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16 Romantic Things to Do on Valentine's Day in San Diego

By The Editors | January 4, 2021 | Lifestyle

Whether you spend the day showering your loved one with gifts and surprise at-home experiences; clinking Champagne flutes at your favorite local restaurant; or lounging on your couch with chocolate and a bottle (or two) of cabernet—we've got you covered.

Here's our curated list to a perfect Valentine's Day 2020 in San Diego—whatever your plans may be.

When you're done perusing this list, check out how to celebrate Valentine's Day 2021 in our other markets: Aspen, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Miami, NYC, Orange County, Palm Beach, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Scottsdale, Silicon Valley, and Washington D.C.

Romantic Staycations

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Golden Door

777 Deer Springs Road, San Marcos / Website

Known for its bespoke wellness experiences, this renowned spa destination recently reopened with even more offerings. Enjoy three new Japanese-inspired outdoor venues where guests can indulge in massages, facials, yoga and more. The seven-night stay model allows visitors the time and space to relax and restore. Try the Trainer package for an intense fitness reset, or the Land and Water package to enjoy plenty of hiking and pool time.

Pendry San Diego

550 J St, San Diego / Website

Indulge in a day of bliss with your beloved by booking a Couple’s Suite at Pendry San Diego. You can choose a 90-minute or 120-minute experience, both offering an exquisite array of treatment. Or, if you and your gal pals are celebrating each other this Valentine’s Day, then you should book the spa’s special Queen for the Day treatment to unwind together.

See also: 6 Thoughtful Valentine's Day Gifts For The Man In Your Life

Hotel del Coronado

1500 Orange Ave., Coronado / Website

A San Diego icon for more than 130 years, this famed hotel recently completed a new on-site neighborhood called The Cabanas. Featuring 97 oceanfront and poolside rooms, it includes a resort-style pool and four new dining spots. Don’t miss the new Babcock & Story Bar patio, where picturesque sunset views await.

La Valencia Hotel

1132 Prospect St., La Jolla / Website

For some cultural respite, head to La Valencia Hotel. This ocean view and old-school charm have delighted elite visitors for over 90 years. Dubbed the “Pink Lady” after its 1928 Spanish maiden tile portrait, the hotel offers pool day passes for the first time in its history alongside a new weekend bubbly brunch featuring Veuve Clicquot, and the opportunity to book a room for the day via its Offices by the Ocean package.

Rancho Valencia Resort & Spa

5921 Valencia Circle, Rancho Santa Fe / Website

Situated on 45 secluded acres, this Rancho Santa Fe property instantly transports guests from SoCal to the Mediterranean. The Relais & Châteaux resort focuses on a holistic experience through its highly-rated fitness and wellness programs. For the ultimate escape, opt for the all-inclusive Autumn Sanctuary package. It comes with a Valencia suite, private outdoor soaking tub and fireplace, plus three meals per day, a one-hour massage and more.

The Cassara Carlsbad

5805 Armada Drive, Carlsbad / Website

This buzzy Carlsbad spot recently unveiled its Work, Learn & Play package. It’s the perfect way for families working and learning from home to indulge in a weekday staycation—or shall we say workcation? The two-bedroom family suite features a built-in workstation and a private patio or balcony for panoramic ocean views. Accommodations also include access to the hotel’s luxe in-room and property amenities. See you by the outdoor fire pits with a cocktail in hand.

See also: 9 Sweet Valentine's Day Gifts For Her

Nothing says 'I love you' like a charcuterie board...

Venissimo Cheese

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Locations vary / Website

With four locations sprinkled throughout San Diego, Venissimo Cheese is always within reach for a prime selection of cheeses imported from all over the world. Try one of their expertly-crafted cheese boards or consult with staff to build your own.

The Lion’s Share

629 Kettner Blvd. / Website

Known for meats you may not see in the grocery store, this rule-breaking restaurant will satisfy carnivorous craving. It's a fun twist on the classic meat and cheese board you ought not to miss.

Platter and Honey

Website

From impressive grazing tables to approachable platters, Kaila Scott knows her way around an Insta-worthy display of crudites, fruit, cheeses, meats and more.

Extraordinary Desserts

2870 Fourth Ave. / Website

While showstopping cakes and sweets are the main attraction, it’s the cheese bar that caught our attention at this Bankers Hill favorite. Every Wednesday night, you can build your own cheese board from its myriad offerings of imported and domestic options.

See also: 7 Gift Ideas For A Fun-Filled Galentine's Day

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Tickle your taste buds at one of these newly debuted San Diego eateries—it'll be a night you and your S/O won't forget.

Huntress

376 Fifth Ave. / Website

Huntress brings a unique dining and drinking experience to the Gaslamp Quarter with dishes that wow both the eye and the palate. An RMD Group concept, the upscale steakhouse dishes out exquisite carnivorous cuts from executive chef James Montejano paired with an extensive Japanese whisky selection. Don’t miss the Insta-worthy desserts, like the Magic Mushroom full of peanut butter, chocolate and caramel flavors.

Arlo

500 Hotel Circle N. / Website

Mission Valley welcomes Arlo to the dining scene. Under the guidance of chef Josh Mouzakes, this Baja-inspired restaurant cooks up a variety of grilled and smoked meats and seafood, plus vegetarian and vegan plates that reflect the diverse culinary culture of SoCal. Expect local ingredients utilized in shareable plates, like the California paella and charcuterie de mar. Wash it all down with a wide selection of craft beers from independent local breweries, in addition to regional wines and cocktails, all of which can be enjoyed on an outdoor patio that flows into a retro indoor space.

Fortunate Son

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2943 Adams Ave. / Website

Fortunate Son brings traditional American Chinese takeout to a whole new level. Inspired by his Chinese American heritage, chef Tony Guan masters the kitchen with dishes like sweet and sour pork belly, family-style duck and General Tso’s cauliflower made with ginger, garlic, shaoxing wine and dried chiles. Guan’s creations include only the highest-quality ingredients sourced from established purveyors like Ironside Fish & Oyster and Born & Raised. Book a reservation to snag one of 38 seats in the dining room where suspended flowers and a 10-foot-tall dragon bring the wow factor.

Spice up the day with a fancy at-home cocktail hour using recipes from four famous local mixologists...

Pacific Coast Spirits "Skeleton Kru"

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404 S Coast Hwy. / Website

“The Skeleton Kru is inspired by fall in California," says Bartender Rob Harrah. "While the weather is perfect year-round, we can still enjoy something light and refreshing... Savor accordingly.”

  • In a cocktail shaker, combine 1 ½ oz. Pacific Coast Spirits white rye whiskey with ½ oz. Giffard Crème de Pêche, ¼ oz. brown sugar syrup, ¾ oz. lemon juice and two dashes Bittermens Elemakule Tiki bitters.
  • Lightly shake, then double strain into a Nick and Nora glass.
  • Garnish with a skeleton leaf pinned to the glass.

Mustangs & Burros' "Baja Spritzer"

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Estancia La Jolla Hotel & Spa, 9700 N Torrey Pines Rd. / Website

“This vibrant Baja spritz will take you back to sitting next to a bonfire on a fall night," says Food and Beverage Outlet Assistant Manager Pim Berkeley, "listening to the sound of crackling wooden logs with its smoky aroma but refreshing flavor thanks to Aperol and grapefruit soda.”

  • In a cocktail shaker, combine 1 ½ oz. Bozal Ensamble mezcal with ½ oz. Aperol and ½ oz. grapefruit juice.
  • Shake vigorously and strain over ice.
  • Top with grapefruit soda.

Puesto's "What Wer'e Having"

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1026 Wall St. / Website

“I wanted to keep this cocktail bright and refreshing while anchoring with some darker, amorous notes from the Amaro Nonino and chocolate bitters," says Bar and Spirits Creative Director Beau du Bois. "This Paper Plane variation stands on its own with tequila as opposed to rye.”

  • In a cocktail shaker with ice, combine 1 oz. Casa Noble Crystal organic tequila with ¾ oz. Amaro Nonino, 3/4 oz. Aperol, 3/4 oz. lemon juice and two dashes chocolate bitters.
  • Shake and strain into a coupe glass.
  • Garnish with cocoa and morita pepper salt powder.

The Nolen's "Ought To Be You"

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453 Sixth Ave #7007 / Website

“Growing up in the South, tart cherry pie was a staple throughout the summer, while making jam and preserves allowed us to keep enjoying those cherries into the fall," Mixologist Benjamin Burch. "Here in Southern California, October is still one of our warmest months, so I wanted to capture that with the summery flavor of cherry pie as the base, while incorporating it with cherry jam and some warm fall flavors from the whiskey, bitters and vanilla.”

  • First, infuse 4 cups bourbon with 1 Tbsp. cherry jam in a jar. Let sit for three hours or overnight.
  • Then, combine 1 1/2 oz. infused bourbon with 3/4 oz. fino sherry, 1/2 oz. fresh lemon juice, 1/3 oz. vanilla syrup, 3/4 oz. egg white and two dashes bitters in a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
  • Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled coupe martini glass.



Photography by: Courtesy of the brands