11 Last-Minute San Diego Valentine’s Day Ideas 

Valentine’s Day by the beach, courtesy of Pop Up Picnic Co.

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.

Cider tasting at Bivouac Ciderworks
Bivouac Ciderworks

Feb. 14-15. The North Park taproom of hard cider maker Bivouac Ciderworks hosts two festive events celebrating Valentine’s Day this year. On Feb. 14, join local baker Emmie Bakes for a special cider and dessert pairing. The experience includes a flight of three ciders and three, two-bite cupcakes with flavors like churro, pistachio-saffron and chocolate. 6-10 p.m.; $25 per person. On Feb. 15, Bivouac hosts “Coven of Lovin’: A Galentine’s Day Event.” Local tarot card reader and holistic interior designer Rachel Larraine will be on hand to give readings and share feng shui tips for the boudoir; plus candle-making, spell casting, rosé cider and a special Love Potion No. 9 cocktail. 7-9 p.m.; $40 per person.3986 30th St., North Park, 619.725.0844

“Glitz, Glam & Love” at Lips

Feb. 14. Worried the holiday might be a drag this year? The fabulous ladies of San Diego’s premier “drag palace” are here to lift your spirits on Valentine’s Day. Hosted by “Paris Sukomi Max,” the “Glitz, Glam & Love” experience comprises a three-course dinner, libations, music and Vegas-style drag shows. Expect plenty of big hair, high heels, dancing and consumption of cheeky cocktails such as the Screaming Kiki and Pick That B*tch Up Off the Floor. Call for reservations and pricing. 3036 El Cajon Blvd., North Park, 619.295.7900

Romantic sips and bites at Botanica

Feb. 14. Both a cocktail bar and gallery showcasing modern art and NFT digital art, North Park hot spot Botanica is in the Valentine’s Day spirit—offering holiday-themed libations the weekend prior; and a multicourse, prix-fixe dining option on Feb. 14. The experience includes a soup starter; omakase-style savory bites; a chocolate-truffle pairing with health-focused chocolatier Maya Moon; two Valentine-inspired cocktails; and live lo-fi jazz. Two-hour seatings available 5-9:30 p.m.; $75 per person. (Walk-in guests are welcome in the bar area and can order from the regular cocktail menu and food items à la carte.) 3139 University Ave., North Park, 619.310.6320

Catamaran Resort Hotel

Feb. 14 (and all month). Celebrate Valentine’s Day by the bay with a three-course dinner at Oceana Coastal Kitchen, located along the waterfront at Catamaran Resort Hotel. Entrée choices include roast prime rib, Maine scallops and artichoke risotto; with a “Lovers Sweet End” dessert trio that serves two to finish; plus Champagne specials and specialty cocktails. 5:30-10 p.m.; $95 per person ($120 with wine pairings). And for the entire month of February, The Catamaran Spa is offering a “Share the Love” spa special: Receive 10% off any 50- or 80-minute massage, facial or body scrub when you and a loved one or best friend book a spa treatment together. 3999 Mission Blvd., Pacific Beach, 858.488.1081

Wine tasting at Carrruth Cellars
Carruth Cellars

Feb. 13-14. San Diego’s largest urban winery invites you to any of its San Diego County tasting rooms—downtown (Carté Hotel), Liberty Station, Carlsbad, Oceanside and Solana Beach—to stock up on bottles of wine for Valentine’s Day (try the signature rosé bundle); and/or reserve a private 90-minute tasting session. Purchase two bottles of Carruth wines Feb. 13-14 and receive a small floral bundle; buy four bottles for a large floral bundle. See website for addresses and hours.

The Pony Room

Feb. 14. The posh Rancho Valencia Resort in Rancho Santa Fe invites guest to dine at its elegant restaurant, The Pony Room. Among its myriad decadent choices, the four-course dinner experience offers Hamachi crudo, black-truffle risotto, Chateaubriand, crispy branzino and Bananas Foster. $165 person (overnight packages also available). For a decadent add-on, start the evening with the Pony Tower: Petrosian caviar, Maine lobster tail, poached prawns and oysters ($210). Call for reservations. 5921 Valencia Circle, Rancho Santa Fe, 858.759.6246

A romantic seaside spread by Pop Up Picnic Co.
Pop Up Picnic Co.

Available Feb. 11-12 & 14. Surprise your Valentine with a seaside picnic! Pop Up Picnic Co. does all the work for you—including picnic basket assembly, scouting out your perfect location, setup and breakdown. The company is offering two special picnics for two (available on the aforementioned three dates)—with locations that include Cuvier Park in La Jolla, Mount Soledad, Kate Sessions Park, Sunset Cliffs and Embarcadero Marina Park downtown. Picnic packages include grazing boards filled with cheeses, charcuterie, fruit and more; chocolate-covered strawberries; a “Be Mine” fresh flower bouquet to take home; romantic candles and lights; cozy blankets; and a custom message board to write a sweet love note. Prices range from $359-$400. 

One Paseo

Through Feb. 14. Need some Valentine’s Day gift ideas? The farm truck at One Paseo (located near the koi pond) is stocked with inspiration. In addition to individual flowers, roses and fresh-cut bouquets, the truck is also selling unique gift items, olive oils and organic produce (should you be planning to cook for your Valentine). Also pop into any of One Paseo’s curated boutiques for more gift ideas; our favorite shops include Pigment, West of Camden and Whiskey x Leather. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. (online pre-orders also available). 3725 Paseo Place, Del Mar, 858.523.2298 

Seaport Village

Feb. 14. Love is in the air at Seaport Village. Take your Valentine for a stroll along the waterfront campus, which will be decked out with romantic light tunnels, live music and “sweetheart characters” (think: Cupid himself) passing out complimentary fresh flowers. Take a spin on the historical carousel; pop into the San Pasqual Wine Tasting Room for some vino; and grab treats at The Something Sweet Shop or Seaport Fudge Factory. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Free admission. 849 W. Harbor Drive, downtown, 619.530.0704 

Valentine’s Day dining at Cafe Sevilla
Cafe Sevilla

Feb. 11-13. Cafe Sevilla is sold out for dining on Feb. 14, but fear not; you can still be transported to Spain via these three Valentine’s Day experiences. On Saturday, Feb. 11, the second annual “Don’t Text The Ex” Anti-Valentine’s Day Brunch party features bottomless mimosas and a free “Love Potion #9” shot with the purchase of a brunch entree. On Feb. 12, the “Galentines Sunday Brunch” includes a live DJ set and a free peach Bellini with the purchase of an entree. On Feb. 13, the four-course “Lovers in Spain” dinner experience includes lobster tails and live Latin music ($68 per person). See website for hours and reservations. 353 Fifth Ave., Gaslamp Quarter, 619.233.5979

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: Botanica by Megan Jane Burgess. Pop Up Picnic Co. by Diana Rose Photography.


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