Believe it or not, there are college-friendly date options that let you and your new lover get cozy without breaking the bank. Netflix in your dorm room is always an option, but if you’re looking to impress someone really special, head to a local restaurant or park to see if sparks fly. Who knows, maybe you’ll meet your future husband or wife, with whom you’ll make the most beautiful man-babies.

Five Loaves
Mon.-Thurs. 11 a.m.-9:30 p.m.
Fri.-Sat. 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
Sun. 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

1055 Johnnie Dodds Blvd. Suite 100
Mt. Pleasant
(843) 849-1043

43 Cannon St.
(843) 937-4303

214 N. Cedar St.
(843) 804-9410

We can’t vouch for any one restaurant in Charleston as the most delicious, because they’re all pretty damn good. As far as good deals, though, Five Loaves is one of the most wallet-friendly date locales in town. With lots of vegan and vegetarian options it’s perfect for your budding activism, and each menu item breaks down the local places from which ingredients are sourced. It doesn’t get much hipper than that. You can get a lot of plates in half-size portions, cutting down the bill. Oh, and if you’re old enough to drink make sure to check out half-price bottle of wine nights on Wednesdays.

Park Circle
4800 Park Circle
North Charleston

Park Circle is one of Charleston’s up-and-coming areas, so if you want to stroll a little off the beaten path of downtown, head up Morrison Drive and then Spruill Avenue to North Chuck. There are picnic areas and a butterfly garden in the park area, and nearby restaurants and cafes offer a few places to grab a bite. EVO is a big hit with pizza-lovers and Madra Rua is an authentic Irish pub where you can re-live your study-abroad days.

Pitt Street Bridge
Pitt Street
Mt. Pleasant

The bridge has a great view of downtown, the Ravenel Bridge, and Charleston Harbor. Freighters, shrimpers, and cruise ships frequent the area. There’s a walking trail as well as a quiet pier. Grab a picnic of sandwiches from Mozzo Deli on Coleman Boulevard and make an afternoon of it.

To-go box of food in the Cistern from Stern Center Food Court
71 George St.
(843) 953-5576
Mon.-Fri. 10:30 a.m.-9p.m.
Sat. 10:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Closed Sun.

Grab a box of to-go food from the Stern Center and make your meal al fresco in the scenic Cistern Yard. The Stern Center has burgers, made-to-order salads, fresh sushi, and more, so you and your Tinder match can eat heartily while staying on campus.

Swings at waterfront park
1 Vendue St.

Waterfont Park is a great place to catch a breeze, and for your first few months in Charleston, that’s about all you’ll want to do. Grab a frozen treat from one of the many Italian ice carts and head to the big wooden swings that line the park’s pier. You and your sweetie can keep it casual or get a little wild by pushing yourselves high into the air. Nothing like a cheap thrill.

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