Things To Do

The Eight Best Places for a First Date in Miami

Swipe left, swipe left, swipe right, swipe left. Twenty-first-century dating is weird. When most couples' first interactions with each other include a few speculative swipes based on looks alone, it's no wonder that choosing that first spot to meet — somewhere that's fun for both parties while minimizing awkwardness — is hard. 

Luckily, Miami is a mecca for enjoyable and quirky activities. From traditional sunsets on the beach to off-the-wall theater speed dating, there's something here for every fledgling relationship. So use your best judgment, pick a date, and wear your favorite outfit. Hey, if your initial meeting goes south, at least you won't be able to blame the location.
8. Watch a Play at Micro Theater Miami
Inside shipping containers behind the Spanish Cultural Center (1490 Biscayne Blvd., Miami) you'll find 15-minute miniplays in Spanish and English fit for 15 attendees. The microplays are quick but intimate, with each troupe performing up to six times in one night. That means nearly 42 plays happen every Wednesday through Sunday night. Think of it as speed dating for theater lovers.    7. Hang Out at the Wynwood Yard
In between Wynwood's art-filled, graffiti-clad buildings is the Wynwood Yard. The pop-up space on NW 29th Street between NW First and North Miami avenues sports a full-service bar, culinary concepts, and a guarantee for an energetic night. The location hosts unique events just about every day, from cooking classes to outdoor concerts and food festivals. While you're there, venture out and walk the ever-growing arts district, which is free, making it one of Miami's cheaper date options. If you go, make sure to nosh at the Yard's Japanese-Spanish fusion spot Kuenko or ice cream truck Wynwood Parlor, which can be found nearby. 6. Spend the Afternoon at Vizcaya
Date-goers who find themselves bonding over a love-hate relationship with the 305 should spend an afternoon at Vizcaya, which features 10 acres of European-style gardens. The venue, which reached its centennial this year, is known for a sensory experience, offering visitors a glimpse into a 34-room estate house as well as surrounding gardens and land sporting endangered primary growth forests. Take a tour of the main house and gardens or roam the manor one on one with a partner. Whatever you choose, the afternoon will give you and your date a much-needed break from reality. 5. Try a New Restaurant with a Foodie
Foodies unite! The best dates are the ones spent over a glass of wine and a gourmet-style plate. Miami's restaurant industry has grown tremendously in the last few years, and this year has already brought dozens of newly opened spots, from fast-casual eateries to upscale, epicurean experiences. (Last month alone brought over 20 new spots.) For a traditional sit-down date, consider Cindy Hutson's Zest, which recently opened in downtown's Southeast Financial Center. And for those with a liking for bars or fast casual, check out the Anderson or Coyo Taco's new location in Brickell.   4. Roam the Pérez Art Museum Miami at Night
If outdoor activities aren't your favorite, take your date inside one of Miami's local museums. The city offers quite a few including the Wolfsonian-FIU, the Bass Museum of Art, HistoryMiami, the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami, and the Jewish Museum of Florida. But if visiting a museum in the daytime during the week is difficult to squeeze into your schedule, consider the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) on a Thursday night. The downtown Miami-based space stays open until 9 p.m. every Thursday night and often features live music on its patio. Verde, the restaurant inside the museum, is perfect for a post-art bite too. 3. Watch the Sunset at Bill Baggs Park
If you're a local, there's a good chance you love the beach but don't take advantage of it nearly enough. Change that with your future significant other by watching the sunset at Bill Baggs Cape Florida (1200 S. Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne), which is one of Miami's many public access beaches. At the end of the park, find a lone lighthouse, offering a romantic view for you and your honey. Pro tip: Make it an evening by packing a picnic basket filled with fresh breads, cheeses, and fruit. Don't forget to snag a bottle of wine too. 2. Go to Happy Hour at Beaker & Gray
Miami is often synonymous with nightlife, making it a no-brainer to take your plus-one out for a night on the town. Because you'll want to be able to chat with your date without yelling (and likely losing your voice), consider happy hour at Beaker & Gray. The Wynwood-based bar and restaurant offers deals Monday through Friday from 4 to 7 p.m., and again from 11 p.m. to 2 a.m. (except Friday). Everything on the menu, from margaritas to an old-fashioned Tom Collins, croquetas, ham-and-cheese sandwichitos, and mofongo cake, is $5. And since Beaker & Gray is located two blocks from the heart of Wynwood, there's a myriad of options for extending your date through the later evening too.  1. Go On a Traditional Ice Cream Outing at Lulu's Ice Cream
There's nothing like visiting an ice cream shop on a first date. Your parents probably did it, and your parents' parents too. Keep the traditional alive, but modernize it with a trip to a craft or artisanal ice cream spot instead. With its all-natural ingredients, Lulu's Ice Cream fuses nitrogen-made creams with flavor varieties like Nutella and coffee — a perfect combination of old and new.

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Clarissa Buch Zilberman is a writer and editor, with her work appearing in print and digital titles worldwide.
Contact: Clarissa Buch