San Diego’s ridiculous weather makes it possible to go for long walks on the beach 362.5 days of the year, but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to do on date night. You should be more creative! But creativity is hard. It'll be much easier just to steal these can't-miss ideas:
Culture Shock Dance Center’s Intro to Hip Hop classes are specifically designed for novice dancers, so even if you get down like Carlton, you’ll learn some fundamentals by the end of the 60-minute class. Then, bust those steps out whenever (and wherever) you see fit! (Hint: supermarkets. Always supermarkets.)
Take a speed boat out for a spin
Commandment #1 for San Diegans is to not let the tourists have all the fun... and zipping around the bay in a mini speed boat is definitely a good time. Speed Boat Adventures’ 90-minute group tour gets you up-close-and-personal with key sights like the US Navy submarine base, the USS Midway, and the Coronado Bridge (with marine life sightings along the way, including sea lions). Bring sunglasses to avoid getting salt water in your eyes (goggles don’t look nearly as cool).
Try a new cuisine
Burgers and pizza are always going to be there for you, but it’s good to break out of your culinary comfort zone and get busy with some new flavors from time to time. Luckily, San Diego’s restaurant scene is fully stocked with all sorts of tasty international eats, including Eritrean/Ethiopian fare at Muzita Abyssinian Bistro, Russian comfort food at Pomegranate, and aromatic Moroccan cuisine at Kous Kous Moroccan Bistro (to name a few).
Disc golf, or frolf, if you will
Whether you’re surprisingly talented or spectacularly terrible, it’s still a good time. On weekdays, a round of 19 holes at Morley Field Disc Golf Course will only set you back $4.50, including rental, which also makes it one of the most budget-friendly dates going. Depending on the outcome, you can either celebrate your victory or soothe your shattered ego with biscuits & gravy at Tobey’s 19th Hole Cafe, nearby at the "real" golf course in Balboa Park.
If you haven’t been skating in a decade or more, rest assured that nothing has changed. From the catchy pop tunes and goofy games (limbo! the train!), to the unmistakable (and wholly unique) aroma that permeates every square inch of Skateworld's magical arena, skating here is like traveling back in time to your 12th birthday party, minus the bowl cut and corduroy pants (hopefully).
Lobster Wednesday at Cusp
Scheduling a date for Hump Day has its benefits, especially at Cusp, where you can score a fresh grilled lobster with Potatoes Anna, corn pinwheels, and a glass of Prosecco for a cool $26. For $15 extra, they’ll throw in a steak. Fancy.
Make your own gourmet chocolates
Isabella Valencia, owner and chocolatier at Dallmann Fine Chocolates, runs hands-on chocolate-making classes once a month at her production kitchen in El Cajon. You’ll learn how to temper, pipe, and decorate chocolate (but not how to stop yourself from demolishing a pound of chocolate chips in four minutes flat). Everyone leaves with a box of chocolates. What you do with them is up to you (we suggest feeding them to each other while listening to smooth jazz -- so erotic).
Dinner and a show. At a pool.
Feed your hunger for food and culture at The Pearl Hotel’s Dive-in Theatre on Wednesday evenings. Grab a bite at the on-site restaurant before the screening starts, then cozy up on a pool chair with a post-dinner cocktail for the show. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even take a dip.
Take a road trip
Long drives may not be ideal for a first date, but once you’ve done some preliminary vetting of a new mate, a trip to Palm Springs, Joshua Tree, or Big Bear (or any of the other destinations outlined here) can provide ample opportunities for getting closer. Warning: kill time with "would-you-rather" at your own risk.
Make no mistake: you will be sweaty, tired, and sore after a session of jumping, flipping yourself into a foam pit, dunking, and schooling a random child or two on the dodgeball court, but the thrills at Sky Zone Trampoline Park are so worth it (and you’ll have the perfect excuse to spend the next day in bed, bingeing on Gilmore Girls).
Scale the walls
Grotto is a brand-new bouldering gym (and yoga facility), that's a fine place to show off your climbing skills on more than 13,000 handmade holds. There are no ropes, so you’re kind of "forced" to spot your date (and get an eyeful in the process). The Intro to Bouldering class includes shoe rental, 30 minutes of instruction, and a day pass, so you can hit up a yoga class and stretch out any kinks after you climb.
North Park... just... North Park
Have you been to North Park lately? The neighborhood is officially crawling with great places to eat and drink. The nexus of this food-and-beer hiptopia is Upas & 30th, where coffee and baked goods (Influx), beer (Modern Times), ramen & more beer (Underbelly), and tacos (Tacos Perla) sit shoulder-to-shoulder under the North Parker lofts. You could easily spend all day eating and drinking here... and should!
Whack some balls
So many balls to choose from! Hit Stadium Golf & Batting Cage's two-tiered driving range, which stays open until 10pm, or test your skills at the baseball or softball batting cages. Whatever you choose, smack-talk and wagers paid with sexual favors are strongly encouraged (after you leave, that is).
Scope out some secret sights
San Diego has dozens of secret places that are fun to explore with a date, including a hillside topiary full of giant creatures, a musical bridge, and a 13-foot bronze sculpture that looks like a monster turd bowing "how do you do." Look, different people have different ideas of what constitutes "romance," okay?
Swim with sharks
La Jolla Shores
Between June and October, the shallow waters of La Jolla Shores are teeming with leopard sharks. That sounds like enough to make the entire population of La Jolla race home to cuddle up in their piles of money (for warmth... and protection), but despite reaching lengths up to 6ft, they are essentially harmless, thanks to their itsy-bitsy mouths. Don’t let that stop you from singing the theme from Jaws into your snorkel.
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