Bayfront Park in Sarasota County
Bayfront Park near downtown Sarasota (Scroll for more pictures!)
Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy in Sarasota County, Florida
Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy
Mabel Ringling Rose Garden, The Ringling in Sarasota County, Florida
Mabel Ringling Rose Garden, The Ringling
St. Armands Circle in Sarasota, Florida
St. Armands Circle
Sarasota Jungle Gardens
Sarasota Jungle Gardens
Historic Spanish Point in Sarasota, Florida
The sunken garden at Historic Spanish Point
Myakka River State Park in Sarasota Florida
Myakka River State Park
Peterbrooke Chocolate in Sarasota Florida
Peterbrooke Chocolate [Photo: Jessi Smith]
Pelindaba Lavender in Sarasota Florida
Pelindaba Lavender [Photo: Jessi Smith]
Snook Haven canoe in Sarasota Florida
Snook Haven
Tarpon Fishing in Sarasota Florida
Tarpon fishing in Sarasota County

Fun Date Ideas in Sarasota

There’s no better place to spend time with your sweetheart than sunny Sarasota! How can you say “I love you” during your stay? Let us count the ways…

Whether you're celebrating an anniversary, wooing a Valentine, or scheming to surprise your partner "just because" — Sarasota is a great place to plan out a unique and thoughtful date that'll charm your darlin'.

Make a Map to Your Heart: Design a Scavenger Hunt

Planning ahead pays off on this date idea: Devise cute riddles, map out memorable photo-ops, and surprise your sleuthy-sweetie with a treasure of your choosing.

The Marietta Museum of Art and Whimsy grounds are a cute spot to stage a quirky surprise. Shaded by historic oaks and stunning orchids, and filled with kitschy, cool garden art — it's part "Alice in Wonderland," part setting-of-your-Hallmark-Movie-dreams!

For an eclectic, cultured trip, join your special someone on a journey through The Ringling's expansive art galleries, circus museum, romantic rose gardens, and the breathtaking Ca D'Zan mansion.

St. Armands Circle and the Sarasota Farmers Market are bright and bustling settings that offer opportunities to engage all the senses as you take in the sights, smells, sounds and tastes of the town together.

Take a walk on the wild side at Sarasota Jungle Gardens or Big Cat Habitat by plotting a scavenger hunt featuring cameos from flamingos and ligers (rare cross between a lion and tiger) and bears — oh my!

Love in the Air and Lunch on a Blanket: Picture-Perfect Picnic Spots

Is there anything more romantic than a meal for two: al fresco, on a blanket, with a gorgeous view?

"Old Florida charm" characterizes Historic Spanish Point, a 30-acre museum and environmental complex with a classical sunken garden, butterfly gardens, and scenic bay shorelines.

Hike or canoe to the Brushy Bayou at South Lido Park for solitude, or take advantage of South Lido's barbecue grills, picnic tables, and beachside volleyball amenities for a more playful picnic outing.

Work up an appetite by hiking, cycling, horseback riding, or kayaking at Myakka River State Park before enjoying a picnic on Myakka's 58-square miles of unspoiled Florida wilderness.

Plan a Florida picnic with a French twist by paying a visit to the Artisan Cheese Company and fixing a cheese board. A four-minute drive, or approximately fifteen-minute walk, from Artisan Cheese Co. leads to the waterfront at Sarasota's Bayfront Park and Marina, where banyan-shaded picnic spots achieve the perfect blend of Parisian-style people-watching and Sarasota-style sailboat-gazing.

Get Silly with Your Special Someone

Cut loose, have fun, and release some endorphins on a date designed to excite and inspire your inner children.

Traditional dinner-and-a-movie seems downright boring after you've had a chance to bounce off the walls — literally — at Jumpin Fun Sports trampoline park.

Knock your sweetie's socks off at Knockerball 'N' Ninjas — a ridiculously fun double-date option that's part soccer, part "run around in an inflatable bubble" — and 100% silly spectacle.

Challenge your crush to arcade games and glow-in-the-dark "bazooka ball," or get your hearts racing on the go-kart tracks at Livingston's Amusement Center.

Take your love to new heights “Tarzan-style” at TreeUmph!— an adventure course set in the treetops with a 600-foot zipline guaranteed to make your hearts soar.

Satisfy Your Sweetie's Sweet Tooth

Outside-the-box date ideas are fun, but sometimes tradition just hits the spot. A classic heart-shaped box of chocolates from Peterbrooke Chocolate (located on downtown Sarasota's Palm Avenue) or a slice of Yoder's famous pie may be just the thing for the apple of your eye.

Make that a double scoop of love — or shall we say, amore — at Gelato-Go, Sarasota's authentic gelateria featuring Italian-style ice cream, desserts, and espresso drinks.

Palm Avenue newcomer, Pelindaba Lavender, offers a bouquet of sweet surprises you won't find anywhere else — including lavender-infused chocolates, hot cocoa, coffee, and teas.

Aquatic Adventures and Outdoor Excursions

If your special someone is the outdoorsy type, make a splash with an aquatic eco-tour or an active adventure they'll never forget.

Pack the sunblock for your educational date-cation with Around the Bend Nature Tours, drift through the mangroves with Kayaking SRQ, or plan a cycling excursion at Myakka River State Park with Endless Summer Eco Tours. Dolphin Paddlesports also offers kayak and SUP rentals for self-guided tours through Phillippi Creek and into Roberts and Sarasota Bay.

Perhaps you've fallen for a fishing fanatic… hook, line, and sinker? Treat them to a thrilling charter fishing experience with CB's Saltwater Outfitters, SiestaKation, or Siesta Key Watersports

If your nature-loving loved one would rather save a manatee than hook a trophy catch, surprise them by "adopting" a marine animal from Mote Marine in their name. All money raised from the "Adopt an Animal" program supports animals in Mote's care.

For some folks, there's nothing more romantic than kicking back and relaxing on a tropical sunset cruise on LeBarge. For those types who'd rather be driving the boat,  Sip-N-Cycle Cruises offers a unique opportunity to put pedal to the paddlewheel. Sip-N-Cycle boaters work to propel the boat with pedal power in a gentle workout — a fun idea for friends planning a group date.

Romantic Comedy: Share a Laugh with Your Lover

As the saying goes: couples who laugh together, last together — so why not chase down a case of the giggles on date night?

Florida Studio Theatre offers unscripted laughs in its FST Improv program, where no two shows are quite the same: actors follow audience suggestions to weave a hilarious narrative. Get in on the laughs all year round on Saturday evenings, and on select Fridays, at FST's Bowne's Lab Theatre.

From amateur open mic nights to stand-up showcases, bawdy Drag Queen Bingo, and sexy vaudeville specials featuring Sarasota's own Black Diamond Burlesque: McCurdy's Comedy Theatre offers an array of opportunities to tickle your funny bones — and your fancy.