It’s almost Valentine’s Day, Tampa! Which of our Tampa Florida attractions will you spend the Hallmark holiday this year? It’s on a Tuesday, so you’ll have to be creative to make this Tampa Valentine’s Day one to remember. Take a look at 10 great ways to spend your Valentine’s Day, Tampa style:
Monkey around at the Zoo for Valentine’s Day
Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo offers two great events to celebrate Tampa Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s Day Date at the Zoo, February 10, 11 or 12, includes a VIP program with tours and behind-the-scenes access; it will feature two of the significant animal “couples” found at the Zoo– African penguins and Clouded leopards.
Wild at Heart is an adults-only annual event on February 14 that sells out fast! In honor of Valentine’s Day, Tampa singles, couples and groups of friends are invited to the Zoo for a “lighthearted look at love in the animal kingdom.” Stories about pairing, partnering, and mating habits of animal residents; champagne; an open bar; dinner; up-close animal encounters, and tours are all part of the package.
Head downtown for your date. Not the busiest downtown after hours, Tampa still boasts a beautiful downtown park on the waterfront with great views and easy walking access. Visit Curtis Hixon Park, spread out a blanket, and enjoy the evening overlooking the picturesque University of Tampa campus. Afterward, visit some of the small restaurants in the downtown district, like funky Fly Bar; Taps, which offers small plates; or Pizza Fusion, for homey, organic food.
Casual Valentine’s Day in Tampa – Try a Coffee Shop
For your Tampa Valentine’s Day, try something fresh! Take your date to the Burplap Cafe at 212 S. Armenia Avenue for some lovely, real French desert Crepes. Enjoy the quaint outdoor seating area or cool, intimate indoor seating. Open until 12:30AM. Each offer cozy seating and ambient music, perfect for Valentine’s Day, Tampa!
If you’re on the North end of Tampa, get a bit more hippie vibe, but also excellent pastries, coffee, art and atmosphere at Felicitous. Felicitous is tucked away behind and across from CDBs on Fowler Avenue.
Great Valentines Day Dinner in Tampa Bay
No one needs to tell Tampa residents that the city is home to some fantastic food choices, especially for Valentine’s Day. Tampa restaurants offering specially created or prix-fixe menus for Valentine’s Day include Sideberns in Hyde Park; Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar; Il Terrazzo in the Tampa Marriott Waterside Hotel and Marina; Mitchell’s Fish Market; Packards at Innisbrook Resort; and one of the hidden favorites located at the Renaissance Hotel IN the International Plaza, Pelagia Trattoria.
You can also find some great spots near you by using Yelp, where you peers can post reviews and suggestions on where to dine in Tampa Bay.
Get out on the Water for Valentines Day
Yacht StarShip Dining Cruises docks at Channelside, offers romantic Valentine’s weekend Dinner Cruises with prix fixe menus and a cash bar. If you’ve got a small group that wants to celebrate on the water together, charter the NoShooz catamaran with Tampa Sailing Tours that docks right outside the Tampa Convention Center.
Enjoy and Ybor City Valentine’s Day
Do you normally picture Ybor City at Gasparilla or Guavaween, full of beads and beer? The historic 7th Avenue districts features much more than that: shopping, entertainment, and lots of options for dining. Bring your Valentine’s Day date to world famous Columbia Restaurant and enjoy the atmosphere of one of Tampa’s landmarks. Check out our Tampa Date Night section for some great ideas on enjoying the romance of Ybor City.
How about a Romantic Tampa Bay Lightning Game?
Valentine’s Day or not, it’s still a Lightning game day. If you and your significant other, coworkers, or friends are fans of the Tampa Bay hockey team, skip the romantic date nights and opt for a fun night at the Forum instead. Cheer as the Tampa Bay Lightning take on the Ottawa Senators PurchaseTix.com – Get Tickets to Sold Out Shows & Events Here Feb 14, 2012, at 7:30 PM, at the St Pete Times Forum in Tampa, Florida.
Disclaimer: If you’ve never discussed sports with your significant other and he/she is expecting something Romantic, there are paramedics standing by.
Take it to Tabu
The market for Valentine’s Day Tampa celebrations is smaller this year, with a weekday holiday, but Tabu Ultra Lounge is turning up the heat like it’s Saturday night for Valentine’s Day. Tampa can party at the Ybor City Lounge with $20 bottles of champagne and free entry for those 21 & up.
A Bitter Valentine’s Day Option
This year, it’s okay to be bitter on Valentine’s Day, Tampa! Join “That Guy” Kramer from 98.7 for his “Bitter Ball for Valentine’s Day” at the Green Iguana’s Hawaiian Village, starting at 7 PM. Drink specials, acoustic performances by Scars on 45 and Mikey Wax, and the potential to meet another “bitter” attendee.
Watch the Sunset
Hey, it might not be the most original idea in the world, but it IS Valentine’s Day. Tampa does the work for you – great weather, plenty of beach access, and gorgeous sunsets almost every night.
Can you say romance? Head down to Pier 60 in Clearwater, St. Pete Beach, Fred Howard Park, or the causeway at West Shore, and take in the sunset with your Tampa Valentines Day date. Remember to bring some folding chairs, a camera, and a bathing suit and towel, just in case you decide to go for a twilight swim.
Whatever you decide to do, we hope you enjoy the Romantic side of Tampa Florida attractions!