Valentine’s Day Date Ideas

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My male brethren, you have been warned. That time is upon us again.

No matter what our optimistic man-fantasies may conjure up over the next few weeks, the biggest screwing of the month will likely be ours. Get ready to grab your ankles and feel the hulking weight of commercialism all over you on February 14. That day, boyfriends, fiancés, and husbands nationwide will be expected to spend extravagant amounts of money to express their love for the women in their lives.

The worst part of it is, there’s nothing we can do about it. After all, we don’t want to come across as being cheap or thoughtless.

That being said, I do have a few suggestions for you dudes out there. If you’re sick of the typical fancy dinner at the typical fancy restaurant, paying atypical prices for overly-typical champagne, here are some ideas for a somewhat different Valentine’s experience:

Picnic at Cabrillo National Monument

A few years back, I took my girlfriend at the time to Cabrillo National Monument. I packed a picnic lunch (which can roughly be translated to, “I stopped by Ralph’s and grabbed some pre-packaged sandwiches, pre-packaged fruit, pre-packaged desserts, and a bottle of wine”), picked her up, and we headed down there. A mere five dollars got us through the gate, and we were free to wander around as we pleased from that point on.

Even though Cabrillo is rather touristy, it is big enough that you should have no problem finding a decently secluded area to woo your lady friend. You can walk along the paths on the bay-facing side of the peninsula and give yourself a great view of downtown San Diego and Coronado. Or, you can drive down to the ocean-facing side and hang out by the tide pools. This is definitely something that you can do for cheap, yet come across as thoughtful and romantic.

Check out for more information on Cabrillo National Monument.

Harbor cruise with Hornblower Cruises

For a romantic evening of dinner and dancing, take her on cruise through San Diego bay. I have to caution you, however, that this will not be cheap. Expect to spend $100–$200 between the two of you.

Several years ago, when Valentine’s Day fell on a Thursday, I noticed that their Valentine’s cruise cost twice as much as their regular Friday night harbor cruise. So, I called them up and asked what the difference between Thursday and Friday would be. I was casually informed that Thursday’s cruise would have extra decorations, a rose at each table, and a champagne toast. Doing some quick calculations in my head, I figured out that I’d be paying almost an extra $100 for confetti, a flower, and cheap bubbly….

I called my girlfriend and asked if she wouldn’t mind doing the Friday night cruise. Being the awesome girlfriend that she was, she was totally fine with that, and it ended up being just as fun. We still got an awesome view of the downtown skyline and the Coronado Bridge, as well as those gorgeous industrial shipyards south of downtown.

So, if you want to save yourself a little money, my suggestion is to mention—very slyly—that perhaps the Friday or Saturday before Valentine’s would be a better night to celebrate. After all, you won’t have to worry about it being a workday.

For more information on Hornblower Cruises & Events, check out:

Spa treatment

Don’t really want to spend Valentine’s with the lady? Want to seem romantic, but still have your own personal me-time? Then send your woman on a spa treatment while you wait and guzzle beers at a nearby bar.

Girl On The Go, a brand new spa that just opened up in Golden Hill, has plenty of specials for Valentine’s weekend. Among them: purchase a facial and receive a complimentary eyebrow and lip wax; purchase a body treatment and receive a signature facial for $50 (a 20% discount); book a four-person spa party and receive 20% off. Better yet, get 10% off all treatments during the month of February if you mention San Diego Entertainer.

Owner Dana Gray notes that spa treatments are available for men, as well. So, dudes, if you want to emasculate yourself a bit, but feel oh-so relaxed in the process, think about booking one for yourself, too.

For more information or to make an appointment, check out, or call 619-358-0737.

Well, I wish you the best of luck, my lucky fellows who are blessed with a significant other. If you’re looking for something a little different to do this year, check out these options. And hopefully, this year’s financial screwing will be worth the joy you bring to your girlfriend, fiancée, or wife.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Dennis is a hopelessly romantic cynic. Check out his writings at

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