With its fantastic food scene, gorgeous weather, and proximity to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches, it’s no surprise that Tampa is one of Florida’s most popular cities. Over 30 million people visit each year to enjoy everything the city has to offer, whether that looks like spending an exciting day at Busch Gardens or sharing a quiet, romantic evening on the beach with someone special. Though many people visit the city for its outdoor attractions, Tampa deserves to be recognized for its unique culture, too. Explore its history through the variety of vintage shops in the Ybor City section of town, where cigar manufacturers from Cuba first settled years ago. The cuisine in Tampa has a strong Cuban influence, and you’re unlikely to find a better Cuban sandwich anywhere in the country! This lively city has so much to love, and there’s no doubt that you’ll find the perfect setting for your proposal here. To get you started, we’ve made a list of some of our favorite places to pop the question.
Out and About Proposals
University of South Florida Botanical Gardens
Especially in Florida’s sunny, humid climate, the USF botanical garden will truly whisk you away to an exotic tropical paradise. It offers ten acres full of breathtaking plants, flowers, birds, and butterflies. Though the gardens may not be as large as some more well-known ones, that means that you’ll have fewer tourists here — there are plenty of areas tucked quietly away among bright flora and shady trees. Walk alongside thousands of species of plants on a bright, sunny day, taking in the sweet fragrance of lavender and marveling at the insect-eating varieties of plants, then pull your significant other into an area shrouded in pale green leaves. Get down on one knee and propose in what feels like a tropical rainforest.
If you’re looking for a private and romantic proposal, why not pop the question on your own personal island at sunset? Windsong Charters is one company that delivers just that! Ride a pontoon boat (carrying only you, your significant other, and a private captain) out into the bay before sunset, enjoying the gorgeous view across the water as a gentle sea breeze blows across your face. You’ll reach the deserted island just as the sun is beginning to set. From here, you can get really creative with your proposal — make it as simple or complex as you’d like. You could hire an airplane to fly a banner above you that has your proposal written on it, or write a message in a bottle that you’ll “find” floating near you. The captain is also happy to bring champagne, glasses, and roses on board, keeping them hidden until you finally pop the question.
Classic City Proposals
Curtis Hixon Waterfront Park
Since its opening in 2010, Curtis Hixon Park has firmly established itself as one of Tampa’s crown jewels. Its unique design delivers a playful yet elegant feel, one that would be perfect for a relaxed proposal on a bright summer day. Fountain plazas and large trees frame the Great Lawn, and terraced grass panels slope down from the park’s garden promenade The park also has one really special feature: its proposing bench! Overlooking the Hillsborough River, this bench sits right in front of a paver inscribed with the words “Will You Marry Me?” Since the bench’s debut on Valentine’s Day 2010, a number of customized pavers have been put in place to celebrate local couples’ engagements. Pop the question in private, then share your engagement with people for years to come by adding your own paver!
Bayshore Boulevard/Ballast Point Pier
Bayshore Boulevard is a wide scenic walkway right along the bay, showcasing gorgeous beach houses to one side and the sparkling waters of Tampa Bay to the other. It’s actually the longest continuous sidewalk in the US, and it’s a perfect spot for a stroll at sunset or a magical walk under the moon and stars. For the moment of the proposal, Ballast Point Pier would be a perfect spot. This 600-foot pier right by the boulevard is part of Ballast Point Park, a beautiful area on the water with plenty of grassy picnic areas, a gazebo, and stunning views of the bay. The pier recently underwent almost a million dollars’ worth of renovations, making it a lovely and fitting place to begin this new part of your relationship.
Proposals with a Beautiful View
St. Pete Beach
You really can’t go wrong with a Florida beach proposal, but choosing one of the state’s best beaches for your special moment will make it even more magical. St. Pete Beach is only a half hour drive from downtown Tampa, and its soft white sand, wild dolphins, calm water, and 361 days of sunshine every year will captivate you as soon as you set foot on the beach. The atmosphere here is so full of happiness and peace that there’s no way your significant other would ever say no as you get down on one knee and pull out a ring. Spanning five miles along the coastline, St. Pete Beach allows you a lot of freedom to choose that one perfect spot. Share a picnic and a walk along the beach before popping the question under the bright midday sun, or wait until the evening to catch a brilliant sunset over the water.
If you’re looking for all the beauty and tranquility of a botanical garden with a more formal, elegant twist, Sunken Gardens is the perfect place for your proposal! Covering only four acres, these gorgeous gardens offer a really intimate experience. Neat stone paths weave along a network of rivers, ponds, and waterfalls, as well as through a collection of over 50,000 species of tropical plants and flowers. Little bridges, benches, and wooden terraces provide plenty of little spots in the shade where you can get down on one knee. The Sunken Gardens are also full of plenty of creatures that really bring the sanctuary to life. You can spot turtles and colorful fish swimming in the water, pink flamingos strutting along the banks of the river, and vibrant parrots and butterflies flying by the tropical flowers. A proposal here would be a truly magical experience, one that you’ll both remember forever!
Mise en Place
Capture the romantic spirit of the “city of love” at this elegant, Parisian-inspired restaurant! Mise en Place is a quiet, upscale dining venue that really feels special– the atmosphere seems a world away from the laid-back, beachy atmosphere of South Florida. The restaurant’s interior is contemporary and full of natural light, giving the elegance of the restaurant a fresh, bright feel. In addition to the carefully crafted dinner menu featuring some of the area’s best cooking, Mise en Place has a wide selection of classic and unique wines from all over the world. Between the restaurant’s flattering lighting, romantic decor, and striking ability to balance calmness and luxury, we know you’ll find everything you’re looking for in a proposal spot here!
This gorgeous, vibrant restaurant overlooking the Hillsborough River is truly one-of-a-kind. The venue is named after the Native American Princess Ulele, and its menu offers a striking selection of Native-inspired recipes with multicultural influences. The cooking emphasizes locally-grown food, especially plants that are indigenous to the region. Ulele also has a brewery on-site, allowing them to serve their own unique craft beers. Ulele’s decor and ambiance both add even more to its charm: the restaurant’s tabletops, bases, and front door that were all designed by local artists, and a number of gorgeous sculptures and other pieces of art specifically commissioned for the Native princess Ulele can be found around the venue. At the end of dinner, make your way up to the bright rooftop terrace. The oranges, reds, and browns of the stylish furniture and canopy give a warmth to the space, and the open sides of the deck provide sweeping views of the Hillsborogh River. If you’re looking for a proposal that really combines all the history, vibrance, and beauty of Tampa in a romantic setting, Ulele’s rooftop terrace is the perfect spot to pop the question!