Dating in Claremont: A Semi-Exhaustive List of First Date Ideas

By Elias van Emmerick ‘21

Pomona is called the Paris of the West about as often as it is referred to as the Venice of the Even More West: rarely. In my opinion, unjustly so. Claremont has an abundance of romantic cafés, swoon-worthy views, and of course, lovely people. This cornucopia of charm is not always a blessing–it can be hard to decide on a place to take that special someone to. To all our languishing lovers: fear not. This list is for you.

  1. Kravis Terrace


Perfect if you are: trying to date a Goldman Sachs® recruiter

Pillowtalk topic: Portfolio theory and Excel shortcuts

Kravis TerraceKravis is one of those unique liminal spaces that could exist anywhere. The soulless boardroom-esque “classrooms,” generic potted plants, and large windows remind one of every major city, an accounting textbook, and stale office coffee all at once. In short, a comfortable environment for any economics major. If you need an (invisible) hand to impress your date, just take them to the fourth floor. A beautiful view and complete privacy await, and its secluded location means that you’ll have no problem bringing a bottle of wine in to help seal the deal. Fair warning: the internet can be a bit spotty out there, so you may not be able to woo your partner with the returns of your Robinhood portfolio.

  1. Mudd-Blaisdell Roof

Perfect if you are: a stressed freshman with a fear of heights

Pillowtalk topic: “I can’t see the stars without my glasses on”

Mudd-BlaisdellWhen midterm season hits, making time for love can be a challenge. All of a sudden you’re taking An Introduction to Modern Astrophysics (2nd edition) on romantic walks around Marston Quad, and Advanced Econometrics to an intimate Frary dinner. It need not be this way–for the frustrated freshmen among us, a date location is closer than you might think. Blaisdell offers a beautiful rooftop, complete with assorted furniture, all without having to climb more than a floor. I won’t opine on the actual romance of the place, but convenience is king here. A rooftop date without any effort! Woo your date by showing them the twinkling lights of Oldenborg in the distance, or by listening to the soft tech-house pumping from Blaisdell basement.

  1. Rat-Spotting at the Farm

Perfect if you are: a cat or dating a cat

Pillowtalk topic: “Is that your hand on my back or is that a rat?”

Rat figures at the FarmCalifornia is a nature-lover’s paradise. From mountain lions and bears to whales and seals, you can find a little bit of everything here. At first sight, however, Claremont seems to disappoint in this regard. Sure, there’s a few owls on campus, and plenty of squirrels, but those are hardly exciting. You want your date to feel thrilling! If you have been wanting to impress someone by your bravery in facing medium-sized vermin, there is only one real way to do it. Head down to the Farm around dusk, and follow the sound of tiny feet scurrying around the compost bins. There are a ton of activities here to help you bond–count the rats, try to catch one, feed them, etc. This is truly a hidden gem.

  1. Splitting One Appetizer at Bardot

Perfect if you are: chronically broke but unwilling to admit it; a professor who has been reincarnated as a student

Pillowtalk topic: Natural wine processing methods

Patio at Bardot RestaurantBardot is to Claremont what Masa is to New York and Noma to Denmark. As expensive as it is iconic, Bardot on a Friday night is a veritable who’s who of professors, Claremont influencers, and people who took the wrong exit on the 10 West. If you’re trying to take your relationship to the next level, there is no better place to do it. There’s just one problem–neither your nor your boo’s Kronos timecard* has been looking all that good lately, and you still have about twelve outstanding Venmo requests that your friend won’t let you forget about. Your date wants to get the Black Cod with Miso, but you’re thinking more along the lines of Macaroni Au Gratin. Budgeting as a student can be tough, but don’t worry–there’s something Lady & The Tramp-esque about both slurping the same tomato bisque (a steal at $8!) while geotagging your Insta-story with “Bardot” that is sure to impress your dearest. Bonus romance points for the awkward eye contact you keep making with that professor who failed you freshman year.

*the College’s system for getting paid for your on-campus jobs

  1. Identifying the Scents Around Harwood

Perfect if you are: trying to date a dog?

Pillowtalk topic: What scent of Tide pods do you use for your sheets?

Harwood residence hallHarwood Court, one of Pomona’s beautiful historic dorms, is an olfactory paradise. It can be hard to describe for those who have never visited, but there are few places as fragrant as Harwood. A unique combination of laundry room exhaust, multiple poorly ventilated kitchens, well-maintained gardens, and anxious freshmen provides an aroma the likes of which I had never encountered before coming to Claremont. Like any skill, it takes practice to discern each individual olfactory note. At first you may get overwhelmed, but it won’t be long before you can identify that Tide® Spring Meadow scent. Plus, what better way to impress your date than to point them to some interesting-smelling plants? Might work best if your date is an actual animal, but I am sure there are some humans who’d appreciate this as well!