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Whether it’s the first, second, third – or twenty-third – date, dating in Atlanta is an experience unto itself. The dating scene has it own set of rules and most out-of-towners are going to be pleasantly surprised at the way Southern charm still permeates the city and its inhabitants. In case you’re a fan of reality TV or you’re just really good at headline skimming, “The Real Housewives of Atlanta” could do with a little less personal drama and a little more exposition on the true hidden gem that Atlanta is.
There’s no end to the list of romantic things to do in Atlanta — luckily, we’ve collected 9 must-do Atlanta date ideas. So whether you’re dating in Atlanta as a native Georgian or you’ve set your sights on Atlanta as a destination for a couple of dates, be prepared to have your preconceptions challenged and your cultural palate infused with that characteristic Southern hospitality.
1. The Atlanta Food Truck Park
If you and your sweetie love low-key, homegrown and artisanal events, the Atlanta Food Truck Park is a great place to visit for an extended dinner or even a picnic out. Spend the evening walking amongst a score of fresh produce, handmade artwork and tasting creatively assembled dishes from each of the trucks.
If you’re double dating, start early and bring some containers for leftovers and maybe a blanket or two. The 3 acre park has plenty of space and crowds thronging that you could enjoy a friendly game of frisbee — or take your treats somewhere private and spend a little quality time alone.
2. Unseen Underground Walking Tour
It may not seem like surveying the depths of the city can be amongst a list of romantic things to do in Atlanta but try this three hour walking tour on for size before you write it off. Called the “Unseen Underground Walking Tour”, this journey into Atlanta’s underground can be surprisingly riveting. And it gives you a chance to stick closer together during those eerie spots.
The best part of the tour is the expertise and knowledge imparted by local architect and history lover Jeff Morrison, who will make those three hours fly and expose walkers to a wealth of information about Atlanta’s history, now forgotten, from the significance of the railroad to modern times.
3. Dinner With A View
This is undoubtedly the king of Atlanta date ideas. See, when you begin your dinner with lavish eats, you know you have to end it with an equally spectacular view. A beautifully decorated eatery in Decatur, The Iberian Pig, true to its name, specializes in all dishes pork and all things Spanish — including the beverages. From charcuterie to traditional tapas, decadence is what underscores The Iberian Pig’s menu.
Once you’ve helped both you and your love into a wine, cheese and meat food coma, you’ll want to head to the famous Jackson Street Bridge. Book dinner a tad early so you can catch the brilliant array of light through the clouds as the sun sets and you won’t be disappointed. It might not be a bad idea to bring along a selfie stick, either. Atlanta has never looked so picturesque as from the Jackson Street Bridge and you won’t want to miss the view!
4. A City-Wide Scavenger Hunt
Whether you’re native to Atlanta or you’re enjoying her sights, this Atlanta date idea will put you in touch with the city all over again. Head to the Clue Town Books website and order an hour’s worth of clues and puzzles that will allow you to explore Downtown Decatur, the Eastside Trail, Piedmont Park and more. You can also purchse the packs in person, from creative stores and botuiques across the city; Paris on Ponce is our favorite. Checkpoints are placed throughout the locales and you’ll have to count on your knowledge of the area or landmarks passed to cross the finish line. Once you do, a prize awaits!
5. Starlight Drive-In Theatre
A true classic amongst our collection of Atlanta date ideas, no one’s dating history is free of at least one romantic drive-in movie session. The Starlight Six Drive-In will take you right back to the golden age of Hollywood, with its bright neon signs and retro parking spots. The movies are modern day flicks — talkies, as the old timers would have called them — and the drive-in also hosts a Swap Meet every Saturday so you can shop while you wait or after you’ve had a particularly good viewing.
6. Grocery on Home
Located a stone’s throw from Grant Park, Grocery on Home is a converted neighbourhood grocery store that now plays home to a truly nontraditional music venue. It’s a private venue that calls on an eclectic mix of patrons, ranging in age, but all brought together by their mutual love of live music, film screenings and art at large.
Head here for a date and it will be an evening neither of you will soon forget. Grocery on Home pulls together the best local artists and has a distinctly underground, bluesy feel to it. The venue is also a hotbed for discussion groups and admission is simple: a small donation to the artists that run the space and your own libations — Grocery on Home is BYOB!
7. BeltLine & Eastside Trail
The Atlanta BeltLine is its very own boardwalk type space that ribbons through the city. The trail is flanked by gorgeous homes, green space and connection to other foot trails. Bladers, joggers and pets love the trail that they frequently traverse but for the as-of-yet-uninitated, the city takes initiative to organize walking tours on Friday and Saturday. Want to go just the two of you? Pick any number of parks along the trail – we recommend the beautiful Historic Fourth Ward Park.
Sightseeing Atlanta through a stroll on the BeltLine can be surprisingly engaging and it’s an Atlanta date idea that many couples love. Instead of gazing at a movie, how about gazing into each other’s eyes and learning more about each other as you walk through nature? You can’t miss with this one!
8. Listen to A Tale Or Two & The Wren’s Nest
Ah, the Wren’s Nest: how does one describe the sheer joy of storytelling or the forgotten art form that it’s become? Drawing from the rich Southern history and tradition, Wren’s Nest invites residents and tourists from all over to catch a fable or two, belied by mysterious and eclectic storytellers, modern day troubadours, who combine the art of the spoken word with lyric for an experience that’s hard to encapsulate in words.
If this sounds like something only kids would enjoy, do not be fooled nor so quick to judge: the characters and stories are actually for adults and they really end up enjoying a performance that transports them to another time, another’s world, even if just for a few hours.
9. Stargazing Atlanta’s Biggest Stars
You won’t want to miss peeking at that brightly lit Southern sky. If you and your date are science buffs, or even if you just want romantic things to do in Atlanta that are off the beaten path, The Fernbank Science Centre is the place for you. Boasting the largest telescope in the south-east within its observatory, the Science Centre hosts open evenings where admission is free. Just bring your curiosity and your love for the stars. Get ready to see the universe up close and personal while you both get close and personal!
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