our favorite date night when we were newlyweds and dirt poor, no car was taking the rapid someplace, getting off and wandering around that part of town. favorites were walking around Cleveland on the lakefront, lots of changes but still good walking. we found booklet on architectural walking tour of downtown. we would also take the rapid and walk around the West Side Market. if your town still has an open air street market that makes a great Saturday morning. you can pick up rolls, deli meat and cheese etc for a grab n go snack.
we would also start from downtown and take an unfamiliar bus route, follow it to the end, find a place to eat and come back again. one bus does a tour around the near west side and flats, views of the river, bridges, historic churches & buildings, and we sometimes got a knowledgeable bus driver who gave an actual tour commentary.
drive down an unfamiliar road, stop anyplace that looks interesting. you get some great suprises this way: small town historical sites, pretty parks, rivers, lakes etc., interesting little shops or cafes, outdoor art and sculpture, a little league game or tournement, carnivals or other small-town celebrations and events, church festivals
college or high school sports other than football
the old walk along the beach
we look for boat trips, the “2 hr cruise” kind of any kind when we are travelling on whatever lake, river etc. is around. we have never yet ended up on a Gilligns Island
state, county or national parks and rec areas with hiking or canoeing or easy nature trails
driving range or mini golf, or those rec areas with mini golf, go-carts, and other games.
historical sites such as living history villages or farms
cross country skiing
wine-tasting and tours at local wineries
art gallery openings
HS or college student art exhibits
our personal favorites are small-town historical or other specialty museums. we always look for the store-front cafe on main street, rather than the fast food strip on the highway.
old-fashioned hardware stores, great to browse, you find some unique unexpected stuff, one had an antique toy collection, another had a superb depression glass collection, another had works by a local artist who has since become famous as an illustrator.