San Diego County, California, where I've lived now for 15 years, offers myriad ways to celebrate Valentine's Day, no matter what your budget. And for truly incurable romantics--our beautiful beaches, year-round sunshine, and gorgeous palm trees bountifully set the stage for daily romantic offerings too, if you just keep your senses keen!
So for upcoming Valentine's Day on February 14th, and to live romantically every day, here are my favorite 14 romantic San Diego outings to celebrate the spirit of LOVE!
1. Enjoy seal watching at La Jolla Cove, have a seaside lunch at La Jolla's charming Brockton Villa, Old World luxurious La Valencia Resort, or the stately historic Grande Colonial, and then stay overnight at the lovely La Jolla Bed & Breakfast Inn and enjoy their breakfast in the morning. More pix of our stay there. Expensive date, but worth it!
2. Enjoy a romantic beach stroll at Cardiff-by-the-Sea State Beach and then have a casual healthy lunch with an ocean view at Ki's Restaurant. I took the photo above years ago when we lived in Cardiff. Inexpensive.
3. Take a tour of the beautiful Mission San Luis Rey in Oceanside or stay overnight at the mission for a weekend for their Valentine's Day Marriage Retreat. My hubby and I have attended their marriage retreats several times and enjoyed them very much. More pix. Affordable.
4. Take a stroll through beautiful historic Balboa Park which is filled with museums, ornate architecture, and colorful flora. Have lunch on the outdoor patio at their beautifully artsy Prado Restaurant. More pix. Affordable.
5. Attend Art in the Park or the gorgeous Coronado Flower Show on Coronado Island and have lunch at the Hotel Del. More pix. Affordable.
6. Take a walk on beautiful Mission Bay and pack your own picnic. Inexpensive.
7. Attend the annual La Jolla Secret Garden Tour to see some of the most beautiful gardens and homes in the U.S. We go every year and love it! Have lunch at Michele Coulon's sweet little dessertier, or at the charming La Jolla Museum Outdoor Cafe. Last year's tour pix. Expensive tour for a good cause. Inexpensive and good food lunch places.
8. Have dinner at Mr. A's Restaurant for the most beautiful San Diego city skyline and bay view you could imagine! You can even sit outside on their highrise terrace for a better view if you're not super height-sensitive like me, that is--it was all I could do to stand here a few years ago! Expensive restaurant but worth every penny for fab fine dining and impeccable service. More pix of the amazing view. Mr. A's has been featured as one of the Top 10 penthouse restaurants in the U.S. by Gayot.
9. Speaking of views, have dinner at Cusp Restaurant in La Jolla for a sweeping panoramic Pacific Ocean and majestic palm trees view. We went here for our 33rd wedding anniversary and loved it! More pix. Expensive but worth it!
10. Visit the beautiful Keys Creek Lavender Farm for an afternoon of quiet beauty. We did this last year for the first time and absolutely loved it! Photos of our visit. On the way, we had lunch at La Bastide Bistro and enjoyed it. Inexpensive.
11. Browse the little shops in quaint downtown Carlsbad Village and have lunch at Paon French Restaurant and dessert at the Carlsbad Chocolate Bar. More pix. Free walk and semi-expensive lunch, but worth it!
13. Take a cruise around San Diego Bay. There are many themes to choose from. We did this last year for the first time and San Diego Bay is gorgeous from the water. Looks like they're having a Valentine's Day cruise! Affordable to expensive, depending on which cruise you choose.
14. Attend the annual Art Alive! celebration at the San Diego Art Museum, where florists interpret classical paintings through floral arrangements. Simply amazing! Inexpensive for a wonderful outing! More pix. More great pix!
Hope you make it to San Diego, California sometime for a romantic visit; you won't be disappointed in our beautiful city! San Diego is also a huge destination wedding location and if you need help with that, San Diego Style Weddings magazine and their blog is a great resource. Also, the San Diego Visitors Bureau is a great website to help you plan your trip.
Happy upcoming Valentine's Day, and happy romantic everyday living!