We all know how it starts — you scroll through Yelp or Google to find a new restaurant to take your SO and nothing impresses you. We've all been there! It's easy to get into a rut and fall into a routine. Maybe it's time to skip out on your weekly ritual of seeing a cheap movie on Tuesday or going to your favorite restaurant all the time.
It doesn't matter how long you've been dating, you always want to create a special experience for you and your partner to enjoy.
The Emerald City has so many things to offer that sometimes it can get overwhelming. But that just means there's something for everyone! There are hole-in-the-wall restaurants for foodies, underrated hikes for explorers, and speakeasies for people who want a little bit of mystery in their lives.
If you're ready to surprise your girlfriend and melt her heart, check out these fantastic places to step up your dating game and earn you some well-deserved brownie points!
Where: 2130 6th Ave
It doesn't get any classier than this. Your girlfriend will fall in love with you all over again when you take her to Lady Yum to eat all the macarons her heart desires. The shop has an array of original, seasonal, and monthly flavors to entice your taste buds. Try not to drool as soon as you walk into this place! Plus, the colorful macarons are perfect for an Instagram photo. So be prepared to take many photos of your girlfriend for her to post on her account!
Dr. Jose Rizal Park
Where: 1007 12th Ave S
Kerry Park is overrated so head on over to Dr. Jose Rizal Park. Located in the Beacon Hill neighborhood, the park offers sweeping views of downtown Seattle and the Puget Sound. Set up a date straight out of a rom-com by bringing a picnic lunch while you and bae enjoy the view. If you've got a furry friend, you can bring your dog to the off-leash dog park there!
Where:1531 Melrose Avenue
Forget Pike Place Market — Melrose Market is where you need to be. Avoid the tourists and head on over to Melrose Market for your food and home decor. You can grab a bite at Terra Plata while enjoying their rooftop dining area and check out Butter Home for unique decor items. And if you really want bonus points, grab a bouquet for your girlfriend from Marigold and Mint.
Needle & Thread
Where: 1406 12th Ave
Seattle is home to several secret bars, but The Needle & Thread is the best. If you and your GF are in the mood for a night on the town inspired by The Great Gatsby, this is it. From the start, you're taken away back to the Prohibition era. The entrance is an old bank vault door and you can enjoy custom drinks by describing to the bartender what flavors and liquors you like.
Frankie & Jo's
Where: 1010 E Union St
Recreate that messy scene from The Notebook, but with plant-based ice cream! As if the Insta-worthy background wasn't enough, this ice cream shop offers sorbets and ice creams that are gluten-free and vegan.
Where: 2389 NW Market Street
Nobody ever really thinks of bouldering when it comes to dates, but that's what makes it perfect for you and your girlfriend! Stone Gardens offers indoor climbing as well as 440-foot outdoor walls. Get into a friendly competition between the two of you to see who can climb to the top the fastest.
This is technically cheating since this stunning waterfall is isn't in Seattle, but it's less than an hour drive away! The great thing about Franklin Falls is that it's not a difficult hike so you won't be completely dead by the time you get to the waterfall. Trust me — the trek is worth it.
Where: 4000 15th Ave NE
Whether or not you went to the University of Washington, the campus is still a gorgeous place to explore! If your girlfriend is obsessed with Harry Potter, you'll want to take her to Suzzallo Library. She'll be able to channel her inner Hermione Granger and you'll be transported to Hogwarts as soon as you enter.
Where: 1225 N 45th St
Nothing says quirky like a cat cafe! If you or your SO want to enjoy an afternoon drinking coffee with a cat face design in it and hang out with some furry residents, this is the date spot for you.
Experience Chocolate Factory Tour
Where: 1180 Andover Park W
Chocoholics, unite! Don't eat before you take a tour of the Seattle Chocolate factory. Eat your way through the tour while you learn how they make their truffles and bars, and you can even discover how they invent new flavors. Live your best life as you feel like Charlie Bucket from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory! Don't worry, everybody makes it through the entire tour.
Hot Tub Boat Tour
Where: Lake Union
This might be what dreams of made of. Hot tub? On a boat? On Lake Union? With a stunning view of the city? SOLD. This is definitely more on the expensive side when it comes to dates, but it would 100% be worth it. And if you two wouldn't mind inviting your friends or other couples (the boat fits up to 6 people), you can get the price down to just $60/person!
Where: 506 2nd Ave
Why not appreciate the view of Seattle from a different angle? The Space Needle is overrun with tourists, so head on over to the Smith Tower to appreciate the glorious city you live in. You get a full 360-degree view and can see everything from the Space Needle, the Ferris wheel, and even Mount Rainier.
When you're done, order a drink from the Observatory Bar and sip your cocktail while you enjoy the view!
Where: 1060 E Union St
Oh, you're gonna want to brunch here. Even though the atmosphere is everything when it comes to a good restaurant, the best part about Bar Melusine is the food. The menu changes daily, but one thing remains the same — it serves delicious oysters!
Where: 401 1st Ave S
Let's hope the doughnut craze never goes away. Pioneer Square is a great neigborhood to explore given all the art galleries, bookstores, and trendy restaurants. But there's only so much exploring you can do before you want a snack. Check out General Porpoise for your doughnut craving! Good thing you're going with your SO because you'll have someone to make sure you don't have crumbs all over your face from scarfing down those delicious doughnuts.
Where: 55th Ave S
Cute doesn't even begin to describe this park. From the many bridges, to the gorgeous trees and flowers, this park has it all. Everywhere you look, there's a background worthy of an Instagram photo. Take a walk around the park and enjoy each other's company! And it's free, too.
Where: 501 E Pine St
Playing board games can make or break a relationship. If your relationship is stable, consider going to this board game cafe for an afternoon of food, drinks, and friendly competition. Raygun Lounge has a wide selection of board games. If you two can rein in your victory dances and your "I won! In your face!" yelling, then this is the spot for you. Try not to get too heated! Remember, you are in a public area.
B&B Family Farm
Where: 5883 Old Olympic Highway, Sequim
You caught me cheating again, but the two and a half hour drive to Sequim is worth it to go to this lavender family farm. There are several lavender farms in the city, but this one happens to be open all year round and it's free.
Roam the lavender fields, explore the century-old barn, take a peek into the gift shop, and embrace the Instagram photo session that's bound to happen. Hey, you drove all the way there, you might as well get a great pic out of it!
Seattle Glassblowing Studio
Where: 2227 5th Ave
The only way to appreciate art is to learn how to make it yourself. There's a gallery for you to look around, but you also have the opportunity to make glass art. The studio offers a number of different classes. Wouldn't it be great to make fun little glass objects as a gift for each other?
Where: 118 East Pike St
Your eyes aren't broken — the bar is just that colorful! This whimsical bar serves drinks and food as wild as the decor. You can't go wrong taking your girlfriend here for a fun night out with the arcade, photo booth, and claw machine. Depending on the schedule, there's a cabaret night, karaoke, and trivia. Just think of all the fun duets you two could sing after downing a colorful drink for liquid courage!
The Orient Express Restaurant
Where: 2963 4th Ave S
If you're down for some great Chinese and Thai food to be had in a series of antique train cars, check out this restaurant! Sure, the food is great, but the events that happen there are stories you'll repeat over and over again to everybody you know. Disco parties, karaoke, and bubbles in a train car are ingredients for a good time.
Bop Street Records
Where: 2220 Northwest Market St
Don't be alarmed by the sheer number of records in the store. With over half a million titles, there's something for everyone here. While you and your partner explore the two floors filled with wall-to-wall shelves of records, discuss your favorite artists and debate who's the greatest musician of all time.
Where: 2612 NE University Village St
Why buy a cake when you can buy a dozen cupcakes of all different flavors? Just when you think you can name all the cupcake flavors in the world, Trophy comes in to surprise your taste buds. Surprise your girlfriend by taking her here and watch her struggle to choose just one cupcake to eat. And then agree with her that she needs to buy at least a dozen to take home.
Dandelion Botanical Company
Where: 5424 Ballard Ave NW
Witchy vibes are in style all year round. This is a family-owned apothecary that has walls that are lined with hundreds of glass jars that contain herbs, flowers, teas, and essential oils. Let your girlfriend explore the shop and collect what she needs for her next spell. Have fun looking around for magical ingredients!
Golden Gardens Park
Where: 8498 Seaview Pl NW
I'm not going to lie to you — this place can get busy in the summer. But it really does have it all and it's so close to the city! There's a beautiful white sand beach with the backdrop of Puget Sound, there are plenty of trails, a dog park, several picnic tables, and a park.
Here's a suggestion: Since the park is open so early (4 AM, to be exact!), head over before everybody gets there, watch the sunset on the beach, and do an early morning hike. There's nothing like enjoying nature with your loved one away from the busy life of being in a city.
Where: 2220 NW Market St
Fancy some light reading on all things paranormal? This library has an unmarked entrance and is the home to thousands of books about magic, astrology, ghosts, and more. How about a book on spells? You'll both be one step closer to being a character from Harry Potter.
Where: 8603 Fauntleroy Way SW
Going to the beach is fun, but the water is always too cold! If you want to pretend you're Ariel from The Little Mermaid or Aquaman, take a dip in Colman Pool. It's outdoors, so you get a great view of Puget Sound, and you can take a leisurely swim while retaining feeling in your body!
Where: 1416 E Olive Way
When you've reached the bright pink building, you know you're there. After you've snapped at least 50 photos in front of the pink wall, head on in for some delicious tacos and refreshing cocktails. Trust me, you're gonna want to get the tacos.
Fremont Sunday Market
Where: 3401 Evanston Ave N
All the vendors as far as the eye can see. If you want a chill Sunday activity, head on over to see what the market has to offer. You can find unique crafts, vintage clothes, furniture, antiques, and even food. Eat, shop, and repeat. That doesn't sound too bad, right?
Carl S. English Jr. Botanical Garden
Where: 3015 NW 54th St
Stop and smell the roses at the botanical garden. You can take a guided tour or walk around with your loved one admiring all the beautiful plant life. There are always free events going on in the garden, so you might stumble upon a free concert.
Emerald City Trapeze Arts
Where: 2702 6th Ave S
Now, this one is definitely a little off the wall. But there are glowing reviews left by couples who had a fun time learning small stunts! And if you're not into learning how to join a trapeze act, you can always sit back and watch a show done by the professionals!