It’s a Valentine’s Day custom to drop a little extra cash on someone special, but there are plenty of sights to see and things to do in our city without breaking the bank. Take a friend or loved one and go out to explore all that’s to be offered on Feb. 14 in Tampa.
10165 McKinley Dr. | (813) 884-4386
With its iconic roller coasters, gorgeous safari exhibits and dazzling live shows, you’ll be in for a full day of great activities if you stop by Tampa’s own Busch Gardens. Pass members can preview the new Iron Gwazi roller coaster starting Feb. 13, just in time for V-Day.
Along the Tampa Riverwalk, you’ll be able to walk or bike the 2.4 mile pathway which connects plenty of shops, restaurants and community events. Rent an eBoat, a mini-powerboat or water bike and cruise down the river’s skyline, or take a pet to one of the dog parks at Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park or Julian B. Lane Riverfront Park.
Henry B. Plant Museum
401 W. Kennedy Blvd. | (813) 254-1891
Located within the University of Tampa, the Henry B. Plant Museum allows guests to explore the classic lifestyles of the past. This retired 1891 hotel would make the perfect spot for an indoor walkthrough; through Feb. 28, the exhibit “Gasparilla: A Tampa Tradition” dives deep into the history of the pirate fest.
ZooTampa at Lowry Park
1101 W. Sligh Ave. | (813) 935-8552
Whether it’s feeding a giraffe or meeting some stingrays, ZooTampa brings you closer to 1,300 different animals. The only wildlife location in Florida where attendees can view manatees year-round, you’ll be able to see amazing animals while learning about the process of wildlife rehabilitation. Catch Breakfast with Lovebirds Feb. 12 or 19 for a special Valentine’s event featuring breakfast outdoors and a penguin enrichment session.
Lettuce Lake Conservation Park
6920 E. Fletcher Ave. | (813) 987-6204
Spend time taking in the sights at this conservation park, which include a 1.25-mile jogging/bicycle path, 3,500-foot boardwalk and wooded picnic areas.
The Florida Aquarium
701 Channelside Drive | (813) 273-4000
Home to thousands of plants and animals, the Florida Aquarium provides plenty of different environments to explore, plus the many creatures that call them home. Whether you’re checking out a Florida wetlands trail, walking through lemur-filled Madagascar exhibit, or just watching the fish swim through the enormous tanks, there’s tons of great activities to pack your day with. Planning on tying the knot? Their Wedding Showcase is Feb. 17.
Tampa Museum of Art & Curtis Hixon Park
120 W. Gasparilla Plaza | (813) 274-8130
After a pleasant picnic at Curtis Hixon Park, stop by the Tampa Museum of Art to see the “Verde: Poets of Shade” exhibit featuring five artists regional to the Tampa Bay area as an introduction and a celebration of their work in a variety of mediums, open Feb. 9 through July 24. Be sure to take in the other contemporary and modern art exhibits as well while keeping an eye out for Greek and Roman antiquities.
615 Channelside Drive | (813) 514-BOWL (2695)
Reopened in 2020 at Sparkman Wharf with a fresh food menu by celebrity chef Art Smith, Splitsville provides a great spot to bowl, play pool or spend a fun night with friends and loved ones.
Coast Bike Share
Bike rack locations throughout Tampa & St. Petersburg
A widespread service that lets users in both Tampa and St. Petersburg rent bicycles by the hour for a day of fun. On the Tampa side, cruise through downtown and into Ybor City and Hyde Park Village; in St. Pete, explore the murals and street art adorning the buildings along Central Avenue.