Best of Houston

The Rest of the Best: Houston's Top 10 First Date Spots

There was a period of time in my life when I couldn't get enough of that first date feeling. It's akin to the adrenaline rush of skydiving or rock climbing -- except often with the promise of food or drinks in lieu of potentially plummeting to your death. (Sure, there's the danger of emotional pain instead of physical pain, but that probably won't happen until at least several dates away.)

Since a first date is often the initial and most important impression you'll make, you want that impression to be memorable. But how do you achieve "memorable" without also committing the cardinal sin of trying too hard? You plan an awesome, low-key, casual yet elegant first date -- that's how.

Although I've been out of the dating game for a while now, I still remember that my favorite first dates were just like that: low-key and loose. I enjoyed it immensely when a guy planned an evening that started out with coffee and/or a drink, with the possibility of more to come if that first sip went well. (And by "more to come," I mean dinner or hopping over to another bar to continue the evening. Get with it.) When the first-date planning was left to me, I often did the same.

Were I still dating today, these are ten of the afternoons or evenings I'd plan for a first date. All of these destinations also double as terrific occasions to reconnect with your spouse or partner as well, so book a babysitter and make it a date.

Note: Most of these first dates involve a small degree of walking, so ditch the crazy heels.

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Katharine Shilcutt