(credit: peninsulamuseum.org)

A cup of coffee and a bit of browsing in an art gallery could be a good icebreaker for a first-time meet-up on a daytime internet date. By this time, you’ve shared profiles and at least one of you has an interest in art. If you’re both art lovers and decorating a home together, you may require some new art. Or, perhaps the babysitter is booked and it’s time for the parents to enjoy a few hours on a weekend break not far from home. What a pleasure for art lovers to spend a few hours together in these places.

Coastal Arts League Gallery & Museum

Zaballa Square
300 Main St.
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
(650) 726-6335

Half Moon Bay is perfect for holding hands on a leisurely stroll along Main Street, popping into an art gallery and chatting about what’s on the walls. Seasonal art shows are the highlights at this non-profit space run by volunteers, including the 37 finalist posters for the Half Moon Bay Pumpkin Festival held each fall. The calendar is filled with a local high school event, holiday bazaar, ‘plein air’ show, annual juried show and a winter Mavericks-themed show around the surfing competition. Come and browse anytime and compare notes on your favorites over a coffee later. The gallery is open seven days a week.

Half Moon Bay Art Glass
12341 San Mateo Road
Half Moon Bay, CA 94019
(650) 283-5626

Half Moon Bay is famous for pumpkins, so why not create your own out of handblown glass? If you and your date are into art handicrafts, you’ll score big points for suggesting this unique activity. Choose to watch glass-blowing in process or learn to do it yourselves at Douglass C. Brown’s art studio at La Nebbia Winery. Steps include gathering hot molten glass from the furnace, coloring, molding and blowing the glass to make a paperweight, tumbler, heart, memory ball or a glass pumpkin. You can both walk away with a memorable experience and a handblown glass pumpkin (with a twirled stem, no less) that would make Cinderella jealous. Register online for classes Fridays through Mondays, from 90 minutes to two hours.

Kerwin Galleries
1107 California Drive
Burlingame, CA 94010
(650) 340-8400

Indulge yourselves in a love of fine art matched with a love of California scenery. This gallery offers the perfect combination of both. Unusually, there’s quite an eyeful of quality and quantity; the chock-a-block interior resembles that of an art dealer in London’s Portobello Road. The walls are absolutely filled with gorgeous landscapes by dozens of California-based artists between the years 1880 and 1950. A European artist collection is supplemented by contemporary artists, bronzes, stacks of prints and more propped against the floor.

Peninsula Museum of Art
1777 California Drive
Burlingame, CA 94010
(650) 692-2101

Local artists are the focus at Peninsula Museum of Art, with free admission and a museum store open to the public on Wednesdays through Sundays. Home to the Peninsula Art Institute, this spot has been providing studio space since 2012 for 25 local artists-in-residence. Visitors will find exciting work in paintings, drawings, photography, wood block prints, sculpture, mixed media and more. Art lovers should be aware that PAI artists open their studios to the public for Silicon Valley Open Studios weekend in May and again prior to Christmas.

Portola Art Gallery
75 Arbor Road
Menlo Park, CA 94025
(650) 321-0220

The strength and beauty of the Bay Area are emphasized by a curated collection of 16 local award-winning artists whose paintings, pastels, ceramics and photography appear on rotation. Joy and talent is simply oozing from these works, which add a certain something toward making your date a happy one. Handsomely mounted in a light-filled boutique space in the historic Allied Arts Guild, the building is located in a lovely garden setting. Formerly one of Ansel Adams’ own print studios in the 1930s, this is a special place. Consider coming along for an artist’s opening reception.

Laurie JM Farr is a freelance writer covering all things in her adopted San Francisco. A dedicated urbanite, she’s a transplanted New Yorker by way of a couple of decades in London as a hotel sales and marketing manager. Follow her work on @ReferencePlease, USA Today, Yahoo! and on Examiner.com.