If you and your significant other are looking for ideas to change up your date nights, look no further! Charlotte is an awesome city for lovebirds and there are tons of cool and unique things you can do that will break the ice on a first date or give you some quality time with your long-term partner. Check out our favorites below and start planning a fun surprise for that special someone in your life!
We’re aware that these uncertain times are limiting many aspects of life as we all practice social and physical distancing. While we’re continuing to feature destinations that make our state wonderful, we don’t expect or encourage you to go check them out immediately. We believe that supporting local attractions is important now more than ever and we hope our articles inspire your future adventures! And on that note, please nominate your favorite local business that could use some love right now:
1. Enjoy dinner and an art show at Soul and Twenty-Two.
Soul Gastrolounge is an eclectic, hip restaurant in Plaza Midwood and it's a great place for date night. The food is amazing, they have a wonderful drink menu, and the atmosphere is perfect for great conversation.
There is often a wait at Soul, especially on the weekends, but that's okay - while you are waiting you can wander downstairs to Twenty-Two!
Twenty-Two is a funky little art gallery right underneath Soul Gastrolounge.
The gallery features work from local artists and exhibits change monthly. There is a bar in the gallery, so it's a great place to have a pre-dinner drink while waiting for your table at Soul. You'll see some of the most fantastic, edgy art you can imagine so come prepared with an open mind and eye.
2. Stroll through Freedom Park after dinner and drinks at Summit Room.
The Summit Room is a fabulous restaurant in Dilworth on East Boulevard. Known for its craft cocktails and globally inspired southern cuisine, this cute little restaurant is a great date place with a cozy atmosphere.
The tapas are the perfect size to order several and share, but they also over larger entrees if you have more of an appetite. The Pimento Cheese Corn Fritters and the BBQ Shrimp are two favorites, and the Cranberry Margarita (or any of the Seven Summit cocktails) are amazing.
After your meal at the Summit Room, take a walk across the street and stroll through Freedom Park to watch the sunset.
With the cooler fall weather approaching, a walk through the park after a candlelit dinner is the perfect romantic ending to a great date!
3. Play games at VBGB, then catch a concert at the Fillmore.
If you're looking for something a little more casual, head over to VBGb at the Music Factory. This German inspired pub serves craft beer and classic German dishes like brats, soft pretzels with beer cheese, and a variety of burgers and sandwiches.
One of the most unique features it VBGB are the fun games to play! The giant Jenga set and oversized Connect Four board are a huge hit, but they also offer a corn hole area and full beach volleyball court, as well as all of your favorite old board games. When is the last time you played Candyland? It's still so much fun!
The Fillmore is one of Charlotte's best music venues and they keep a fabulous line-up of artists rotating throughout the year.
If you and your date are music lovers, plan to head over to a concert at the Fillmore after your fun at VBGB. Popular artists performing at the Fillmore this fall include the War on Drugs, Foster the People, Cherry Glazerr, The Script, Tom Walker and more! You can check out their event schedule
4. Grab lunch and head up to Lazy 5 Ranch.
Lazy 5 Ranch is an exotic animal zoo and a fun place for a first date up in Mooresville. Giraffes, emus, zebras, cattle, and deer are just a few of the animals that you may meet here.
You can pay for a bucket of feed and drive through the property to feed the animals.
They are all friendly and used to people, so they will come right up to your car window to grab a snack! The animals love sticking their heads through your window for a treat, so you're guaranteed to get great pictures!
Their funny faces will have you laughing in no time!
If you prefer to get out of your car, you can take a horse-drawn wagon tour to visit the petting zoo. Lazy 5 Ranch is a great experience with a date, and we guarantee you'll have plenty to talk about on the drive home.
5. Enjoy a picnic on the lawn at the Vanlandingham Estate.
The Vanlandingham Estate is a historic home in Charlotte that is often used for weddings, private events, and group gatherings. It's also an inn, so there are a handful of rooms that are available for overnight stays.
The Estate has beautiful grounds with gorgeous gardens.
They offer an awesome picnic package that is perfect for a romantic date. You can reserve a picnic on the lawn or add one to your overnight stay. Vanlandingham Estate provides a blanket, a picnic meal (complete with an appetizer, main course, dessert, and bottle of wine) all in a cute wicker basket. All you have to do is show up!
6. Pizza, karaoke, and arcade games at 8.2.0.
8.2.0 is a new restaurant and bar over near the Music Factory that has plenty to do. Just walking through 8.2.0 is an experience, as it is split up into different rooms centered around a fun activity. The Arcade Room filled with old arcade games, table games, and video games.
There's also a Karaoke Room, where a DJ and MC keep the jams pumping and host karaoke every night.
This room is often packed with people singing, dancing and laughing. You'll love Hidden Secret Room - it looks like a polished study straight out of the game "Clue" - good luck finding it!
The 8.2.0 pizzeria serves up amazing pizza and Italian fare, and the fully stocked bar keeps drinks flowing throughout the evening. 8.2.0 is an awesome place to go if you want to have a casual, fun time with your date and spark a friendly competition with the games!
7. Take a sunset dinner cruise on Lake Norman.
There's nothing more romantic than a sunset cruise on one of our favorite lakes - Lake Norman. Book a dinner cruise for a special occasion with Queens Landing Cruises for an amazing experience you both will enjoy.
The sunset dinner cruise includes a 4-course meal on the Lady of the Lake, a 93-foot luxury yacht. There are multiple bars on the yacht where you can have a cocktail and the upper deck is perfect for catching the sunset.
8. Refine your cooking skills with a class at Chef Alyssa's Kitchen.
Chef Alyssa's Kitchen is a private kitchen in Atherton Mills that offers regular cooking classes. Each class is focused around a food theme and Chef Alyssa will teach you everything from knife skills to pasta-making.
You can choose from five different skill levels, so once you master level one, you'll have plenty of other classes that will still challenge you.
You can bring your own wine or beer to the classes, and come hungry... the masterpiece meal you whip up will be dinner too!
9. Dinner with a view and a Hornets game.
One of the best dates in Charlotte is a Hornets game! Always action-packed and full of energy, this date is perfect for couples who enjoy a lively environment!
Uptown Charlotte is full of awesome dinner spots for a meal before the game. Some of our favorites are Fahrenheit, The Cellar at Duckworth's, Essex Bar and Bistro, or Halcyon.
After dinner, head to the game to cheer on the home team!
The Hornets' season starts in October, so make sure to get tickets soon!
10. Take a romantic hike up Crowders Mountain.
Hiking Crowders Mountains is a popular date option for those who like to be outdoors. There are a variety of trails suitable for all skill levels, and three of them lead up to the gorgeous mountain peaks that offer amazing views. This is perfect for a Saturday afternoon!
Have you been on a great date in Charlotte recently? Tell us about it in the comments!