11 Last-Minute San Diego Valentine’s Day Ideas 

From special restaurant menus to botanic gardens, San Diego is brimming with Valentine’s Day options.

Restaurant reservations for Valentine’s Day filled up reeeeally quickly this year at San Diego’s romantic hot spots. But not to worry; we’ve rounded up a few fabulous places that still have openings (last we checked) and other Cupid-approved ideas to celebrate the holiday—whether single or with your sweetheart.

Galentine’s Tea at The Westgate Hotel
Galentine’s Tea at The Westgate Hotel

Select Dates. Gather your best gal pals to celebrate the season with The Westgate Hotel’s annual Galentine’s Tea experience in the Grand Lobby, available on select dates throughout February. The fun includes a three-course afternoon tea service comprising premium teas, sandwiches, pastries and seasonal desserts; all while being accompanied by a live harpist. Specialty Galentine’s cocktails are available for additional purchase. 1-3:30 p.m. $55 adults; $35 children ages 4-12. 1055 Second Ave., downtown, 619.238.1818

Wagyu filet for Valentine’s Day at STK Steakhouse
STK Steakhouse

Feb. 12-18. Celebrate anytime during the full week surrounding Valentine’s Day at STK. In addition to its regular dinner menu, the posh steakhouse is offering fabulous specials, such as a wagyu filet for $89; Dom Perignon Champagne for $49 per glass and $249 per bottle; Imperia Caviar Kaluga Reserve, comprising 30 grams of caviar, mother-of-pearl spoons, blinis and toast for $149; and chocolate-lava-marshmallow cake with raspberries and vanilla ice cream for $24. See website for full menu and to make reservations. 600 F St., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.354.5988

Romantic dinner offerings at Cafe Sevilla
Cafe Sevilla

Feb. 13-14. Take your pick of Valentine’s Day celebrations at Cafe Sevilla. On Feb. 13, it’s “Galentine’s Night Out!” featuring a festive happy hour, wine flights and $40 bottles of cava, live music (starting at 8 p.m.) and free salsa and bachata dance lessons. On Feb. 14, enjoy a special four-course “Lovers in Spain” menu, with Lobster Paella Valenciana as the main course; plus live Latin music. See website or call for pricing, hours and reservations. 353 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.233.5979

Pain d’Epice for dessert at Bleu Bohème
Bleu Bohème

Feb. 14. Kensington’s quaint French bistro offers a romantic three-course Valentine’s Day menu, with plenty of choices for each course. Choose from starters such as wild-mushroom soup with Parmesan, crab croquettes, beet salad and salmon tartare; entrees including filet mignon, mushroom raviolis, sea scallops with saffron-lobster risotto, and duck-leg confit; and desserts like crème brulée, warm brioche bread pudding, Pain d’Épice (warm gingerbread with strawberry confiture and caramel ice cream), and flourless chocolate cake. Add-ons include the Ma Cherie specialty cocktail with cherry-infused brandy, bourbon and port wine, topped with vanilla cream. 4-8 p.m. $95 per person. 4090 Adams Ave., Kensington, 619.255.4167

Tasty pairings at Bivouac Ciderworks
Cider & Dessert Pairing at Bivouac Ciderworks

Feb. 14. The North Park taproom of hard cider maker Bivouac Ciderworks hosts an exclusive “Love at First Bite” cider and dessert pairing on Valentine’s Day. Featuring custom-made treats by North of 72 Bakery, the experience comprises pairings of Bivouac’s Cherries Jubilee Cider with orange-vanilla-bean cheesecake; Pink Velvet Strawberry Cider with princess cake topped with strawberry compote, whipped cream and heart sprinkles; and the Oddish Wine X Bivouac Syrah Pear Cider with a rich, heart-shaped chocolate tart. Stop by anytime between 4-10 p.m., or make a dinner reservation at Bivouac to complement your evening. $35 per person. 3986 30th St., North Park, 619.725.0844

Valentine’s Day Dinner offerings at Herb & Sea
Herb & Sea

Feb. 14. The popular Encinitas haunt is offering a special four-course Valentine’s Day menu (plus a bread service of their famous Parker House rolls), with options for every taste. Offerings include Blue Devil oysters, kanpachi crudo, grilled prawns, pork belly, lobster gnocchi, filet with frites and onion jus, salmon with butter-caviar sauce, mushroom risotto with black truffles and Parmesan, and chocolate lava cake. See website for reservations. 5-9 p.m. $119 per adult; $65 wine pairing add-on. 131 West D St., Encinitas, 760.704.8300

Romantic dining awaits at The Pony Room
The Pony Room

Feb. 14. The five-star Rancho Valencia Resort in Rancho Santa Fe invites guests to dine at its elegant restaurant, The Pony Room. Among its myriad decadent choices, the four-course Valentine’s Day Dinner experience offers Maine lobster bisque en croute; spaghetti carbonara with Dungeness crab and smoked guanciale, Chateaubriand with roasted broccolini and olive-oil-crushed potatoes; and Valrhona Chocolate-covered strawberry soufflé. For a decadent add-on, start the evening with Petrosian Royal Ossetra caviar accompanied by Yukon Gold potatoes and lemon crème fraiche. $175 per person (overnight packages also available). Call for reservations. 5921 Valencia Circle, Rancho Santa Fe, 858.759.6246   

Gondola tours through the Coronado Cays
Coronado Cays Gondola Tours

Ongoing. If you squint and use your imagination, the Coronado Cays can transform into the canals of Venice (sort of) with this romantic experience. Book a cruise for two (or up to six passengers) via The Gondola Company aboard a Venetian-style gondola for a 50-minute tour through the Silver Strand’s luxury marina community. Packages comprise daytime tours, sunset cruises and upgrades that include wine, chocolate truffles, and a professional live mandolin player or violinist to serenade your party. See website for operating hours and required reservations. 503 Grand Caribe Causeway, Suite C, Coronado, 619.429.6317 

Date night at The Lodge at Torrey Pines
The Lodge at Torrey Pines

Ongoing. Valentine’s Day Dinner reservations are sold out at The Lodge at Torrey Pines’ flagship restaurant, A.R. Valentien. But not to worry; the AAA Five-Diamond luxury resort—which overlooks the famous Torrey Pines Golf Course with views of the Pacific—is offering a special overnight “Romance Package” (available anytime) that includes an in-room bottle of sparkling wine and chocolate-covered strawberries, as well as a $60 breakfast credit. See website for details and to book. 11480 N. Torrey Pines Road, La Jolla, 858.453.4420 

Exploring at San Diego Botanic Garden
San Diego Botanic Garden

Ongoing. A visit to this 37-acre oasis in Encinitas—home to lush gardens, a rainforest and more—makes for a perfect romantic afternoon. Stroll among the garden’s charming paths, which lead you by more than 5,000 plants from around the world; enjoy a picnic in the Bamboo Garden; take a fun class or workshop together, such as the Succulent Heart Arrangement Workshop on Feb. 17; and much more. See website for more date ideas, upcoming events, hours and admission info. 300 Quail Gardens Drive, Encinitas, 760.436.3036 

Whale watching with Everyday California
Whale Watching Kayak Tours

Ongoing. Attention, thrill-seeking couples: Imagine the awe of spotting a 45-ton gray whale while aboard a kayak in the calm waters of La Jolla Shores … while on a Valentine’s Day date? There’s nothing more thrilling or romantic if you ask us. Everyday California is offering guided, two-hour kayak tours (through March 6) during which your whale-sighting chances are good. (The whales migrate every winter from Alaska to the warm lagoon waters of Mexico, passing by California along the way.) The ocean adventure company also offers stand-up paddleboard rentals. See website for reservations and pricing. 2261 Avenida de la Playa, La Jolla Shores, 858.454.6195

Photo credits: Herb & Sea by Kimberly Motos. All other images are courtesy of the businesses featured.


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