Photo credit: karandaev
Do Valentine's Day Right (San Diego-Style)
January 7, 2019
With its beautiful coastline and dreamy sunsets, San Diego already has a lot of built-in romance, making Valentine’s Day that much easier to plan. But many of us still need a little help when it comes to organizing the perfect Valentine’s Day, particularly if you want to do something a little different. From a clifftop picnic at Torrey Pines Gliderport to wine tasting in Baja’s Valle de Guadalupe, there are plenty of unique things to do in (and near) San Diego for Valentine’s Day.
So, in the name of love, we’ve put together a list of 10 ideas that will help you plan the perfect 2019 Valentine’s Day date!
Have a Picnic at Kate Sessions Park
If you’re planning a picnic-with-a-view kind of day, Kate Sessions Park is a great option. This 79-acre park is situated between La Jolla and Pacific Beach and offers some of the best panoramic views in San Diego. It’s also an excellent place to watch the sunset, which, FYI, will be at 5:33 p.m. on February 14th, 2019. There are picnic tables and barbecues at the park, and it is child- and dog-friendly, too. Oh, and don’t forget your Knockaround sunglasses for the hours before the sun goes down!
Venture Down to Valle De Guadalupe
You may have heard the buzz around Valle de Guadalupe, an up-and-coming wine region in Baja California that has been called the “Napa Valley of Mexico.” Fortunately for San Diegans, Valle de Guadalupe is a relatively easy 90-minute drive from the border. There are over 100 wineries along Valle’s “Ruta del Vino,” and most offer good, inexpensive wine without the air of pretentiousness you sometimes get in other wine regions (*cough* Napa).
To get to Valle de Guadalupe you can either drive yourselves (remember to get car insurance for Mexico first!) or take a tour; there are several that leave from San Diego (such as Baja Wine and Dine and Baja Winery Tours).
Get a Private Karaoke Room at Min Sok Chon
Nothing says romance like embarrassing yourself in front of your significant other, and one excellent way to do that is at a noraebang, or Korean-style karaoke bar. One of the best things about noraebang is that they are private; each group has their own room, so you can focus on entertaining/torturing just your friends, as opposed to innocent strangers.
So, this Valentine’s Day, plan a double, triple, or quadruple date (be a champ and invite your single friends too) and consider reserving a room at Min Sok Chon, one of San Diego’s few noraebang. In addition to several private singing rooms, they offer Korean food and drinks. Min Sok Chon is located on Convoy in Kearny Mesa and is open from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday; and 5 p.m. to 4 a.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Take in the Views at the Torrey Pines Gliderport
The Torrey Pines Gliderport is perched on a 350-foot-high bluff above Black’s Beach in La Jolla and offers spectacular views of La Jolla and beyond. There are picnic tables for those who want to bring along some food, or grab a bite at the Cliffhanger Café, which is open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Visitors can sit back and watch the gliders take off and float through the air, or if you’re feeling adventurous, go with them; the Gliderport offers tandem paragliding or hang gliding, which are available on a first-come, first-served basis when the wind is favorable.
Catch an Improv Show at National Comedy Theatre
Inject some humor into your Valentine’s Day at Mission Hills’ National Comedy Theatre, where you can see the longest-running show in San Diego history. The nationally-acclaimed improv show at NCT features scenes and games that are all based on audience suggestions. Performances take place every Thursday at 7:30 p.m. (including on Thursday, February 14th), Friday and Saturday nights at 7:30 and 9:45 p.m., and Sundays at 7:30 p.m.
Kick Back a Unique Beverage at Fruitcraft
Looking to have a drink or two but tired of the usual options? Fruitcraft, located on University in Hillcrest, is, in their own words, a “kombuchery, cidery, meadery, winery, [and] distillery.” And if you had to look up “meadery,” you’re not alone (mead is an ancient drink made from diluted honey which has been fermented).
Fruitcraft ferments and distills a number of fruits, including pineapple, pomegranate, and cranberry. They also serve kombucha, craft beer, and coffee, as well as salads, flatbreads, and appetizers.
Note that Fruitcraft is currently going through an expansion and they’re only open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, but be sure to check their website or Instagram, as hours may be different in February.
Take a Cooking Class at Hipcooks
Hipcooks offers fun and laid-back cooking classes that are perfect for couples. Each class has a different theme; learn how to make fresh pasta, Spanish tapas, Thai soups, gumbo, sushi, and many more awesome dishes.
Classes are three hours long unless otherwise specified and cost $75 per person. Hipcooks’ San Diego school is located on 30th Street in North Park and offers classes several times a week, including on February 13th, 14th, 15th, and 16th; all have a “Date Night” theme. Bon appétit!
Have a Date Night at Balboa Park
It’s hard to go wrong with a trip to Balboa Park, and Valentine’s Day is no exception. Consider heading to a museum in the late afternoon (most close at 5 p.m.) and then do happy hour or dinner at The Prado, one of the most romantic restaurants in San Diego. The Prado’s happy hour is Tuesday through Friday from 4 to 6 p.m., and they open for dinner at 5 p.m. Reservations can be made online.
Explore the Point Loma Tide Pools
Some of California’s best tide pools can be found in at the Cabrillo National Monument in Point Loma, and winter is one of the optimal times of the year to visit. Generally, the best times to explore tide pools are two hours before and after low tide. You can find the tide predictions for 2019 here.
The Point Loma Tide Pools are home to sea anemones, sea cucumber, crabs, starfish, dead man's fingers, sea urchins, and a number of other aquatic creatures. Wear shoes with good traction, as the rocks can be slippery, and remember that tidepools and their inhabitants are delicate and should be respected. The tide pools can be accessed from 1800 Cabrillo Memorial Drive. Note that the area closes at 4:30 p.m.
Watch a Play at the Old Globe
The Old Globe, first opened in 1935, is one of San Diego’s oldest arts institutions, as well as one of the country’s top-ranked regional theaters. In February 2019, The Old Globe will be showing Familiar, a play written by Tony Award nominee Danai Gurira. According to The Old Globe’s website, Familiar “takes a funny, warmhearted look at tradition, marriage, and what it means to be an American family.” Tickets range from $35 to $101.
Whether you end up watching the sunset from the top of a cliff, learning how to make risotto, or belting out some tunes, we hope that you have an awesome Valentine’s Day!
Written by Whitney Currier for Knockaround