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19 Best Date Ideas in Austin

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You’re looking for the best date ideas in Austin.

The good news? Austin’s best date ideas for are dates you’d want on your list anyway!

What to do on a first date in Austin? We’ve got some first date ideas for Austin’s best outdoor spaces and most conversation provoking movie theaters.

What about some fun date night ideas? Don’t forget — we’re the home of Richard Linklater, the mastermind behind Before Sunrise.

We don’t have to tell you — this movie should set the template for all of the fun date ideas around Austin you’re considering.

If you want the Before Sunrise superfan bonus, the best outdoor date spots in Austin are good stand-ins for a reenactment. So what if Austin isn’t Vienna — buy a bottle of Austrian wine and memorize some quotes and you’ll be good to go!

We hope these date night ideas will inspire you to check out another side of Austin. Our rundown of the best date ideas in Austin will save you from another run-of-the-mill date night, and give you some tricks for the days that follow too!

  1. Best Restaurants for Dates
  2. Outdoor Date Ideas
  3. Movie Dates
  4. Stay in a Resort

Our Top Date Spots in Austin

These date spots break down into several categories…

What we can’t tell you is how your SO best likes their romance. So we’ve decided to give you options. To be a top Austin dater, you need some tricks in your back pocket.

Are you past the awkward interview stage of dating, and just looking for an excuse to stuff your face? We’ve lined up some of the best dining spots in the city.

Does the night call for a bit of live music? Fine, we’ll let you in on our favorite moody underground haunt for live jazz and exceptional cocktails.

Want a bit of quirk in your night? Topgolf is probably the most fun Austin experience you’ve never had. Even if you and your date are non-golfers, you’ll be in good company — Topgolf says that 85 percent of visitors don’t think of themselves as golfers.

What about flowers? Don’t be a cliché — bring them to an entire ecosystem at Zilker Botanical Garden!

We’ve got drive-ins and winery getaways on our list, staycations and spa treatments. And yes, there’s a few more highlights up our sleeve.

We can’t tell you how to fall in love. What we can do is give you plenty of ways to spend those in-between moments, the experiences that love is built on.

Best Restaurants for Dates

We’ve all got to eat. Even the cheap dates among us.

We know you’ve got the barbecue covered. For this date night, consider swapping out the stained T-shirts for something slightly classier.

Devil May Care

Valentine’s Day is right in the wheelhouse of the sexiest lounge on this list, Devil May Care. This Val’s, they’re throwing a party with the tagline: “If your love doesn’t feel like 2000s R&B, we don’t want it.” And, as we all know, true love always feels like 2000s R&B.

There will be champagne and caviar specials, featured menu items and a DJ set by Eli Arbor featuring the likes of Outkast and Destiny’s Child.

Aba

Aba is a Mediterranean fusion restaurant featuring Chef CJ Jacobson’s Israel, Lebanon, Turkey, and Greece-inspired dishes. The drinks menu revolves around rare Mediterranean-inspired wines and spirits. And it’s a way to get exotic vacation and romantic dinner cred all in one meal!

Aba has a number of eat-in and take-out options. Their Dinner For Two is $124.95, and includes lobster bisque, smoky garlic hummus, ahi tuna with apple and fennel, beef tenderloin with potato gratin, double chocolate cake and a bottle of Giuliana Prosecco. Or grab their Galentine’s Day Package for $44.95, with mezze favorites like whipped feta, ahi tuna w/ apple & fennel, grilled chicken kebab with lemon dill rice and — of course — the double chocolate cake.

Garrison

food at garrison in austin texas

Image credit: fairmontatx

Want to go for a classier-than-usual carnivorous experience on date night? Garrison’s open-flame kitchen will be churning out Wagyu beef tartare, ribeye steaks and chocolate cake all weekend. This special is $125 per person with an optional $55 wine pairing, and runs from February 11–14.

If you want their famous truffle tots too, they may be able to pull some strings.

Olive & June

food cooking at olive and june in austin texas

Image credit: oliveandjuneatx

Yes, this handmade pasta standby is pulling out the stops for date night. Does the largest selection of Italian wine, Amari and Grappa in Austin get you going? Let’s talk about the three-course meal the restaurant is cooking up to surround it.

It’s a $75 per person spread with your choice of starters like black truffle arancini fritters, pasta course options like red beet ravioli and mains like espresso-rubbed short ribs. Olive & June always has a romantic vibe, making it perfect for dates.

Ciclo

couples dinner at ciclo restaurant in austin texas

Image credit: cicloatx

We’re going out on a limb and saying that your date won’t be disappointed by the Four Seasons’ main eatery. Ciclo is a modern take on Texas cuisine helmed by celebrity chef Richard Sandoval, with a prime view of Lady Bird Lake.

Eberly

eberly in austin texas

Image credit: Eberly Facebook Page

Eberly kicked off a controversy when it debuted in 2016, with The Statesman dedicating some of its review space to a lamentation of the shift in Austin from “chef-driven restaurants to vibe-driven restaurants.” Austin Monthly’s four-star review complicated the picture, saying that the contemporary American menu “holds its own.” One thing both reviews agreed on, however — the vibe is spectacular.

Eberly isn’t open on Mondays. However, if you’re looking for an excuse to explore the former print shop’s stunning spaces — like the legendary mahogany bar, imported from 1960s hipster New York hang Cedar Tavern — you’ve got your choice of surrounding days. The babka and signature cocktails don’t need a Hallmark holiday to put people in a romantic mood.

Outdoor Date Ideas

If you’d rather explore the great outdoors, you’ll be in good hands. Whether it’s a romantic hike-and-bike alongside Lady Bird Lake or a fun sporting experience you’re after, we’ve got some ideas for you.

Topgolf Austin

woman swinging a golf shot at Top Golf in Austin Texas

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  • Address: 2700 Esperanza Crossing, Austin

Listen — we don’t want to force you to take your SO golfing for a date. But just hear us out.

Topgolf is a one-of-a-kind experience. It’s got a rooftop terrace, sports bar (with an insane drink called the Turf Monster Golfbag), restaurant, over 200 HDTVs scattered about its three floors… but that’s not what you’re going for.

Topgolf’s main event is a high-tech field of golf ball targets that will track your accuracy. There are over a hundred climate-controlled hitting bays to take aim at these targets from. It’s a sensory overload experience like nothing else in the world.

If you’re looking to add some adrenaline to your date ideas, a visit to Topgolf might be the recipe.

Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail

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  • Address: Several access points on Lady Bird Lake, Austin

So you’ve probably explored the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail’s 10 miles of lakeside trail, boardwalk and pier. Maybe you walk it every evening, along with thousands of other Austinites.

We’d just like to throw the trail’s hat in the ring. It’s proof that sometimes the most romantic options are the ones hiding in plain sight.

Barton Creek

barton creek in austin - overlooking view

Image credit: hikeaustin

  • Address: Trailhead at 2201 Barton Springs Rd, Austin

The Barton Creek Greenbelt tops the Ann and Roy Butler Hike-and-Bike Trail’s variety with 13 miles of trail encompassing limestone cliffs, dense foliage and swimming holes. Start at Zilker Park and ramble through “The Hill of Life” before ending in the wilderness section. If your dating life is in need of some spectacular highs and a bit of physical drama, the Greenbelt has your pick of it.

Covert Park (Mount Bonnell)

sunset on Mount Bonnell

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  • Address: 3800 Mt Bonnell Rd, Austin

Ask Instagram where the most romantic spot in Austin is, and you’ll likely turn up some sunset selfies from atop Mount Bonnell. It’s an easy hike up 106 stone steps to the lookout point, with ample picnic opportunities on the way. On the way, tell your date about the legend that any couple that climbs to the top will fall in love, then pick up the pace to get their heart pumping!

Zilker Botanical Garden

a dog at Zilker Botanical Garden in austin texas

Image credit: zilkerbotanicalgarden

  • Address: 2220 Barton Springs Rd, Austin

If you’re looking for love, your first stop should be “Austin’s most loved park!” Trek in a bit and you’ll find the blooming heart of the enterprise in the Zilker Botanical Garden.

The Garden is actually a collection of themed gardens, including a Japanese garden, prehistoric garden and rose garden, interconnected by oak-lined paths and streams. It’s a perfect place to take dreamy walks any day of the year.

Movie Date

You’ve read the warnings about movies on a first date

But let’s say you’re in a relationship, and want to do something for Val’s but want to avoid the corniness?

A movie date at one of Austin’s unique cinemas might just be the ticket.

Blue Starlite

  • Address: Multiple locations in Austin and Round Rock

This may be the most unique of all the options. Blue Starlite’s mini urban drive-ins are littered around Austin, and provide a different experience every time.

Don’t skip The Lovers Menu — Blue Starlite’s dinner theater could be a life-imitating-art move.

Doc’s Drive In Theatre

bar at docs drive in theatre

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  • Address: 1540 Satterwhite Rd, Buda

Doc’s is a short drive from Austin — not to worry, they have an entire Hollywood-themed village of tiny homes that you can spend the night in!

Check out Mama Merlot’s and Doc’s Patio Diner to wash down the saccharine sweetness onscreen. Or hang out with the cool kids at their brand-new option — an underground speakeasy! February 11–14 is the pre-opening of this gilded age throwback.

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

  • Address: Multiple locations

The Alamo Drafthouse is an Austin landmark, and they’re making sure they shine. Choose your Galentine’s Day (February 13) brunch to go with favorites like Bridemaids, Fifty Shades or Girl’s Trip.

Violet Crown Cinema

drinks at violet crown cinema

Image credit: violetcrown_austin

  • Address: 434 W 2nd St

Check out Nicolas Cage when he was just a weirdo heartthrob in 1983’s Valley Girl.

Stay in a Resort

Want to pull out all of the stops? The Austin area has its share of fantastic resorts.

All of them have exceptional dining, spas and cute rooms if you want to get really romantic.

Lake Austin Spa Resort

dinner at lake austin spa resort

Image credit: lakeaustinspa

  • Address: 1705 S Quinlan Park Rd, Austin

Does your ideal spa vacay come with lakeside views? Check out Lake Austin Spa Resort.

Condé Nast Traveler has named Lake Austin the #3 destination spa resort in the country. It’s 23 miles from downtown Austin, and its rooms are packed with whirlpool baths, antique furnishings and private porches.

Lakeway Resort and Spa

  • Address: 101 Lakeway Dr, Lakeway

Sitting at an equal distance but perched on the shores of Lake Travis, Lakeway Resort and Spa has more than enough amenities to spoil its visitors. There’s a kids’ playground pool with an adventure slide, three swimming pools, a nearby golf course, marina and of course the eponymous spa.

The resort recently went through a $5 million renovation, giving it that ‘new resort’ feel.

Omni Barton Creek Resort & Spa

couples sharing a drink at Omni Resort in Austin Texas

Image credit: omnibartoncreek

  • Address: 8212 Barton Club Dr, Austin

Omni saw Lakeway’s renovation and raised it by $145 million in 2019. Over 4,000 landscaped acres, guests can enjoy four golf courses, 11 tennis courts, nature trails and a “poolscape” — an infinity pool, hot tub, kids’ pools and splash pad, all surrounded by cabanas and fine dining.

Carter Creek Winery Resort & Spa

date at carter creek in austin texas

Image credit: carter_creek

  • Address: 4064 West, US-290, Johnson City

Are you looking for more in your resort experience than sparkling lakes and manicured landscapes? Carter Creek’s on-site winery might be up your alley — with a tasting room, microbrewery and an outdoor event space to complement the spa experience.

Conclusion

You don’t need us to tell you this, but it’s the thought that counts. We’re just supplying some thoughts to get you going.

Whoever you romance for your date night is lucky to have you. So don’t get stressed out — just consider this another day to explore Austin’s coolest attractions with the one you love, like or are just getting to know.