The Most Romantic Things to Do in Phoenix, from Drive-Ins to Hikes
Summer is heating up. We’ve got your hot date ideas covered.
A good date—like a really good date—depends on many variables: fun getting-to-know-you questions, compatible flirting styles, the elusive “vibe check,” and the list goes on forever. We can’t help you find out their birth time or kick them under the table when they haven’t asked you a question in 60-minutes and have been on a rant as if they’re recording a podcast for their 72 monthly listeners. We can, however, get you to a jumping off point with some good date spot recommendations. Here are some date ideas for Phoenix so that, at the very least, you go somewhere cool. Godspeed out there.
Take a hike through Arizona’s most beautiful scenery
Keeping in mind the head and restricted hiking times, getting out and active is a nice date. You’re moving. You’re talking. And there are plenty of easy, beginner hikes around the Valley of the Sun to make chatting easy while on the trails. Papago Park’s Big Butte Loop Trail is a perfect example. Bonus points for timing a stop at the Hole in the Rock formation at sunset for added romance. We might suggest saving the trek up Camelback Mountain after several dates.
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West ticks several boxes for a great date with its idyllic setting, stunning mountain views and, naturally, awe-inspiring architecture. Taliesin West offers a self-guided home and studio tour, using your own headphones and smartphone, where you can peruse the grounds for 60-minutes at your own pace, leaving plenty of opportunity to discuss together.
Shift into Fast & Furious mode with a go-kart race
Who doesn’t love a little competition while out on a date? There’s no better way to test your skills against each other than during a race at Octane Raceway’s indoor-outdoor go-kart track—the only one of its kind in the country. You and your date will race around the one-third mile track, pushing your go-kart forward to get the fastest time.
Springtime in Phoenix means Spring Training games, but when the visiting teams leave at the end of March, you can still head to the ballpark with your beau. The Diamondbacks are one of the most wallet-friendly teams in baseball, meaning your date won’t break the bank and the atmosphere makes it easy for first date chitchat. To include dinner, book a table at the Cold Beers & Cheeseburgers inside the stadium for the game.
Spend the day together exploring the Musical Instrument Museum, a jewel in Phoenix’s cultural locations. The museum’s vast collection covers 200 countries and 7,500 instruments with lots of hand-on and interactive displays. Check the calendar for the array of concerts and events going on at any time. Don’t have all day to spend? Buy tickets to the current special exhibit for a well-curated selection of musical gems.
Get a little old-school with your date and head to one of the country’s remaining operational drive-ins. Glenday’s West Wind Drive-In shows the latest films on the big screen for less than you’d pay at a typical theater, with double-features regularly available to purchase. Plus, the on-site snack bar will ensure you don’t miss out on that movie theater-style popcorn.
Go stargazing together
While it’s a bit of a drive outside of the city, it’s the perfect chance to shoot for the stars on your date, literally. The guides at Stellar Adventures offer stargazing with night vision so you and your date can see planets and galaxies more than 500 million miles away.
Dreamy desert dining experiences are Cloth & Flame’s forte. The Arizona-born outfit highlights the best of the best à la pop-up dinners in both urban and far-reaching desert settings with appearances from award-winning chefs and local up-and-comers. The events sell out quickly, so see where the next dining series is happening and reserve your seats to impress your date.
This experience is located at Scottsdale Fashion Square, making it the perfect place to start a date before moving to dinner or strolling the shops. This year-round, evolving art show features works from around the world. Check the website to see what artists are currently on display; don’t forget to grab a signature cocktail while perusing the installations.
Catch an Arizona sunrise from a hot air balloon
What could be more romantic than cuddling up in a hot air balloon over the desert? Take a sunrise trip on the highly-rated Rainbow Ryders to soak in the impeccable views. Afterwards, the ballooning outfit provides locally made snacks and prickly pear mimosas to enjoy as a toast to a successful journey.
Share charcuterie in an urban park
They say the way to a person’s heart is through charcuterie, or something like that. Go ahead and take this opportunity to show off your charcuterie board assembly skills with a romantic, and delicious, meat and cheese-filled date in an urban park. Whatever hood you call home, from Downtown Phoenix (Civic Space Park!) to Arcadia (G.R. Herberger Park!) and Scottsdale (Scottsdale Civic Center Park!), there’s likely an urban park just around the corner.
Take a stroll through the Desert Botanical Garden
It’s hard not to catch feelings in a setting as picturesque as Phoenix’s Desert Botanical Garden. Spanning 140-acres and one of only 24 botanical gardens accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, the Desert Botanical Garden not only features thousands of unique living cacti but hundreds of rare and endangered species throughout its expansive walkable grounds. During the summer, you can look forward to all kinds of seasonal programming like the Sonoran Sippin’ evenings (complete with cocktails and live music!) and flashlight nights.
Swap stories over craft coffees
When coffee and booze come together, good things are bound to happen. Phoenix’s Provision Coffee has mastered both craft cocktails and fancy coffee drinks. Here you’ll find a variety of craft cocktail options as well as non-alcoholic coffee drinks including honey lavender lattes, espresso tonics, and matcha. Stretch your time together out by ordering some shareable plates off the food menu.
Pedal yourselves around in a swan boat
It’s odd to think that a date on a lake could be one of the best things to do in the desert, but Tempe Town Lake makes it possible. Be a couple of lovebirds and pedal your way around the water in a swan boat. Feeling romantic? Opt-in for the date night package which includes a box of chocolates and floral decorations.