When Paul and I started dating (about 4.5 years ago) I was adamant about not celebrating Valentine’s Day. It literally made me cringe to think about people who actually find this holiday romantic. I guess you should know that I don’t like any of the following (in the context of a man gifting them to me): teddy bears, red roses, chocolates in a heart box, most poetry, and cheesy V-Day cards. What I do like is roses in any other color, chocolates filled with caramel or marshmallow, handwritten DIY cards, and Valentine’s Day getaway staycations.
Since we both agreed that Valentine’s Day is just ridiculous, we instead started a little tradition of going to Santa Barbara around Valentine’s Day (to avoid raised prices and no reservations) to wine taste and eat great food. We usually opt for a sweet bed & breakfast that has a quaint feel to it and just spend our days leisurely getting wine drunk and beach cruising along the boardwalk. While we are very familiar with Santa Barbara and have declared it to be our ultimate retirement city, we have also discovered some pretty awesome destinations that are just a short drive away if you live in LA.
Los Olivos will forever hold a sweet spot in my heart, as it is where I was proposed to. And even though I am insanely biased, it is legitimately an amazing place. The town is teeny tiny but houses some of the best food and wine I have ever had. First off, the Fess Parker Inn is beautiful and you really don’t even have to leave. They have a great pool, spa, winery (in the hotel), and a restaurant that makes the best breakfast, lunch, and dinner (Petros). If you do decide to venture down the street, stop into just about any tasting room or restaurant and get ready to be wowed.
I had one bad experience in San Diego that involved someone breaking into my car, stealing my day planner (!!!), and me driving home for 3 hours without a window in the freezing cold. Let’s just say I was less than thrilled to ever go back. However, I will say that they do have some pretty sweet hotels right on the water and if you’re into gorgeous sunsets and walks along the beach you will enjoy a trip down here.
Palm Springs is my version of Vegas. I go with my girls every summer for some R+R and am usually in bed by midnight. My kind of trip. If you decide to do a romantical trip with your significant other to PS, I strongly suggest the Riviera Hotel. It has an ideal pool situation with plenty of seating, waiters going around, fun music, and shade. The adult-only vibe is just what you want while trying to catch some rays in preparation for your definitely adult-only meal at Workshop Kitchen. This restaurant has a very industrial feel to it and the food/mixology is out of this world. You must be into trying new things and exploring your palette to truly enjoy it. Don’t expect to eat a cheeseburger or anything generic…this place is a little heavenly party in your mouth.
Hope my suggestions help you plan the most non-sucky Valentine’s Day yet! Please share with me your favorite staycation spots in LA.