Friday, October 7, 2022

Not quite 50 first dates: Where to spark first-date romance in Williamsburg

Love is in the air, and in Williamsburg there are a variety of different locations for the perfect first date. (Alexa Doiron/WYDaily)
Love is in the air this Valentine’s Day, and Williamsburg offers a range of possibilities for creating a memorable first date, including chocolate. (WYDaily/Alexa Doiron)

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.

Mermaid Books in Downtown Williamsburg is a comfy stop on a first date. (Alexa Doiron/WYDaily)
Mermaid Books in Downtown Williamsburg is one possibility for a literary-minded first date. (WYDaily/Alexa Doiron)

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.

Active dates

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? 

The Peanut Shop in Downtown Williamsburg has a assortment of flavored peanuts that allow you to get to know the tastes of your date. (Alexa Doiron/WYDaily)
The Peanut Shop in Downtown Williamsburg has a assortment of flavored peanuts so you can get to know what your date likes. (WYDaily/Alexa Doiron)

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.

Death by Chocolate is the most popular dessert at The Trellis. (Photo courtesy of Susan Cicero)
Death by Chocolate is the most popular dessert at The Trellis. (WYDaily/Courtesy Susan Cicero)

“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.

Sarah Fearing
Sarah Fearing is the Assistant Editor at WYDaily. Sarah was born in the state of Maine, grew up along the coast, and attended college at the University of Maine at Orono. Sarah left Maine in October 2015 when she was offered a job at a newspaper in West Point, Va. Courts, crime, public safety and civil rights are among Sarah’s favorite topics to cover. She currently covers those topics in Williamsburg, James City County and York County. Sarah has been recognized by other news organizations, state agencies and civic groups for her coverage of a failing fire-rescue system, an aging agriculture industry and lack of oversight in horse rescue groups. In her free time, Sarah enjoys lazing around with her two cats, Salazar and Ruth, drinking copious amounts of coffee and driving places in her white truck.

Related Articles