by Daniela Garcia
Blog Content Contributor
**Estimated Costs and suggestions are based off of personal experiences of the contributor., Prices subject to change**
Purgatory Hike + Lunch at Palmer’s + The Square (San Marcos) = $50
Autumn seems to be a good time to take romantic adventures outside. Purgatory is a good way to start off your date activity oriented day and a great way to spend quality time with your significant other. This activity won’t require either of you to dress elegantly, but instead to keep hydrated and provides for conversational room. Just make sure you know your way back and always be aware of your surroundings, seeing as Purgatory Park does hold edges and cliffs. It is all beautiful and safe if you’re aware and cautious.
After you both have washed off that morning exercise and refreshed at home, you can continue your date by having lunch at our local Palmer’s restaurant located off of Moore’s St. Palmer’s offers several seating sections with a large patio embraced with a private array of large trees and ornate bushes. If you’ve arrived around the afternoon time, you might be met with the brunch menu options. Visiting Palmer’s I requested their Veggie Omelette with a mimosa while seating outside. This experience was private without the disturbance of cars or numerous people and instead with the gentle breeze of a summer day somewhat breaking through the trees.
Lastly, going around the Square always seems to result in a fair share of adventures with the good selection of different bars and thus different environments. For this, you and your date may want to consider requesting an Uber or taxi or simply a DD because the Square always throws its moves at you when you least expect it. A good place to start off your date might be Taxi’s Open Piano Bar where you and your date can request songs through a sticky note at your table and grab a few drinks to hit up their karaoke afterwards.
Picnic at Zilker Park + Evening at Mozart’s + Alamo Drafthouse (Austin) = $45
Zilker Park is a large enough park that finding a picnic spot should come of no trouble. Here you can either prepare with food items you already have stored in your fridge or pick up from a nearby store. Adding the classic basket wouldn’t be a bad idea with a blanket in hand along with some sunscreen and shades.
After you and your S.O. have watched the sunset from the comfort of your blanket, you can take to visiting Mt. Bonnel right before getting yourselves some coffee out on a dock of Lake Austin. Perfect time to enjoy lights reflected across the rocking waters on the lower level of the shop.
Finally, you and your date are perhaps energetic enough to sit through an entire film at one of Austin’s Alamo Drafthouses. Alamo Drafthouse offers a unique visual experience that remains private with sectioned tables in front of your seat and cleverly-named menu items which you can order at any time throughout the film.
Spa + Wine Tasting + Marco’s Italian Restaurant or Ino’z (Wimberley) = $100
This is perhaps the most intimate date for couples who have been perhaps dating for a while and wish to spend a little more money. Wimberly is hill country providing for quiet locations just in its outskirts for spa opportunities. A couple’s spa wouldn’t be all too-bad for you and your honeybee, allowing you to slip into the magical environment that is Wimberley, TX.
Wimberley’s Hill Country Wine Shoppe in Wimberley Square sits quietly in between a few other adorable shops. Make no mistake however, because as soon as you enter the shop you are greeted with the pleasant and delicious scent of grape from their locally-made candles combining with the sweetness of their wine selection. You will be offered to indulge or experience one of their more easily affordable options such as a 6-wine option experience where you’ll receive a small glass with the gorgeous lettering of the shop followed by a brief explanation of the wine’s origin by the friendly host. Once paying for your overall transaction, you will receive your glasses in a lovely little gift bag.
Now that you’ve both relaxed and have regained some energy you will perhaps build up an appetite for something with a similar passive environment. Marco’s Italian Restaurant. To put it plainly, Marco’s Italian Restaurant offers a simple selection of Italian menu items but doesn’t fail to please in terms of taste, hospitality and environment. A personal favorite is their spaghetti dish with house marinara.
Central Market on 45th St. + 360 Bridge + Music Show (Austin) = $60
If you and your S.O are health nuts, visiting one of Austin’s Central Markets will suit your fresh tastes. Although the overall expense of grocery shopping can turn out to be hefty one, both of you can simply enjoy a pleasant browsing experience and limits yourself to buying one new food item each.
The 360 bridge is a bit of a ways out of Austin but once on top of the cliff (trust me you’ll know), you’ll agree it is worth the distance. This view of the bridge and the surrounding hills is significantly breath-taking. Snap a few photos and sit for a while to enjoy the gorgeous engineering of the bridge and the overall view. Careful, you don’t want to fall head over heels for this site so be sure to take precautions as you make your way around.
To end the night, you might want to prepare for a music show. There is always a music show going on in Austin (it is the music capital of the world, after all) and it doesn’t always have to be a big name for it to be enjoyable. However, you will probably want to do your research on artists performing in the area so you can be sure to have the tickets in hand. Enjoy!
Asti Trattoria + The Elephant Room + BoardWalk (Austin)= $80
If you are into trying new foods and hidden gems, reserving dinner at Asti Trattoria for you and your significant other can turn out to be the start of a great date. It’s a quaint Italian restaurant within which you will be directed to a small candle lit table with a selection of various wines, pastas and other delicious menu items.
The Elephant Room is a great way to follow up after a romantic dinner to keep the air of romance going. Basically, the Elephant Room is a live jazz bar offering a peaceful but pleasant ambiance for your date.
Ending the night by taking your date to the Boardwalk (Lady Bird Lake) in Austin is a subtly romantic gesture that enables a momentary bliss of city lights across the lake. Peaceful, beautiful.
Jo’s Cafe + Root Cellar + Local Music Show (San Marcos) = $50
Jo’s Cafe is located off of Mary’s St. and North St. in front of the Sanctuary Lofts. I consider this to be a somewhat hidden gem and mostly students or close by neighbors know about this adorable cafe. They offer a set of eclectically-named coffee beverages and several food choices with window-side tables for you and your S.O. Jo’s Cafe also has a couple of outside seating areas if you and your sweetheart are outside adventurers.
Root Cellar is yet another somewhat hidden gem because it is actually a cellar. However, you’re bound to come across this pretty restaurant if you’re walking around the Square. Root Cellar is located on N. LBJ, with surrounding shops at your convenience. I personally like to enjoy their Spicy Pasta with a side of their mashed potatoes. Root Cellar tends to have more customers during the weekend nights so arriving early would be a good idea to avoid waiting lines.
Cheatham St. Warehouse located off of exit 204 never fails to host a good local show that often times allows people to dance, whether it’s something a little bit more upbeat or a little slower, even two-stepping. San Marcos is popular for being big on the music scene even if we’re not a big city quite yet. A music show would be a great way to end the night after a day of calm adventuring.