8 Best San Diego Date Ideas: Keep it Interesting!

8 Best San Diego Date Ideas: Keep it Interesting!

Alexander Arshansky / Silent Witness

San Diego is known for its delicious seafood, exquisite beaches, and scenic nature spots. However, many people don’t know that San Diego is also a great date spot

If you want something unique to do with your date outside of the classic dinner and a movie, San Diego provides you with plenty of options. Read on to learn about the top San Diego date ideas

Related: 14 Best Cocktail Bars in San Diego 

1. Sparks Gallery

If you’re hoping to add a bit of culture to your night in a unique, beautiful setting, then Sparks Gallery is the place to go. Sparks Gallery is an art gallery and events venue that showcases curated and collaborative exhibitions. 

Located in the heart of the Gaslamp Quarter District in downtown San Diego, this is the perfect place to go if you’re really looking to impress your date. Galleries also make great first date locations, as they give you something to do instead of staring at your date awkwardly across the dinner table. 

We recommend bringing your date here between January 16 – March 13, 2022, as during this time, the gallery will be hosting Alexander Arshansky’s solo exhibition, “Silent Witness.” Arshanksy is a Russian-born artist who is exploring the theme of perspective in his latest exhibition. Arshanksy has a “biomorphic cubism” style that will remind you of Picasso. 

If you can’t make it for this event, don’t sweat it, as the gallery hosts exhibitions from up-and-coming and established artists throughout the year. If you hear wedding bells in the future, then you can also check out Sparks Gallery for your wedding venue. With exposed brick walls, high-beam ceilings, and vintage wood floors, Sparks Gallery offers a unique space for your big day.

Click here to learn more about Sparks Gallery event venue rental

2. Balboa Park

Balboa Park

If you’re looking for the perfect location in San Diego for a day date, head to Balboa Park for a romantic picnic. Balboa Park is an epic green space that offers picturesque scenery, hiking trails, and even museums. 

We recommend starting your date with a picnic in the park’s luscious green space. If you decide to skip the picnic, you can check out one of the park’s many restaurants. Some of the top options include Craveology, Daniel’s Cafe, the Prado, or Craft Cafe. For something truly unique, check out the Tea Pavilion at the Japanese Friendship Garden

After eating, walk off your meal with a stroll through the park. If the date is going well, you can head to one of the park’s many museums afterward. Some top options include the Institute of Contemporary Art, the Marston House, and the Museum of Us.

3. Cinema Under The Stars

Cinema Under The Stars

While going to a movie is a bit cliche for a date, the Mission Hills Rooftop Theater will help elevate your dating game. Mission Hills offers Cinema Under the Stars every Saturday and Sunday. 

The event features the best classic and cult films on a 20-foot screen with surround sound and HD projection. For seating, you can choose from loveseat cabanas, deck chairs, or zero-gravity recliners. Mission Hills also offers a range of classic movie snack options.

4. AxeVentures


If you’re looking for something active to do that’s unlike anything else, take your date to AxeVentures. At AxeVentures, you get the chance to throw a tomahawk ax across a room. 

If you’re nervous about your date, this is a great way to relieve stress and have some laughs. Of course, the ax-throwing is done in a safe environment, and you’ll have trained professionals teach you the proper ax-throwing technique.

5. Silver Strand Bikeway

If you like the idea of doing something active on your date but are a little freaked out at the prospect of throwing axes, check out the Silver Strand Bikeway instead. This is a nine-mile bike path that begins at the Coronado Ferry Landing and takes you all the way to Imperial Beach

Along the ride, you’ll be treated to romantic views of the Pacific Ocean as well as the San Diego Bay Wildlife Refuge. If you have time, make a pit stop on the Silver Strand Beach for a swim and walk along the sand.

6. Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream

Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream

There’s nothing cuter (or sweeter) than an ice cream date. To provide your date with an extra special treat, head to Hammond’s Gourmet Ice Cream Parlour. 

This ice cream shop offers over 300 different flavors, with everything from honey lavender to peanut butter guava jelly to ginger cream. Best of all, you and your date can order a flight of six ice cream cones so you can sample various flavors. 

Related: 5 Delicious Downtown San Diego Restaurants 

7. Pinot’s Palette at Liberty Station Arts District 

Pinot’s Palette

If you’re looking to show off your artistic abilities to your date ( or just laugh at each other’s lack of skill), head to a paint and sip class at Pinot’s Palette at Liberty Station Arts District. 

Paint and sip classes last between 90 minutes and two hours and are held indoors and outdoors. You’ll have the chance to sip on luxurious wine while you paint your masterpiece. If you lack painting skills, don’t worry – these classes are made for beginners and come with step-by-step instructions from professional teachers. 

Related: Best Venues at Liberty Station 

8. City Cruise’s Signature Dinner Cruise 

City Cruise’s Signature Dinner Cruise

For the romantics out there, there’s perhaps nothing better than City Cruise’s Signature Dinner Cruise. After all, what’s more romantic than sipping cocktails with your loved one under the luminous moon?

City Cruise even offers dinner and movie cruises that feature classic films. If you’re looking for a daytime activity, you can check out one of their whale-watching cruises. These cruises are so romantic, you might just find they’re the perfect spot for popping the question.

Best Date Ideas in San Diego 

As you can see, there are a lot of great date spots in San Diego! Now, all you need to do is choose the perfect spot for you and your date.

Looking for great breweries to check out in San Diego? If so, check out this guide.