Couples looking to enjoy the perfect afternoon or evening together in Sarasota should plan their date at one of the unique restaurants that serve delicious food on Main Street. With so many things to do in downtown Sarasota, choosing a nearby restaurant to share a lunch or dinner before or after another fun activity makes the perfect romantic date.

Dates for the Outdoorsy Couple

Perhaps one’s partner enjoys sailing; book a dolphin-viewing or sunset cruise – or even a sailing lesson! Then come ashore and walk to one of the pubs or cocktail bars in downtown Sarasota for a creative apéritif. Then the couple can make their way to a nearby restaurant to discuss their sailing excursion and enjoy some refined seafood or relaxing farm-to-table bistro fare.

Outdoorsy couples who enjoy exercising together could plan a more active morning date. Wake up early Sunday morning and get in a jog in Payne Park or take an invigorating bike ride across The John Ringling Causeway bridge – a 60-foot-high bridge that will provide beautiful views of Sarasota Bay. After working up a healthy appetite, head to one of the restaurants on Main Street that serve a famous Sarasota Sunday brunch. Enjoy Southern favorites like biscuits and gravy, beignets, Benedicts, French toast, and Nashville hot chicken, while sipping a refreshing mimosa or Bloody Mary.

Plan a Date Focused on the Arts and Good Food

If a couple is more into the arts, they have many choices in the downtown area. They could begin their date by checking out Sarasota’s art galleries, including the Art Center Sarasota and those in Historic Burns Square (along with a little shopping in the boutiques and antique shops). Or after dinner at a downtown Sarasota restaurant, perhaps they could take in a play at Florida Studio Theatre or a national stand-up act at McCurdy’s Comedy Theater. They could even plan to take in some world-class opera at the Sarasota Opera House. Afterward, they can stroll through downtown Sarasota and peruse the tantalizing selection of bars and restaurants, have a drink, and share a memorable dessert.

What About Plant- and Animal-Lovers?

For couples who enjoy a relaxing day of gardening or love their animal family members, Sarasota offers plenty for them to enjoy. Plan a day-date at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens, strolling through their more than 20,000 plants, including some of the rarest orchids in the world. Or, animal-lovers may enjoy a date at the Sarasota Jungle Gardens, where they can see birds, crocodiles, lemurs, snakes, and even feed the flamingos or pose for a picture with a parrot! Or, if the couple’s animal interests lean more “feline,” they can visit the Big Cat Habitat and Gulf Coast Sanctuary, a nonprofit safe haven, not only for rescued tigers and lions but also other animals like bears, monkeys, birds, and even sloths and wallabies. For a perfect date, follow up the plant or animal encounter with a delectable lunch at a local Sarasota restaurant.

Plan a Date Around Sarasota’s Main Street Restaurants

No matter what interests couples share, Sarasota has something for everyone. Couples can plan the perfect date night, featuring a casual or romantic dinner downtown — followed by a bike ride, art walk, or play — or they can start their Sunday with brunch at a Sarasota restaurant and then plan a whole day of fun.