We can all get a teensy bit cynical when Valentine’s Day rolls around.
Whether you’re celebrating with your boo of 25 years, are trying to balance three dates in one night, or you are furiously searching for your special Valentine by swiping right, it can still be difficult to block out those Valentines Day haters. “A painfully commercial holiday”, you say? “Invented by Hallmark”, you say? We have a counterargument: CHOCOLATE. And awesome date nights! We’re breaking down five of the best date nights in Nashville by neighborhood (we’ve already covered the big two – Downtown and East Nashville). Here we goooo, Romeo!
The Day Date
Any of the Kings of Leon with any of their model wives. 12 South is an out-and-about place to be seen, so put on your hippest Imogenes and show off how hot your date is.
WHAT TO DO:
It’s Gonna Be A Bright Sunshine-y Brunch: 12 South is a lovely place to be at all times, but the comfy hip vibes shine brightest during the day. Start off your day at Josephine, the classy brunch spot of your dreams. Floor to ceiling windows give off a lot of natural light (#nofilter necessary for those instagrams), and the sticky buns are to die for.
Java-Fueled Park Trip: Seriously, do you want to show off your date? Because if you do, look no further than Frothy Monkey. Head to the coffee hangout post-brunch, and you will see all of Nashville pretty much in one place. Pick up some java and head to Sevier Park! It’s super close to everything in 12 South, and the park is always really active. You can sit and talk, get in some ultimate frisbee action (probably a good choice, since you’ll be hopped up on loads of caffeine) – the choice is yours!
Pick Up A Date Souvenir: Wanna be romantic? Take your someone to one of the many awesome local shops in 12 South and let them pick out a little souvenir. Unless you’re splurging, we suggest checking out the candles at Imogene + Willie, vintage jewelry at Savant Vintage, and paying lengthy visits to Corner Music & White’s Mercantile.
The Group Date
Han Solo and Princess Leia on a double date with Batman and Catwoman. So, yeah – this date is gonna be pretty epic.
WHAT TO DO:
Pre-Game Your Game With Pancakes: Every problem-solver needs their fuel. Escape Nashville is a psychological game of strength and dexterity (we’ll get there), and you’re definitely going to need some pancakes to prepare. Check out Berry Hill breakfast/lunch spot The Pfunky Griddle. You’ll still be engaging your brain, because the tables are griddles – you make the pancakes yourself, just how you like them. Share toppings with your date and your fellow daters – you guys will want all the brain food you can get!
TRY TO ESCAPE: We don’t usually associate the word “escape” with a good date, but this is the exception. Nashville Escape Game basically puts you in a high-stakes action movie world. You enter with your team (hence the “group date”), the door locks behind you, and the game begins. There are ordinary objects all over the room, but these objects hold clues to the secret code that gets you out of the room. Moderators sit behind the walls watching on security cameras as you do your best to get out in time – only 36% of teams make it out by the buzzer. These games are hugely popular overseas, and an awesome way to see your date’s strengths and weaknesses in action. Bonus points for you if you complete the game using only Liam Neeson’s intense “Taken” voice.
Chill: You might need to unwind, champ. If the group is still up for it, drown your self-imposed stress in a burrito from Baja Burrito and talk it over with your date!
The Super Romantic Date
That scene in The Notebook when they’re just looking beautiful whilst canoeing (just that part, not what immediately follows – slow your roll, man).
WHAT TO DO:
Coffee Chats & Velvet Curtains: We’ve overheard many a “relationship talk” in JJ’s. The market/coffee shop is a little urban oasis compared to the down-home, reclaimed wood coffee shops that dominate the Nashville scene. Cozy up to your date with a treat (we suggest the Noah’s Float – essentially the coffee version of a root beer float) and take a seat in the back by the exposed brick wall and velvet curtains. Grab a cup to go – you’re heading to the park!
Channel Aphrodite At The Parthenon: Yes, we mean the Greek goddess of love. Centennial Park is beautiful and pretty massive. Take a romantic stroll through the grounds and stop to smell the roses. Literally. The gardens here are insane. Beware, commitment-phobes! There is a 9 out of 10 chance you and your date will witness someone’s wedding pictures.
Prohibition-Era Cocktails & Mood Lighting: Is there any place more romantic than Patterson House? The 1920s throwback bar/restaurant has got the mood lighting on lock, and the cocktails are famously delicious. Split the donuts (they are fancy donuts, and they are amazing) and sip on the Solara Manhattan. By this time you guys are probably going to be hopelessly in love, FYI.
The Cultured Date
Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield. Wear beanies. Watch movies. Love each other.
WHAT TO DO:
Let’s Go To The Movies: We still believe that opposites can attract, but it can be nice to be centered on similar cultural tastes. See if you guys mesh well and see a film together at The Belcourt! The theatre itself is gorgeous, and the programming is so well curated. If you want to see a movie that’s probably going to scoop up a ton of awards, check out Birdman, playing now!
Then Eat All The Cookie Dough Egg Rolls: Jackson’s is right across the street from Belcourt, and it serves as a hip neighborhood watering hole with a killer food menu. Talk about the movie and dig a little deeper over some cookie dough egg rolls. This decadent dessert is one of the best in Nashville, and perfect for sharing!
Don’t Miss The Big Game: Done a little early and freaked about missing your favorite team play? Test those sports-lovin’ waters with your significant other and split the nachos (we aren’t counting how many meals you’ve had, don’t worry). Sam’s has been voted one of the best sports bars in America, and the crowd is super energized and fun. Plus, you don’t know a person until you see how they respond to a terrible call.
The Treat-Yourself Date
The affectionate couple from your PTA group that (sometimes annoyingly) still acts like teenagers in love. Tonight, that couple is YOU.
WHAT TO DO:
Sylvan Park is a beautiful area, and a great place to raise your kids. This date goes out to all the parents all over the world. Get a sitter!
Climb Every Mountain: When you have children, a lot of your physical activity can go into scooping up food off of the floor and/or chasing them. Get your exercise with your partner in a less chaotic environment with a visit to Climb Nashville on Charlotte. Bonus: If you watch The Bachelor (we’re talking to both genders here), you can pretend you’re on one of those extravagant dates and make a ton of love puns (ex: “love is a lot like climbing a rock wall…one misstep and you fall”)
That’s Amore: Nothing says love like excessive amounts of carbohydrates. Take the party to the nearby West Nashville eatery, Coco’s Italian Market. There is bocce ball by the front entrance, and the pasta is rich and authentic. Spring for a cannoli if you’re feeling crazy.
Fall In Love (Circle) All Over Again: Notoriously one of the most romantic spots in Nashville (hence the name), Love Circle is a couple’s paradise. The hilltop looks out over the Nashville skyline, and it isn’t typically overpopulated. Stop by the market at Coco’s on your way out of dinner and grab some wine and cheese for the most romantic picnic ever. Put on that Harry Connick, Jr. playlist, y’all (we won’t judge).
Start puttin’ out the vibe, Nashville, and get a Valentine’s Day date on the books. Not feeling too romantic this year? We’ve still got you covered. Wannado has EXCLUSIVE pre-sale & VIP tickets to a single person’s dream party, The Bitter Ball (don’t let the name fool you – this thing is going to be a joyful ode to being unattached).