So you live in the United States and you're interested in dating. You've come to the right place! We've made your life a whole lot easier by laying out not only all of the best American date ideas for you, but we've also listed the hottest US date spots in the country! You never have to come up with something off the top of your head thanks to our date spot guide. We go in-depth in each state, by selecting the most popular date spots in the major cities of each US state across the country, so you know where to go no matter where you live. Whether you're new to the dating world, a seasoned dater, or just need a refresher, this is the place to find what you need to know.
Find out more about the history of dating in the USA, as well as how you can impress your date by taking them to the best places in every town and city. You might even learn something new about dating that you never thought you'd need to know! We offer tips, locations, and so much more on dating in the US, you'll be glad you stopped in to check it out! No matter where you go on your date, remember to just have fun, and not have too many expectations.
Dating as we know it in the US can actually be traced all the way back to the 1700 and 1800s. Men and women (mainly, especially in the open) would find an attraction to one another, and would then engage in what was known at the time as a "courtship". A man would approach the father of the woman he's interested in pursuing, and ask for permission to court his daughter. If the father said yes, then it was a go! The woman had little say at this time, so hopefully the man was up to par! Courtships were primarily geared toward the ultimate goal of marriage, but that expectation has waned over the course of time. Traditionally, the meaning behind entering a courtship would signify others that this couple were serious about each other, and would no longer be dating other partners. It was the Victorian era equivalent of updating your relationship status on Facebook. When a couple was courting, they wouldn't be seen out in public too much, as it was a seen as a private affair, so there were no real date ideas to speak of early on. You could find courting couples at one of their family homes eating a nice meal, on an evening stroll (one of the rarer public outings), or relaxing together on a front porch or in the yard. It was more about spending time together and getting to know one another then it was about trying to impress. The only person that a man needed to impress in those times was the woman's father, so all the lady had to do was spend time with her to-be-betrothed and learn what he likes. Thankfully, this kind of dating attitude is in the past.
There are, of course, places in the US where traditional courtships do happen, but that's more of a rarity nowadays. Mostly people who have religious beliefs in dating leadings to marriage, and similar situations, are the people who partake in the historical meaning of a courtship, but roughly 80% of people in the US date more casually. Around the 1920s is when the tradition of having a man "call on" a woman was being pushed out of style by the new attitudes about women and dating in general. Women were becoming more independent, so they had the final say in who they went out with, and what they did. Women were starting to attend university, so it became "the dating game", as they say, where men had to fight for the attention of the desirable and intelligent ladies. The US date ideas and activities we know now can be seen starting to get popular around the 1920s and 30s, with the advent of entertainment culture and going out for fun.
Once birth control hit the market during the 1960s and became widely distributed in the US, people began to date much more casually than ever before - they would have multiple partners, casual sex, and all kinds of relationships that were never expected to lead to marriage. This can also be attributed to the change in sexual norms and attitudes; people were becoming more open about their sexuality, taking drugs at parties and with friends, and it was much less taboo to so much as kiss someone in a public setting - which would have been an awful social faux-pas if we're talking Victorian courtship era. Dating has remained much the same as it was during this time, with some very notable exceptions. Gay and lesbian dating is now openly accepted, which is something that wasn't welcome historically, as well as the acceptance of the entire LGBTQ community in the "public" dating world. Hooking up is a popular style of dating, and a whole mix of whatever possible dating preference you could have or want. Anything goes in the dating world these days, whether you want to hookup, have a casual relationship, short or long term, or just a one night stand. But dating itself isn't the only thing that's evolved.
American date ideas have changed over the course of time as well. Dates used to be so simple, and more importantly, free! Long walks in town and hanging out on the property...times used to be so quaint. These days, there are some expectations when it comes to date ideas and going out. Let's face it, these days you're more than likely going to have to spend some money on your date. That tends to be the norm, and it's usually followed, but there are some other things you can do with your date that are more creative. Depending on you and your date's interests, pretty much anything goes! If you like animals, you can go to the zoo or to an animal shelter for the day, you can go for a hike and picnic - there are endless possibilities for date ideas these days, and there's no set of rules that you have to follow to qualify that outing as a date. If you've asked someone out, they've said yes, and you get together - BAM! - it's a date. What you do during your time together is up to you!
If you're going out, then you need somewhere to take your date, which is why there are so many potential date ideas out there that you could choose from. This gets overwhelming, though, for obvious reasons - you can hardly pick just one option out of the many hundred that might be presented to you! That's why we're laying out the top five most popular American date ideas for those of you who are dating in the US. Also depending on what part of the country you live in, you're going to have to plan your dates according to the weather. If you live in Colorado, maybe go skiing together; if you're on the west coast then maybe some of your date ideas can involve hitting the beach in some way. Regardless of which state you live in, these are some of the absolute most popular US date ideas.
Yawn...this may seem so cliche to some, but it's one of the classic US date ideas for a reason! Really, when you think "date idea" your first thought is more than likely going to be this one - as it is with most people. But that doesn't mean that you have to do it. This is the one date idea that has carried over from the early days of dating in the 1920s and 30s. Theatre and moving pictures were new back then, so it was an exciting thing to take your lady out for a nice meal, and then follow it up with a trip to the pictures. It's a classic, and traditional, so it's also the safest bet if you don't know what to do, or you don't know much about your date yet.
There are a couple of advantages of going with this out of the other date ideas. You get to eat and talk, getting to know each other during dinner. Then, when you feel more relaxed at ease with one another, you get to go see a movie that you've wanted to see. No talking required, but you can make an easy move here by putting your arm around her shoulder. If you aren't much of a talker, then taking your date to a movie after dinner can be a comfortable way of still spending time together, without having the pressure of thinking of something to talk about all night. You can also choose one or the other, you definitely don't have to do both to qualify it as a date. If you don't have time or money for both, just do one! However, if it's a first date, we recommend you go with dinner here, as you won't be able to get to know each other and talk at a movie.
This is one of the most incredibly popular US date ideas around, and that's for a few reasons. Coffee dates can take place any time of day, so you aren't restricted to nighttime date activities. This is a great first date/initial meet-up date to gauge chemistry, because it's so simple. The entire thing consists of the two of you in a nice environment, drinking tasty drinks, and getting to know each other. If you decide you like each other, then further date ideas can be made, but there's zero pressure on these casual dates, so if you don't think you two would be a fit, that's no problem either. It's easy to change a bad coffee date into coffee with a new friend.
This is one of the few date ideas that translate worldwide, and isn't just seen in the good ole' US. Meeting for coffee is such a casual activity that you probably won't even feel like you're on a date - which takes stress off of you! If you want to go the more adult route, just change coffee to cocktails, and have a few drinks at a bar while you get acquainted. Coffee or otherwise, getting drinks is a great starting point for any potential dating situation, and a very casual and relaxed way to chat for a few hours. Just make sure that you don't overdo it and get drunk.
Hear us out here - you might not initially think that this would be one of the great date ideas, but it is! Think about it, it's a (mostly) quiet place where you and your date get to wander around, talking, and looking at neat stuff. If you ever have a lull in conversation, all you have to do it comment on something in the museum that you're looking at, and voila! Conversation re-started. Museums aren't just educational field trip destinations - they're really great, and surprisingly popular, US date spots! It's a one-stop-shop of activities; you get to look around, learn, talk, and eat! Most major museums have cafeterias or food courts of some sort, so you can get a bite to eat during your date here too.
A museum is a broad term as well, so don't think that you have to go somewhere just because it says the word "museum" in its name. An art gallery counts here, as do any exhibits that might take place outside of a traditional museum setting. For instance, in New York, The Planetarium would be a fantastic museum date idea, even though it's not technically a museum. If you're looking for a popular date idea that doesn't require too much money or time, then consider this one!
Local festivals and fairs are things that may not immediately come to mind as one of the better date ideas, but you might be surprised! Taking a date to a festival in your local town or city is a fantastic way to get better acquainted while having fun, and it happens so much more than you might think. Every town has a festival celebrating something - corn, raspberries, theatre - the possibilities are almost endless! Why wouldn't you bring a date to the hottest event in town? This is especially true of small towns where the options for date ideas might be somewhat lacking, so if you have a local festival coming up, consider inviting that person you've had your eye on to go with you!
This another of the US date spots where you don't have to feel pressured about anything, you're simply walking around and doing whatever comes to mind. If the date doesn't go well or you aren't connecting like you wanted to, then it's easy to separate and continue have a good night with friends, or just finish out the date as friends. You're in an open space, which for whatever reason always makes us feel calmer and more at ease, so if you're generally a nervous person, then this simple, yet effective, date idea could be the one for you.
Ah, the newest of the US date ideas, and one of the most popular. This is a confusing date option, because it can have a couple of different meanings that don't always get clarified beforehand. On the one hand, Netflix and chill can be code for coming over to hookup. But on the other hand, it can actually mean coming over and watching a movie, while you two hang out. The real trick is figuring out which one you're in for. Look at the context of your relationship to help you determine what's going to happen. Sometimes it's very clear that this person isn't interested in dating, but wants to get you to their house so you can hookup. But if you two have plans for a date, and are low on money, then Netflix and chill is one of the best date ideas to go with.
You get to hangout together, watch whatever you want, and talk about whatever you want. There shouldn't be any pressure or expectation, simply you two getting to know each other and enjoying the company. Again, though, make sure you pay attention to the context in which you're asked on this date, because you two could have very different evenings in mind.
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"Atlanta is where it is always happening. With a vibrant night life, you will always have somewhere to go. During the day, there are also many attractions. If you are going out during the daytime, depending on the event, you could leave your house between 7AM and 11AM. If you..."
"If you are single and want to hook up with someone, this is the place to go. Sixth Street has three sections, which are the East, West and the Dirty. North Lamar Boulevard is where the nightlife scene comes to an end, but you have the entire West, East and..."
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"You might think that the dating scene in Boston is pretty modern, and in some ways you would be right -- gay dating is certainly something that previous generations could not have enjoyed so openly, and the LGBQ community would definitely attest to that! But to understand the history of the..."
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"From some of the most popular spots to go, to some of the less known date spots, there's always a lot to choose from, and you'll want to choose the places that appeal to you the most, for your date night. Whether or not dating spots are the focal point..."
"When the 1940s hit, the jazz scene really livened up and LA was soon a hot spot for musicians and jazz enthusiasts. Sunset Blvd became the place to be. Celebrities like Cary Grant, Frank Sinatra, Humphrey Bogart, Ava Gardner were often seen frequenting bars in Tinseltown. Making LA famous. ..."
"It is easy to find singles to hook up with, if you go to the Derby, but also to the dance clubs, bars and restaurants in town. We have given you enough date spots to start with. Before long, you will be connecting with singles in Saint Matthews, Middletown and..."
"There are incredible dance clubs representing many genres, sexy Latin clubs where you can see and be seen dancing the night away, and some pretty incredible dining and drinks thrown into the mix. There is truly something to represent every taste here, and the theme all around - is fun! Miami's..."
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"New Jersey has a plethora of things to see and do for a date. It's kind of overwhelming when you think about it, but don't worry! If you're looking to have a great dinner, a great night of dancing, or a relaxing evening at a great lounge where you can..."
"New York has a nightlife that has exceeded itself in almost every way. Since it's hayday in the roaring 20s, the rise and fall of Tin Pan Alley, Studio 54, The Club Kids, to present day, New York has been the pinnacle of the best nightlife around. New York City..."
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"Portland is definitely a unique and sensational city where nightlife is almost the same as most cities in the United States. The city has many nightclubs and bars to visit, depending on whether you are in the Old Town area, Chinatown or on the other side of town. Either way..."
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"Das Club was located in the city of San Francisco in the 1980s. It played a lot of music in the new wave genre. They had cat walk stages for people to stand out while they dance. On top of that, there was a dark room that patrons could go..."
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