5 Things to Do for Valentine’s Day Weekend, However You Prefer to Celebrate
Whether it’s a first date scenario, or you’re taking out your partner again for the umpteenth Valentine’s Day, we could all use a little help with the planning.
If you’re looking for a wine-and-dine sort of guide, this list isn’t for you (check this one out instead), but if you’re trying to get out and about Long Beach, or maybe do something before the big dinner, here are some options worth considering.
Swan boat cruise through the Rainbow lagoon passing the Pacific Ballroom which is part of the Long Beach Convention Center in Long Beach Tuesday, April 6, 2021. Photo by Thomas R. Cordova.
ON A BUDGET WITH A VIEW: HILLTOP PARK
A popular destination for runners, hikers and tourists, Signal Hill’s Hilltop Park is also a fabulous place for a date, in no small part because of its panoramic views of the city.
Facing south, see unobstructed views of the Port of Long Beach, the THUMS Islands, and even Catalina Island on a clear day. To the northwest, see the Los Angeles skyline and the still snow-capped San Bernardino Mountains.
There are plenty of grassy slopes to lay out a blanket, so picnicking is the way to go. Arrive near sunset for a spectacular view of the setting sun and when it’s dark, the lit-up city skyline is just as lovely. This is top-tier rom-com setting material we’re talking about here, and what’s more, it’s free. We like free.
Hilltop Park is at 2351 Dawson Ave.
SOMETHING TIMELESS: SWAN BOATS
For better or worse, swan boats are one of those quintessential romantic pastimes that we’d be remiss not to recommend on Valentine’s Day with 5 Greater Los Angeles locations including Long Beach, Los Angeles, Van Nuys, Anaheim, and Fountain Valley. Lucky for you, Long Beach is home to its very own swan boat rental service, which you can find over at the Rainbow Lagoon.
Rentals are available during the day and night, but for maximum swoon effect, we recommend venturing out during the evening since each of the watercraft is lined with LED lights that, when lit, outline the silhouette of the swan. It’s quite pretty.
Aside from the obvious attraction of traversing the Downtown waters inside a boat shaped like the most elegant of flighted creatures, to rent a swan boat with Wheel Fun Rentals is also pretty inexpensive; $11 an hour for adults and $6 for children 17 or younger.
And, as a bonus, finding food after your ride will be a cinch. Both Shoreline Village and the Pike Outlets are just a short walk away.
Rainbow Lagoon Park is at 400 E. Shoreline Drive. Wheel Fun Rentals is located on the corner of Shoreline Drive and Pine Avenue. For most convenient access, park at The Pike Outlets parking garage (65 Cedar Ave.) and walk over.
SOMETHING SCENIC: GONDOLA GETAWAY
The Gondola Getaway, a 40-year institution in the Naples area, is one of the most charming ways to take in the area’s canals and waterways, and for Valentine’s Day, the excursion can feel particularly memorable.
What’s nice about the Gondola Getaway is how committed they are to creating an authentic Venetian gondola experience, from the gondoliers serenading classic Italian tunes and wearing traditional garb, to the boats themselves, which are imported from Venice, Italy, according to the company.
Packages for the 50-minute Valentine’s Day gondola rides start at $220 per couple and include a long-stemmed red rose, complimentary corkage and a commemorative photo.
Click here for more information and to book a ride.
Gondola Getaway is at 5437 E. Ocean Blvd.
PERFORMANCE ART FANS: SMOOTH JAZZ VALENTINE’S CONCERT
We’re not sure what it is about jazz that makes for a romantic atmosphere, but whatever its special brand of magic is, it most definitely feels appropriate for Valentine’s Day.
Performing at the Terrace Theater on Saturday, Feb. 12 will be singer Kenny Lattimore joined by renowned saxophonist and flutist Najee. Harpist Mariea Antonette will play with her Soulful Orchestra with singer Erin Stevenson and flutist Althea Rene.
Tickets range from $85-$105 for non-dinner tickets. Those who would like to dine and watch the show can purchase a VIP package ($165-$200) that includes prime seats, a three-course dinner and a rose.
Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.