Best Date Spot: Arboretum

By Sydney Wood, Staff Writer

From dates like stargazing to picnics to late-night strolls, a trend becomes exceptionally clear: nature is inherently romantic. So if you’re planning a date, there’s no place more romantic than the University’s Arboretum.

Nestled at the intersection of Florida and Lincoln avenues in Urbana, the Arboretum is home to a handful of natural attractions, such as the American Hosta Society National Display Garden, Oak Grove and the Noel Welcome Garden. 

With more than 160 acres of spacious landscape, there’s no shortage of places to explore. Start off your date on the right foot by sitting with your partner under the wooden pavilion that looks out across the lake. It was built by Nick Offerman in honor of Shozo Sato, the founder of the Japan House. 

In mid-April, the Arboretum’s cherry blossom trees, known as sakura, become one of the University’s hot spots once they bloom and showcase their delicate, light-pink blossoms.

Now, imagine yourself with your beloved partner or even a Tinder date whom you met 15 minutes ago taking a romantic stroll through paths that lead through the Arboretum’s magnificent trees and foliage. Can you smell the springtime floral scents already? 

If you find these options a bit too romantic for a date night, you also have the option to take your evening one step further and get married at one of the Arboretum’s multiple special event lawns for the low-low price of $850 (not counting the 20% security deposit, of course). 

And the best part? Admission is free. 


[email protected]