Photography Provided By: Justin Critz Photography
Photography Provided By: Justin Critz Photography

13 Date Ideas for Valentine’s Day That’ll Give You Major Heart Eyes

Roses Are Red. Violets Are Blue. Don’t Let COVID Ruin Valentine’s Day Too!

Written By: Kaylin Waizinger Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

Ditch the expectations of a romantic dinner this Valentine’s Day, and plan a date your SO will never forget. We’re straying from the conventional this year and spicing things up with date ideas that’ll make you look like Cupid himself. From sunset picnics and wine tasting adventures to cozy staycations and boat cruises on the bay, these 12 dates are sure to make your Valentine’s Day better than any store-bought box of chocolates. Happy V-Day, lovebirds!


1 | Book a Cozy Staycation Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

For those looking for a change of scenery, it’s time to pack your suitcase! Get out of town this V-day and explore a new part of Southern California. Whether it’s heading to the mountains for some snow or spending time by the sea, there are countless hotels, resorts and Airbnbs worth checking out. To get you started, check out this list of our favorite winter staycation spots in SoCal.


 2 | Plan a Picnic Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

Take advantage of SoCal’s year-round nice weather and piece together a romantic picnic. Whether it’s your first date or 100th, a cute picnic set up is always a good idea. There are even companies that will do the work for you, such as Pop Up Picnic Co. in San Diego, The Pretty Little Picnic in Orange County and Santa Monica Picnic Co. in LA. From umbrellas and throw pillows to champagne and charcuterie, these picnic pros do it all.


3 | Rent a Boat Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

It may not be a gondola ride through the Venice canals, but a boat cruise is a festive way to celebrate V-Day on the water! Lido Electric Boat Rental in Newport Beach has a variety of vessels to rent so you and your Valentine (or galentines) can cruise around Newport Harbor. Be sure to pack an ice chest of beverages like Modelos, Corona Premiers and Corona Hard Seltzers.

4 | Take the Adventure Challenge

Step outside your comfort zone this Valentine’s Day with The Adventure Challenge book––a scratch-off guide that’ll give you new experiences! The Couples Edition contains 50 scratch-off mystery adventures to do with your partner, including baking an apple pie blindfolded, recreating your grandparents’ first date or painting a masterpiece on a unique canvas. This book full of bonding experiences you and your SO will love.


5 | Snuggle Up Fireside

Snug up fireside with you boo and snack on good old-fashioned s’mores this holiday! We’ve rounded up a variety of spots––from state beaches to restaurant patios––that are fully equipped with state-of-the-art fire pits. So whether you prefer a classy setting for fireside cocktails or want to wrap up in a blanket at the beach, these local destinations are sure to keep you snug.


6 | Embark on a Sunrise Hike

Ditch your solo morning run for a hike with your SO! Chase waterfalls in LA or make your way up to the iconic Potato Chip Rock in sunny San Diego. We’ve got hiking guides for Orange County, Los Angeles, San Diego and Palm Springs! End your hike with a romantic breakfast or coffee date for the perfect, outdoorsy celebration.


7 | Enjoy an Al Fresco Lunch Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

Outdoor dining is finally open in SoCal and just in time for Valentine’s Day! Grab a beer and a bite to eat at a local brewery or make a reservation at your favorite lunch spot. Check out these outdoor dining guides for OC, LA and SD so you can cheers to good food, good views and, of course, good company.

8 | Recreate Your First Date

If you really wanna bring your “A” game this V-day, bring a little nostalgia into the equation. Wherever your first date may have been, try to recreate that scene! Mimic the food and the ambiance or go back to the location if you can. Whether it was burritos on the beach or a candlelit dinner at home, your Valentine is sure to feel the love with this clever idea.


9 | Go Wine Tasting Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

A trip to a winery is a fun and romantic way to spend the day with your SO, and surprisingly, Napa isn’t the only place with amazing wine. We love these OC wineries! But if you don’t want to leave your cozy home, We Drink Bubbles, a boutique champagne club, will deliver bottles right to your door! Hint: a subscription also makes the perfect gift!


10 | Head to a Hot Spring Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

Up for a mini adventure? Hop in your car and road trip to Greater Palm Springs to take a dip in one of the desert’s many hot springs! Pumped from natural aquifers deep in the earth, these healing spas are known for their detoxifying and soothing properties. Here’s four of the best hot springs to check out!


11 | Brunch in Bed

Nothing says “I love you” like a yummy breakfast in bed. Treat your lovebird to a heartwarming morning meal with treats like heart-shaped pancakes, fresh fruit, chocolate-filled croissants and any other goodies they love!


12 | Play Bartender Together

Get out your shaker, strainer and shot glasses, and try your hand at some new cocktail recipes! Practicing your at-home mixology skills is always a fun idea, especially if you like craft cocktails. For some inspo and recipes, follow @bartenderatlarge, @snakeoilcocktail and @thesocialsipper.


13 | Plan a Date at The District

When it comes to al fresco dining, one of our favorite spots in Orange County is The District at Tustin Legacy. Home to a variety of top-notch restaurants like RA Sushi, Luna Rossa Ristorante, The Yellow Chilli, Hermosa Taqueria (new!) and more, there is no better place for a dinner date under the stars! These restaurants are also offering meals to go, so you can opt to enjoy at home.

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