woman with luggage at the airportIf you are one of the single moms with older teens and the empty nest with no significant other is looming large no need to spiral down into an abyss.  Consider this a time to broaden your possibilities and dating opportunities. With nothing tethering you to one city, you can expand your soulmate search around the country (or globe for that matter).

According to a recent study conducted by dating site AYI.com the top 5 cities with the largest single populations aged 40+ are Boca Raton, FL, Salt Lake City, UT,  Clearwater, FL,  Scottsdale, AZ and  Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, FL. My girlfriend and I  decided to take a vacation and test the waters in a few of these destinations.  Here are our recommendations for the best places to stay, eat, meet, and mingle new men.

Scottsdale, AZ

It started with my friend’s birthday last November. Our first stop on the top 40+ city tour was Scottsdale, AZ. WIMG_1276_2e stayed at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North, a short 45-minute drive from the Phoenix Airport. It’s a total pamper-me property with lots of great amenities like golf, tennis, fitness facilities or they’ll create a one of a kind experience, like ‘Cowboy for a Day’. They also have an epic on-premise spa. We indulged in champagne infused mani’s & pedi’s. You can also  treat yourself to one of their 30+ treatments or massages. I experienced the Dream Weaver Massage, its part guided meditation and part massage. Request Colleen Ryan for this service…she rocked.

Heading off property, we enjoyed a dinner at ZuZu, the restaurant lives inside the Hotel Valley Ho, a mid-century modern turned trendy property in Old Downtown Scottsdale. After a yummy dinner of giant shrimp cocktails, twice-cooked crispy fries and sesame crusted tuna we stumbled upon Kazimierz, a dark brooding bar with live jazz. It draws a healthy local crowd of older and younger (but not college-aged crazy) people. There were plenty of singles in the place. We each met super cute guys to flirt and dance with till the bar crew turned up the lights at 2 AM.

The following night we went to the Blue Martini Lounge in Phoenix. There’s a minimal $5 cover charge and well worth it. There is something about the vibe of the place that truly lends itself to a good time. For me, it was the combination of tasty martini’s and a live band that rocked super-danceable cover songs till 2am. Plus, there was a great age range of people mixing and mingling. My girlfriend found a healthy crew of attractive prospects in their 30’s. Can we say sexy cougar-mama. While I settled in with a group of Canadian real estate moguls in their 50’s.

 Ft. Lauderdale, FL

IMG_1834A short 40 minute drive from top-seated Miami is Ft. Lauderdale. For my visit, I stayed at the Marriott Harbor Beach. Just as in Scottsdale, this resort has a total “spoil yourself” vibe. There is a great fine dining restaurant, 3030 Ocean. The kitchen is commanded by celeb Executive Chef, Paula DaSilva and Sous Chef, and “Chopped” winner, Adrienne Grenier. And the bar is the perfect hangout for meeting men. I was told by the staff that the resort is consistently booked with high end conferences. Call ahead and see who’s coming to town. You interested in meeting a doc? They’re likely to be at a conference soon! The resort also has a vast array of water sport activities for you to enjoy, like wave runners and paddle boards. There are tennis courts, a spa, and gym of course. Plus, it’s one of the only properties in the city with it’s own private beach.

Harbor Beach also offers club memberships for Ft. Laud residents, which allows out-of-towners, like you and me, to connect with locals. I met some people at the Sea Level Bar who turned me on to several local hot spots. Their first suggestion was the Blue Martini Lounge. Although I had experienced the place in Phoenix, and the set up is the same, the locals were so convincing I went back again. I have to say, the place definitely appeals to a good mix of ages and lends itself to patrons mixing and mingling. The drinks are consistently good and the management endeavors to bring in the best local live bands. I met a very handsome investment banker and had a lot of fun dancing. But stayed out way too late!   The other predominant suggestions, by locals and hotel staff alike, were Yolo and Vibe Las Olas. Both venues are on Las Olas Blvd.

 Clearwater, Florida

Gather your friends and book a suite at the Old Florida style Sandpearl Resort IMG_1846Clearwater 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.

 Salt Lake City, UT

Surprisingly, coming in at number 2 on the list, as a haven for singles over 40, is Salt Lake City. 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, it’s 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.


Are you local in these cities? Been there? Have any other hotspot suggestions? Please share here in the comment section. We all gotta help each other connect!