Good news! Netflix and nights on the couch no longer have to constitute your date night. The world is slowly starting to reopen, which means it’s time to put on real pants and treat your significant other to a special day (or night) on the town. Whether you’re looking for a casual weekend activity or a shi shi dinner spot, we’ve rounded up everything from easy breezy date ideas to romantic restaurants that are sure to woo. Let the sparks fly this spring, and show your better half some love.
Cruisin’ the Bay
Embark on a blissful bay cruise, and enjoy a warm summer breeze with your sweetheart! Newport Beach’s sunny springtime weather makes for the perfect day on the water, and reserving an electric boat is as easy as 1, 2, 3. Local rental companies include Duffy Electric Boat Rentals, Lido Marina Village Electric Boat Rental, Newport Beach Boat Rentals Boat Rentals of America – Balboa Boat Rentals and many more. Make your reservation today!
Picnic Like a Pro
If you really want to impress your lady, surprise her with a romantic picnic on the beach. After all, a glass of wine and a pretty sunset are the keys to a girl’s heart. Oh, and don’t forget the food! Take advantage of Newport Beach Restaurant Week deals and order takeout from her favorite foodie spot. Canaletto Ristorante Veneto, Thrive Juice Lab, Vista.Kitchen.Bar and Atomic Creamery are all offering exclusive takeout deals—sign up for the NBRW Pass to access these sweet offers!
Nothing beats a little old-school romance! Take your hunny to the Balboa Fun Zone for some timeless entertainment. Ride the Ferris wheel and take in incredible views from the top, and then head to happy hour at nearby Newport Landing for some fresh seafood, tropical drinks and breathtaking views of Newport Harbor. Your other half will love this fun-filled afternoon!
Hop on a beach cruiser and take a ride down the breezy Balboa Peninsula. This is a great way to get some exercise and get to know your date! End your bike ride at one of Newport Beach’s seaside restaurants for a light lunch or sunset dinner. If you’re looking for a casual spot to grab a bite, we recommend Dory Deli, Stag Bar + Kitchen, Cabo Cantina, Bear Flag Fish Co. or Sessions West Coast Deli. But if you’re looking to impress, Lido Bottle Works, 21 Oceanfront and Nobu are sure to sweep ‘em off their feet.
Somethin’ to Hike About
Kickstart your morning with a hike through the scenic Upper Newport Bay Ecological Reserve. Test your stamina with a trek on the Back Bay Loop—an 11.4-mile trail that boasts beautiful wildflowers and gorgeous blue water views. The trail is accessible year-round, and dogs are also allowed (but must be kept on a leash). After your hike, refuel with a smoothie and lunch from Vibe Organic Kitchen & Juice.
Romantic Restaurants We Love
59th & Lex Cafe
Why We Love It: An airy, casual eatery within Bloomingdale’s at Fashion Island with a patio serving lunch classics, like salads, sandwiches and burgers.
Why We Love It: A harborside eatery with a patio, featured art, jazz nights and a selection of fresh seafood and sizzling steaks.
Why We Love It: A peninsula hotspot with a covered patio and indoor sushi bar that serves up innovative Japanese cuisine.
Why We Love It: French-inspired coastal fare served in a lush setting on the grounds of the Sherman Library and Gardens.
Canaletto Ristorante Veneto
Why We Love It: Upscale Italian cuisine and a sleek dining room with wood-beamed ceilings, chandeliers and a cozy fireplace.
Why We Love It: A rustic-chic ambiance, seasonal Italian eats with a Californian twist, plus craft cocktails and a quaint wine shop.
Fable & Spirit
Why We Love It: A whimsical, yet sophisticated Irish ambiance and a from-scratch menu chock-full of signature food and drink creations.
Why We Love It: Classic steakhouse cuisine served in an old-world setting inspired by England’s earliest country inns.
Modo Mio Rustic Italian Kitchen
Why We Love It: White tablecloths, Northern Italian fare and an extensive wine list that’ll please your palate.
Why We Love It: A classy neighborhood hangout with polished service and wine country-inspired cuisine with a European spin.
Why We Love It: Classic French cooking, globally-imported wines and a warm, homey ambiance.
Why We Love It: A sleek Japanese dining experience steeped in tradition, with Master Chef Susumu Ii pulling all the strings.
Why We Love It: A festive Corona del Mar hotspot for steaks, seafood and martinis in a lodge-like space.