A recent poll revealed that 1 in 5 singles surveyed believe the usual coffee shop rendezvous or the familiar clink of glasses at the local bar are boring and outdated ideas for first dates. The contemporary single is in pursuit of an experience, a story to tell, an adventure to embark upon from the very first “‘hello.”

With an array of unique offerings sweeping the nation, from pop-up speakeasies to adrenaline-pumping activities like escape rooms or twilight zip-lining, first dates are transforming into experiences that not only impress but also create lasting memories.

“Today’s singles are in search of something more, something that resonates with the individuality of their personal narratives and aspirations for romance. They’re not just picking a place to meet; they’re curating an experience right from the very first encounter,” says Amber Brooks, Senior Editor with DatingNews.com.

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Survey Methodology

DatingNews.com commissioned a poll (run by QuestionPro) of 3,000 singles to establish the top first date options in the US — the types of dates to set hearts racing. Participants were asked to highlight the date spots that excited them the most, the places where sparks could fly.

The findings shed light on the most thrilling dating suggestions that could inspire countless romantics planning to court their beloved this coming Valentine’s Day.