Jimi Hendrix famously said: “When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.” (Right on, Jimi!) So plan a Valentine’s Day date with your Foxy Lady (or guy) and make a contribution to world peace. Here are 10 simple and fun ways to share the love—from classic to a bit unconventional.
1. The Dinner Date
The dinner date is always a lovely and delicious choice for Valentine’s Day. Snuggle up someplace extra cozy like The Oak Room in the Mansions on Fifth. The rich paneling, stained glass windows and roaring fireplace all encourage passion—and that’s before savoring the Mansion’s extensive collection of wine and spirits. Share plates of artisanal cheese and charcuterie, and let the magic happen.
Quiet, intimate seating can also be found in The Wine Bar at Il Pizzaiolo in Mt. Lebanon. The elegantly casual ambiance at Eleven in The Strip is also a Valentine’s Day sure bet; reserve a booth in one of the private dining rooms. Legume in Oakland and its bar, Butterjoint, is a quaint and casual date haven; they keep it fresh and surprising with a constantly changing menu. A newcomer downtown is The Commoner tavern in Hotel Monaco. The boutique hotel’s playfully appointed rooms—which are “inspired by the passion of Pittsburgh”—might tempt you to spend the night (as if you needed a reason, right?).
2. The Spa Date
Cupid’s big day is perfect for indulgence and pampering. Peace Love and Zen in East Liberty has that down. Choose from a palette of services all geared toward deep relaxation and healing. Not to be missed is the Himalayan salt cave, crafted from thousands of pounds of Himalayan salt. It’s the ticket for stress relief, and can also improve sleep, alleviate allergies, increase circulation and cure hangovers. Just sit back with your sweetheart in zero gravity chairs and melt into sounds of the ocean. Treat your significant other to the trifecta special: a salt cave session, massage of choice and sauna. Call for pricing.
3. The Movie Date
Elevate the classic Valentine movie date at Row House Cinema in Lawrenceville. Each week features a new movie theme. Enjoy your flick while sipping on a brew. Choose from five taps at the concession stand, 14 more taps at the Bierport Tap Room (adjacent to the theater), and more than 900 bottles of craft beer and 140 unique sodas to choose from. Or rent out the 83-seat cinema and screening room and host your own Valentine’s Day celebration.
4. The Pittsburgh Panorama Date
Nothing says “Pittsburgh romance” more than nestling inside the Duquesne or Monongahela Incline as it sidles up to Mt. Washington, then taking a hand-holding stroll along Grandview Avenue (about a 1.5-mile walk). Step inside one of the great watering holes along the avenue to warm up and enjoy a cocktail or a bite. Don’t leave the mountain without snapping a selfie with the city’s unobstructed skyline as a backdrop. The West End Overlook is another panoramic option, arguably the best view of the Three Rivers converging at the Point. With the sun setting and the city lights aglow, it’s a perfect “first kiss” setting.
5. The Museum Date
Enjoy art and much more at one of the many great museums we have in town. You simply can’t go wrong with the Carnegie Museum of Art, Carnegie Museum of Natural History and Carnegie Science Center. Our favorite pick for Valentine’s Day is The Andy Warhol Museum. There you’ll find seven floors of drawings, prints, paintings, sculpture, film and video, as well as an extensive archive of information from Warhol’s life. The Warhol Theater continuously screens Andy Warhol: 15 Minutes Eternal, a short documentary about Warhol’s life and art. Have a bite at The Warhol Café, immortalize your date in the photo booth, and don’t forget to snap a selfie with your sweetie on that famous red couch.
6. The Whiskey-Tasting-and-
If romance doesn’t bring color to your cheeks, then a cocktail should do the trick. Stop by Wigle Whiskey for a tour of the distillery and barrelhouse, and learn how they turn organic, local grain to full-flavored whiskey, gin, rum and vodka. Grab your honey and create your own Whiskey Rebellion. WigleWhiskey.com.
7. The Romantic Walk Date
Paris and Florence aren’t the only great cities that can boast scenic walks across romantic rivers. With 446 Pittsburgh bridges, we have lots to choose. Start in Schenley Park and make your away across Schenley Bridge. Affirm your love by placing a Lock of Love on the bridge, or just enjoy the terms of endearment on the locks dangling from the fence.
The North Shore is also a charming walk. From Rivers Casino, past the Carnegie Science Center, Clemente Memorial Park and PNC Park to the Rachel Carson Bridge, there are lots of scenic points for great photos.
Make an entire day of your celebration by meandering through the Strip District. Begin with an early morning breakfast at Pamela’s or DeLuca’s, then leisurely make your way down Smallman and Penn to pick up goodies at the produce stands, ethnic grocers, fish and meat counters, and sidewalk vendors. For a special sweet gift, think outside the big red heart-shaped box at Mon Aimee Chocolat.
8. The Waterways Date
The natural element of water symbolizes emotion, so what better time to take a dinner cruise than on Valentine’s Day? Hop aboard the Gateway Clipper and celebrate a night of romance complete with a buffet dinner, live music and twinkling city lights all around.
Grab a cashmere wrap and snuggle tight together on the deck. Visit Gatewayclipper.com to see when your love boat sails.
9. The Sports Date
Eschewing the classic chocolate and roses for something more active? Skate under the stars with your sweetheart at the Ice Rink at PPG Place, Schenley Park Rink, North Park Ice Rink or South Park Ice Rink. Add the gift of a scarf and tassel cap, and you’re all set for a cozy time.
10. The Sleepover Date
It may be nippy outside in February but things can get steamy at one of Pittsburgh’s boutique hotels. Make it an all-nighter at the Ace Hotel, Hotel Indigo, Kimpton Hotel Monaco or The Priory Hotel. Order room service, dine at one of many nearby restaurants, or share an I-know-what-you-did-last-night breakfast.
[This article was originally published in February 2015 and has been updated.]