Date Nights, Happy Hours, Fun Casual Dinner Spots, Places To Meet Singles In Silicon Valley, San Jose & Palo Alto, First Date Spots San Mateo, Hwy 1 Road Trips, Bay Area, South Bay

Collectively, the area spanning Santa Clara to San Mateo counties has been dubbed Man Jose by various local and national media outlets. The male to female ratio in Silicon Valley can be devastating to men. Cliche stereotypes and lack of choice can drive women to look elsewhere for dates. This is all the more reason to make sure you don’t mess up your dates if and when you do manage to get them. 

For the longest time, people would venture off to San Francisco for date nights but slowly but surely the South Bay and Peninsula has been added some great options to explore for day time activities or fun date nights. If you are creative enough, you can plan some great dates without having to travel to San Francisco.

As a dating consultant and professional photographer in San Francisco, I have scouted many areas for photoshoots, lifestyle images, branding sessions and backgrounds for headshots and portraits. It’s my job to create photos with the best conversation starters and iconic locations that invite people to learn more about my clients whether it’s for dating profiles, press releases, business profiles or personal branding efforts. Click here for press coverage in the NYTimes, SFGate. Check out some of my favorite spots in and around the Peninsula and South Bay.


Fun Things To Do In The South Bay Area: Places To Go, Date Ideas In San Jose, Santa Clara, Peninsula

As an online dating photographer and consultant, I have helped clients plan first dates to provide good first impressions. Here are a few of my favorite places around Hwy 1, San Jose, San Mateo, Menlo Park and everywhere in between. Scroll to the bottom of the page for San Francisco, East Bay, Marin, Napa and Sonoma date ideas.

MexiStanford Theatre, Palo Alto

Great, classic theatre showing timeless movies in a beautiful, rustic space. 

New England Lobster, Burlingame

Great lobster and crab shack. Take it to go and walk over to Bayfront Park. Don’t forget to try the lobster corn chowder.


Fieldwork Brewing, San Mateo

Outdoor beer garden with various beer styles, benches, fire pits, bocce ball and more. 

Harley Farms Goat Dairy, Pescadero

Cheese, harissa, habanero jelly, baby goats – what else do you need? Make a day out of it with half and half soup from Duarte’s and fresh, warm olive bread from the market in town. 

Falafel’s Drive In, San Jose

One of my go-to spots when I am in town. This classic drive in is a favorite amongst locals and featured in Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Don’t forget the banana shake! 

Big Basin Redwoods State Park, Boulder Creek

One of my favorite hike in the Bay Area. Time it well for some amazing waterfalls.

Filoli Gardens, Woodside

Beautiful space, a bit pricey for admission but large enough to get a decent walk in. 

Santana Row, San Jose

Many places to grab a drink, share a bite or do some clothes shopping (nothing like getting a second opinion while shopping with a date). Head to the hotel for rooftop drinks or head to El Jardin for margaritas. 

Sandbox VR, San Mateo

For you gamer types, this is a fun spot to play games in a more interactive manner.

Selby’s, Menlo Park

One of the newer places to open up in the Peninsula, this old-school vibe with a modern twist is good if you want something more intimate and upscale without having to drive into SF.

Savanna Jazz, San Mateo

Casual live music spot with rotating bands. Great for those who want some tunes to listen to over drinks in San Mateo

Los Altos Stage Company, Los Altos

Local community theatre with rotating performances taking place in a small, former barn. With 99 seats there is no bad seat in the house. 

Bottle & Bottega, Campbell

Wine and painting in a fun, casual environment.

Library Bar, Rosewood Hotel, Menlo Park

Great for drinks, people-watching and hot messes.

Hedley Club, San Jose

Great for cocktails. This hotel lobby bar is casual, relaxing and great for getting to know each other.

Pigeon Point Lighthouse, Pescadero

One of the more picturesque lighthouses on the West Coast (alongside Point Arena).

Haberdasher, San Jose

Great cocktail bar, one of the few places where I would come for a drink in the South Bay. 

Stanford Architecture Tour

Create your own personal tour of the campus and finish it off with a picnic on the grass in front of the main quad. Clients get my list of favorite buildings, views and more. 

Bevri, Palo Alto

Bevir is one of my favorite restaurants in Palo Alto – who doesn’t love CHEESE Boats?

Ramen Nagi, Palo Alto & Santa Clara

Who doesn’t like ramen? Sure there is a line, but you can order drink while waiting and the line moves quickly. The extra time could be a plus for the two of you to get acquainted.


Alpine Inn, Woodside 

Trivia Night San Pedro Square Market, San Jose

Trivia night in a casual, social environment.


Vegan Veganos, Santa Clara

Plant based Mexican food truck. 


East Bay Date Ideas (Oakland, Berkeley, Alameda):

San Francisco Date Ideas

Sonoma + Napa, North Bay Date Ideas

Marin County Date Spots 


About Eddie Hernandez 

Eddie Hernandez is a professional photographer specializing in natural, candid online dating photos. Featured in the SFGate, ABC7News, East Bay Express, Salon; contributor to Good Men Project, Plenty Of Fish and Meddle. In addition to photos, he provides guidance around app choice, bio optimization, messaging techniques, wardrobe advice and date ideas.

Dating Profile Critique

For those of you who are remote or virtual dating help and are looking for an online dating profile critique you can read more about my services here.

For other helpful online dating tips check out my blog for more helpful advice:

Online Dating Frequently Asked Questions (Photos, App Choice, Wardrobe, Messaging, Bios and More):

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