Summer is (finally) here, and with it the chance to try some of the best date options around. From outdoor movies to amusement parks, from wine tasting to lakeside getaways, summer date ideas are something special – and we’ve collected 9 of the best, designed to make this summer the most romantic yet.
9 of America’s best summer date ideas
1. Taste some local wines
If you’re lucky enough to live in Napa Valley, or another part of wine country, then a day spent sampling the delights of the local vineyards is one of the ideal summer date ideas, especially if you make a short list of your favorite places and spend the day cycling or horse riding between them. Stuck in the city? Find a local bar that offers wine flights (and, ideally a sunny summer patio), and get that delicious winery experience closer to home.
2. Have an outdoor movie night at home
Summer brings the chance to put a fun, outdoor twist on the classic dinner-and-a-movie date idea. Many cities put on open air screenings, but it can be even more romantic to set up a DIY date night at home. Hang a sheet in your garden or from your balcony, grab a projector, and get cozy. Not sure what watch? Whether you want to be thrilled by the likes of Jaws or sing along with the likes of Grease, we’ve picked five of the all-time-best summer related movies:
3. Take a midweek lakeside getaway
No American summer is complete without a relaxing break at a lakeside cabin. Heading to lake country is one of the more romantic summer date ideas too: think bonfires, breathtaking views, and long, languid evenings together. What’s not so romantic, however, is lake country traffic, so avoid traveling on holiday weekends and instead take time off from work mid-week for a spontaneous couple’s vacation.
4. Hire an open top car and hit the road
Want to make the lakeside getaway even better? Make the journey just as good as the destination. From the Pacific Coast Highway to Colorado’s Pikes Peak, America boasts some of the world’s most scenic drives. Make the most of them this summer and hit the road! To really do it in style (it is a date, after all), hire an open-top car and live out those Route 66 road trip fantasies for a weekend.
5. Host a BBQ together
With the 4th of July looming, it’s nearly time for the ultimate summer staple: grilling outside. This can either be a romantic summer date idea for two, or a bigger gathering that you host together. Make sure to plan great food, great drinks, and pick a great place so you can end the night in really romantic style – snuggling up to your date while you watch the fireworks.
Don’t forget, a BBQ is the perfect, chilled occasion to introduce a new partner to friends and family. We’ve even made a summery Spotify® playlist to get the party going: with romantic songs, reggae hits, and huge, feel-good summer jams, it has something for everyone!
6. Enjoy a food truck date
Don’t care to play head chef? Then let someone else do the cooking for you with a food truck date. This is a great date idea to save for the summer, especially in America; after all, if there’s a line, it’s far nicer to wait together in the sun rather than the snow! If you’re not sure which truck to head for, download a food truck app like http://streetfoodapp.com/, pick different locations for your starter, main, and dessert, and go food truck hopping around town.
7. Try a retro summer date idea
Remember how summer date ideas used to be? In the break from high school or college, when you didn’t have the money (or the ID!) to spend your date nights at upscale, romantic bars and restaurants, you had to get creative. And it was fun. Relive those days by picking your favorite retro date: a cute mini golf or fun fair date, a day at the zoo, an afternoon at the amusement park, a classic night at the drive-in: these all have that winning flash-back factor.
8. Plan a date at an observatory
The long, sultry nights of summer are perfect for a date-night spent stargazing. If you’re in a town with an observatory, look out for a summer events schedule – many observatories offer evenings that combine drinks and live music with a closer look at the stars. None near you? No problem! Look to see if your local university or club rents telescopes, or simply spread a blanket on a nearby hill and spend the evening lying with your date, gazing at the galaxy.
9. Pull out all the stops and take a hot air balloon ride
When you’re dating someone you really want to spoil, sometimes you need to go all out. And what better way to do just that than with a picturesque hot air balloon ride? One of the most romantic summer date ideas there is, a balloon ride has it all: sweeping views, a thrilling, bonding, once-in-a-lifetime experience, and, if you time it right, a champagne breakfast to share in your sky-high love nest as you watch the sunrise.
If there are summer date ideas you’d like to see included, let us know!
Read More: Try our list of the best free date ideas for love that doesn’t cost a thing