These date ideas in Sacramento are just the thing to send sparks flying as you explore this vibrant city in California.
A diversity of romantic outings abound, from cutesy park picnics and drive-in double-headers to wine tastings and food tours that will please even the most particular culinary couples.
A fabulous farm-to-table dining scene and a rich history (literally–it was built by the California Gold Rush), paired with a landscape of beautiful gardens and quirky buildings, make Sacramento, one of the best places to visit in California, an easy city to fall in love with–and to fall in love in.
18 Date Ideas in Sacramento
Planning your next romantic getaway in California? So take your pick from these very local Sacramento date night ideas to see California’s capital city through a lens of ultimate romance. Swoon!
1. Sightsee and Sample Local Cuisine on a Sacramento Food Tour
As Aland D. Wolfelt said, “Food is symbolic of love when words are inadequate.” So if a good meal is your love language, look no further than this delicious date idea.
Our favorite downtown historical food tour will take you and your special someone through some of this bustling city’s most beloved eateries, from food trucks to Michelin-star establishments.
Sample small bites, artisanal treats, and locally-sourced ingredients while also learning more about Sacramento’s history and foodie culture.
2. Take a Tandem Bike Ride Along the Sacramento River Parkway Trail
Seeing as this city boasts an average of 269 sunny days per year, it’s no surprise that one of our favorite date ideas in Sacramento involves getting outdoors!
Plus, Sacramento is speedily getting more bike-friendly and has a number of scenic, paved pathways to choose from.
And, of course, cycling is by far one of the best active date ideas!
We love the Sacramento River Parkway Trail, which features 9.3 miles of easy riding, plus attractions like Old Sacramento and The Railyards along the way.
If you’re not tuckered out by the end, this trail links to two more at its northern end by the Discovery Park–the Two Rivers Bike Trail and the American River Bike Trail–so you can add on some extra peddling.
Don’t have a bike? There are a few rental shops not far from the trailhead!
3. Take a Leisurely Cruise Along the Sacramento River
Sacramento isn’t known as the most walkable city, so why not see it in a more memorable way? On this 1-hour river cruise, you’ll take to the water and soak up some of the city’s most iconic landmarks from a new perspective.
Stop by attractions like Tower Bridge and Old Sacramento, the riverfront historic district full of cobblestone streets and Gold Rush-era buildings.
Along the way, enjoy live narration from the captain as they fill you in on the area’s history and fun facts about the Sacramento River.
4. Take a Stroll Through the UC Davis Arboretum
Looking for a morning date idea? Just 20 minutes from the city center, you and your date can slip away into a world of babbling brooks, scenic walking paths, and globally-themed gardens.
The UC Davis Arboretum is open 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and it’s 100% free! It hardly gets better than that.
To make this perfect date idea in Sacramento even more romantic, spend some fun time in the Carolee Shields White Flower Garden + Gazebo.
This romantic spot was inspired by the medieval moon-viewing gardens of India and Japan, and it’s particularly popular for weddings, so you know love is in the air!
5. Share an Intimate Meal at Ella
Ask any Sacramentan about their go-to romantic restaurant for an anniversary dinner, and chances are Ella will come up.
This rustic luxury destination strikes the perfect balance between an elegant evening out and the comfort of eating at a good friend’s home.
Choose from a line-up of delectable New American dishes like fresh oysters or wood-fired bone marrow, and pair it with a selection from the award-winning wine list or their signature cocktail.
6. Bond Over Belly Laughs at the Comedy Spot
Aside from tasty food, nothing brings people together like laughter!
And this iconic comedy club is just the fun spot to enjoy an evening full of jokes, perhaps paired with a craft beer or two.
Their bigger shows take place on Friday and Saturday, but you can also swing by for open mic night every Tuesday or, if you’re looking for a cheap date idea in Sacramento, the Thursday Improv Jam, featuring the school’s current and former comedy students (and free to attend!).
Feeling bold? The Comedy Spot also offers a variety of classes and workshops in improv, sketch writing, and stand-up, so sign up for one together and get ready to giggle.
Pssst: comedy clubs are a great date idea for married couples too!
7. Admire the Masterpieces at the Crocker Art Museum
The art appreciation starts before you even step inside this historical building.
Founded in 1885 and built in the Italianate style, The Crocker is the oldest art museum in the Western United States.
Among its permanent collections are treasure troves of European master drawings, international ceramics, and the world’s foremost display of California art.
Furthermore, hosted special events such as film screenings, live concerts, drawing classes, and guided tours provide plenty of opportunities for a more in-depth date.
8. Raise Your Heart Rate on the American River
Calling all adventurous couples! Of all our fun date ideas in Sacramento, this one is certainly not for the faint of heart.
Within an hour’s drive of Downtown Sacramento, you can reach a number of renowned whitewater rafting destinations sure to get your adrenaline pumping.
The more technical class 4/5 rapids will have you crashing through non-stop thrills.
However, there’s something for everyone on the American River, with plenty of milder sections, too.
Many tour companies also offer lunches, overnight camping, and multi-day tours, so choose how deep you’d like to dive in and get to booking!
Love baseball? Then watch the Sacramento River Cats at Sutter Health Park.
9. Explore Sacramento’s Street Art Scene
If you need some date ideas in Sacramento that are more affordable, self-guided sightseeing tours are the way to go.
From psychedelic murals to thought-provoking graffiti pieces, there’s no shortage of art to be found throughout this city’s winding streets.
You can find a number of maps and suggested itineraries online, or simply choose an artsy district (midtown and Downtown Sacramento are where you’ll have the most luck) and wander around to discover it for yourselves.
10. Experience Mermaid Magic at Dive Bar
Easily one of the most unique date ideas in Sacramento, this splashy, sea-themed venue takes the term “dive bar” to a whole new level.
Aside from the standard dance floor and seating, Dive Bar is home to a 7,500-gallon saltwater tank and 15 species of tropical fish, plus the resident mermaids who dazzle in nightly underwater dances.
The shows are first come, first serve and standing room only on weekends, so make sure to arrive with plenty of time to spare!
You’ll also get to enjoy light shows, live DJ sets, and “aquatic alchemy behind the bar.”
11. Dance the Night Away at Harlow’s
Hoping to impress your special someone? Look no further than the oh-so-cool atmosphere of Harlow’s, one of Sacramento’s longest-running independent live music venues.
Most of their shows are within the blues, soul, and rock ‘n’ roll genres, but they have a little something for everyone.
Hosting both smaller local artists and big-name acts like Phoebe Bridgers and Jack Harlow, this spot lets you delve deep into the city’s music scene and perhaps discover your new favorite artist along the way.
Bonus: Harlow’s operated first as a café, and you can certainly taste that history in their delectable menu full of burgers, personal pizzas, and Mexican-inspired specialties. Come hungry!
12. Say Cheers at Revival
Sightseeing AND sipping away on craft cocktails?
This perfect pairing comes together on one of our most swoon-worthy date night ideas in Sacramento, a visit to the soaring Revival rooftop bar.
This swanky spot sits atop the Sawyer Hotel in the heart of Downtown Sacramento, which means you’ll snag breathtaking views of the city skyline and the Golden 1 Center (home of the Sacramento Kings).
They have excellent themed events throughout the week, like vinyl Sundays, Wednesday night DJ sets, and Tiki Thursdays complete with delicious food and drink specials.
There’s a pool to enjoy in the summertime and fire pits to keep you warm in the colder months, so Revival is a great option year-round.
13. Snuggle Up for a Screening at West Wind Sacramento 6 Drive-In
Few date night ideas in Sacramento are quite as adorable as this one-of-a-kind movie-going fun night experience.
After all, what sets the stage for romance better than a drive-in movie theater?
Pull up in a car stocked with pillows and blankets, recline those seats, and get ready to enjoy recent releases on the big screen.
A retro snack bar and onsite food trucks will keep you well-fed while you watch.
Tickets are $9/person and typically include a double-header showing.
14. Find Your Favorite Red at the Old Sugar Mill
With the iconic wine region of Napa Valley just an hour away, Sacramento has its fair share of top-notch tasting destinations.
In fact, hundreds of wineries can be found in and around the city center.
To save you from sifting through them all, let’s skip straight to the best: Old Sugar Mill.
This historic location guarantees the most bang for your buck, bringing together 14 wineries plus picturesque picnic grounds in one stunning complex–and just 15 minutes from Downtown Sacramento.
Built in 1934 as a beet-sugar refinery, the Old Sugar Mill has since been refurbished into an industrial-chic venue.
Wander through lofty exposed brick rooms and sample small-batch, sustainable, and locally-grown wines to your heart’s content.
Bonus: On the second Thursday of every month, live music and food trucks are thrown into the mix for an extra good quality time.
15. Monkey Around in the Sacramento Zoo
As one of the city’s most famous institutions, this perfect spot practically demands a mention on our list of date ideas in Sacramento.
The Sacramento Zoo in William Land Park houses 400+ native, rare, and endangered species in an environment committed to education, conservation, and animal welfare.
Capybaras, lemurs, snow leopards, and more can be observed throughout the park.
Hoping to avoid the more family-friendly crowd? When the weather gets warm, the zoo hosts monthly adults-only happy hours.
Enjoy the sights and sounds of the zoo at night, plus food + drink vendors and live local music.
16. Find Your New Favorite IPAs at Alaro Craft Brewery
Nothing says Sacramento date night quite like a visit to one of the city’s many bustling breweries.
Alaro is our favorite choice for couples thanks to its Spanish-inspired tapas menu (perfect for splitting), breezy back garden patio, and location in the heart of Midtown.
Of course, the real star of the show is their beer menu. Crowd favorites include award-winning IPAs like The Castillo (a classic, balanced brew) and The Avenida (clean, dry, and tropical).
Grab a seat and build a shareable meal of mouth-watering dishes like Pulpo Gallego and Gambas al Ajillo paired with true Sacramento brews.
17. Test Your Teamwork at Enchambered
There are plenty of ways to test your communication as a couple but perhaps none as fun as a jaunt through this Sacramento escape room.
Enchambered is acclaimed for its engaging storylines, top-tier game design, and movie-style special effects.
Choose from 4 custom-built and memorable experiences and work your way through mysteries, puzzles, and challenges to get out on time.
You can keep things lighthearted in an easier room or opt for more thrilling gameplay in The Whispering Halls, which will have you and your partner playing the role of paranormal investigators in a haunted Victorian manor.
Pro tip: Coin-Op Game Room is a fun spot with classic arcade games, food, and drinks! This is one of the most amazing date ideas for a chilled-out night!
18. Enjoy a Picnic for Two in McKinley Park
Although it seems simple, the last (but not least!) of our date ideas in Sacramento is perhaps one of the most romantic–a picture-perfect outdoor lunch.
This city is the Farm-to-Fork Capital of the United States, which means you can find an abundance of fresh, local ingredients at the numerous weekly and daily farmers’ markets.
If you prefer to pick something up on the go, Sacramento also boasts a solid food truck scene. You can find everything from creative vegan tacos to award-winning BBQ at these mobile eateries.
Either way, put together a spread and then sprawl out on the grassy lawns of McKinley Park (built back in 1871!).
Also onsite are a charming rose garden, duck pond, and peaceful walking trails—excellent places for romantic activities.
More parks worth checking out: Baer Skate Park, River Walk Park, and California State Capitol Park.
Pssst: Considering going on a road trip or day trip together? Then head out to San Jose or San Francisco, some of the nearby cities worth visiting! With beautiful beaches, famous bridges, and lots of fun activities, San Francisco date ideas are endless.
Final Words on Sacramento Date Ideas
Sacramento has everything to provide you with a romantic experience, from a movie night to riding a bike. There are countless activities for couples, so rest assured you two will have an incredible time together!
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