Download our app to stay updated on the latest experiences around you!

Bucket Listers




food & drink · arts & culture · music & nightlife · attractions & tours · outdoor activities ·

Published January 24, 2024

10 Unexpected Date Ideas in San Diego

Say no to boring dates! Try these out-of-the-box date night ideas in SD. 🌆❤️‍🔥

by San Diego Bucket List


San Diego is a city brimming with romantic potential, from its lush gardens and stunning sunsets to its tantalizing speakeasy scene. If you're looking for a date that's out of the ordinary, you've come to the right place!

Whether you need a great spot to wow a new match or are looking to get out of a Netflix-and-Chill rut with your long-term partner, we have lots of ideas to help you combat boring dates. From sailing the bay to hiking through canyons, we rounded up ten unique ways to experience America’s Finest City that will take you beyond the traditional.

Unique Date Ideas in San Diego

Go on a Champagne Brunch or Dinner Cruise

To really impress or to celebrate a special occasion, check out this champagne dinner or brunch cruise on the sparkling San Diego waterfront. The Flagship Cruise sails include multiple courses, free-flowing champagne and mimosas, and live music. It will be a day out your date won't soon forget.

Where: Broadway Pier: 990 N Harbor Dr., San Diego, CA
More information

990 N Harbor Dr, San Diego, California, USA
Champagne Brunch Cruise & Dinner on the Bay
Starting at $84

Book now


Grab Drinks at a Speakeasy

You can get drinks anywhere, but slipping into a glamorous speakeasy makes it feel a little more special. San Diego is home to a number of hidden speakeasies, and two of them—Young Blood and Raised by Wolves—were listed among America’s top 50 bars in the last two years alone. Plus, there’s something so seductive about leading dates through a secret passageway and into an intimate cocktail bar.

Where: Various locations.
More information


Spend an Evening at Circus Vargas

Dinner and a movie is fine, but popcorn and a circus performance is a lot more fun. Make memories that will last a lifetime together at Circus Vargas in San Diego through April 8! You'll go from watching on the edge of your seat to belly-laughing as you experience two hours of non-stop excitement with contortionists, aerialists, trapeze artists, insane juggling feats, and much more.

Where: Mission Valley Mall: 1640 Camino Del Rio N, San Diego, CA
More information


Picnic at Balboa Park

It’s not all sand in America’s Finest City; there are also beautiful grassy stretches in Balboa Park to enjoy! (Which, btw, happens to be North America's most photographed place). Golden Hill Community Park, Marston Point, and Pine Grove Picnic Area all make for good picnic spots. We recommend a post-picnic stroll through the Japanese Friendship Garden before you go!

Where: Balboa Park Main Entrance: 9th Avenue and J St., San Diego, CA
More information


Paddle Around San Diego Bay on a Glow Boat

For a fun night out, go for a night ride on the San Diego Eco Pedal Boats! The boats come—you guessed it—lit up and glowing with colorful LED lights. You'll enjoy paddling around together and taking in the glittering city lights. And, if you’re looking to kick it up a notch, take advantage of the Bluetooth speakers and disco ball!

Where: 2803 Emerson Street, San Diego, CA
More information

Eco Boat Rentals, Emerson Street, San Diego, CA, USA
Eco Pedal Boat-Glow Boat Rentals
Starting at $95

Book now


See a Show at The Moonlight

Take your boo to a Broadway-level production, minus the plane ticket. The Moonlight Amphitheatre is a state-of-the-art outdoor venue located within Brengle Terrace Park. Guests can snag amphitheater seats or reserve lawn seats. Feel free to bring your own picnic while you enjoy the show, or grab some food from the eatery, which claims to have “The World’s Best Grilled Cheese.”

Where: 1250 Vale Terrace Dr, San Diego, CA
More information


Make Pottery Together

This pottery wheel throwing date night class is giving serious Ghost vibes. Make like Patrick Swayze and Demi Moore and share a potter's wheel, where you'll make one finished piece of pottery per person. All tools and supplies will be provided, along with a step-by-step demonstration, and your chosen piece(s) will be cleaned up, glazed, and fired by the pros in the available color of your choosing.

Where: Pinch Pottery: 937 E St., San Diego, CA
More information


937 E St, San Diego, CA 92101, USA
Pottery Wheel Throwing Date Night
Starting at $150

Book now


Hike Annie’s Canyon (via Solana Hills Trail)

If you and your sweetie are adventure buddies, Annie's Canyon is a short, fun, and enjoyable hike in Encinitas. The trail will take you through the famously aesthetic slot canyon and mushroom caves near San Diego for you both to marvel at.

Where: 498-450 Solana Hills Dr, Solana Beach, CA
More information


Have Dinner With a View

When you dine at the Marine Room, you're getting more than just a dinner date. This special spot is situated right on the La Jolla shores, and apart from a delicious menu of globally-influenced seafood, you'll get dramatic eye-level views of the ocean. Come at dusk and take in a gorgeous sunset, or time your dinner for high tide and witness the waves splash right up against the windows! Perfect for a romantic night out or to celebrate something special, like an anniversary.

Where: 2000 Spindrift Dr, La Jolla, CA
More information


Try an Ice Cream Flight at Hammond's

Want to know how to plan a failproof date? Include ice cream. Hammond's Gourmet Ice Cream offers ice cream flights, and with 32 unique flavors, you'll want to try more than one. From classics like Vanilla Bean and Cookie Dough to quirkier flavors like Fat Elvis and Rhubarb Crumble, you and your date will enjoy taste-testing a variety of scoops and choosing a winner.

When: 3077 University Ave, San Diego, CA
More information


Take a Sushi Making Classes

The couple that cooks together stays together! Get all the senses engaged and learn the ins and outs of sushi-making from a professional chef in this hands-on class. You’ll learn to prepare the perfect rice, select the fresh ingredients properly, and learn the art of rolling. Everyone will make three variations: Spicy Tuna, California, and a special veggie roll. At the end of class, you can chow down on your creations with a refreshing beer from Blue Fire Brewing.

Where: Location varies; see event page for details.
More information


Never miss out on a new experience!

Create a Bucket Listers account to access exclusive offers and the latest news in your city


Make Every Day An Adventure with Bucket Listers! We make it easy to find & book the best things do in your city, all in one place.

All cities

Support Center

Privacy policy

Terms of use

Contact us

Frequently asked questions

Find experiences on our new app!

apple app store