First dates can be panic-inducing, but picking the perfect Williamsburg location for one might help you get to a second date.
So where should you go in the Williamsburg area, for anything from day dates to lounging under the stars? WYDaily has done some legwork and come up with a list.
Whether you snag that coveted second date is on you.
The day date
Day dates can be a way to get to know someone without the pressure of a formal nighttime outing.
Aroma’s in Williamsburg is filled with the smell of roasting coffee and fresh muffins, which makes it a contender for starting any date. While Aroma’s isn’t a large place, manager Donna Stein said, it’s a popular first-date location. Often, people will call ahead to reserve a table for a date or for special occasions, such as popping the question.
“Overall, we try to make people feel at home and comfortable,” Stein said. “That helps people relax so they can come here for nerve-racking things like first dates, or come back to propose even.”
Sometimes, the place can be packed with college students, but there are usually tables in the corner, for getting to know someone over a hot latte.
Nearby Mermaid Books also has first-date potential, with its quirky decor. There are comic strips taped to the walls and mermaid paintings on stools and above bookshelves. Plus, the scent of books — and being surrounded by literary romances from “Pride and Prejudice” to “Wuthering Heights” — could create an intimate mood.
After you’ve browsed the book aisles, The Peanut Shop is right across the street. Inside, couples can sample selections, such as chocolate-covered peanuts, and learn about each other’s tastes. It might be a good idea to avoid the spicy peanuts, though. They could lead to bad breath.
If the date’s still going well by this point, and the weather cooperates, you can take a stroll around Colonial Williamsburg. Maybe you’ll find common areas of interest in the historic area’s gardens or the Governor’s Palace.
If you’re more inclined to a fast-paced date, Williamsburg has a few options.
One is ice skating at Liberty’s Ice Pavilion. Located in the heart of Downtown Williamsburg and under strands of sparkling lights, it offers a chance to exercise and do a bit of detective work. If you fall on the ice with your latest crush, will you go down together? Or will they save themselves and let you crash to the ground?
After skating, head over to Brickhouse Tavern for trivia night. Over drinks, you can get to know just how witty, or not, your date is.
Romance under the stars
If you want to go the traditional route, there’s always dinner and a movie.
The Trellis in Downtown Williamsburg might help ignite some sparks. Each room is decorated in a different theme, with the most popular being the garden room, according to Susan Cierco, the manager. The menu also has possibilities, including champagne cocktails. If you’re into sweets, there’s Death by Chocolate, the restaurant’s most popular dessert, Cierco said.
“We have a good reputation for being romantic and helping in the dating scene,” she added. “I think that the dessert definitely contributes to the romantic atmosphere.”
If the calories haven’t bogged you down, try a short stroll to the Kimball Theatre, with its intimate setting in a historic venue. A list of events can be found online at the Kimball Theatre website.
To finish, bring a blanket to the Sunken Gardens on the College of William & Mary’s campus. Here, you can stretch out and relax, and maybe watch the stars.
But be wary of student streakers. They sometimes frequent the gardens. And that might just put a damper on the end-of-the-night smooch.
Editor’s note: This story was first published in February 2018.