January 25, 2022
4 Romantic Date Ideas in Clay County, Florida
Love is in the air in Clay County with plenty of ideas for treating that special someone to a day – or night – out in one of our many small towns, filled with fun, adventure, and plenty of romance too. Whether you choose dinner and a movie or sunset paddle boarding along the water, it is sure to be a great time.
Here’s a look at just a few of the romantic adventures you can experience with your loved one in Clay County –
Sunset Paddling and Waterfront Dinner
If you and your partner are up for adventures on the water, visit one of the four locations in Clay County where you can rent a paddleboard – right on the spot – and make it a date on the water. Choose from locations at Camp Chowenwaw, Doctors Lake Park in Fleming Island, the Main Street Boat Ramp in Middleburg, and Keystone Beach in Keystone Heights.
Similar to bike-share programs, PADL allows boarders to locate a nearby station, rent and unlock a paddleboard directly from a smartphone. All safety gear is included with the rental of the board. When the board and gear are returned to the station, riders can find a summary of their trip available in the mobile app.
Afterward, paddle boarding, stop in for a drink and a casual dinner at Whitey’s Fish Camp overlooking Swimming Pen Creek. From fried shrimp, fresh catches of the day, and even alligator tail – this laidback, fish camp offers a relaxing atmosphere with live music on the weekends.
Dinner and a Show
For a quiet, romantic dinner with your loved one, step back in time for dinner at The Hilltop Restaurant in Orange Park. Known for its quaint weddings and events, the restaurant itself is open nightly for Happy Hour and dinner in the Grove Room. Dine on entrees such as a roasted prime rib, grilled salmon, She-crab soup, shrimp New Orleans and more. The restaurant also hosts special menus for holidays including Valentine’s Day. For Happy Hour, enjoy drink specials and appetizers with a live pianist providing romantic background music for your night out.
After dinner, enjoy a night of theatre at one of Clay County’s many performing arts centers. At the Thrasher-Horne Center, experience Broadway shows and live concerts from big stars like Ben Folds, Clint Black, and more. Before or after the show, stop in the adjacent art gallery to admire the works of local artists. If you’d prefer to go local, community theater is alive and well at The Island Theater in Fleming Island and at the Orange Park Community Theatre with shows taking place throughout the year.
A Night of Throwbacks
If you are in the mood for a night of old-school fun, you don’t want to miss playing throwback pinball machines and classic arcade games from ‘back in the day’ at the Leaderboard Arcade Bar & Pizzeria in Orange Park. Try out an old SEGA game or favorites like Donkey Kong and Asteroid Deluxe and you’ll quickly see why this is a popular hot spot for food and fun. Don’t miss their menu of local draft beers and enjoy a pizza while you challenge your loved one to a game.
For more throwback fun, lace up your skates and go for a ‘couples skate’ at the Skate Station Funworks in Orange Park. With the largest wood floor skating rink in Northeast Florida, make a request and take a few spins around the rink with your loved one, just like the old days. For a bit of added fun, challenge one another to a round of Swamp Golf on the mini-golf course and battle it out in the arcade.
Art and Wine Night
In Green Cove Springs, stop in for a drink at Red’s Wine Bar on Walnut Street. Enjoy a glass of wine from their extensive wine list or a local beer from their menu and relax over a plate of small bites and appetizers like flatbreads and charcuterie boards to start your evening. Themed nights during the week include Bingo Night, Ladies’ Night, Trivia and the weekends feature live music – perfect for a wine bar setting. This locally-owned, hot-spot is a welcoming destination for couples in need of a quiet night out.
Next, time to get creative and experience a hands-on art class at The Art Room, located right next door to Red’s Wine Bar. With topics ranging from painting, pottery, sewing, and more, nighttime classes for adults are always a great night out. Sign up in advance for classes, as The Art Room can reach capacity quickly.
Ready to plan your visit to Clay County? Whatever your version of romance may be, there are plenty of options to impress your loved one during your time in Clay County.