Watch the sun set over the Sacramento River while enjoying a romantic dinner for two, sit and admire the roses in full summertime bloom at the McKinley Park Rose Garden, or catch an independent film at one of Sacramento’s oldest movie theatres. Whatever your dating style, these five first-date tips are sure to gain anyone a second date. Who doesn’t love a trip to an old-fashioned ice cream parlor before walking alongside the Sacramento River to watch the boats fly by? Not to mention the picturesque view of the city skyline next to the Tower Bridge is as romantic as any first date can possibly get on a sunny afternoon or a warm summer evening.
Old Sacramento State Historic Park
922 2nd St.
Sacramento, CA 95814
(916) 442-8575
oldsacramento.com

With more than 50 restaurants and eateries, historic ghost and underground tours, weekend old-time train rides, horse and carriage rides, and not to mention the very romantic afternoon and evening riverboat cruises, Old Sacramento is a first-date destination with endless possibilities. Take your sweetie to visit Danny’s Mini Donuts (900 2nd St., A), the sugary smell of fresh-baked donuts alone is enough to keep the date moving right along to a variety of daily attractions in Old Sac. Next, perhaps an old-timey photo is in order to forever capture the very first date complete with period-era garb, funny mustaches and hats galore at O’Grady’s Old Time Photos (1026 2nd St). Finally, end the date with a delicious Mexican-style feast on the second-floor outdoor patio of La Terraza Mexican Restaurant (1027 2nd St.) and watch the sun set over the river.

The Riverwalk
651 2nd St.
West Sacramento, CA 95605
(916) 617-4620
www.cityofwestsacramento.org

When scheduling a first date, be creative. Sure, dinner, a coffee shop and catching a movie are the first thoughts that come to mind for a majority of date ideas. But, what about taking your guy or gal for an afternoon or romantic evening walk along West Sacramento’s newly developed Riverwalk? Located along the west bank of the Sacramento River across the pond from Old Sacramento, this newly renovated park offers a picturesque view of Sacramento’s skyline. The park also has special picnic areas up for reservation.

The Tower Theatre 
2508 Land Park Drive
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 442-0985
www.readingcinemasus.com/tower

The Tower Theatre is one of few historic theatres left in Sacramento that actively shows both mainstream and independent films. Built in 1938, the first attribute to shine brightly is the theatre’s beautiful neon lights that illuminate its moniker and really light up the night sky. Tower is also surrounded by benches and flourishing plant life and is adjacent to the Tower Cafe in case a quick bite to eat or cocktail is in order before the movie begins. But, inside this vintage-style theatre is where nostalgia really kicks in and transports couples back to the ’50s and ’60s where first dates were innocently filled with trips to the movies, and afterward, perhaps a shared milkshake was in order while listening to the latest hits from a roaring jukebox. The Tower Theatre is a perfect first-date option for any blossoming courtship.

Related: Best Live Dance Performances Coming To Sacramento

McKinley Park Rose Garden
3255 H St.
Sacramento, CA 95816
(916) 452-8011
www.mckinleyparkcenter.org

First dates are about conversation and getting to know one another. So, take a love interest to one of the most romantic and historic spots in Sacramento with plenty of potential for a possible first kiss. The McKinley Park Rose Garden is in full bloom this time of year with more than 1,200 bushes of roses in myriad colors and fragrances. Sit on one of the park benches inside of the garden and admire the beauty of the flowers, or take a walk into the main park and admire the pond and the wild geese. This park is prime for an afternoon picnic under a nice shaded tree, too.


Gunther’s Ice Cream Shop

2801 Franklin Blvd.
Sacramento, CA 95818
(916) 457-6646
www.gunthersicecream.com

A carefree afternoon or evening trip to Gunther’s Ice Cream Shop is a wonderful idea for any first-date jitters. The historic sweet shop first opened in 1940 and has served thousands of scoops to the public ever since. Each month, Gunther’s chooses a flavor to highlight and at the time of this writing it was Oatmeal Cookie Crunch. With more than 40 ice cream flavors and frozen chocolate treats like mini drumsticks, chocolate-covered banana chips, chocolate-dipped cheesecake slices on a stick, and also a variety cookie sandwiches, which include macaroons, Gunther’s will surely satisfy both the sweet tooth and sweetheart you’re trying to impress.

Related: Best Community Gardens In Sacramento

I’m Steph and I enjoy writing about every topic imaginable: hard-hitting news, fun profiles on eccentric artists, music features about the loudest band in town, food-related content that tickles the appetite, in-depth audio interviews with award-winning authors, and more. I’m an award-winning freelance journalist living in Sacramento, Calif. with my partner, David, and our one-year-old son, Elliot. Follow me on Twitter: @wordstospill; Instagram: @writeitgirl.

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