Atlanta is bustling with many exciting opportunities to help the romantic spark burn bright while on a date. Atlanta's options range from low-key to ultra-elegant, so you can match with whatever type of night you want to plan, whether it's a first date or your 30th wedding anniversary.
The city's huge size and population guarantee that there is always some type of event happening for all tastes. But if your idea of intimacy leans more toward nature and the outdoors, it's easy to escape the hubbub of the city and explore the beauty of northern Georgia.
Atlanta is the cultural center of the South and considered to be the capital of hip-hop and R&B, so it's no surprise that the city has a thriving music scene. You can see big-name artists who perform for tens of thousands of fans or up-and-coming, local musicians in intimate spaces, plus everything in between.
The Fox Theater in Midtown attracts an eclectic group of artists and always has something interesting on its marquee, although it's most famous as the location of Prince's final concert before his death. The Earl in East Atlanta is a small bar that's also one of the city's most popular venues. It focuses on indie acts, both locally and from afar, and the burgers are just as good as the music.
Ferris wheels are a classic romantic date idea, and the Skyview Ferris wheel in downtown Atlanta gives panoramic views of the entire cityscape from 200 feet in the air. Taking a ride above the city is already a fun night out in itself, but you can up the romance by booking the VIP gondola or the full date-night package. The former includes a specially-designed car with a glass floor and Ferrari style leather seats, while the date-night package is truly a luxury experience. You and your special someone will be picked up by a black car service and upon arrival to downtown, you'll both be greeted by a red rose and horse-drawn carriage which will bring you to the Skyview Ferris wheel.
If grand gestures are more your style, consider an extravagant hot air balloon at sunrise or sunset with Magic Carpet Ride. A standard package is an unforgettable three-hour adventure that includes transportation to the launch site, around one hour of flight time, and a complimentary champagne celebration afterward.
You can fly on a small, private balloon for a more intimate experience or opt to include other people to lower the cost. Make this a tailored date by choosing the launch site based on different areas of the city or select the deluxe package that flies over Lake Lanier for a truly breathtaking view. Routes do change daily depending on the weather.
A modern twist on an old favorite, Painted Pin is an upscale bowling alley in the northern part of the city. The venue features chef-driven dining options (such as wood-fired pizzas spiked with truffle oil and tasty sliders); craft cocktails; and complimentary games like shuffleboard, bocce ball, skeeball, and ping pong. The vibe and decor evoke more of a hip bar in a cool neighborhood instead of the stereotypical bowling alley, and this swanky joint is a fun alternative for a romantic night out. After 5 p.m. the alley has a 21-and-up age requirement, so you don't need to worry about a group of kids in the lane next to you.
Arrive early to beat the crowds as reservations are not accepted, although their signature Moscow Mule Slushy is a perfect way to pass the time if you have to wait.
Going on an amazing date doesn’t have to break the bank, especially for nature enthusiasts, and Atlanta has an abundance of parks and green spaces. Take your date into the great outdoors for little to no money at all. A bike ride through the city beginning at the Eastside Beltline Trail is an easy path to pop into the restaurants along the way. Spend a relaxing day spent on the Chattahoochee River, or take a hike and explore one of the state’s gorgeous mountains, like Black Rock Mountain. Boost the romance quotient and pack a picnic with wine and cheese to help enjoy the incredible sunset views you’ll find on the trails.
Heading to the cinema isn't a novel date idea, and rising ticket prices mean it isn't as affordable as it used to be either. Thankfully, Atlanta offers various drive-in and outdoor movie venues where you can catch the latest blockbuster hits, old-time classics, or ageless cult films for a few dollars or no cost at all.
The Starlight Theater is Atlanta's last remaining drive-in cinema and has been around since 1949. All tickets include a double feature, just like the olden days, so you and your date can snuggle up in the backseat for an entire evening.
Central Park in Atlantic Station hosts a different movie every Thursday evening from April through June, and the surrounding shopping center has plenty of options for pre- or post-movie snacks and drinks. Chandler Park, near the popular Little Five Points neighborhood, also puts on a summer movie series to enjoy at dusk.
Perhaps the best date night is the most traditional: A romantic dinner out. Good food isn't difficult to find in Atlanta, and if you're looking for a fine-dining experience to celebrate a romantic night out, the city is filled with options.
Up in the Blandtown neighborhood, the food at Bacchanalia is anything but bland. Award-winning chef and Atlanta native Anne Quatrano is constantly creating new menus based on what's in season on her own personal farm. The four-course prix fixe menu includes three savory dishes and a final dessert, with the option to include an expertly-paired wine with each part of the meal. The food is described as "New American," and the chic interior has a contemporary design to match.
Enjoy the menu of a five-star restaurant but without the white tablecloth pomp and circumstance at Canoe, located at the edge of Atlanta's city limits along the banks of the Chattahoochee River. The farm-to-table menu has mouthwatering options for brunch, lunch, and dinner, but Canoe's real magic is in the picturesque landscape. The grounds are covered in lush gardens and guests can sit on the terrace to take in the views of the nearby river while enjoying their meal.
Atlanta Food Walks puts a fun twist on your average meal out with a guided walking food tour. There are two different tours you can enjoy, one around Grant Park that focuses on modern Southern cuisine and another through downtown that focuses on classic Southern foods. Plan to walk about 2 miles over three and a half hours, while the guide combines a history of the city with delicious bites and even a cocktail.
Expect to stop at five to seven Atlanta restaurants or bars, which is a great way to sample signature dishes from some of Atlanta’s most storied food joints.
Learning a new skill together is a proven way to bond or break the ice, and taking a cooking class is the perfect way to brush up on your culinary skills and dish up an amazing meal. The Cook’s Warehouse won Creative Loafing’s “Best Cooking Classes in Atlanta” for unique classes led by some of the area's most accomplished chefs, like Linton Hopkins.
Cook’s Warehouse regularly offers a special “Date Night” series with a different focus each class, including rustic French, Italian, sushi, and tapas.
Georgia is home to dozens of award-winning wineries, most of which offer tastings and tours. Just a short drive outside Atlanta, you’ll find stunning vineyards like Chateau Élan, a luxury winery which is also a five-star resort. Here you don't just sip on wine, but you can learn more in a wine tasting class, take a painting lesson with wine, or sign up for a culinary class. The resort includes all the typical amenities you'd expect, including fine-dining restaurants and a glamorous spa. Don't forget to take a selfie with the postcard-worthy views of over 3,500 acres of vineyards as a backdrop.
The handful of wineries in North Georgia are only about an hour and a half drive outside of Atlanta, close enough for a day trip but best enjoyed as a weekend getaway. Wolf Mountain is known for its elaborate Sunday brunches which have a different theme each month, and Three Sisters would make for a fairy-tale date you won’t soon forget.