Okay, so let’s be honest: I’m not in a relationship, and I don’t have a bae. The closest thing I have to a bae is a close tie between my best friend, my phone and this stuffed crust pepperoni pizza I’m about to bury my face into. Nevertheless, I do know people in relationships, have hopeless romantics as friends out the wazoo, and I’ve been planning for future dates with “the one” since I’ve been here at university. Judge me if you want to, but my preparedness is going to be a benefit to you all.
These suggestions are organized into day and night outings, and then some additional ideas in general. Feel free to take them and put your own spin on it! (Suggestions provided with the help of Andrea O’Neal and Atara Muhammad.)
About 30 minutes south of campus, Burr’s Berry farm is a South Florida establishment. Burr’s give visitors the option of picking strawberries—or tomatoes—which also gives you a chance to talk to bae (or potential bae) and learn more about them. Plus, what’s better than a prime couple selfie taking spot? Look no more. Besides its U-Pick strawberries, Burr’s is also known for their food, like the classic combo of a hot dog and strawberry milkshake. Arrive earlier in the day though, there’s always long lines (which isn’t that bad because waiting in line also gives you time to talk)!
12741 Southwest 216th Street, Miami, FL 33170; (305) 251-0145
Who doesn’t love Bayside? Not only are there the typical amenities of shopping and eating, but there are lots of “ocean-y” things to do too. You can take adrenaline boat rides, city tour boat rides, boat rides to the Bahamas and Keys and you can feed tarpon (which are huge, HUGE fish). Plus, it’s right next to downtown, so if you get bored, you can always just walk across the street and go exploring.
401 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132; (305) 381-8972
This park is a hidden gem tucked just off Old Cutler Rd. Besides a space for picnics, there’s also a beach with activities like kite boarding, jet skiing, kayaking and more. There’s also a man-made made water atoll pool to take a dip in that overlooks the ocean. End the day with a meal from the Red Fish Grill, which calls the park its home. Though you have to pay to park, it’s worth the extra few bucks.
9610 Old Cutler Rd, Miami, FL 33156; (305) 665-5475
This is a bit off the beaten path, a.k.a Dania Beach, FL, but this is one of THE staple places to take bae. It’s one of those places that’s been featured on Food Network and Good Morning America. Jaxson serves homemade ice cream, but boasts the Kitchen Sink dessert as its staple and the original of its kind. Think of the Kitchen Sink as a banana split on steroids. The catch though: it requires four people at least to eat it. Meaning, this place serves as a great option for a double date. Not looking to compare your relationship though? Opt for splittable desserts like the waffle ice cream sundae or a banana split (on a more manageable scale).
128 S Federal Hwy, Dania Beach, FL 33004; (954) 923-4445
Let’s face it: there’s no better way to get to know your significant other than in the *wild.* Though the wild is technically a pretty long shot from Miami, Zoo Miami and Miami Seaquarium are close enough options. Think of the zoo as a jungle and in the jungle, one has to protect its partner from danger…and anything that can eat him or her (even if it’s something as menial as the lizard that just dashed by). Rolling with the themes, think of the aquarium as an ocean. And in this case, one must protect its partner (or the both of them) from getting swallowed by Shamu. Exploring one of these locations gives the possibility of adventure.
1 Zoo Boulevard 12400 SW 152 Street, Miami, FL 33177; (305) 251-0400
4400 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne, FL 33149; (305) 361-5705
Art. Music. Food. Wynwood is the perfect place to take bae because you’ll never have nothing to see or do. This Valentine’s Day also marks Art Walk, meaning that most galleries in Wynwood will be open to the public. Though there’s places like Panther Coffee to stop and take in the neighborhood, Wynwood Kitchen & Bar takes the title as Wynwood’s staple restaurant. With wallpaper designed by Shepard Fairey and appetizers like bacon-wrapped dates, Wynwood Kitchen and Bar embodies the quintissential Wynwood experience. If it’s not too busy, choose to sit outside. The patio sits inside the Wynwood Walls and puts you right in the middle of Art Walk. Meaning, no FOMO happening here.
Coconut Grove is usually associated with Thursdays (you know what I’m talking about), but there’s more to this neighborhood than meets the eye (like restaurants with intimate settings and ocean overlooks). Enter Peacock Garden Cafe. This place is a great place to take bae if you’re looking for a more intimate setting because not only does the inside look like a turn-of-the-century beach house, but the outside lets visitors sit in a luscious green garden. On Fridays and Saturdays, the Cafe hosts Jazz in the garden from 7:30 p.m. to 10 p.m.
2889 McFarlane Rd, Coconut Grove, FL 33133; (305) 774-3332
There’s the expected route of seeing “50 Shades of Grey” that came out in theaters Friday and then there’s the unconventional yet classic route: a drive-in movie. Blue Starlite Beach showcases classic movies and this weekend they’ll be showcasing “The Princess Bride” as well as “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” on Saturday at their Virginia Key Beach location. Watching the movie isn’t required.
4020 Virginia Beach Dr, Miami, FL 33149; (512) 850-6127
Reservations are always a great idea, especially if they’re at bae’s favorite restaurant or at a new place that you all have never been to before. It just shows that you’ve taken the time to think about something to do for bae, and I think that’s kind of the point of Valentine’s Day.
Music Listening Stroll
If any of you have seen the movie Begin Again, there’s a segment where the two protagonists just go on a walk around downtown NYC people watching and listening to music on the female protagonist’s iPod. What better place to people watch than Miami? All you’ll need is a headphone splitter (or you could just share earphones), an iPod, and a cool person to go with. No money required.
So South Beach won’t necessarily be free like the last idea, but this place is booming with things to do for Valentine’s Day, both free and not-so-free. You can go out to eat to one of many restaurants. (I would recommend the Naked Taco, The Local House and Juvia, which is a rooftop restaurant off of Lincoln Road, and you will definitely need reservations).
If you don’t want to pay to eat, you can always have picnic on the beach. You can purchase one of the cabanas or bring your own umbrella, and just eat your homemade sandwiches, go swimming and chill out. There’s nothing like a chill beach day with bae.
Worst case scenario, you all go to Cameo or Dream or Liv or Mansion or one of the other million clubs in South Beach if you’re really trying to go down that road which I personally wouldn’t recommend for a date, but hey, it’s your bae day.
There you have it. Just a cool 11 suggestions for V-Day with Bae, but even if you choose not to do anything on the list, just remember that Valentine’s Day isn’t about impressing you significant other, it’s about celebrating that person and the love that you share for each other. Because, to be honest, dimmed lights, Netflix and some chocolate ice cream sounds like a perfect Valentine’s Day to me.
If I had bae anyway.
Happy Valentine’s Day.
words_kayla lott and megan mccrink.