It’s almost time for Cupid to send his little arrows soaring, folks. Have you already made plans for you and your sweetheart? Or, do you plan to spend the day loving on your whole family? Maybe you’re single and will be spending Valentine’s Day appreciating your friends and family instead of a significant other. Either way, you’re in good hands in the River City.
Here’s a list of some ideas that you can make happen now. You know, because if you haven’t made your dinner reservation at L’opossum, Shagbark, or Stella’s, you’re probably going to be eating at 5:30 or 9:30. But…go check because they are all worth it.
1. Visit the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
Open 365 days a year and free, the VMFA is a gem in the heart of Richmond. Meet for a lunchtime stroll and grab a bite to eat at the in-house fine-dining restaurant, Amuse, or plan a more romantic evening date. If you’re feeling especially inspired, make it an overnight date and stay at The One Bed and Breakfast, a 1st Place Recipient of the Best of Richmond 2016 Reader’s Choice Awards located just two blocks away.
2. Enjoy an RVA Staycation.
Want to get away from all the hustle and bustle without actually leaving? Book a night or two in one of the city’s swanky hotels or bed and breakfasts. Great choices are:
- Hilton Richmond Hotel + Spa in Short Pump
- Linden Row Inn, a bed and breakfast down on East Franklin
- Quirk Hotel is one of Richmond’s boutique hotels, boasting ah-mazing rooms and a rooftop bar with to-die-for views of the city
- Jefferson Hotel, the city’s most famous, historic luxury hotel, offering dinner, afternoon tea, or a Sunday Champagne Brunch.
3. Enjoy a game-filled date night.
Romance is in the eye of the beholder. And, sometimes, after a long week of raising littles and/or bringing home the bacon, a relaxing night with your Mr. or Mrs. Lover Lover might just be what Cupid ordered. Check out The Answer, a brewpub opened by Mekong’s revered beer master, An Bui. While there you can have dinner and then hang out and play games like Pac-Man, life-sized Jenga, and Connect Four. Want something a bit more fast-paced? The Escape Room RVA will challenge you to rely on teamwork and puzzle-solving skills to escape from one of the four themed-rooms. Next stop: the Amazing Race.
4. Plan a cheap date night.
Looking for great food that won’t break your budget? You’re in the right town, my friend. Some of our favorites are En Su Boca, Boulevard Burger and Brew, Peter Chang, Tazza Kitchen, the Continental Westhampton and Buzz-N-Ned’s.
5. Take a walking food + drink tour of Scott’s Addition.
This area of town is on FIRE! Grab dinner at one of the many restaurants including Supper!, Peter Chang, or Boulevard Burger + Brew. Then, visit one, or all of the nearby breweries and cideries, including The Veil, Isley, Ardent, Three Notch’d, Buskey Cider and Blue Bee Cider.
6. Take a Segway or Trolley Tour of Richmond.
Take a tour of Richmond! You can plan a Segway Tour or Trolley Tour and choose the theme to meet your interests. Into history? Perfect! You can choose the Segway Tour of Richmond Landmarks, Hollywood Cemetery, or Monument Avenue, just to name a few. Grab your date or a whole group of friends and reserve your space on a trolley to take a beer, wine, historic, or plantation tour.
7. Skip dinner and splurge on dessert.
Who needs dinner for Valentine’s Day? Grab a decadent dessert and after-dinner wine or coffee cocktail at Richmond’s first ‘dessert-only’ restaurant, Shyndigz. Are you more of an ice cream fan? Then, grab some of Gelati Celesti’s heavenly handmade ice cream at any of their locations in Short Pump, Bon Air, the original location in the Gold’s Gym Plaza on Broad St, or their newest location opening in February 2017 in Scott’s Addition. And, truth bomb here: I’m enjoying their Mud Pie flavor as I write. 🙂
8. But, donut skip breakfast.
Is your love too big for just one person? Then, celebrate this day with your whole family and start with breakfast. With Richmond’s ever-growing donut scene, you needn’t go far to find an excellent donut and cup of coffee. Sugar Shack has 3 Richmond locations AND a mobile gluten-free truck; Duck Donuts from North Carolina has a location at Willow Lawn and Short Pump; and, if you feel guilty eating donuts for your meal, head to SweetShop Donuts in Powhatan for great donuts and a full-service menu for lunch and dinner. And, even though they don’t open their truck back up at the Forest Hill Farmer’s Market until March, I just can’t mention donuts and Richmond without mentioning Mrs. Yoder’s Kitchen and their warm yeast donuts. I may pick up some vegetables at the Farmer’s Market every time I go, but, I’m really going for the donuts.
9. Grab dinner + a movie.
Maybe you have a sitter for the night and don’t have time to go to dinner and then a movie? No worries, kill two birds with one stone and have dinner and drinks while watching the movie. Both Ovation Cinema on Alverser Drive in Midlothian and CineBistro at Stony Point Fashion Park offer good food, good drink, and great movies.
10. Stroll the new downtown pedestrian bridge.
The newly opened T. Tyler Potterfield Memorial Bridge is a great addition to the city of Richmond. Connecting Brown’s Island to the Manchester climbing wall with access to the floodwall path and the Manchester neighborhood, it crosses the James River and offers spectacular views of the river and the city. Pack a lunch or go grab a bite to eat at a local restaurant, and your date is complete.
11. Forget the bouquet…enjoy a garden of flowers.
Why limit the flower-giving to just a bouquet? Head to Lewis Ginter Botancial Garden for a tour of one the best botanical gardens in the US; it boasts over a dozen themed gardens, a domed Conservatory, and 50 acres of gardens, dining, and shopping. And, now through February 28, 2017, you’ll enjoy half-price admission.
12. Listen to live music.
You may not be able to grab a ticket for Valentine’s Day or the surrounding weekends but, for sure, you could snag tickets for an upcoming show as a Valentine’s Day gift. 🙂 Check out The National or The Broadberry for some bigger named acts or consider a smaller venue in your neck of the woods.
13. Take a cooking class.
The way to a man’s heart may be through his stomach, but the way to a woman’s heart is surely through dinner cooked by said man. 🙂 Spend an afternoon or evening together learning how to make a pizza or bake a cake. Great places to start are Mise En Place in Shockoe Bottom, Sur La Table at Stony Point Fashion Park, or Williams Sonoma at Short Pump Town Center.
14. Have dinner with a water view.
What’s more romantic than dinner overlooking a river or a lake? Lucky for us, we’ve got several choices in Richmond. Check out the Boathouse or Conch Republic, both overlooking the James at Rockett’s Landing. If there’s no way you’re going to cross The River, head to the Boathouse at Sunday Park and enjoy sweeping views of the Sweet Creek Reservoir.
Alright! There are a lot of ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Richmond, and I’m SURE we haven’t even scratched the surface. How are YOU spending Valentine’s Day this year? Did we leave out the spot you’re currently crushing on? Show it some love by sharing it in the comments. 🙂 Then, share this article to give all of these great Richmond spots the love they deserve.