So you’ve just set-up a date night but don’t necessarily have a solid game plan on where to go yet. If you’ve just asked out someone for the first time, double congratulations on temporarily conquering your nerves and just going for it. However, I’m sorry to say, that’s only half the battle. You now need a lovely day together but don’t want to break the bank in the process. We’ve got you covered.

The featured location for this staycation is in the beautiful heart of Dana Point, Orange County. Even if you lack the experience to properly “wine and dine” someone, take comfort in the fact that you can use the following day plan to build a perfectly enjoyable, memorable itinerary. Feel free to change anything you want to cater to your own personal tastes, budget, and time constraints. By all means, modify anything and everything to get the most out of the following places. Let’s begin!

What A Dish

I think most will agree that, caffeine helps make conversations pop a little. With great coffee, I believe, laughter just sparkles a little bit more. Conversation becomes a little more engaging. Everyone who’s felt that caffeine buzz knows how beneficial it can be in a variety of social situations. Because coffee is such a pleasant start to good day plans, the first stop should be a quaint little cafe just a stone’s throw away from the harbor.

What A Dish.

I highly recommend the wonderful Cafe and Bistro, What a Dish. You can’t go wrong with getting some of their bold coffee and, perhaps, a plate or two of delicious food. What a Dish is owned by the same family that owns the legendary nearby bake shop, It’s All About the Cake-it’s no wonder why the baked goods are so appetizing at What a Dish. If a breakfast oriented food selection isn’t welcomed, What a Dish also boasts a great homemade white wine sangria with fresh fruit inside. The fresh crab cakes are a delight as well. Depending on your personal plans, you may have a full day ahead of you from here- I know it’s delicious but try not to get too full at What a Dish or you’ll wreck the rest your itinerary.

What a Dish Complete Menu


If you feel up to it, perhaps try your hand at kayaking in the harbor. It might be beneficial to work up your appetite for the next incredible round of amazing cuisine around Dana Point. If you’re not much for water though, perhaps going straight to Mahe would be better for everyone.


Mahe is a great sushi and, depending on the night, great live music venue. This place has everything-from great up-and-coming bands to a wide variety of sake. This is by far some of the best seafood in South Orange County and shouldn’t be overlooked.

Here’s Mahe’s Menus

Stone Hill Tavern

If sushi may not sound like the perfect choice- or if you’re looking just for something a little bit more traditional but still incredibly delicious, look no further than Stone Hill Tavern at the St. Regis Hotel near Monarch Beach. Remember to make reservations in advance to snag a good table.

Stone Hill Tavern

I can assure you the reservation will be well worth the effort. Stone Hill Tavern specializes in taking classic American cuisine and adding a unique twist. For example, I strongly recommend the Lobster Pot Pie. Staycation Tip: If you make a reservation at the hotel, you’ll get a $100 resort credit towards resort credit.

Stone Hill Tavern Link to Menus
St. Regis Hotel Homepage

Enjoy Your Staycation

I hope you take some of these suggestions and incorporate them into your next staycation. It’s not a sure thing the stars will align, but it’s a great start. On an unrelated aside and closing remark-Remember to be an active listener!-it’s the ultimate tool to attraction and is extremely underrated nowadays. Good luck and have fun.

Daniel Williamson

Foodie & Avid Blogger - Passionate Foodie and Basketball Blog Writer. Daniel loves to stuff his face with good food and write about it. When he is not doing this he enjoys playing basketball with friends, hiking, and playing his guitar with his band.

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