You've stepped up and asked someone out and they've accepted, which is excellent, but in addition to sweating about how the date will go, you also need to figure out a good place for first dates and the onus is on you, the asker, to set that agenda. Fortunately, plenty of worthy locations abound.
The Best Good Place for First Dates
It's been said time and again, but that's only because it's true: one of the best places for a first date is a coffee shop. It's relaxed, it's quiet enough so that you can talk but not so quiet as to seem romantic and it's casual and inexpensive. If you don't already know of an atmospheric, comfortable place to have coffee that won't be too crowded at the time you've arranged to meet, you must find such a place before setting the date.
What you want from a venue is warmth and comfort, because no matter what, first dates are awkward. So, if the local chain coffee place you've picked to meet is crowded and sterile and loud, you're going to have to work that much harder to make the date go well. Look for a place that has comfortable seating, good drinks and a pleasant vibe and you'll be ahead before the date even begins.
Think Outside the Bean
Asking someone for coffee does not mean you'll both be drinking hot ground beans. It's a generic term as much as anything else, saying simply that you're not having a meal together, and there is no pressure for anything else, you're just sitting down for a small refreshment and a chat. So, if you want a venue that's a good place for first dates and is a bit unique, look for a Japanese tea shop, or a fun juice bar. Essentially, you want a variation on the drink that is still casual and non-alcoholic.
Now, you may be thinking that you both like wine or beer or cocktails and what's wrong with a first date in a place where these are the featured menu items? Nothing, but it does set a different tone. A bar means you're going out at night and drinks suggest the possibility of lowered inhibitions. All very romantic and exciting, but can start a relationship off a bit too quickly and possibly in the wrong direction. You want to get to know someone, and you'll do that more easily during a completely non-impaired, casual conversation.
Go for the Green
Keeping to the theme of an afternoon date that's low-key and casual, a park is always a good place for first dates. Whether for a short, easy stroll or perhaps as a place to sit and drink coffee or juice on a nice day, a park gives you automatic atmosphere. If you live near a big park with activities or things like a duck pond or small zoo, use those as your venue. They provide conversation starters and amusing distractions.
Date and Browse
A good-sized music store or bookstore can be good places for first dates. They are ways for you to get a sense of each other's tastes, and how those tastes might correspond. If you like the same books, music and DVDs, it's a good bet you'll talk well and enjoy each other's company for a long time to come. On the other hand, if your tastes are very different but you can compare and contrast them with diplomacy and even interest, you might be on the verge of a very interesting and fun relationship. People who are open to trying new things and have positive attitudes make for great partners. And if you can find this out about a person over an hour or two in a shop with no strings or pressure, or even money spent if nothing grabs you, then that's a date to remember.