In the Mood for Love

Where to Take Your Tinder Match on a Date

Swiping right can be terrifying—so take your match on a fun-filled date to any of these local digs.

By Lauren Jackson February 8, 2023

Take your Tinder match on an unforgettable date.

Take your Tinder match on an unforgettable date.

As the viral song by SZA “Big Boys,” featuring the iconic Doja Cat, goes, “It’s cuffing season and all the girls be needing…” Cuffing season, for those not in the know, refers to the period of colder months when having a person to snuggle up with is imperative. 

If you missed out on cuffing yourself to someone during Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, our condolences. But Valentine's Day is upon us—and we're here to help.

You may be asking yourself where you should take your date once you've matched on Tinder, Hinge or Bumble. Well, the perfect dating-app spot involves three factors: cheap, close to activities, and most important, very public. Here are our favorite date ideas to keep you and your date safe, happy and prepared for the next step: Netflix and chill.

O'Leary's Tiki Bar and Bayfront Park

5 Bayfront Drive, Sarasota, (941) 952-7505,

Start the afternoon or evening with a piña colada at O'Leary's Tiki Bar to loosen up during the get-to-know-you phase of the date. If they don't give you the ick factor, take your match on a stroll through the park for views of Sarasota Bay and the Ringling Bridge. Or head downtown for dinner, if that's your thing.

99 Bottles Bagel Brunch and the Sarasota Farmers Market

1445 Second St., Sarasota, (941) 487-7874,

Grab a bagel and a kombucha on tap on Saturday morning at 99 Bottles before heading out to people watch at the Downtown Sarasota Farmers Market. Pet all the puppies, peruse the vendors and maybe even get yourself a bouquet of sunflowers.

Art Ovation Rooftop Bar

1255 N. Palm Ave., Sarasota, (941) 316-0808,

With its self-described "upbeat and chilled-out vibes," the Art Ovation rooftop bar overlooks downtown Sarasota and is sure to appeal to even the pickiest person. Sip cocktails with the beautiful people of Sarasota for a date that is sure to stun.

New Pass Grill and City Island

1505 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, (941) 388-3050,

If you're not afraid to sink your teeth into a juicy burger in front of a stranger, head over to New Pass Grill for expansive views of the pass leading into the Gulf of Mexico. Activities abound nearby, like visiting the manatees at Mote Marine Laboratory & Aquarium or watching kayakers launch from Ken Thompson Park.

The Bay

655 N. Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, (941) 203-5316,

Take a free yoga class at The Bay, Sarasota's newest downtown attraction, before walking the nature trails along the water—and, if all goes well, maybe even sneak a kiss among the mangroves to up the romance factor.

Sunset at Brohard Paw Park

1850 Harbor Drive S., Venice

Nothing breaks the ice like fuzzy puppies frolicking on the beach. Bring your own pooch (the real love of your life—let's be real) or ask before petting someone else's. After lots of laughs at goofy canines, head over to Sharky's on the Pier for a tropical cocktail.

Food + Beer and Gulf Gate

6528 Superior Ave., Sarasota, (941) 952-3361,

With excellent and affordable bar bites, Food + Beer is a great place for a casual date with your match. Stroll the shops in Gulf Gate after filling your belly and maybe even stop by Munchies 420 Café for live music under the tiki-thatched bar.

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