The positives to living in South Florida greatly outweigh the negatives; it's always 80 degrees, at any given time you are just minutes from a beautiful beach, and there are no shortage of beautiful single people. The problem is — to have all these things, most of us have to work too hard to fully capitalize on them. While they haven't exactly come up with an app yet to help you go to the beach more often, many in South Florida have become increasingly comfortable with turning to Tinder to help them with that finding love thing.
So once you've actually swiped right and found someone you want to meet offline, where do you go? Here are a few suggestions as to where you should meet that special Tinderoni for the first time. Did I just invent the term "Tinderoni"? Yes. Yes, I did.
10. Hollywood Broadwalk
There is a fine line with beach dates. You can't ask a person who amounts to a stranger to walk on a dark or isolated beach with you; that's just creepy. But the Hollywood Boardwalk is full of funky shops, bars, and restaurants — and funkier people. The people-watching is like free entertainment. The key here is to keep things public and not ring the stranger-danger alarm — so act normal, dammit. On beach dates, skip any fishing pier; it's just going to be filled with creepy guys and a strong fish smell.
9. Dave and Buster's
Yes, it's cheesy; and it's straight out of the Karate Kid Dating Handbook — but it works. If it got Daniel in with Ali, it can work for you. Arcades are just light fun, and that's all a first date should be. Do you really want to stare at your date over a dinner table for an hour while you both struggle to hold a conversation?
8. The Promenade in Coconut Creek
One of the hidden gems in Broward is the Promenade located in Coconut Creek. On a weekend, there is routinely live music in bars here, and within walking distance are World of Beer, Saito's Japanese Steakhouse, Mama Noodles, Starbucks, and multiple other excellent date spots. On top of all that, a Silverspot movie theater just opened up there — all the seats are couches, and you can order dinner or beer. It's a good go-to spot with plenty of options to keep your date happy.
7. Wine Tasting at Las Olas Wine Cafe
Nothing extinguishes the awkwardness of a first date quite like good old alcohol, but college is over, and keg stands don't work anymore. Even if you're not a big wine drinker, this is the move if you're a guy who knows your date is cool with a few drinks. Lots of places will schedule a tasting for couples at a set price. Food is usually available, and some of the nicer places will actually have live music too — all of which makes this one of the classier, more impressive first dates.
6. Warsaw Coffee
Warsaw Coffee in Fort Lauderdale would be the ideal place to meet your Tinder crush for the first time, mostly because the surroundings and menu items alone will create talking points that will make you forget how awkward it is that you're talking to a person who three days ago was just an avatar on your phone. Warsaw now offers beer, wine, and food — more than a cup of coffee. This is the sort of place your date probably has heard of but has never been to, so it can be your place in the future.
5. Museum of Discovery and Science
People don't only go on museum dates in the movies — you can do it in real life! The Museum of Discovery and Science in Fort Lauderdale is super cool; you can walk around for a good two hours just looking at weird/kooky/interesting stuff. It might seem a little too much like a fifth-grade field trip idea for a first-time Tinder date, but it's sure to be more memorable than meeting up at Bonefish Grill for some bang-bang shrimp and overpriced martinis.
4. Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens
Anyone can take a date to the beach, but if you want to be different, take your Tinder date to Morikami Japanese Gardens in Boca Raton. I mean, people get married here because it's so beautiful — so you know it's romantic. You and your stranger can grab some Japanese tea and authentic Asian cuisine in the restaurant, take a stroll through the gardens, then maybe have a talk by a waterfall. Yes, this place exists, and it's pretty nice.
3. The Aqua Golf Driving Range
Hitting things into water is never-not-fun, so why not do it with a date? Aqua Golf in Hallandale is an off-the-wall idea for you and your Tinderoni. Miniature golf is lame — this isn't 1995, and you're not on vacation in Orlando. If your date is up to it, take him or her to this place and take out some aggression on some golf balls. Drinking and hitting golf balls poorly is sure to be fun.
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2. Florida Panthers/Florida Strikers game
Hey, some people are into weird stuff; don't judge. Maybe in all your Tinder conversations, you found out your partner likes sports, so why not meet up at a Strikers or Panthers game? These are public places that serve alcohol and field teams that provide little more than background noise for your date. That's better than meeting your date at Chili's for some beefy queso, in my honest opinion.
1. Mai-Kai Restaurant
Yes, this is the place you take your grandparents when they come in town, but it's also a good option for a blindish date. Your Tinderoni can have some tropical drinks to loosen up and watch muscular men blow fire from their mouths, all while eating lobster — that's a recipe for some possible first-date action if I've ever seen one.