Just because you’ve split from your partner, doesn’t mean that you’ve given up on romance. Consider this time in your life as an opportunity to meet a ‘better’ half for your next chapter. With the freedom that comes with having grown children means you’re no longer tethered to one area of the country. You get to broaden your zip code love-match search.
So, here is my list of the top five U.S cities for mature singles to mingle. Grab your wingman (or woman) and get ready for loads of fun.
1. Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Topping the list of 40+ getaways is Ft. Lauderdale, Florida. During my visit, I stayed at the Harbor Life Marriott. The resort has great food on premises like 3030 Ocean, where celeb chef, Paula DaSilva oversees the menu which changes daily. It has every amenity you and your crew can think of. There are wave runners, paddleboards, tennis courts, an inviting spa, gym with daily classes and it’s one of the only properties in the city with direct access to your own private beach. What I liked most about it is the friendly vibe. They host lots of major conferences through-out the year, so almost anytime you go there you are bound to meet very successful, interesting business men and women (many of them solo). The resort offers club memberships for Ft. Laud residents, which allows out of-towners (like me & you) to connect with locals. I met two super cute guys who turned me on to several local hot spots.
One of their best suggestions was the Blue Martini Lounge. It’s attached to the Galleria Mall in town and although it’s a chain restaurant, it has good drinks, live music and a really cool mixed crowd of younger and older. So, there is virtually someone for everyone. You want to try a younger man or woman? They’re there looking to hook-up with you. Sugardaddy? He’s sippin’ a martini at the bar. Sugarbabies? They come in packs wearing slinky summer dresses. Buy them all a drink and you’ll be the most popular guy in the joint. I went by myself, (never done that before), but felt perfectly comfortable and quickly met a very hot, very successful, Investment Banker. He was dressed in shorts and flip flops, so don’t “judge the book by its cover,” as they say. That was a fun night.
The other great suggestions for Friday or Saturday night, according to the local boys I met at the hotel bar, are Yolo and Vibe. They are located right next door to each other on the highly trafficked Las Olas Blvd. Sit outside next to the glass fireplace at Yolo for drinks and a bite to eat, then wander over to Vibe and dance off all the calories!
The weather in Lauderdale is warm, most of the year, so during the day keep yourself occupied outside. Rent bikes, go kayaking, scuba dive or snorkel from a glass bottom boat, as I did, at the Sea Experience. Rent a car and take a short drive out of town and visit Sawgrass Recreational Park for an Airboat ride. That is a super fast, super fun skim atop the water and vegetation of the everglades. If you’re lucky, you’ll get an eyeball to eyeball glimpse of the awe inspiring Florida Alligators. Or spend the afternoon riding on the intercoastal water taxi. (It’s about a 4-hour ride from end to end). It’s a fun way to get around the city and the crew shares fun facts about who owns the mega-mansions and super yachts along the water way. It’s perfect for daydreaming about the day you’ll own one of your own, once you’ve fully connected with your Ft. Laud man (or woman).
A haven for golfers, tennis players, Canadians and wealthy cold weather US citizen, my friend and I traveled there for her birthday last November. We flew into Phoenix, rented a car and drove to the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North. It’s about 45 minutes out of town and set against the McDowell Mountains. The Four Seasons has got world-class food at The Talavera Steakhouse (that’s where we had my friend’s birthday celebration) and one of the best spas around. You and your friends can indulge in champagne infused mani’s & pedi’s and/or treat yourself to a variety of treatments. I signed up for the Dream Weaver massage and was catatonically blissful for hours afterwards. (ask for Colleen Ryan to do your massage)
From the property it’s a short ride to any kind of nightlife you desire. One evening we had dinner at ZuZu, the restaurant lives inside the Hotel Valley Ho, a mid-century modern turned trendy property in Old Downtown Scottsdale. Once there you can find any kind of nightlife you desire all within walking distance. We stumbled upon Kazimierz. The entrance is an unmarked door, in the back of the building, that leads into a dark brooding bar with live jazz. It draws a healthy local crowd of older and younger (but not college aged crazy) people.
Interestingly enough the following night we ended up at the Blue Martini (just like Ft. Laud). There is something about the vibe of the place that truly lends itself to a good time and it’s appealing to people of all ages. My girlfriend and I met a large group of super fun golfers from Canada. They had a table with bottle service and we had a blast sharing martini’s, listening to a rockin’ live band, dancing and partying till they turned up the lights at two in the morning.
Daytime in Scottsdale is purely a relaxing experience. There is a really good hiking path behind the FS property called Pinnacle Peak. Its strenuous enough to get your blood pumping, but not over the top challenging. Plenty of company on the trail – never know whom you might meet. If you are a golfer or tennis player you’re in luck, there are plenty of courses and courts. And don’t miss out on a visit to the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix. I know it might sound cheesy, but it’s not. If you go in November, like we did, visit the gardens at night. All the cacti are lit up for Christmas; there are thousands of Luminaria lighting the pathways and a variety of instrumental musicians perform throughout the venue. It is amazing.
3. San Diego, California
You might think of San Diego as a quiet surfing community … and it is. But there is a lively side to the city as well. Downtown San Diego, aka the “Gaslamp” area, is robust with clubs and bars. One great option for 40+er’s is rooftop bar, Altitude Sky Lounge. It is at the top of the San Diego Marriott Gaslamp Quarter and overlooks Petco Park. For a different feel, a fun “secret” bar in Gaslamp is called Prohibition. Enter through a door that says “Law Office” and go underground to the vintage inspired jazz club. Humphreys Half Moon Inn & Suites on Shelter Island is the place to stay as it has the perfect combination for a mature crowd. There is Humphreys Restaurant where Executive Chef Paul Murphy has created what he calls “modern global cuisine.” His food has earned him spots on two different Food Network shows. After dinner head next door to Humphreys Backstage Live. The Happy hour on Friday or Saturday nights draws a local 40+ “Single & Fun” group.
4. Clearwater, Florida
Gather your friends and book a suite at the Old Florida style Sandpearl Resort Clearwater Beach. There’s an ocean inspired spa and hands-on organic cooking classes. The hotel’s restaurant, Caretta on the Gulf, is a must-go for some of the finest dining in the area. At the other end of the spectrum is Frenchy’s. It’s a kitchy go-to staple for fresh-from-the-Gulf seafood at reasonable prices. For a more sophisticated vibe have a drink or dine the Hyatt Regency Clearwater Beach Resort & Spa’s SHOR restaurant. The property also has an upper level pool. It is a hopping location for watching the sunset amongst your more mature peeps.
5. Salt Lake City, UT
If you choose to head there stay at the Hotel Monaco in downtown SLC. It is one of the area’s nicest and most hip hotels and close to everything. The hotel hosts a nightly wine reception, which is a good way to meet the other mature single hotel mates. And should you choose to stay in you and your friends can enjoy dinner at Bambara. I’m told it’s one of the best restaurants in town then move to the hotel bar called The Vault for after dinner drinks. Venturing out of the hotel, have a drink at Bar X. Owned by Ty Burrell and his brother, Bar X was forever a Salt Lake dive bar until about 3 years ago. Now a very cool place to go with some fantastic bartenders whose life it is to mix drinks well. Highly recommended. Next-door is Beer Bar (same owners), a more German-style bar with communal tables, always a good way to meet people, and sample their 140+ beers.