31 Spectacular Date Ideas in San Diego for 2023
Whether you’re exploring the single life or cozied up in a long-term relationship, if you live in America’s Finest City, it’s worth having a diverse list of San Diego date ideas ready for those special moments. However, even in a big city like San Diego, it can be hard to come up with unique things to do! How will you spend your next date?
We know that trying to find the perfect date activity at the last minute can be stressful. That’s why we’ve come up with a list of our favorite fun date ideas in San Diego for you to pull from. Read on to learn more.
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- Foodie Date Ideas in San Diego
- Indoor Date Ideas in San Diego
- Outdoor Date Ideas in San Diego
- Unique Date Ideas in San Diego
- Group Date Ideas in San Diego
- Budget Date Ideas in San Diego
Foodie Date Ideas in San Diego
1. Try a Cooking Class
Have you ever taken a cooking class? This is such a fun date night idea in San Diego. You and your partner can bond over the exciting challenge of cooking a new meal. Look up cooking classes near you to find local options. There are plenty of excellent chefs teaching cooking classes in San Diego, so whatever your favorite cuisine is, you can likely find someone teaching people how to make it.
2. Have a Private Chef Experience
If you’d like a quiet night in, but you’d still like top-quality food, why not hire a private chef? There are many private chefs near you waiting to share their talents in the kitchen. You can browse private chefs in San Diego to find one that specializes in your favorite food. They bring their own top-quality ingredients, do all of the prep work and even clean up when they’re done so you can relax and enjoy an awesome meal.
3. Go on a Food Tour
Looking for some great local restaurants for a date idea in San Diego? Food tours in San Diego can help you explore your options and try new things. You’ll get to try a variety of local restaurants and San Diego foods, and you may find a new favorite for your next date night. Whether you’re looking for tasty vegan eats or the best seafood in San Diego, you can find it during a food tour. Browse food tours near you today.
4. Have an Intergalactic Meal at Mothership
Mothership offers patrons a unique dining experience and it’s a perfect date idea in San Diego. It’s an intergalactic tiki bar with a futuristic and spacey aesthetic. Expect tropical rum-based drinks and tapas-style plates. We won’t judge if you snap a few pictures for Instagram.
5. Get a Surprise Meal at The Blank Table
Are you open-minded? If so, this date idea in San Diego might be perfect for you. Foodies should all try to pay a visit to The Blank Table. It’s not a restaurant per se. It’s a pop-up dinner series that you need to buy tickets for. Each menu is a surprise and guests won’t even know the location until the day of the event.
Indoor Date Ideas in San Diego
6. Have an Online Beverage Tasting
Having a few drinks is a classic date idea in San Diego (and everywhere, for that matter), but if you feel like staying home, why not do an online beverage tasting? Virtual wine tastings can be just as fun as “real-life” ones and you can even bring your own snacks. If you’re more into liquor, you can be your own bartender with online mixology classes.
7. Visit a World-Class Museum
San Diego has a variety of fun museums to choose from, and each museum makes a wonderful date idea in San Diego. You and your date can explore the numerous museums in the city, including the San Diego Museum of Art, the USS Midway Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Art and the Natural History Museum.
8. Enjoy a Show at a Comedy Club
If you and your date love stand-up comedy, you’ll love this fun date idea in San Diego. You can both have a night of laughter at a comedy club like The Comedy Store or American Comedy Co. If you’re lucky, you may even spot a famous face doing a local show. If not, you can see some local talent.
9. Get Competitive at Coin-Op Game Room
Coin-Op Game Room is one of San Diego’s best arcade bars, and you can play all of your favorite classic games there. It’s the perfect spot for a first date idea in San Diego because it gives you an activity and a bit of healthy competition. Grab a drink, get some quarters and start playing your favorite old-school arcade games.
10. Watch a Live Theater Performance
A Visit to the La Jolla Playhouse is a perfect date night idea in San Diego for anyone who appreciates theater. Local performers put on top-quality shows, and there’s always something new to see. You don’t want to miss it.
11. Visit The Birch Aquarium
The Birch Aquarium is a wonderful indoor date idea in San Diego that’s perfect for gloomy, hot or rainy days when you’d rather be spending time indoors but still want to see wildlife. There are plenty of fantastic exhibits to look at and there are sometimes even nighttime events depending on the season.
Outdoor Date Ideas in San Diego
12. Catch a Baseball Game
Even if you’re not a sports fan, a baseball game is an excellent date. Grab some ice cream in a baseball cap-shaped cup and a ballpark hot dog and you’ve got lunch and a show all squared away. Catch a Padres game at Petco Park and show support for the local team.
13. Visit the Botanic Gardens
If you need some greenery in your life, take a trip to the San Diego Botanic Garden for your next date. The Botanic Garden includes a glass conservatory and 29 unique themed gardens for you to wander through. You’ll likely see plants you’ve never encountered before. You’ll walk through a variety of distinctive biomes in this one fantastic garden.
14. Check Out the San Diego Zoo
This date idea in San Diego is another great one for animal lovers. Pay a visit to the unparalleled San Diego Zoo. There are so many fantastic exhibits to see and it’s clear that the zoo truly cares for the animals. It even heads global conservation programs, so you know that your ticket money is going to good use.
15. Go on a Whale-Watching Tour
There are several options for whale-watching tours in San Diego. If you want to see whales and dolphins thriving in their natural habitats, this is an excellent date idea. It’s best to go on a whale-watching tour from mid-December through April.
16. Go Kayaking
Want to get out on the water? A date is the perfect time to go kayaking. It’s a fantastic two-person outdoor activity, and that makes it a great date idea in San Diego. There are many beautiful places to kayak in the area, including several places along Mission Bay, San Diego Bay and even La Jolla Shores (among others). Make sure that you have all necessary safety gear, especially if this is your first time kayaking!
17. Hike the Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve
Hiking is a fantastic date idea in San Diego! The Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve is a great place to do that. There are so many fantastic views to take in, and as long as you’re willing to clean up after yourself, you can even have a nice picnic on the beach while you’re out there. For beginners, there are guided hikes available. More experienced hikers will have no problem venturing out on their own.
Unique Date Ideas in San Diego
18. Learn at the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center
Do you and your date love science? Take a trip to the Reuben H. Fleet Science Center and you’ll find plenty of things to do to satisfy your curiosity. It’s full of interactive science exhibits that will delight science-lovers of all ages. There are live shows, hands-on exploration activities and even a planetarium so you can gaze out beyond the stars. You can spend an entire day here and not see the whole thing, so this can actually make up several days of date ideas in San Diego.
19. Go on a Harbor Cruise
For this San Diego date night idea, take a romantic cruise on the bay. Cruises tend to take about an hour, and you can even find cruises with dinner available on board. If you get a sunset cruise, this makes for an incredibly romantic and sweet date on the water.
20. Do a Ghost Tour
If you and your date love all things spooky, this unique date idea in San Diego may be perfect for you. San Diego offers a variety of ghost tours that take you on spooky and historical journeys through the city's haunted locations. These tours often blend local history with tales of ghosts, legends and paranormal encounters that take place in or near the city. There’s a haunted brothel tour, a trolley tour and several other options all led by local historians.
21. Fly at iFLY San Diego
Do you and your date want to experience something thrilling (but still safe)? This fun date idea in San Diego is perfect for you. iFLY San Diego is an indoor skydiving facility in Oceanside, just north of San Diego. It offers the thrilling experience of simulated skydiving in a safe and controlled environment. You’ll feel the air rushing past your face without any real risk. This is an experience you won’t soon forget.
22. Go Parasailing
Parasailing can be a fantastic date idea in San Diego if both you and your partner are comfortable with heights and seeking a thrilling adventure. There’s nothing quite like floating over the water and taking in all of San Diego’s beautiful sites from up in the sky. It’s more beginner-friendly than skydiving but with a similarly thrilling vibe.
Group Date Ideas in San Diego
23. Have a Beach Day
Would this be a list of fun date ideas in San Diego without mentioning a trip to the beach? When it comes to the beach, the more the merrier. Gather a group of couples and have fun in the sun. This way, even if some people prefer the water while others prefer the sand, no one gets left out. There are plenty of wonderful beaches to choose from, so pick your favorite, grab your beach essentials and lay out some beach blankets.
24. Play Games at a Board Game Café or Brewery
If you’re on a double-date, a board game night is a great date idea in San Diego. Some of the best board games require more than two players, so make it a group outing. If someone in the group doesn’t drink, there are several cafés in the city that have board games available. If you’re all of age, a brewery is also a good option. You could always play at home, of course, but a lively café or brewery environment enhances the experience.
25. Visit a Karaoke Bar
Let your voice be heard on a double-date at a karaoke bar! Karaoke is so much fun, even if you’re not a great singer. When it’s just you and your friends, it’s still going to be an awesome time. Some karaoke bars, like Hive, have private Japanese-style karaoke rooms which are perfect for group date ideas in San Diego.
26. Try Go-Kart Racing
Some people think that go-kart racing is just for kids, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. No, go-kart racing is a great group date idea for grown-ups too. Whether you’re paired up in cars or it’s a total free-for-all, you’ll have a hilarious and fun time competing on the track. There are several options for both indoor and outdoor go-kart races in the city.
27. Go Mini-Golfing
You’re never too old for a game of putt-putt. Mini-golfing is a great date idea in San Diego. If it’s a rainy day, indoor mini golf is always there for you. If it’s warm out, you can play outdoors. It’s competitive without being too difficult. It's just classic and innocent fun.
Budget Date Ideas in San Diego
28. Walk Around Balboa Park
Balboa Park is a cultural and recreational hub with many free activities and attractions, and it’s the perfect spot for date ideas in San Diego. It’s home to several beautiful gardens, including the Botanical Building and Lily Pond, the Desert Garden, the Japanese Friendship Garden and the California Native Plant Garden. There are free performances, cultural celebrations and so much more.
29. Have Fun at La Jolla Cove
Any San Diego resident knows about the fun they can have at La Jolla Cove. It's a great place for a leisurely stroll or to sit and watch the ocean with a partner. If you’re up for some more adventure, at low tide, you can explore the tide pools along the rocks to discover a variety of marine life like colorful sea anemones and crabs. La Jolla Cove is also home to a colony of sea lions and seals that can be fun to watch. Just make sure you don’t disturb the wildlife. This is only a small portion of what you can do at La Jolla Cove.
30. Bike the Mission Beach Boardwalk
If the weather is nice, why not take your date on a nice bike ride? Biking the Mission Beach Boardwalk is a great simple date idea in San Diego. It offers a delightfully scenic ride along the oceanfront. If you don't have your own bike, you can easily rent one from several bike rental shops in the Mission Beach area. They offer a variety of bike types, including cruisers and tandem bikes (so you can really ride a bicycle built for two!).
31. Visit a Local Farmers Market
Are you looking for a first date idea in San Diego? Pay a visit to a local farmers market. You and your date can wander the market and check out various local vendors. You may even take home some local produce and use it to cook a meal together at home.
Which of these date ideas in San Diego are most interesting to you? Whether you’re indoors or outdoors, alone as a pair or with a group, there are so many fun things to do together. There are almost endless fun date ideas in San Diego to choose from, so get started this week.
For even more ways to explore San Diego, check out other experiences happening on Cozymeal.