baby Pancake from The Market at EDITION.
- Channel your inner Allie + Noah and treat yourselves to a sweet treat at Chill Bros Scoop Shop on Water Street, Jeni’s Ice Cream at Sparkman Wharf, or Bright Ice at Tampa Marriott Water Street.
If you love the great outdoors
- Pack a picnic basket (pun intended) and a blanket to watch the sunset over Tampa Bay from your perch at Picnic Island.
- Watch the mermaids dance underwater at Weeki Wachee Springs State Park.
- Sail down the Hillsborough River on a Pirate Water Taxi. Pro tip: The taxi drops you back off Downtown so you can grab dinner or drinks if the ride goes well.
- Take walk or ride along The Tampa Riverwalk.
- Run, bike, play a little volleyball, or chill out in a hammock with your date at the waterfront North Shore Park.
- Look for birds and other wildlife while hiking at the tree-laden Boyd Hill Nature Preserve.
- If you want to explore the waterfront on your own, rent a kayak or SUP and explore Hillsborough Bay or along the Hillsborough River.
For the ones who like to play games (just not with your heart)
- Challenge your new boo to a round of cornhole or bucket pong at Park & Rec DTSP.
- You won’t strike out with a bowling + dinner date at Splitsville at Sparkman Wharf.
- Sip on a craft beer and blast back to another era with arcade games aplenty at Right Around the Corner Arcade Brewery.
- Live out your video game realities at VR Galaxy Lounge.
- Shuffle your way into your new love’s heart with a round at the St. Petersburg Shuffleboard Club.
If you’re really hoping that it works out
- Work up a sweat with a Pilates class at Bodyrok, a circuit/HIIT class at F45 Training or Orangetheory Fitness, or a sculpt or stations session at CAMP Tampa.
- Let the endorphins flow with a free workout at one of the rotating Be Well classes every second Saturday of the month. Pro tip: Classes are free but reservation is required.
- Swoon your date with a visit to the romantic + delicious Bern’s Harry Waugh Dessert Room — the ultimate spot to pop the question in Tampa.
- Channel old school, Chicago steakhouse vibes with a meal at Historic Kenwood’s Beau & Mo’s Italian Steakhouse.
- Enjoy rooftop drinks with a bougainvillea backdrop at The Tampa EDITION.
- Wow with sumptuous local fare in the open-kitchen dining room at On Swann.
- Transport straight to Paris with steak tartare or duck confit at Water Street Tampa’s Boulon Brasserie.
If you want an “old fashioned”-style date
- Catch a classic flick or indie release at the opulent Tampa Theatre.
- Sip on a Manhattan or “Hollywood Land” cocktail at The Dan Tampa, located on the historic Floridian Palace Hotel’s ground floor.
- Order a sundae at Dairy Joy’s walk-up window and enjoy on the pink, retro, turf-coated patio.
- Bowl to your heart’s content at the Wes Anderson-esque Ten Pin Lanes.
- Cheer on the back-to-back Stanley Cup Champions, the Tampa Bay Lightning, or see a concert at Amalie Arena.
If you wanna show off by knowing all the hottest events in town
- Shameless plug: Sign up for our daily newsletter, where we call out our top picks of things to do around town. Your date doesn’t have to know we’re behind it; you can take all the credit.
- Stay up-to-date on the coolest local events around the Tampa Bay Area with our events page.