If you’re playing with Chrome Canary or Chromium, you can now abuse some new HTML5 form element hotness: the Date picker.
<input type="date" min="2010-08-14" max="2012-08-14" value="2010-08-14"/>
This will give you a pre-styled element that looks like this:
You will notice that dates that fall before the “min” range are disabled and that the “value” uh, value shows up as a highlighted, pre-selected date.
Paul Irish replied in the comments that this does not currently support styling as there’s great discrepancies between how different browsers (mobile vs desktop) handle these elements, so if having those stylings is important to you, you probably want to stick with jQuery for now.