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Who says romance has to be expensive? Sure, a fancy, expensive night out is one way to celebrate love and romance. But, it doesn’t have to be about the big dollars. As the saying and song go, “Can’t buy me love.” In that spirit, let’s look into some of the most romantic, and affordable, date spots in America. Sparks can totally fly here. Trust me.

Before we get to those date locations, here are some tips on affordable dates. If it’s a first date and you really have no idea if you two are going to hit it off, you don’t have to do the traditional dinner. Why spend the time and money if the date might not even create a spark? Instead, try meeting for coffee or drinks at the bar. That way, if you two aren’t feeling each other, you won’t have to stick through salad, dinner and dessert. You can have a drink and cut your losses. If you two are feeling a vibe, you can schedule a second date that’s a full dinner, which will allow for more time to get to know each other.

Fast-forward to when you’re further into a relationship. If you’re going out to dinner and to the bar a lot with your new love, that’s great, but it can get costly. There’s nothing wrong with Netflix and chill for a date night. You can still make it special. For example, invite your sweetie over and order their favorite takeout dish. How romantic, right? Oh, and get some gourmet, flavored popcorn, if you know what kind of treats they like. That’s not only romantic but very thoughtful.

Now that we’ve gone through some casual date ideas that won’t break the bank, let’s get into the most romantic, and affordable, date spots in America.

  • MSU Horticulture Gardens in East Lansing, Michigan

    I graduated from Michigan State University, so I’m familiar with our beautiful gardens. In the spring, summer and fall, the MSU Horticulture Gardens are an area of wonder. You can go in the winter, too, but things are much more abloom in the other seasons. It’s a very beautiful and romantic setting, and it’s a perfect romantic date spot. It’s also free to visit. Yes, this is a photo of me at the MSU Gardens. I love it there!

    Anne Erickson at the MSU Gardens in Michigan.

    Anne Erickson

  • Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

    Let’s continue on the theme of gardens being a great date idea with Philadelphia’s Magic Gardens. These gardens offer a “mosaicked art environment, gallery, and community arts center of Isaiah Zagar’s art and public murals.” It’s a breathtaking spot and perfect for a date. General admission is currently $15 for adults, but get your tickets early.

    Philadelphia's Magic Gardens

    Philadelphia's Magic Gardens is a mosaicked art environment, gallery, and community arts center of Isaiah Zagar's art and public murals.

  • Clearwater and St. Pete in Florida

    Florida is a popular vacation spot, so it has a lot of romantic spots for a date or anniversary celebration. Clearwater and St. Pete offer gorgeous white sand beaches on the Gulf of Mexico and calm waters. You’ll also find the Museum of Fine Arts, the Dalí Museum and the pristine Fort De Soto Park with beaches, hiking trails, kayaking and more.

    Things to Do & Attractions in Clearwater Beach FL

    Clearwater Beach dazzles with impeccable beaches and inviting waters. With its attractions and fine restaurants, Clearwater Beach will have the whole crew smiling.


    hey offer visitors miles of white sand beaches along the sparkling Gulf of Mexico as well as vibrant arts and culture.

  • Explore Atlanta's Breweries

    If you’re up for a casual but fun date night, why not try exploring your local breweries? Atlanta has some fantastic ones. Make a night of it. Get dressed up and hit the town with your love. Try a bunch of different breweries with their local brews. This is a low-key but romantic date night that’s also very reasonable. Just don’t drink too much. One famed one to try is Glover Park Brewery.

    Glover Park Brewery

    Located in a 1930s era brick building just steps away from the Marietta Square, our taproom can be found on the terrace level just inside our dog-friendly beer garden. And at street level, you'll find our beautiful private event venue, perfect for celebrating your special occasions.

  • North Carolina Museum of Art

    Going to a museum is a perfect date idea. Located in Raleigh, the North Carolina Museum of Art and the Ann and Jim Goodnight Museum Park have lots of fantastic art to take in. This museum first opened in 1956 and always has a range of fascinating exhibitions.

    North Carolina Museum of Art

    To Take Shape and MeaningForm and Design in Contemporary American Indian ArtMake a Gift to the NCMASupporting the arts in North Carolina for 100 yearsPerforming Arts and FIlm Coming soon this spring...

  • Las Vegas Art Museum

    Say you’re in Vegas? Break the norm and take your date to the Las Vegas Art Museum. The museum features nearly 8,000 square feet of exhibition space. You’ll find great exhibits for both adults and kids. You can always hit the casinos later.

    Art in Las Vegas

    For nearly 60 years, the Las Vegas Art Museum (LVAM) has remained dedicated to bringing fine art to Las Vegas. And despite several relocations before finding its current home in the Sahara West Library/Fine Art Museum in 1997, Nevada's first fine art museum has certainly succeeded.

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