Planning a date night in Jacksonville and running out of ideas? Yes, the Bold City is known for sports and outdoorsy pursuits, but did you know it’s also got plenty of romantic activities to offer happy couples? From catching a performance at a 90-year-old theater to dining in a 5-star steakhouse with top-notch views of the skyline and the St. Johns River, Jacksonville has a romantic activity for the adventurous to the lovey-dovey.
Here are some of our favorite romantic things to do in Jacksonville, Florida.
See a Show at the Florida Theatre
128 E Forsyth St #300, Jacksonville, FL 32202
Since 1927, the Florida Theatre has been Jacksonville’s epicenter of performance arts, starting with silent films and Vaudeville up to present day acts from ballet to opera to comedians. In the mood for a movie? Occasionally the Florida Theatre offers movie nights where you can catch classic films, but mostly it’s a live entertainment venue with world renowned acoustics. A top notch date night no matter what you see on the stage!
Have a Picnic in James Weldon Johnson Park
135 W Monroe St, Jacksonville, FL 32202
A simple picnic in the park can be one of the romantic gestures! Imagine the birds chirping, watching people wander by and clouds floating in a blue Florida sky. It’s a small park, but a lovely place for a picnic in the heart of downtown. Formerly known as Hemming Park, it is the oldest park in Jacksonville with a storied history you can read about on plaques and memorials around the grounds.
It’s only about the size of a city block, but there are usually food and coffee trucks parked nearby so you don’t need to plan a fancy meal in advance to have a picnic in James Weldon Johnson Park.
Alternate location: Memorial Park
Indulge in The Spa at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club
302 Ponte Vedra Blvd, Ponte Vedra Beach, FL 32082
Massages for two, please! Have the aches and pains of every day life massaged away in harmony with any service at The Spa at Ponte Vedra Inn & Club. With a couples package for a full day or even just a few hours, the spa is always going to be a top choice of romantic activity no matter where you go. We love the Scents of the Season Aromatherapy Massage – it’s relaxing and puts you in just the right mood for love.
Want to learn more about pampering yourself in Jacksonville? Check out our story on best spas in Jax!
Explore Historic Amelia Island
Amelia Island is the perfect spot for a full-day date. It’s just 40 minutes from Jacksonville, but it feels like a world away with less crowded beaches than in Duval County and a quaint, historic downtown complete with one of the oldest bars in Florida and cobblestone streets. Plan a horseback ride on the beach, take a private sunset cruise to see dolphins in the harbor or just have a laidback beach day.
Want to stay the weekend? Check out the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island for a decadent overnight stay and amazing spa!
Visit The Cummer Museum of Art and Gardens
829 Riverside Ave, Jacksonville, FL 32204
The Cummer is always a fun place to explore with a date! What makes the museum sublimely romantic are the gardens, 2.5 acres featuring reflecting pools, fountains and sculptures. In addition to rotating exhibits and events, you’ll find one of the oldest trees in Jacksonville on the grounds, a grand 150-year-old oak. The Cummer offers art classes and gallery talks, too. There’s nothing quite as romantic as learning a new skill together.
Catch the Best Steak & Sunset at Cowford Chophouse
Address: 101 E Bay St, Jacksonville, FL 32202
Cowford Chophouse is one of Downtown Jacksonville’s most romantic restaurants and one of the most historic spots currently standing in our ever-changing skyline. After the devastating fire in 1901, the building where the Chophouse currently stands was one of the first to be built in the ashes – a symbol of Jacksonville’s rebirth. It’s one of the best rooftop views in Jacksonville and the perfect place to eat steak and watch the sun set over the Southbank across the St. Johns River.
Get Hot in the Kitchen with Italian Cooking Classes
Nothing says romance like food – and even more specifically, Italian food! And it’s a fact — cooking together can be a real aphrodisiac. In Jacksonville, you can instantly transport your date night to Italy by booking an Italian cooking class. You’ll learn to create an Italian recipe from scratch, learning the history behind the dish. Classes are small so expect an intimate cooking experience.
Canoodle at the Breezy Jazz Club
Address: 119 W Adams St, Jacksonville, FL 32202
This cozy jazz club is a great spot to hear romantic jazz and it has just the right amount of vibe for young adults who enjoy live music. The club is only open three days a week, so check dates and times before you go. Romance is a guarantee as the club sets the tone: dim lighting, intimate setting and of course, jazzy jams.
Satisfy your Sweet Tooth at Sweet Pete’s Candy
The romance is in the name —sweet. Sweet Pete’s is a Jacksonville date-night MUST! Not only is there an ice cream bar and every imaginable kind of candy, from vintage to made-on-site, there are adults-only making classes so you can satisfy all your Willy Wonka fantasies — no kiddos allowed.
Let the sweetness take over as you and your significant other create a candy masterpiece or a signature cocktail together. Bonding via sugar – we think that’s one of the sweetest dates of all time!
Shop ‘Til You Drop at the St. Johns Town Center
Address: 4663 River City Dr. Jacksonville, FL 32246
This is a great all-in-one romantic full day or half-day date. The St. Johns Town Center has so much to do! Start with a shopping spree – there are nearly 200 stores so it could take a while! We love wandering around the high end furniture stores and furnishing our imaginary future mansions. You’ll work up an appetite after all that window shopping, so choose from any of the dozens of restaurants for lunch or dinner. We like J. Alexander’s and Cantina Laredo for an upscale night out. After dinner we love to grab a slice from the Cheesecake Factory or ice cream from Kilwin’s and eat it on a bench next to the koi pond at Maggiano’s. Super romantic and technically free to wander around!
You’ve got your romantic experience planned, but what about a sweet gift to show your love? Here are some of our favorite Jacksonville-themed gifts you can buy!
100 Things to do in Jacksonville Before You Die – book by Amy West
Jacksonville and the Roots of Southern Rock – book by Michael Ray Fitzgerald
In love yet? Have you ever been on a date to any of our picks? We’d love to hear your favorite romantic things to do in Jacksonville, Florida, in the comments!