For many, Valentine’s Day can be expensive and stressful. It is one of the few times in Tampa when it becomes impossible to get a table at your usual haunt. So, here are a few inexpensive, fun, and, dammit, even sexy spots you can take your significant other where you won’t be packed together in a sardine-can-for-two.
The Tampa Museum of Art and “Love is Calling”
The Museum’s final day of Yayoi Kusama’s “Love is Calling” fittingly falls on Valentine’s Day. We recommend jumping to see this installation by the world-renowned Japanese inspiration and artist. Kusama made waves with her Infinity Rooms exhibit, which showcased her panache for creating universal depth in tight spaces as well as an endearing love for gourds.
Here in Tampa, Kusama’s kaleidoscopic octopus arm masterpiece was financed by the Viniks so locals could experience this playful and magical immersive experience. You and your date will truly be wowed as you step inside this colorful mirror room menagerie.
Visit the Tampa Museum of Art at 120 Gasparilla Plaza
Sunset and Water Views at Sparkman Wharf
Sparkman Wharf has been one of the best additions to the downtown area in recent memory (and amazingly improved the experience of going to a Lightning game) and the setting is a fun atmosphere for a casual Valentine’s Day date.
Get a sparkling glass of cava from Montados – from the creators of Mise En Place – and maybe even the delicious Patatas Bravas. Or share some char-grilled oysters from Boat Run. We suggest the upscale seafood at Edison Food and Drink Lab’s Swigamajig. There is also no reason not to play a little shuffleboard or get cozy on a few of the swings. Shoot, you can even bring your favorite four-legged friend, if you are so inclined.
Visit Sparkman Wharf at 615 Channelside Dr
In the evenings, the home of the Funlan Flea Market turns into a drive-in movie theater. Buy some candy and snacks from your nearest grocery store – go old school and grab some Twizzlers and some peach rings, live a little. Then, get a ticket to a show (cash only), pop the back gate on your truck or even lay on your windshield – whatever your hearts’ desire.
Visit Funlan Drive-In at 2302 E Hillsborough Ave
Showtimes available here.