Escape the Cold for Date Night

Camille Whiting's story is a tale of marriage-phobic MBA grad meets rocket scientist, who convinces her to believe in love again. A pact was made -- one date a week, no matter what to keep love alive. This spawned Friday We're in Love, a blog dedicated to creative date nights, life and marriage. Camille is an agency marketer who helps Fortune 500 companies hone their digital marketing strategy, a marathon runner and founder of the popular quarterly AZ Blogger Meetup. She’s featured as an alumni spotlight for BYU’s The Universe, the Arizona Republic and named in many “Top 10 Dating Resources” lists.

Friday We're in Love

I’ll never forget looking at the sky by the end of February and thinking- why are you still so gray? Something about the inversion, the bitter cold, and the thought that spring should be weeks away but is still likely months away, used to just about do me in.

I lived in Utah from birth to age 22, and I felt like winters there could be so gray and seem never ending. I used to dream of the day I could take a trip to Hawaii or somewhere tropical to shake off the winter blues.

Well, good news my friends, you can take a weekend trip for way less of the cost and enjoy all the sun you can imagine if you come to sunny Arizona! I’m grateful to call this place home, and thanks to my blog and life project to date my husband every week and try new things, I do feel I’m qualified to share why this is a great getaway and some of the best things to do for dates and activities while you’re here!

Arizona Date Ideas

Here’s a list of options to fulfill your foodie urges, find plenty to do, and plan the perfect trip to enjoy our perfect 78 degree weather!

For the Outdoor Loving Soul Ready to Soak Up the Sun:

Paddle Boat Tempe Towne Lake
  1. Hike Camelback. It’s a mountain right in the middle of the Phoenix Valley that gives some of the most amazing views of the 5th largest city in the U.S. There’s two options- a steep, shorter hike that is a great workout, or a longer, easier hike. Both yield the same result and it’s amazing!
  2. Rent bikes from The Bike Cellar and go for a ride around Tempe Towne Lake. This man-made lake sits between Urban downtown Tempe with skyrise businesses and condos, and the beautiful Papago Park and Scottsdale. You’ll see a lot of urban and nature while you enjoy perfect weather. Bonus, you can even rent a tandem bike- we’ve done it before and loved it!
  3. Paddle Boat Tempe Towne Lake with sunset picnic. The views are stunning. It’s very romantic, and it doesn’t cost much to enjoy this activity!
  4. Hit up the zoo. It’s an excellent one with lots of animals, and it’s the perfect time of year to go enjoy your day outside whether you have children or not.

For the Art Loving Soul:

Art of Merlot

Arizona is actually are artist’s hub. Watch one of our sunsets and you’ll complete understand why! There’s so many options to do to enjoy art on the cheap or even free.

  1. The Phoenix Art Museum. It’s beautiful, it’s large, and they even stay open late the first Friday of the month and offer free admission.
  2. Downtown Scottsdale walk. There are many galleries in historic Old Town Scottsdale, and this is one of the most happening places to be on the weekends! You can walk through the open shops and enjoy all types of art totally free.
  3. First Friday Phoenix Art Walk. This is for the adventurous soul as this event tracks every kind of person! There are open galleries and street vendors alike to look at. Downtown Roosevelt is converted to one large walking site for the night filled with people, music, food trucks, and of course art.
  4. Art of Merlot. Try a BYOB painting class for one of the most repeated dates on our list! Skilled instructors will walk you through a recreation of your own Van Gogh (or other artist of your choosing) for an experience you won’t ever forget!

For a Unique Experience:

  1. The Musical Instrument Museum is one of two in the world, and it’s truly incredible! You’ll see instruments, pop culture icons, historical relics, and so much more! Plan about four hours to fully take it it!
  2. Visit the Desert Botanical Gardens. If you want to enjoy true desert beauty and see what Arizona has to offer, this is the place for you! It’s beautiful day or night.
  3. If you can fit in a day trip, drive down to Tombstone and see where the Wild West still exists with all kinds of history and a truly unique experience.
  4. Go shopping at Last Chance. You know how Nordstrom will take back anything? Every wonder where those items go? The answer is Last Chance in Arizona. You can find some of the most amazing designer and high quality items for dollars. It may just be the secret why almost every Arizona woman is incredibly dressed!

For the Foodie:

Food Truck Friday - Downtown Gilbert
  1. We boast “The Best Pizza in the Country” according to Oprah, Bon Appetit, Rachael Ray, Jimmy Fallon, and so many others I could fill a blog post! Pizzeria Bianco will give you a 1-3 hour wait, but it is SO worth it! Make sure you add this to your list!
  2. Fox Restaurant Concepts started in Phoenix, and they are expanding due to their wildly popular restaurants! You can’t go wrong with any of the restaurants, so feel free to find one close to your hotel/activities. We are partial to True Food, Zinburger, Wildflower, and Culinary Dropout. Really, try at least one of these places!
  3. After moving here I have to admit I haven’t enjoyed Mexican food outside of my state very much. There is so much goodness and our border sharing has served us well with some truly amazing talent who have decided to call Arizona home! We love Gallo Blanco in Phoenix, Joyride Tacos in Phoenix and Gilbert, Barrio Cafe, Mangos, and Los Dos Molinos. Being totally real, it’s hard to find bad Mexican food, so even a random stop should yield some tasty results! Warning, go mild, we like things spicier than a lot of other places!
  4. We have some of the best ice cream around. Apparently the heat and need for cold treats yielded some of the top rated ice cream in the country! Churn or Sweet Republic have our hearts, and you’d be foolish to not try at least one of them while here.
  5. For a few unique experiences: LoLo’s Chicken and Waffles, Oreganos (Italian meets Mexican and it’s AMAZING), and our food truck scene is amazing too! Downtown Phoenix has Food Truck Friday every Friday for lunch, and Downtown Gilbert every Friday night.  

Let me give you one more awesome place to look. One of my blogging friends runs the Blog I Heart AZ with guides by season of unique things to do. We find a lot of our dates and unique activities there!

If you come, let us know! We’d love to hear about your adventures, stalk your social media, and make more recommendations!

For more ideas be sure to visit our blog Friday We’re in Love with dates/activities by type, price, and location categories! You can also follow along with our adventures and weekly date nights in the following places:

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