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Still scrambling to find something to do with your true love on Valentine’s Day? Maybe you and your boyfriend or girlfriend have only been dating for a little while, or you aren’t sure how “serious” your relationship is. Check out these ideas of fun ways to save, splurge and have a very Austin-y Valentine’s Day.
1. Visit a food trailer
You and your sweetie can split a doughnut (or splurge on two) and get a chocolate-and-strawberries fix with the “Dirty Berry” at Gourdough’s on South First Street. Or take your cupcake for a “LuvCake,” featuring chocolate cake and strawberry cream cheese frosting, at Hey Cupcake! at The Picnic park on Barton Springs Road. The West Campus area by the University of Texas is also home to various trucks and trailers for lovebirds to explore.
2. Get your (responsible) drink on
Austin is home to a bunch of craft beer brewpubs located all over the city. Up north, you can have a Peacemaker at the Austin Beerworks taproom and brewery. Over on the east side, order The One They Call Zoe at Hops and Grain. And if your significant other is the light of your life, you might want to head down to Independence Brewing Company, where you can sip on a Power & Light pale ale. Not a beer snob? The Austin area is home to cideries, wineries and distilleries.
3. Take part in the “sharing economy”
Dabble in Austin’s share of the sharing economy by renting an Airbnb for a mini-staycation, taking a ride-hailing service somewhere so you don’t have to drive or even checking out a B-cycle at one of the city’s 50 stations located in and around downtown.
4. Go on a mural photo tour
Fair warning: This is probably a popular idea anyway, so get ready to see some lines. But if you and your boo are feeling patient, you can show everyone who is your “butter” half near Poquito Street and Martin Luther King Boulevard. Of course, you can stop by the “I Love You So Much” wall at Jo’s Coffee on South Congress Avenue. Or display your “Puppy Love” at the MudPuppies on East Riverside Drive, like fitness writer Pam LeBlanc and her husband, Chris.
5. Share your love with the great outdoors
If February is anything like January, keep your fingers crossed for great weather so you can enjoy the fresh air. Try something new, get a backpack of snacks together and head out to the Greenbelt or McKinney Falls and get a little lost together. If clear paths are more of y’all’s thing, a romantic stroll on the boardwalk at sunset is a low-energy alternative and comes with a great view of the Austin skyline by the water.
6. Try and snag a last minute reservation
Best of luck to anyone still searching for the perfect restaurant at which to lovingly stare into another person’s eyes (unless you’re the type of couple that sits on the same side of the table). Restaurant critic Matthew Odam dishes on some Valentine’s Day specials worth checking into. If those don’t work out, he’s also played wingman and hooked us up with a list of romantic places to dine around Austin.
7. Catch a live music show
Bob Schneider & the Moonlight Orchestra are hitting up ACL Live at the Moody Theater on Wednesday night.
Not a Schneider fan? Watch The Lucky Strikes at Lone Star Court, Dale Watson & His Lone Stars at Gruene Hall in New Braunfels, The Nightowls at 3TEN ACL Live, or the Peterson Brothers Band and Tomar and the FCs at Stubb’s Austin. And while it’s not quite a live music show, Cirque du Soleil Crystal at the H-E-B Center at Cedar Park will feature the famous live performers on ice.
8. Watch a movie at the Alamo Drafthouse
The Ritz and Village locations will host a Moulin Rouge movie party, complete with props such as blinking rings and glow sticks. The Lakeline and Slaughter Lane locations are hosting a Valentine’s Day feast while screening The Birdcage. The Drafthouse also set up a page on its site featuring links to buy tickets and movie-themed merchandise as gifts.
9. Go shopping
South Congress’ boutiques and shops are perfect for men and women alike, and they feature local brands such as Allens Boots. Prepare for lines, especially at a traditional store where you might get Valentine’s Day gifts, such as the Kendra Scott jewelry shop (hint hint).
10. Grocery shop and make your own dinner
Sure, Austin has great places to eat out, but in the city where Whole Foods was founded, why not break out the “Kiss the Cook” apron and whip up something delicious with your partner? Wheatsville Co-op is another option for staying local while you shop. If you go this route, plan ahead and stop by the store before Valentine’s Day. Need inspiration? Check out some great recipes from Austin360’s Addie Broyles over on Relish Austin.
Want more ideas?