A first date is tricky; the goal is to impress, but without seeming as if you are trying too hard. The best first date spots around Charlotte have got you covered, whether your date likes fancy or fanciful, it’s all here. - Steve Hartsoe
Bentley’s on 27
201 S. College St.
Charlotte, N.C. 28244
Bentley’s on 27 has been called one of Charlotte’s most romantic spots – and with good reason. Located on top of the Charlotte Plaza Building, it offers the best view of the Charlotte skyline, hands down. It also offers an impressive American and French menu, table-side presentation, a full wine list and a beautiful dining area. Open for lunch and dinner, Monday through Friday; dinner only on Saturday. Call or e-mail for reservations and hours.
UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens
9201 University City Blvd.
Charlotte, N.C. 28223
If you and your date love nature, try the Gardens at UNC Charlotte – one of the best first date spots around Charlotte for those who are on a tight budget. Admission is free, and the gardens feature a greenhouse in addition to 10 acres of outdoor gardens. The grounds feature plenty of gravel and mulched pathways and thousands of botanical specimens, including native wildflowers. Hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Monday through Saturday; 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday.
The Evening Muse
3227 N. Davidson St.
Charlotte, N.C. 28205
Casual, funky, cool, relaxed – that’s The Evening Muse. Part art house, part coffee house, part intimate concert venue, this is the perfect place to spend a nice evening. Grab a beer, glass of wine or specialty coffee while perusing the original collection of art, or catch one of the area’s talented musical acts. Located in Charlotte’s NoDa district, your date will be impressed! Hours: 6 p.m. to midnight, Wednesday through Thursday; 6 p.m. to whenever the fun stops, Friday through Saturday.
North Carolina Community Sailing and Rowing
15901 NC Highway 73
Huntersville, N.C. 28078
Go jump in the lake – literally! OK, so try not to actually get in the lake, but on it would be great if you’re the adventurous type. Though the office is located in Huntersville, North Carolina Community Sailing and Rowing launches out of Lake Norman and offers classes on rowing and sailing for novices, as well as events for seasoned sailors. Those with no sailing experience can participate in the Sunfish Learn to Sail class for $185 per person, so it’s best for those without budget constraints. Hours vary.