Get in the know! You could be going on a first date or you might have been dating your person for so many years that you could use a few new ideas. Either way, make it a memorable night. Here’s a list of places you might not know about but should that are perfect for date night.
For the foodies:
This date will please someone new or someone you’ve been dating your whole life. Many restaurants have pre-fixe menus created specifically for Savor Sarasota this time of year. Typically the annual restaurant special presented by Visit Sarasota County ends June 14, but many of the restaurants are extending through the summer.
Here are a few of the romantic restaurants that have extended their menus: Mattison’s City Grille, Mattison’s Forty-One, Bijou Café, Café Gabbiano, Roast, Savory Street and The Table. You can see the menus and the full list at the website.
Or you could check out our last “In the Know” roundup that featured great wine tastings around town here.
For the outdoorsy:
You can pick up a sunset basket filled with appetizers and a bottle of wine from Café Gabbiano, 5104 Ocean Blvd. Open 5 to 10 p.m. Don’t forget to bring a corkscrew and a blanket. For more info, visit the website.
Take a tour of old Florida at Historic Spanish Point where there’s a jungle walk, butterfly garden, pioneer homesteaders chapel and produce packing house. Throughout the summer, there’s a concert series for $5 admission. Or you could pack a cooler of food and have a picnic overlooking the bay. For more info, visit the website.
For the party animals:
The Lido Key Tiki Bar at the Ritz-Carlton Beach Club, located at 1234 Ben Franklin Dr., pleases any demographic. There’s no parking lot available, but you can park on Ben Franklin Drive where you can enjoy a short walk on the beach before getting a tropical drink. There’s live music on the weekends. For more info, visit the website.
LeBarge Tropical Cruises offer dolphin and wildlife watching and sunset cruises, plus will cater to the party animal in a booze-cruise fashion. The sunset cruises depart between 5 and 7 p.m. and are $28 a person (plus whatever you’ll spend on drinks or light fares). Be sure to make a reservation. Visit the website for more info.
For the fun-loving couple:
If you live in Sarasota, head to Bradenton to Motorworks Brewing, 1014 9th St. W. Grab a beer (or a glass of wine) and enjoy it indoors accompanied by live music on weekend nights. Or enjoy it outdoors in the more than 13,000 square-foot beer garden. Sit on the deck beneath a 100-year old oak tree or play a game of bocce ball or corn hole. For more info, visit the website.
Mr. Beery’s in Gulf Gate is great for a first date because there’s many options for friendly competition: giant Jenga boards, board games, darts, pool table and ski ball. Plus, there’s trivia at 8 p.m. Thursday evenings. For more info, visit the website. Plus, it’ll please big craft beer drinkers with its great selection.
For the active couple:
Play in the trees on an elevated adventure course at TreeUmph, 21703 75th Ave E., Bradenton. It’s open mornings from 8 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. and tickets are $49.95 per person. Visit the website for more information.
Kayaking the Myakka River will not only be a great workout, you’ll also get to see alligators and other wildlife. The four-hour tour is $65 per person and launches from the Myakka River State Park, 13208 State Road 72. Visit the website for more information.
Or for a different setting, kayak the mangrove tunnels and watch manatees for $47 a person from I Kayak, 190 Taft drive. Visit the website for more information.
Impress her with your art skills. At Painting With A Twist, 5543 Palmer Crossing, you paint and drink wine (BYOB). There are two and three hour classes that will lead you through a guided painting template. It’s $25 to $35 to participate. Visit the website for more information and to see the potential projects.
You’ll never need to dine again, with the skills you acquire in the Publix Aprons cooking classes. Learn everything from Asian techniques, to layer cakes and baking. They even have a couples cooking class that’s $90 a couple. For the full options and pricing information visit their website.
For the couple that needs a little target practice, head to Ancient Oak Gun Club and shoot some sporting clays with shotguns. There are 24 shooting stations and two courses with a radio controlled launching system. For pricing and more information visit the website.
Take an afternoon or morning half-day chartered deep sea fishing trip. Flying Fish Fleets provide you the rod and reel, bait, and assistance — plus they’ll even clean your fish for $.50 a fish at the end of the trip. You get a bonus for preparing the fish together for a meal following the trip. Don’t forget to pack the sunscreen and be sure to make a reservation. It leaves from Marina Jack. It’s $45 to $55 a person, but keep in mind that you’ll tip, and there’s many up charges available. For more information, visit their website.