First Date: Happy hour at Clavel
With its unmatched plants-and-fairy-lights aesthetic, you’re sure to woo your love interest on a first date at Clavel. Their happy hour special is Monday through Friday, and you can split chips and queso for $8 and sip on some margaritas for $6. Make sure you get in line right at 5 p.m. though because it fills up fast with Baltimore residents who head right to Clavel after getting off work. For those who aren’t of age, they also have tasty non-alcoholic mixed drinks. Pro-tip: If there’s a wait at Clavel, you can always pop on over for a drink at W.C. Harlan, a small speakeasy bar that’s tucked away on the same block.
The Romantic Date: Fancy dinner at Tagliata
Nothing seems to say romance like a nice Italian dinner. With its beautiful outdoor seating area decorated with lights and complete with a bar, I fell in love with Tagliata the moment I walked past it. If you and your Valentine have been going steady for a while and you want to impress them, split one of their many delicious pastas or a bottle of wine from Baltimore’s largest wine list.
The Artsy Date: Record shopping at The Sound Garden
The Sound Garden is a huge record store in Fell’s Point with over 100,000 used and new records, CDs and DVDs. If you and your Valentine are big into music, you can geek out over the mind-boggling number of albums and also share some of your own music taste by pointing out your favorite artists. Bonus points if you head over to Pitango for some gelato after making your new purchases!
The Little-Bit-of-Everything Date: Books, coffee and a sunset on Federal Hill
For those who can’t decide between a date focused on a bonding activity, deep conversation or something super romantic, this date is for you. You don’t have to love books to find yourself entertained for hours at The Book Escape, a new-and-used bookstore in Federal Hill. Walk in and you can peruse hundreds of books that overflow the tall shelves of several rooms. If you get tired, head on over to 3 Bean Coffee, a cozy artisan coffee shop that’s only a five minute walk away. You can reflect on your book excursion and grab a Honey Graham Latte for a quick pick-me-up. For a romantic end to your day, walk up to the top of Federal Hill in the evening, where you’ll be rewarded with a view of the Harbor at sunset.
The Broke College Student Date: Farmer’s market + a Baltimore art museum
Did someone say free? Dating doesn’t have to break the bank! Luckily Baltimore has many date options that don’t cost a single cent. Most people have probably been to Waverly Farmers Market right on 32nd Street, but Baltimore’s Farmers’ Market and Bazaar is also only a convenient Charm City Circulator ride away and is open from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Sundays. Baltimore also has several free art museums which have plenty of great artwork and also hold events and special exhibits throughout the year. The Baltimore Museum of Art, which has the largest Matisse collection in the world, is a short walk from campus, and the Walters Art Museum in Mt. Vernon is easily accessible via the JHMI.
The Activity Date: Square dancing at the Mobtown Ballroom
Up for a date on the off-beaten path? Bring your date to a square dancing session, which happens every month in Baltimore. The next one is at Mobtown Ballroom on Feb. 23 — not Valentine’s Day, but there’s a student discount so it’s only $7! There’s nothing like swinging your partner round and round to bring you and your date together. Only requirement: Dance like no one’s watching.