Culturally-minded types are sure to be impressed when you take them to the Root of Happiness Kava Bar. But it’s not your typical watering hole: Root of Happiness, whose Rancho Cordova outpost is the first of several in Northern California, is all about introducing guests to the kava culture of the South Pacific that’s been around some 3,000 years. If you’re both game, try the specialty: the traditional kava drink, made with the medicinal kava root that’s said to promote tranquility and relaxation. (Another plus? If you’ve got any date jitters, this is an all-but-guaranteed way to soothe them.) Walking into the bar is relaxing in itself, with a fun tropical vibe, bamboo furniture, and lush plants.
Head to downtown Sacramento (it’s just a 15-minute drive from Rancho Cordova, but if you’ve had any kava, you might want to opt for a ride service) to explore the California Museum. This must-visit museum offers an excellent dive into the rich history of California and the state’s unique influence on world culture, arts, innovation, and industry. Signature exhibits provide an interactive journey through topics like Native American life in California, the Spanish Missionary period, and the state’s most notable women.
Keep the historical vibes going by visiting Sacramento County’s first distillery since Prohibition, Gold River Distillery in Rancho Cordova. Visit the tasting room on a weekend afternoon to sample the selection of house-made gins, whiskey, bourbon, vodka, and absinthe. Then it’s onto a romantic dinner at The Lodge in Rancho Cordova’s Park West Casino, whose rich wood interior, leather chairs, and grand stone fireplace set the mood. Contemporary American cuisine like craft burgers, grilled entrees, and sandwiches pair well (just like the two of you!) with specialty cocktails and beer and wine lists.