Love it or hate it, Valentine’s Day is right around the corner. And if you’re like me, you’d rather eschew the crowds and expensive prix-fixe menus and do something a little out of the ordinary to celebrate the day. I love a good date night, (or day!), the more unusual the better. Here are some gems we’ve discovered around town:
1. Sample the Best of Main Street
Columbia’s Main Street has come a long way in recent years, and now is a perfect time to enjoy it. Get dressed up and start your evening with interesting drinks and small plates at the exceedingly atmospheric and romantic Lula Drake. Then, walk down to The Nickelodeon Theater to catch an art house film with a glass of wine. And to top it off, pop by Sweet Cream Co. for the best gourmet, organic ice cream you’ve ever had.
2. Get Creative
Pick up some great takeout and a bottle of wine and head to The Mad Platter for a BYO dinner and drinks artistic evening of pottery painting! Or try Studio Cellar where you can enjoy appetizers from Blue Marlin delivered right to your easel. Bonus: you’ll get to create a piece of art to remember your date forever!
3. Try Some New Cuisine
My hubby and I are self-proclaimed foodies, and as such are always on the lookout for new and interesting dining options in Columbia. Some great options when you’re in the mood for something different? Eat with your hands at Harambe Ethiopian, cook your own meats over a pile of hot coals at Hero Korean Steak House, or try your hand at ordering some authentic Mexican cuisine in Spanish from one our many delicious taco trucks, (trust me, they are amazing), and take your bounty to a local park to enjoy.
4. Have an Adventure
If you haven’t sailed across the Saluda river at 40 miles an hour on a zipline at Riverbanks Zoo, you haven’t yet lived! Rent a kayak (and wet suit) from Get Your Gear On or Adventure Carolina. Or go for hike in Congaree National Park!
5. Learn Something New
Take a salsa dance lesson at The Woody on a Wednesday night. Learn about how whiskey and beer is made at Crouch Distillery and Conquest Brewery (and taste some of the goods too!). Or take a local chocolate making class!
How will you be celebrating Valentine’s Day this year?