Photo by @CourtneySweeden
Are you ready for Valentine’s Day? It’s February 14, which falls on a Wednesday this year. It’s the perfect excuse for a midweek date. Or, if you really want to raise your game, why not make special plans for the weekend before or after Valentine’s Day?
Whenever you choose to celebrate with that special someone in your life, the Pensacola Bay area is happy to play Cupid this year, providing limitless opportunities for love and romance. Here are five suggestions for a memorable Valentine’s Day:
1. Romantic Dinner
The way to the heart is through the stomach, right? If you want to enjoy a delicious meal with your Valentine, Pensacola area chefs and restaurants are happy to help. Many offer special menus for Valentine’s Day and encourage reservations, so consider visiting individual restaurant websites for information and calling ahead to arrange the details.
One local favorite for fine dining in Downtown Pensacola, The Global Grill is known for great service and its tapas or small plates featuring cuisines from around the world. Selections include the likes of brie, Brussels sprouts, lamb lollipops and lobster tail, just to name a few. Order two or three of these plates to share. Add a bottle of wine, and you may have all you need for a great dining experience. Of course, the tapas are also an excellent precursor to Global Grill’s entrees, which change nightly, and don’t forget dessert. I hear the ice cream is to die for! Ask for a table by the window for a view of all the lights and sights of Palafox Street at night. If you are lucky, a local musician will be playing on site when you visit, setting the mood for your special evening.
2. Entertaining Date Night
The weekend before Valentine’s Day, treat your loved one to an evening of entertainment. Tickets are available now for “All You Need is Love: A Beatles Tribute” at the Saenger Theater on Saturday, Feb. 10. In this session of the Pensacola Symphony Orchestra’s Pops series, James Owen Presents Classical Mystery Tour joins the PSO to perform classic hits of The Beatles. Admission ranges from $23-$99.
If a night of laughs is more your style, plan to see stand-up comedian Jim Gaffigan at the Pensacola Bay Center on Sunday, Feb. 11. Tickets for Jim Gaffigan: The Fixer Upper start at $32 and are available at the Pensacola Bay Center Box Office or ticketmaster.com.
3. Get Creative
One of the best gifts you can give at Valentine’s Day is time together. Use your time to try something new, like taking an art class or enjoying a paint and wine session at Artworks Studio & Gallery in Perdido Key. Located at the Villagio Town Center, guests can try their hand at a variety of creative pursuits, or browse the gallery to see the work of local artists.
4. Beach Retreat
For a relaxing escape, spend a night or a weekend on Pensacola Beach for Valentine’s Day. Locals and visitors can take advantage of special Valentine’s Day offers at many of the island’s hotels and resort properties. Check individual websites for details, but you may find that what most consider the off-season is one of the best times to enjoy a walk on the beach, coffee and breakfast on your balcony overlooking the water, or any of your favorite Pensacola Beach attractions.
5. See the City in Style
It’s no secret that Downtown Pensacola has a vibrant nightlife, especially as restaurants, shops and galleries have taken up residence in revitalized buildings along Palafox Street and its adjacent thoroughfares in recent years. On special occasions like the monthly Gallery Night, when Palafox is closed to traffic between Garden and Main Streets, you can usually find a horse-drawn carriage available to whisk you and your significant other away for a leisurely ride through the city. Carriages of Pensacola offer these public rides, usually from the corner of Palafox and Zaragosa Streets, in front of Jackson’s Steakhouse. On a recent night, rates were advertised as $25 for adults and $15 for children under age 12.
Carriages of Pensacola is now booking carriages especially for Valentine’s Day, and it just so happens Gallery Night is scheduled for Friday, Feb. 16, the weekend after Valentine’s Day. Your carriage – and the start of a romantic weekend – awaits!
What other ways have you found to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Pensacola?