Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Thursday, Jan. 17, 2013 | 2 a.m.
When it comes to date night in Las Vegas, leave the five-star dinners and Venetian canal rides to tourists: According to a new study from the dating website HowAboutWe.com, locals prefer to ditch the Strip when it comes to first dates here.
HowAboutWe, which helps singles plan dates and activities with potential matches, recently conducted a survey of 1 million dates across the country planned through the website. Questions examined where first-date couples go and what they do, eat, drink, share and listen to and where the date continues.
According to the study, the top first-date destination for Las Vegas residents is the Calico Tanks Trail hike at Red Rock Canyon, followed closely by zip-lining and drinks at Fremont Street Experience.
Other popular date spots include Yard House for Belgian beer and truffle fries; the Bellagio for its art exhibits and live music in its South Garden; and the Ethel M Chocolate Factory for tours of its facilities and gardens.
Though Las Vegas may boast some of the world’s best steakhouses, the most popular date food for locals is vegetarian -- enjoyed at close to 30 percent of first dates -- making Las Vegas the only city in the country where meat-free meals took the top spot for food.
The survey found that most singles prefer to break the ice the old-fashioned way, with about 62 percent of first dates involving alcohol; in Las Vegas, beer won out for drink of choice (43 percent), followed by wine (34 percent) and liquor (23 percent).
Painting and drawing are the most popular first-date activities in Las Vegas (21 percent), followed by photography (12 percent), dancing (10 percent), bowling (8.5 percent) and board games (7.8 percent). Service-oriented dates also are favored by locals, who particularly enjoy spending time with furry friends at animal shelters.
For more information and to see how other cities across the country compare, check out an interactive “One Million Dates” infographic on HowAboutWe.com.