Where to Go on a Date in Seattle This Summer

Get back out there.

Hipcamp cabin in Vashon
Courtesy of Hipcamp

If you’ve spent the last 18-plus months in relative isolation—and, thus, went on exactly zero dates—we don’t blame you. But the times are a-changin. With excellent weather on the horizon and the end of the pandemic in sight, it’s time to get back on the dating horse. You may or may not remember how to flirt (or speak face-to-face with other humans), but don’t let the thought of socializing deter you. We’ve got plenty of date ideas to spur you onward, ranging from the very traditional dinner-and-a-movie (with a twist), to some truly unconventional activities, like flying a seaplane all across Seattle. So, whether you’re looking for summertime-specific inspiration or an evergreen idea for any time of year, we’ve got you. It’s time to change out of your quarantine loungewear, brush up on your socializing skills, and awaken your inner romantic. Godspeed, lovebirds. 

Get outta town for a romantic getaway in the woods

While far-off destinations are off limits right now, a weekend jaunt to Vashon Island—for a remote cabin in the woods—feels like a no-brainer. Explore 10 acres of forest, visit Dockton Marine Park, and get very cozy in this rustic log hideaway. 

Indulge your sweet tooth with some homemade ice cream

If you live in Seattle and you love ice cream, you’re probably a big fan of Molly Moon’s. Try one of their eight locations currently open for a perfectly sweet day date, with flavors like cold brew coffee and vegan coconut chunk. FYI, the original Wallingford location (which opened in 2008) is probably the most date-worthy, for nostalgia reasons but also because it backs out onto a little parklet, where you can indulge to your heart’s content. 

Hop on a seaplane for a bird’s eye tour of Seattle 

Kenmore, Washington
Is there anything more romantic than an (almost) private plane tour? For $75, you can buy a seat on one of Kenmore Air’s 75th anniversary flights, which depart from the Kenmore terminal on Lake Washington and fly all over the greater Seattle area. Expect stunning views and a one-of-a-kind bird’s eye perspective of the Emerald City. 

Grab dinner and a (drive-in) movie, courtesy of Rodeo 

Bremerton, Washington
Consider this the pandemic alternative to dinner-and-a-movie dates. Rodeo has new movies playing every week, and all films are broadcast straight to your car via FM radio, so you don’t have to worry about rowdy movie-goers ruining your night. Check their schedule and bring your appetite—those corn dogs are no joke.

Take a day trip to the beautiful Vashon Island

There is no shortage of picturesque islands in the Puget Sound, nor ferries to take you there—and Vashon just happens to be one of the largest and most scenic. Check out Point Robinson Park for those aforementioned scenic views, then pay a visit to Palouse Winery for some adult refreshments, which is currently open by appointment only.

Go on a self-guided tour of Olympic Sculpture Park

If you’re going on a first date and still taking precautions when it comes to social distancing, let us suggest Olympic Sculpture Park—with nine acres of expansive green lawn to tour, you’ll have plenty of room to stay six feet apart. Keep in mind that the visitor pavilion is still closed—otherwise, feel free to explore to your heart’s content.

Chow down on the best fried chicken in Seattle

Various locations
When Oprah endorses the chicken, you know it’s good. Do your Southern alter ego a favor by picking up some Heaven Sent fried chicken, which tastes exactly as good as the name suggests.

Have a romantic sushi dinner at Umi Sake House

Sushi is the name of the game in Seattle, and almost no one does it better than Umi Sake House. Grab a table in the back for some extra romantic vibes, complete with cozy sofas, sky lights, and lots of greenery. As far as food, we recommend sake (duh), agedashi tofu, tempura udon, crispy calamari, and lots and lots of sushi.

Bundle up for a picnic on Alki Beach

Alki Beach is sort of famous for having spectacular views of the Puget Sound; bring lunch to-go and settle in for an afternoon of coastal bliss. While you’re there, take a walk on the Alki Beach Trail, which runs four miles and will lead you to the industrial area of West Seattle.

Go on a pub crawl of Ballard’s best breweries

Seattle is like the Mecca of craft beer, so we won’t limit you to just one brewery. Instead, take a self-guided, socially distant pub crawl and pay a visit to the likes of Fair Isle Brewing, Stoup Brewing, Reuben’s Brews, and Lucky Envelope, all of which are open (and within a few blocks of each other) with coronavirus precautions in mind.

Get back to nature at Waterfall Garden Park

Pioneer Square
Get ready for your most meditative date yet. This garden, which memorializes the location where UPS was founded in 1907, will calm your nerves and—here’s hoping—prompt some deep, thoughtful conversation. Win-win. 

Grab a coffee from Milstead and sit by the water on the Burke-Gilman Trail

The best things in life are (almost) free. Case in point: a coffee on a waterside bench on the Burke-Gilman Trail, which will run you about $4 and provide the perfect backdrop for an early morning romance. 

Sip on a tasting flight at Highside Distilling 

Bainbridge Island 
Highside Distilling is not your average gin distillery, so be prepared for a taste of something truly unique. Other than gin, this Bainbridge Island institution also specializes in amaro, fernet, and single-malt whiskey. Order a tasting flight for a taste test of all five spirits, or go for a classic cocktail, like a Negroni or a fernet and coke. You really can’t go wrong here. 

Take a Polaroid to memorialize your date at the Gum Wall

Pike Place Market
The Gum Wall is obviously a tourist trap, but consider reclaiming it to commemorate the occasion of actually going on a successful date (no small feat). As you probably already know, it’s literally right next door to Pike Place Market, so you have your pick of activities pre- or post-photo-op. 

Support local artists with a visit to SOIL Gallery

Pioneer Square
Lots of offices downtown are still totally closed, meaning that art galleries and other cultural mainstays are feeling the pain of lost foot traffic. Silver lining? No crowds. Take your date to Pioneer Square to support and explore SOIL Gallery, the local artist collective and nonprofit which has been doing the work of exhibiting, developing, and advancing “innovative art of diverse media and content” since 1995.

Pick out some new vinyl and host a two-person listening party

Pike Place Market
Remember the last time you stood in a crowded room full of strangers, lukewarm beer in hand, waiting for the band onstage to play your favorite song? Sadly, we’re not quite there yet, but hosting your own listening party for you and your date is a pretty good consolation prize. Pick up some vinyl at, say, Holy Cow Records, and get your fix.

Emma Banks is a contributor for Thrillist. 
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