Expert Tips


Most Romantic Things to Do in Jacksonville

Adventure, Culture and Entertainment Set the Scene for Romance in Jacksonville

From the shores of her white sandy beaches, to the twinkling lights of downtown’s entertainment hub, if you are looking for romance in Jacksonville you are sure to find it… and maybe a little adventure too.

Seek new heights with A Hot Air Balloon Ride over J-ville’s expansive geography and see the city from a whole new perspective with the one you love. While you are fulfilling romantic fantasies go horseback riding on the beach with Kelly Seahorse Ranch in Amelia Island. Take your adventure further out to sea with a charter on Now and Zen Private Charters where you determine the destination.

Looking to break out of your comfort zone and learn something new? At Publix Aprons Cooking School brush up on the basics or dig deep in some technique and learn if the quickest way to your lover’s heart is truly through their stomach.

When you are ready for some entertainment visit historic venues like the Florida Theatre and Alhambra Theatre & Dining who continue to reinvent themselves as go-to destinations in the modern world.

Whether it’s a cultural experience, learning something new, or fulfilling a life-long fantasy, these essential Jacksonville destinations are sure to impress any date. Put these great spots on your bucket list and see how many you can check off as you get to know the Bold New City of the South, and your date a whole new light.


Sweet Pete's Candy
Photo courtesy of Dennis Evans

If you are looking to sweeten up your romance then take your date to Jacksonville's candy wonderland, Sweet Pete's. At Sweet Pete's you can reserve a space at the Dessert Bar and enjoy cupcakes, old fashioned milk shakes, cookies, brownies and so much more. When you're finished, ask for the tour and learn about Sweet Pete's story while getting a bird's eye view of the factory. Explore the candy shop and stock up on gourmet specialties like Sea Salt Caramel Corn, Truffles and Peanut Butter Melt Aways. Learn the master's secrets and sign up for one of Sweet Pete's classes where you'll make cherry cordials, hand pulled lollipops, and taffy concoctions just to name a few. With so many decadent ways to spend your day you'll agree you've found "The Sweetest Destination on Earth".

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Sweet Pete's is a candy palace that impresses and inspires sweet lovers of any age.

Amy's expert tip: Don't leave without the Sea Salt Caramel Corn, one of Sweet Pete's signature creations.

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The Florida Theatre is one of the few remaining historic theatre's still operating in Jacksonville. Established in 1927, throughout the years the Florida Theatre's stage has displayed the likes of pop super stars like Diana Ross, John Legend, and the King himself Elvis Presley. What better date night destination than this fully restored iconic theatre boasting riveting acoustics, and an intimate setting where every seat is a good one? With over 200 cultural and entertainment events a year you'll have plenty of opportunities to enjoy the grandest theatre in the region. Walking distance from great eats and popular watering holes, the legendary entertainment at the Florida Theatre is the perfect start to any romantic evening for two.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: The Florida Theatre is an iconic Jacksonville experience and one of most romantic entertainment hubs.

Amy's expert tip: Bathroom and drink lines can get long so get a head start a little before intermission to avoid the lines.

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They say that the surest way to your lovers heart is through their stomach. If that's truly the case then picking up some new skills in the kitchen is sure to bring you closer together. At Aprons Cooking School you and your date can learn the basics, enhance your technique, or enjoy an up close experience with your favorite celebrity chef. Find out the best wine and beer pairings or learn from your favorite local chef the secrets behind his signature dish. Aprons even has classes for kids and teens in case you are looking to add another great cook to the kitchen. With Aprons Cooking School you have the opportunity to put your passion on the plate and share it with the one you love for years to come. What could be more romantic than that?

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Aprons Cooking School offers an experience you and your loved one will enjoy and put to use for years to come.

Amy's expert tip: The Publix Aprons Cooking School offers online enrollment to make your selection and payment process easier.

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For the perfect occasion to get dressed up and enjoy Broadway quality entertainment and a fine dining culinary experience bring your date to Alhambra Theatre & Dining. As one of Jacksonville's landmark entertainment venues, the Alhambra's time tested appeal has kept the show going on since it's inception in 1967. Recently under new ownership the brand has undergone several updates adding to it's sophisticated appeal, while maintaining it's award winning production quality. Experience the excitement of live theatre in one of the nation's few remaining dinner theatres while tasting exceptional fare paired to compliment the theme of each show. If you're looking for a distinctive night full of romance and action, look no further than Jacksonville's own legendary Alhambra Theatre & Dining.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Alhambra Theatre & Dining offers Broadway quality entertainment and a fine dining culinary experience.

Amy's expert tip: Arrive a few minutes before the show and enjoy some pre-show refreshments in the Library Lounge, a Carolina Mountain Lodge style bar.

Read more about Alhambra Theatre & Dining →

Atlantic Beach

Escape the stressors of this world and unwind together at the Spa at One Ocean Resort. Arrive early with your date and let your cares slip away as you wrap yourself in a luxurious robe and find a moment to let it all go in the tranquil relaxation room. After a glass of wine and refreshments you'll be escorted once again to an ocean front room where you'll experience a couple's massage. Find balance and rejuvenation for the senses as you take in the ocean's expanse during your treatment together. When your therapy is complete detoxify in a hot steam shower or experience one of the many other services available on the spa's menu of treatments.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: One Ocean's ocean view couples massage will transport you to another world.

Amy's expert tip: Arrive early and enjoy a complimentary glass of wine and refreshments in the relaxation room.

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Sail away into the sunset with the one you love with Now and Zen Sailing Charters. Cruising the waters of the St. Johns river in the 42' Manta catamaran is not only romantic, it's a unique perspective of the city you may not have seen before. Reserve the boat for you and your date, or make it a group event with up to twelve people. Sail North to the untamed shores of Cumberland Island, GA where wild horses still roam free, or navigate South to St. Augustine and take in the historic coast. The course is up to you as are the refreshments. Now and Zen welcomes you to bring your own food and beverage or if you prefer, they are happy to cater your dining experience. Choose your adventure, and soak in the sun with your sweetie from the deck of Now and Zen private charters.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: What's more romantic than sailing in to the sunset in the lap of luxury with the one you love?

Amy's expert tip: Now and Zen Sailing Charters are "bare boat" charters meaning you can reserve the captain and crew or skipper the boat yourself.

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Feel the sea breeze sweep through your hair as your splash through the surf on horseback with Kelly Seahorse Ranch in Amelia Island State Park. Check this iconic fantasy off your bucket list with the one you love and take in the beauty of sea, sky, and sand from a unique perspective. Choose from four convenient daily tours and feel confident in the outfitters commitment to safety and great memories for all. When you are finished with your horse back ride, rent a bike from the ranch and enjoy a cruise through the park and on the beach. Whether by horseback or bike, you're sure to find yourselves growing closer together side by side, as you take in the magnificence of nature's beauty in a whole new way.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: This bucket list fantasy should be on everyones list for it's romantic setting and unique perspective.

Amy's expert tip: For the safety of other beach goers these tours are exclusively walking only.

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What better place to romance the one you love than at Jacksonville's newest icon, Cowford Chophouse? Setting a fresh standard for culinary sophistication in its historic downtown abode. Every detail of Cowford's two story restaurant, rooftop lounge, and private group dining tells a story of excellence, and style. Cowford Chophouse pays homage to the River City's rich history and Southern culinary roots serving up classic steakhouse cuisine alongside the freshest local catch. Wine and dine your date by ordering up prime steaks, made from scratch sides, and hand crafted cocktails. Don't forget the Cinnamon Roll Brulee, which is sure to be a signature dessert for years to come! Finish your magical evening off at the rooftop lounge for a nightcap and romantic ambiance featuring stunning views of downtown Jacksonville and the St Johns River.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Cowford Chophouse sets a fresh standard for culinary sophistication in its restored historic downtown building, stylish ambiance, and classic chophouse fare.

Amy's expert tip: If you are dining on a budget try lunch during the week or enjoy the bar menu at the rooftop lounge.

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If your love has no bounds then take it sky high with A Hot Air Balloon Ride. Let award winning pilot David Fuller navigate you through the clouds in an experience of a lifetime. Each ride begins with a celebratory mimosa or beverage of your choice and a "ballonist's prayer" to rid you of any jitters, then before you know it you'll be lifted into the air for an adventure to remember. Enjoy a bird's eye view of the Florida coast in the hours just past dawn in a magical one hour ride that is sure to impress your date for years to come. In fact, what a perfect opportunity to pop the question! Whatever your romantic plans, this intimate excursion is sure to leave you breathless.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: The timeless romance of a hot air balloon ride should be on everyone's bucket list.

Amy's expert tip: Be flexible with your appointment times as safety is the number one priority and flights can be rescheduled due to weather.

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Amelia Island

Delight even the most sophisticated foodie with an evening to remember at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia Island's AAA Five Diamond Award winner Salt. Reserve well in advance the "Seat in the Kitchen", a special room inside the kitchen where guests can watch the Chef's creative process in motion. Go all out and order the Adventure Menu, a multi course culinary journey brought to you by the Chef himself and paired with the very best wine selections from one of Salt's Sommeliers. Taste Salt's unique flavor profile consisting of simple ingredients elevated into culinary masterpieces. A meal at Salt is a show stopper, and an experience you won't soon forget.

Recommended for Romantic Things to Do because: Salt is one of the few AAA Five Diamond Award winning restaurants in the region, and a culinary experience that belongs on your bucket list.

Amy's expert tip: Be sure to make your reservations well in advance as they are highly sought after, especially the "Seat in the Kitchen".

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Meet Amy West

Jacksonville, FL based Amy West is the creator of, a travel and lifestyle brand including TV show "Like Love Want Need".

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