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Don’t know what to do for Valentine’s Day? Don’t worry. We’ve got you covered! We went ahead and did the research for you and found some fun things to do with your loved ones. From enjoying the natural beauty that this area has to offer to dining at some of the most delicious restaurants in Santa Cruz County! So, read on to see what we suggest doing for Valentine’s Day.

Good Life Ceramics

Live out your Patrick Swayze/Jennifer Grey of Dirty Dancing dreams at Good Life Ceramics. Located in Pleasure Point, this locally owned and operated ceramics studio offers a variety of options to get your creative juices flowing including, slab projects, where you can create anything from mugs to serving trays and more! Pricing is $8.00-$46.00 and includes your creation’s firing and glazing. Reservations are required.

Dinner At Home

Skip the crowds and cook your loved ones a delicious meal via Hanloh Thai Food and their meal kits. Options include a rustic tofu pad thai kit (serves 6) or a rustic prawns and tofu pad thai kit (serves 6.) Both kits include everything you need to make a traditional pad thai along with step-by-step instructions. Then, level your kit up with an optional pairing from Birichino Winery. If your skills in the kitchen are less than stellar, you can still wow your family with a special meal from Gayles Bakery. Their menu for Valentine’s Day is available from February 12th – 14th and just requires a little reheating. The menu includes Prime Rib Au Jus with mashed potatoes, Poached Salmon with a lemon dill sauce, or layered polenta hearts with sauteed spinach and mushrooms. Everyone knows that leaving Gayles without browsing their baked goods is a big no-no, so make sure you get something sweet to end the celebration. In addition, they’ll be serving up some special Valentine’s day desserts such as chocolate raspberry mousse cups and heart-shaped eclairs.

The Arcade At The Boardwalk

Is there anything more romantic than winning your Valentine a stuffed animal from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk? The arcade has a variety of games, such as skeeball or pinball, available for you to show off your skills. If arcade games aren’t your thing, there’s also mini-golf, air hockey, and laser tag. With multiple food options, including beer and wine, there’s no need to go anywhere else. You can spend all day winning prizes.

Dining Out

Several restaurants in Santa Cruz County are offering unique Valentine’s Day menus for the more traditional romantics. Here is a small selection of those that are:

  • Persephone – Price-fixed menu at $85 per person includes a four-course meal starting with a mixed salad, followed by Italian Onion Soup Served with toasted Ciabatta and Fontina Cheese. The main course consists of Crab Panzotti Diavolo House made pasta stuffed with local Dungeness Crab served in a creamy tomato sauce with Calabrian chilis. Dessert is a Heart-Beet Chocolate Cake.
  • Mentone – Michelin-rated chef David Kinch’s restaurant, Mentone is, features a four-course meal priced at $90 per person and includes Beau Soleil oysters with a Calabrian mignonette, roasted brassicas Caesar salad with a soft egg. Your choice of gnocchi with truffle cream or beef short ribs for the main course. The dessert consists of chocolate pot de creme. 
  • Gabriella Cafe – Long-time favorite, Gabriella Cafe, will offer a five-course meal priced at $75 per person. Entreé options include a choice between a rack of lamb, swordfish, chanterelle risotto, New York steak, and duck breast.
  • Sanderlings – With picturesque views from the bluffs of Aptos, it’s easy to see why even the locals love dining at Sanderlings inside the Seascape Resort.  This year for Valentine’s Day, they’re offering two different price-fixed menus. The “Amuse-Bouche” menu is $65 per person and is three courses with options to choose from during every course. Items include Carpaccio – pink peppercorn crusted beef tenderloin, chicken breast with mushroom ragu, and red velvet cake. The “Petit Fours” menu is three courses and starts with Antipasto OR Caesar Salad, followed by chicken parmesan, with cannoli being the final course. Priced at $54 per adult$18 per child and served family-style.

Hike At Nisene Marks

With over 40 miles of hiking, mountain biking, and horseback trails, Nisene Marks is one of the most beautiful destinations around, making it the perfect place for Valentine’s day adventure. Nisene Marks features some of the most majestic old-growth Redwoods on California’s central coast, along with various trail types for every level of length and ability.

Whether you’re spending the day with a romantic partner, group of friends, or your family, we hope you have a love filled day enjoying all that Santa Cruz County has to offer.

The Madani team and ROOM Real Estate have been helping home buyers and sellers in Santa Cruz County for almost two decades. Equipped with a large team of dedicated agents and staff, ROOM Real Estate works tirelessly to help its clients accomplish their real estate goals. We are here for you; and all of your real estate-related needs.

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