20 Best Cities for an Inexpensive Date

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20 Best Cities for an Inexpensive Date

Hayley Matthews Hayley Matthews • 10/18/16

Whether you’re single or in a relationship, there’s nothing better than a good date. From romantic dinners and movies, to fun sporting events and dance classes, the possibilities really are endless.

That doesn’t necessarily mean your wallet is endless, though. When you factor in cab rides, food, venue covers and more, you’re looking at a pricey night.

But have no fear! We have the solution for you.

Taking into consideration the average cost of groceries, transportation, miscellaneous goods and services, cheap outdoor activities and entertainment, and more, we found the 20 Best Cities for an Inexpensive Date.

After reading this list, your love life and wallet will thank you!

20. Lexington, Virginia

Located in north central Virginia, Lexington starts off our list thanks to its variety of wallet-friendly (and entertaining!) activities and dining options. Take a romantic stroll down one of the scenic trails, soak in the history at one of the museums or get to know each other’s likes at one of the art centers.

Lexington, Virginia

Lexington has a variety of wallet-friendly (and entertaining!) activities and dining options.

Lexington, Virginia
Grocery costs Transportation costs Miscellaneous goods and services costs
92.1 92.1 91.7

 

What to do: Virginia’s Natural Bridge and Caverns, Hull’s Drive-In and Lime Kiln Theater

Where to eat: Colonial Dining Room, House Mountain Inn and The Red Hen

19. Brownsville, Texas

Nicknamed “The Green City,” Brownsville, Texas will be saving you a lot of green on your next date. And whether it’s a Monday or a Saturday, there’s “always a fiesta” happening in this great city.

Brownsville, Texas

Nicknamed “The Green City,” Brownsville will be saving you a lot of green.

Brownsville, Texas
Grocery costs Transportation costs Miscellaneous goods and services costs
88.6 95 91.4

 

What to do: Brownsville Farmers Market, The Camille Playhouse and the Gladys Porter Zoo

Where to eat: The Vermillion, Johnny Carino’s and El Pollo Loco

18. Salina, Kansas

With the motto “Right place. Right reason. Right now,” there’s hardly a more perfect place for a romantic and inexpensive date than Salina, Kansas. Let this small town with big-city charm take your love life to the next level.

Salina, Kansas

Let this small town with big-city charm take your love life to the next level.

Salina, Kansas
Grocery costs Transportation costs Miscellaneous goods and services costs
86.9 94.7 93.1

 

What to do: The Salina Community Theatre, Prairie Lavender Farm and Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum

Where to eat: Martinelli’s Little Italy, The Cozy Inn and Hog Wild Pit BBQ

17. Temple, Texas

Not only is Temple “The Wildflower Capital of Texas,” but it’s also an awesome city filled with awesome date ideas that are guaranteed to satisfy your SO and go easy on your wallet.

Temple, Texas

Temple is a city filled with awesome date ideas that will satisfy your SO and your wallet.

Temple, Texas
Grocery costs Transportation costs Miscellaneous goods and services costs
83.7 97.9 92.8

 

What to do: Temple Symphony Orchestra, In the Mood Ballroom and Railroad and Heritage Museum

Where to eat: Megg’s Cafe, Schoepf’s Bar-B-Que and Dynasty Chinese Restaurant

16. Richmond, Indiana

Sometimes called “the cradle of recorded jazz,” Richmond, Indiana should also be called “the cradle of affordable dates.” This wonderful city also has a thriving Amish community, so you’ll never run out of unique things to try.

Richmond, Indiana

You’ll never run out of unique things to try in Richmond.

Richmond, Indiana
Grocery costs Transportation costs Miscellaneous goods and services costs
83.3 98.4 91.7

 

What to do: Civic Hall Performing Arts Center, Gennett Records Walk of Fame and Cardinal Greenways

Where to eat: Galo’s Italian Grill, Ainsley’s Cafe and Harbor Bar and Buffalo Wings and Rings

15. Pryor Creek, Oklahoma

Originally named Coo-Y-Yah, which is Cherokee for “Huckleberry,” Pryor Creek, Oklahoma is a romantic and nature lover’s dream, especially for those who like to save. The Pryor Creek Golf Club even offers rates of just $10 a day during certain months!

Pryor Creek, Oklahoma

Pryor Creek is a romantic and nature lover’s dream, especially for those who like to save.

Pryor Creek, Oklahoma
Grocery costs Transportation costs Miscellaneous goods and services costs
95 86.6 91.5

 

What to do: Rabbit Studio Gallery, Mid-America Industrial Park and The Christmas Train

Where to eat: Billy Sim’s Barbecue, Mazzio’s and Goldie’s Patio Grill

14. Amarillo, Texas

Fourteen is Amarillo’s lucky number — it’s the 14th most populous city in Texas, and it’s #14 on our list of inexpensive cities for dating. Do things the Texan way and go bigger with your love life in Amarillo!

 Amarillo, Texas

Do things the Texan way and go bigger with your love life in Amarillo!

Amarillo, Texas
Grocery costs Transportation costs Miscellaneous goods and services costs
89.9 92.1 90.8

 

What to do: Amarillo Botanical Gardens, American Quarter Horse Museum and Historic Route 66

Where to eat: Coyote Bluff Cafe, Hoffbrau Steaks and 575 Pizzeria

13. Paducah, Kentucky

Nestled in the far left corner of Kentucky lies Paducah, an adorable town filled with just as many adorable date ideas for couples of any age, particularly the artsy types!

Paducah, Kentucky

Paducah is an adorable town filled with just as many adorable date ideas.

Paducah, Kentucky
Grocery costs Transportation costs Miscellaneous goods and services costs
94.8 96.6 91.3

 

What to do: Paducah Main Street, River Discover Center and The Yeiser

Where to eat: Doe’s Eat Place, Flamingo Row and Shandie’s Restaurant and Bar

12. Cookeville, Tennessee

According to Wikipedia, approximately 25,000 people travel to Cookeville every day to work, shop or attend school, but we’d bet most of those people are also traveling to this charming city because they know it’s a great place for great dates!

Cookeville, Tennessee

Approximately 25,000 people travel to Cookeville every day. They must know it’s a place for great dates!

Cookeville, Tennessee
Grocery costs Transportation costs Miscellaneous goods and services costs
86.7 87.5 98.2

 

What to do: Cummins Falls State Park, Bryan Symphony Orchestra and Cumberland County Playhouse

Where to eat: Cheddar’s, Nick’s and Crawdaddy’s Grill

11. Muskogee, Oklahoma

Home to the Castle of Muskogee, our 11th best city for date nights is sure to sweep you off your feet, therefore allowing you to sweep someone else off their feet.

Muskogee, Oklahoma

Muskogee will help you sweep someone off their feet.

Mukogee, Oklahoma
Grocery costs Transportation costs Miscellaneous goods and services costs
98 80.8 93.5

 

What to do: Three Forks Harbor, Five Civilized Tribes Museum and Honor Heights Park

Where to eat: Miss Addie’s Cafe, Boomarang Diner and Pisano’s Pizza

10. Fort Smith, Arkansas

With a nickname like “Hell on the Border,” you can bet Fort Smith, Arkansas brings its A-game when it comes to dates, whether it’s the first or the 50th!

Fort Smith, Arkansas

Fort Smith brings its A-game when it comes to dates, whether it’s the first or the 50th.

Fort Smith, Arkansas
Grocery costs Transportation costs Miscellaneous goods and services costs
92.5 87.9 91.7

 

What to do: Fort Smith History Museum, Mount Bethel Winery and the parks

Where to eat: Rolando’s, Calico County and Whole Hog Cafe

9. Corpus Christi, Texas

Corpus Christi is the fourth Texas city to make our list, but it certainly won’t be the last! Whether you know it as “The Sparkling City by the Sea” or “The Real Windy City,” Corpus Christi won’t let you down when it comes to inexpensive and fun dates.

Corpus Christi, Texas

Corpus Christi won’t let you down when it comes to inexpensive and fun dates.

Corpus Christi, Texas
Grocery costs Transportation costs Miscellaneous goods and services costs
82.4 93.3 96

 

What to do: Corpus Christi First, Bridge Walk and South Texas Music Walk of Fame

Where to eat: Brewster Street Icehouse, Executive Surf Club and Waterstreet Seafood

8. Knoxville, Tennessee

Some say “it’s a hard knock life,” but that’s certainly not the case in Knoxville, Tennessee, especially when it comes to dating! Not only does K-Town offer all the Southern hospitality you could ask for, but it’s also a city full of culture and diversity, which add a lil’ somethin’ somethin’ to any date.

Knoxville, Tennessee

Knoxville offers Southern hospitality, culture and diversity.

Knoxville, Tennessee
Grocery costs Transportation costs Miscellaneous goods and services costs
91.4 84.2 95.1

 

What to do: Ijams Nature Center, Sunsphere and Knoxville Museum of Art

Where to eat: Shuck Raw Bar and Ale, Oodles Uncorked and Downtown Brewery

7. Louisville, Kentucky

Louisville, Kentucky may be the “gateway to the South,” but it’s also the gateway to our hearts. When you’re in this amazing city, you know anything is possible when it comes to life and love.

Louisville, Kentucky

When you’re in Louisville, you know anything is possible when it comes to life and love.

Louisville, Kentucky
Grocery costs Transportation costs Miscellaneous goods and services costs
81.6 96.9 91.9

 

What to do: Actors Theatre of Louisville, Jim Beam Distillery and Louisville Nature Center

Where to eat: Harvest, The Mayan Cafe and Ramsi’s

6. Martinsville, Virginia

Martinsville, Virginia’s motto is “a city without limits,” and that couldn’t be more accurate. With Martinsville by your side, you can kiss all your dating fears goodbye!

Martinsville, Virginia

With Martinsville by your side, you can kiss all your dating fears goodbye.

Martinsville, Virginia
Grocery costs Transportation costs Miscellaneous goods and services costs
94 82.9 93.2

 

What to do: Philpott Marina, Martinsville Speedway and Smith River Trail System

Where to eat: Checkered Pig BBQ, Papa’s Pizzeria and Wild Magnolia

5. Waco, Texas

Texas does it again, but now it’s time to give Waco the recognition it deserves. Waco is considered “the heart of Texas,” and it definitely lives up to its reputation, especially for those lovebirds out there.

Waco, Texas

Waco is “the heart of Texas,” and it definitely lives up to its reputation.

Waco, Texas
Grocery costs Transportation costs Miscellaneous goods and services costs
81.8 97.6 90.5

 

What to do: Dr. Pepper Museum, Cameron Park Zoo and The Grove Belton Ghost Town

Where to eat: George’s, Vitek’s BBQ and Cafe Homestead

4. Round Rock, Texas

Round Rock is “the sports capital of Texas,” but this gorgeous city also offers a variety of affordable date options that include art, nature, music, history, fine dining and more.

Round Rock, Texas

Round Rock has a variety of affordable date options for sports lovers and more.

Round Rock, Texas
Grocery costs Transportation costs Miscellaneous goods and services costs
81.9 87.6 97.6

 

What to do: Round Rock Sports Center, Forest Creek Gold Club and Halina Spa

Where to eat: The Salt Lick, Fire Bowl Cafe and Mighty Fine Burgers

3. Wichita Falls, Texas

Aptly nicknamed “Falls Town,” Wichita Falls, Texas will have you falling in love (or reigniting the love!) in no time thanks to its parks, restaurants, theaters, walking trails, museums — the list goes on and on!

Wichita Falls, Texas

Wichita Falls will have you falling in love or reigniting the love.

Wichita Falls, Texas
Grocery costs Transportation costs Miscellaneous goods and services costs
91.9 82.5 87.4

 

What to do: Backdoor Theatre, Kemp Center for Arts and River Bend Nature Center

Where to eat: Parkway Grill, Pelican Surf Club and El Mejicano

2. McAllen, Texas

You’ll find McAllen in the Southern tip of Texas, but what you’ll find in the actual city are a ton of date ideas that will woo your date or SO without breaking the bank. From the world’s best nature tourism to thrilling outdoor recreation to high-quality art attractions, McAllen and the people of the city definitely live life to the fullest.

McAllen, Texas

McAllen has a ton of date ideas that will woo your date without breaking the bank.

McAllen, Texas
Grocery costs Transportation costs Miscellaneous goods and services costs
79.8 92.4 84.3

 

What to do: Quinta Mazatlan, International Museum of Art and Science and McAllen Entertainment District

Where to eat: Santa Fe Steakhouse and Cantina, My Blue Onion and El Divino

1. Harlingen, Texas

No, your eyes aren’t deceiving you. That’s five Texas cities in a row, but the state can’t help itself — it’s just so awesomely cheap and romantic!

Harlingen is no exception, what with its unbeatable nightlife, entertainment opportunities, museums, gardens and more.

Harlingen, Texas

Harlingen has unbeatable nightlife, entertainment opportunities and more.

Harlingen, Texas
Grocery costs Transportation costs Miscellaneous goods and services costs
81.5 88.7 79.1

 

What to do: World Birding Center, Creasey’s Bowl and the several parks

Where to eat: La Playa Cafe, Colletti’s and Fast Track’s Bar and Grill

Note: The cost of living numbers for each city is based off the U.S. Census Bureau’s cost of living data sheet. The number is based off a scale in which 100 represents the average cost of living in the U.S. If a city’s cost of living is below 100, then that city’s cost of living is lower than the average across the U.S.

Photo sources: americandrivingvacations.com, selfstorage-texas.com, city-data.com, wikimedia.org, flickr.com, accessbackgroundscreen.com, cuisineoftexas.com, knoxboxco.com,
fineartamerica.com, thedaytripper.com, austintxrealestateagent.com,
textraveler.com