Understanding Where to Go on a First Date: The 17 Best & Worst Dating Spots Ever

It will interest you to know that first dates are almost always awkward. But with the best suggestions for where to go on a first date, you can create awesome vibes, and a memorable time with your date.

First dates are always unforgettable as it’s the first of many dates you have with them *if you do it right*. So, where you take them on a first date is really important because first dates are all about first impressions.

The awkward first date

There is the introduction where you don’t know if you should hug, shake hands, or kiss on the cheek. So, you go in for a hug but start shaking their whole body! And then you end up with a red shameful face of embarrassment for the rest of the night.

If you’re meeting online, you might be worried that you won’t remember what they look like or that they might look nothing like their photo. You could get a bad reaction to food if you try a new restaurant and can’t tell someone you just met you’re having diarrhea.

There is also the dreaded awkward silence that it seems like some first dates of made of. We’ve all had our extremely awkward first dates where we just want to run away and forget that date ever happened. It’s normal, don’t worry!

But, your first date does not have to be this horrible or even slightly awkward. If you pick the right location for a first date, it can expunge all of this from the first date itinerary.

Where to go on a first date with a stranger

If you are going on a first date with a coworker or friend, you don’t have to have the back-ups you will want when you are meeting someone online or with a blind date.

When it is your first time meeting someone for a date, always do so in public. Never let them pick you up at your house or your job.

If things go south, you don’t want them having that much information about your whereabouts. Choose a shorter date. Some people think short dates don’t offer enough time to get to know each other. But usually, you don’t need more than an hour to know if someone isn’t right for you.

Go for coffee or drinks rather than dinner and a movie on a first date. Go somewhere you feel comfortable. This doesn’t have to be your neighborhood bar or favorite restaurant. It can be a chain restaurant you’re familiar with. A first date with a stranger brings up enough anxiety, so a location that calms you will help.

Why is it crucial to pick the right location for a first date?

When you choose the right place, you can end up impressing your date. Of course, more than the place, it’s who you are that will impress them even more. But the location sets the mood of your date. This is why people often go all-out on that first date because it defines whether there are going to be follow-up dates.

A terrible location could potentially mean they won’t want to date you ever again. For instance, as romanticized as movie dates are, they’re not really all that great.

So right off the bad, you’ll turn them off by initiating a movie date. Why? Well, that’s because you won’t talk during the movie, so how will you get to know one another?

Remember, deciding where to go on a first date is just as important as dressing up well or conversing like a smooth talker!

Where not to go on a first date

You came here for the best first date ideas. Before we recommend where to go on a first date, steer clear from a few places that are a recipe for disaster on a first date.

1. The movies

Unless your first date is happening while in middle school, the movies are a terrible place for a first date. You learn next to nothing about your date. There is no time to talk. And you get greasy buttery fingers.

It’s really not romantic at all for a first date. So expect that when you take them for a movie on your first date, they might not want to go on a second date with you because they won’t really know anything about you at all! 

2. A concert

This is the same idea as the movies. It can be even worse since watching people play music doesn’t always capture your attention as much as a movie. Screaming to each other over speakers of a band you may not even like will not result in a second date.

As fun and wild as a concert might be, this isn’t recommendable if you’re deciding where to go on a first date. It will feel so crowded and noisy that you won’t even get a second of quiet just to talk to one another.

3. Your house

Unless your date is a hook-up and nothing more, inviting your date to your house on night one is a major no-no. This gives the wrong idea on so many levels. It adds the assumption that something physical will happen.

As romantic as it might seem to make them dinner and plan something romantic, it just always gives the wrong impression. When you’re just getting to know one another, having a date at either of your places is far from ideal.

4. Hiking

You can go for a walk in a major park, but hiking through the woods on a first date is a bit too much. If you want to do something healthy and active on a first date, there are plenty more public options.

Also, they might not be a hiking person, so you’d just be forcing them to do something they never wanted to do initially. When deciding on where to go on a first date, it’s always best to choose a location where you can talk and get to know one another, with limited distractions.

5. A party

A party sounds fun and everything, but it’s not ideal for a first date. This may sound like an ideal fun date, but unless you share a group of friends, it will just be wildly uncomfortable for one of you.

Chances are you will know everyone, and they will know no one. If you just want to get to know one another, going to a party can make your date feel lonelier than ever, and awkward!

Where to go on a first date

Now that you know why the previous ideas are not so great for a first date, let’s get to the best ideas for where to go on a first date, have a great time, and perhaps, make your date fall for you as well!

1. Coffee or drinks

This is the least creative or original idea, but it is ideal if you aren’t one to put effort into a first date without knowing how interested you are. There is a reason why going for coffee seems so stress-free and easy, it’s short and there are no expectations from each other.

Coffee dates are perfect because it’s a great way to know someone new. You get to actually talk and you only have to stay for one coffee if you’re not feeling it. But, if all is going well, you can get another drink or order dessert and just keep chatting.

2. Volunteer

Volunteering your time to a good cause is a great way to connect on a first date. You can go to a soup kitchen, animal shelter, or even pick up trash at the park or beach.


It also lets you both show your selfless and kind side to one another. Now, how’s that for a first date? You get to help others and get to know one another as well!

3. Explore

Going for a walk is a lot more than it sounds. You can explore a new neighborhood or another area of yours. You can do some window shopping, people watching, or chow down on some handheld foods.

Especially if you’re in the mood for something new, why not go exploring with your date? Just be sure that they’re into walking for a bit before you drag them into exploring the neighborhood!

4. A book store or record shop

Sharing your music or book preferences on a first date can show you how compatible you are. You can introduce each other to some of your favorites and discover something new.

So if you’re deciding where to go on a first date, have fun on a book date together! Especially when you share the same passion for books, this is the perfect date to create a memorable date together.

5. The mall

There is a reason middle school dates have a warm place in our hearts. Heading to the mall with $20 to buy a soft pretzel and a fancy Starbucks drink while you walk around without buying anything is actually really fun.

It’s a primary location to have a first date where you can get to know one another better. You can even go window shopping together and you never know, you might have the same interests!

6. An amusement park

Face your fears by heading to an amusement park. You get to talk a ton while waiting in line. Bonus! The adrenaline from the rides can boost your connection. When deciding where to go on a first date, going to an amusement park will give you both a first date you’ll never forget.

Of course, this isn’t for everyone so make sure they’re the kind of person that has fun in an amusement park.

7. An arcade

If you are not one for rides but want some old-fashioned fun with someone new, head to an arcade. Play some games, win some prizes, and see who the master of skee ball is.

This is one of the best first date locations you can give your date. You both get to have fun and get to know one another in the process. You can even go for coffee afterward!

8. A museum

Art may not be your thing, but a history museum could offer the perfect first date vibes. You can even head to a wax museum or a science museum to see some fun experiments. Whoever said you can’t learn something on a date? You can take lots of pictures with a museum date and have the time of your lives!

9. An exercise class

Gym dates are so underrated nowadays, which is all the more reason why you should do it. If you are both into fitness, heading to the gym or a cycling class could be perfect for you.

Releasing endorphins will put you in a better mood and headspace for the rest of the date. And if Zumba or spin classes aren’t your things, yoga is a much more low-key way to get your sweat on with a new partner, before you take a walk together.

10. Rock climbing

If you can’t decide where to go on a first date, rock climbing is a unique yet fun way to spend your first date! You get some exercise, try something new, and may even help each other face some fears along the way. That is a sure-fire way to create a strong bond.

11. A game

Depending on the season: a baseball, football, or basketball game is a wonderful place for a first date. You always have a conversation buffer with the happenings of the game, but you can also get some food and talk about anything else as well.

Especially if you’re both into sports, it’s a great way to bond with one another and has a first date you’ll never forget.

12. Baking class

When you decide where to go on a first date, there’s no reason you shouldn’t go for a baking class. It’s fun, unique, and lets you get creative! You don’t need to be great at it to choose this as a first date option.

If you’re both passionate about baking or your date is pretty adventurous about learning new skills, you should definitely give this a go!

13. Visit an animal shelter

Everyone loves animals, and we’re pretty sure your date would find this kind of date interesting. So if you’re looking for where to go on a first date, an animal shelter is a pretty great idea! You’d both enjoy this date, and you’d also share your fondness for animals together. You can even grab coffee afterward and converse deeper!

14. Brewery or winery

Have you ever wondered how wine or beer is made? Your date doesn’t have to be a bartender to appreciate this kind of date.

This is a recommendable date, especially if you’re both fond of how alcoholic drinks are made, such as beer or wine. The best part? You can taste wine or beer for free! Now, isn’t that something?

15. Karaoke date

Karaoke dates are so underrated, but they make some of the best memories of a first date. Imagine this scenario – you both singing at the top of your lungs with a bucket of beer, and you’re having the time of your lives.

While alcohol generally isn’t the ideal way to have a first date, it’s entertaining, paired with karaoke. Not to mention, it effectively breaks the ice!

16. Attend a poetry night

If you’re going for a little romantic vibe, poetry night dates are the best kind of dates. If you’re wondering where to go on a first date, attending a poetry night will impress your date and keep the essence of romance in the air.

Also, it’s a bonus if you’re both fond of the art of words being turned into extraordinary masterpieces.

17. Bowling date

First of all, who doesn’t love bowling? Even if you suck at the game, we assure you that bowling can still make a memorable and fun date. So if you want to make the best first impression on your date *and make them think you’re a fun person*, take them on a bowling date! We assure you, they’ll completely love it.

So, where to go on a first date?

Write it in the comment session below.


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