Love is in the air in Gainesville. Met a cutie in your class, on Tinder or out at The Swamp and want to move things forward? Here’s a suggestion: Take them on a date.
If you’re thinking of going out somewhere with your significant other this Valentine’s Day, there are plenty of go-to local date spots in our lovely college town. Whether during the day or night, here are five of the best local places to check out with your special someone and make unforgettable memories.
Curia on the Drag
This coffee and tea shop, located at 2029 NW 6th St., looks like it comes straight out of an indie film. The interior of the shop contains an artistic flair to it with its original decorations, while outdoor seating is both under a porch and uncovered. The relaxed setting is a perfect opportunity to talk with and get to know your significant other.
Besides serving a variety of coffee and tea, Curia offers tasty vegan-friendly food from their plant-based menu. Featured items include a jackfruit quesadilla and mac ‘n’ jack. Curia on the Drag is open from 7 a.m. to 12 a.m. Monday through Friday and from 9 a.m. to 12 a.m. on the weekends. There’s also a daily happy hour for their beer and wine selection.
Union Street Farmers Market
Fall in love at the Union Street Farmers Market, an ideal place for a casual date. Located at 111 E. University Ave. and recurring every Wednesday from 4-7 p.m., the Union Street Farmers Market is a popular hotspot in downtown Gainesville. Listen to live music, browse the food trucks and fresh locally grown produce kiosks and eat a light dinner on the grassy lawn of Bo Diddley Community Plaza. With so much to do and see, you and your significant other will surely not get bored on this date.
Dragonfly Sushi & Sake Company
Dragonfly is a classic choice of restaurant for a romantic date night. This restaurant is unique in that it takes a modern and creative approach to sushi. Located in downtown Gainesville at 201 SE 2nd Ave. #104, it is also a great place to stroll the shops beforehand or get dessert afterwards. Share your Japanese tapas-style dishes with your partner and complement it with any of the drinks from Dragonfly’s sake selection for an even better experience. If you’re in the mood for your own meal, there are also plenty of dishes to choose from. Although a bit pricey, the hip ambiance and fresh, quality sushi makes a dinner date at Dragonfly definitely worth it.
Hippodrome State Theatre
Enjoy a night of storytelling with your SO at the one and only iconic cultural landmark in downtown Gainesville — the Hippodrome State Theatre, also known as the “the Hipp.” The Hippodrome, located at 25 SE 2nd Place, showcases live plays, films and even art year-round. Check out their website for more information on when shows and events take place.
Searching for something interesting and outdoorsy to do? Explore the lush landscape of the Butterfly Rainforest with your special someone. The Butterfly Rainforest, at 3215 Hull Road, is conveniently located on campus inside the Florida Museum of Natural History. Admission is free for UF students with their Gator 1 Cards, and non-UF students can tour the rainforest for $12 each. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 1-5 p.m. on Sunday. Who knows? Your heart might just flutter as much as the butterflies do when you’re at the exhibit with your date.