When you think about dating, where do you picture most people going? Bars? Restaurants? If you guessed anywhere that includes eating and drinking, you're partially correct. Most couples agree that the average date consists of dinner, drinks, and possibly a movie. Whomp, whomp.
But that's not your style, is it? You don't need cocktails to have fun. In fact, you're so not basic that you're ready, willing, and able to think outside the proverbial vanilla dating box by adding some sprinkles and gummy bears to your cone. If you need inspiration, ta-da! Your fairy godmother is here to grant you 22 unique places to take a date if you don't drink.
You might even be surprised by just how much fun you have. So, let's begin!
Phoenix Art Museum, 1625 N Central Ave, Phoenix
The Phoenix Art Museum has an excellent track record for some of the most jaw-dropping exhibits that are on a well-oiled rotation throughout the year. See the two most visited exhibits - Carlos Amorales' Black Cloud and the wonderland of lights, Yayoi Kusama’s You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies - while they're both still on display.
The museum also has local, organic, delicious meals on site. Getting cultured and chowing down - talk about a two for one!
Connect with Your Inner Farmer/ Acrobat, 26601 S Val Vista Dr, Gilbert
Do you love yoga? Does your date like animals? If the answer is yes to both of those questions, you're in luck! Arizona Goat Yoga is a class specifically designed to combine a love for savasana and cute, cuddly farm goats to enhance the experience tenfold.
Whether you only come for the goats, the yoga, or both, you'll always cherish the memory of that one time a baby goat climbed up your back during child's pose.
Day Trip to Sedona, 450 Jordan Road, Suite B, Sedona
Sedona is a must-see destination when you're dying to get out of the (dry) heat here in Phoenix. So, what better way to spend an alcohol-less date than going to the zen capital of the Southwest? Sedona is a one-of-a-kind town just an hour and a half north of Phoenix. I mean, have you seen it?
Take a famous Pink Jeep Tour, hike Devil's Bridge, get wet at Oak Creek, or get a psychic or tarot-card reading at The Center for the New Age. In the spring you can go berry picking and in the summer, well, just be grateful to be out of Phoenix.
The Desert Botanical Gardens, 1201 N Galvin Pkwy, Phoenix
Keep calm and succulent on at the Desert Botanical Gardens! Walking tours take you and your date through a gorgeous botanical breakdown of life in the Sonoran Desert while providing plenty of photo-ops throughout. Check their event schedule for nights where live music bumps through the Botanical Garden and provides a super romantic ambiance at sunset.
Double Dip at the Sugarbowl, 4005 N Scottsdale Rd, Scottsdale
Nothing screams romance quite like sharing a milkshake with your date. But it also helps to have delicious ice cream as an alternative if you aren't quite ready to get all Lady and the Tramp style on your dessert. Regardless, the Sugarbowl is an Old Town Scottsdale hot spot for some of the best ice cream in town. It might look vintage on the outside, but it definitely smells like heaven on the inside.
The Musical Instrument Museum, 4725 E Mayo Blvd, Phoenix
The MIM is a totally underrated spot here in Phoenix, and we haven't figured out why. This place is literally jam-packed with foreign, historic, and modern instruments from the didgeridoo to a diamond-covered microphone Snoop used back in the day, and even John Lennon's "Imagine" piano.
Check the event page for live shows, dance classes, musical performances, and new showcases every month. One day passes are $20 to experience the MIM, plus there are tons of nearby restaurants where you can get your grub on.
Visit Taliesin West, 12621 N Frank Lloyd Wright Blvd, Scottsdale
Get away from the hustle and bustle of city life by heading to the quieter corners of Scottsdale and touring Taliesin West, built by Frank Lloyd Wright. An architectural masterpiece, this romantic sunset spot will level up your local knowledge on this Phoenician icon with an intimate tour of his winter home.
Head Up, Up, and Away! 2136 W Melinda Ln, Phoenix
Grab a jacket and take your date on an early-morning hot air balloon ride right here in Phoenix. Most rides start at sunrise, so make sure to set your alarm.
Float high over the McDowell Mountains and, thanks to the flat land, you and your honey can see for miles. At the end, enjoy a champagne-free mimosa or coffee, then grab breakfast nearby.
Taste Test an Espresso Flight at Press Coffee, 15147 N Scottsdale Rd #102, Scottsdale
Flights aren't just for beer and wine anymore! At Press Coffee, you can get flights of freshly roasted, savory espresso. This an award-winning coffee shop is one of Phoenix's best-kept secrets! You and your date will be buzzing all day long.
Slide Rock, 6871 N Highway 89A, Sedona
Who doesn't love a wet-and-wild adventure in the woods? Slide Rock is the perfect place to spend an afternoon in the sun, next to one of Sedona's most incredible natural wonders. Spend the day hiking around and find hidden creeks, waterfalls, and even cliff jumping.
iFLY Arizona, 9206 Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale
If you and your date are feeling extra adventurous, but also don't want to free fall from 13,000 feet just yet, iFLY is the indoor skydiving option for you. Get the high without the height! Book an appointment ahead of time and feel the freedom of free falling together.
Buffalo Chip Saloon and Steakhouse, 6823 E Cave Creek Rd, Cave Creek
Cowboy grab your cowgirl and head to Buffalo Chip Saloon and Steakhouse for the most authentic "Old West" experience you can find in the Valley. Dine in the saloon, grab your hat, and head out to see live bull riding. If you're feeling extra brave and want to show your lady just how cowboy you are, you can actually ride yourself. If riding isn't your thing, enjoy karaoke and line dancing lessons. Yee-haw!
Did Someone Say Tacos? Salt River Fields 7555 N. Pima Rd., Scottsdale
When tacos are life, you cannot say no to the yearly Arizona Taco Festival, the world's first (and finest!) taco fest. Of course, you'll find tacos, but also entertainment, games, art, and a taco contest!
Over fifty restaurants will be dishing out their best tacos with some at $2 a pop. Head over in October with your taco-loving sweetie and enjoy an afternoon of pure indulgence.
Safari in the Desert, 3505 W State Route 260, Camp Verde
You don't have to visit Africa to see lions, tigers, and jaguars up close and personal. Just head to Out of Africa in Camp Verde, Arizona. Take your date to one of the water shows, feed giraffes, or simply have all the heart eyes over the tiny baby lion cubs currently living onsite. Eat your heart out, Simba.
Top Golf, 9500 Talking Stick Way, Scottsdale
Swing away! Top Golf is one of the best date spots for anyone who's looking to kick back, relax, and hit the sticks. Whether you're Tiger Woods status or just starting out, you're guaranteed to have a good time, especially at night when the holes light up.
Saddle Up! 13050 N Bush Hwy, Mesa
Feeling wild? Head down to the Saguaro Lake Ranch Stables and take a ride on one of the ranch horses along Saguaro Lake to take in the gorgeous scenery. Choose from a 30-, 60-, or 90-minute guided ride and book ahead of time!
Treat your better half to a dinner in the desert with a fully customizable, location-specific dinner that's as boho-chic as the food is delicious. Cloth and Flame are known for creating one of a kind dining experiences while respecting the environment. Jump into an existing event (but be mindful, they're almost always close to being sold out) or have a private party of your own.
Japanese Friendship Garden, 1125 N 3rd Avenue, Phoenix
If enlightenment is what you seek, head down to the Japanese Friendship Garden for some relaxing, quiet time with your date. There are guided walking tours, workshops, and plenty of pretty corners where you can steal a kiss.
Pure Knead Massage, You pick the location
Looking for a fun night in? You don't even need to leave home to surprise your date with a relaxing massage right in your living room, poolside, or at a hotel where you've booked a romantic staycation. With great prices and flexible schedules, you can finally live your best life as the king or queen you truly are.
Fatcat Ballroom & Dance Company, 3131 E Thunderbird Rd, Suite 33, Phoenix
After a few sessions with Fatcat, you'll be all the rage at your next wedding or party as the dynamic duo to be reckoned with. Ditch the normal moves and learn from an expert on how to dance and work together. Hey, we think the whole idea of lead and follow is pretty romantic.
Hike Piestewa Peak, 2701 East Squaw Peak Lane
For the outdoorsy couples, we have a great hike for you. All levels are welcome on Piestewa Peak, from expert hikers who like jogging, to beginners who are just starting out, this trail is great for everyone. Go around dusk, snuggle up to your date, and watch the sun go down.
I'm on a Boat! 27501 N Lake Pleasant Rd, Peoria
Wakeboard, knee board, water ski, inner tube, and jet ski all in a day at Lake Pleasant. This is one of the most beautiful, expansive lakes in Arizona. Thanks to year-round near-perfect temperatures, you can take your date here during winter, spring, summer, and fall. Rent a boat at the marina or check out their website below.
Enjoy a Cup of Tea, 4628 E Indian School Rd, Phoenix
Somehow, the tea gurus at Teaspressa have invented a way to brew tea like coffee, which makes it savory and bold, hitting all the right spots. The interior of this place is insanely cute and comfy for a first date, too.
Teaspressa is truly more of an experience as opposed to a simple destination. It's got everything: all-natural, organic teas with no additives or artificial flavors. But remember, no coffee! You've been warned.