The Best Valentine’s Day Spots

It’s a badly kept secret that Charlottesville is a total hotspot for weddings- and rightly so, given the number of amazing vineyards, unfairly beautiful views, and blessed weather (65 in February, I mean…). It’s also full of nooks and crannies for one of the most amorous days of the year. Whether you’re a sanguine romantic or more of a low-key type, here’s how to spend V-Day 2020 in Charlottesville:

For the hopeless romantic: Palladio at Barboursville

Four courses and unbeatable wine pairings in one of Charlottesville’s most romantic vineyard restaurants (think roaring wood fire, intimate tables, and a strict no-phones policy)- Palladio is perfect for the couple that really wants to spend time together. The long, winding drive out of town, luxurious dinner pace, and the opportunity to wander the grounds or do a tasting afterward means that couples will get some serious one-on-one time. Check out the menu here.

For the long-term relationship:

Want to go out, but also don’t really want to go out? Put some cozy sweaters on and reserve two reclining seats at the Alamo this Valentine’s day. Servers will run food to your seats as the movie runs, drinks flow, and nobody has to get up for popcorn. They’re showing Crazy Rich Asians with a full paired menu, so prepare to feel good and fill up. Find tickets here.

For the first-ish date:

Did you have your first kiss on NYE and are now floating in that awkward are-we aren’t-we phase? The trick to surviving this Valentine’s Day is to show you’re interested but keep it low key, and the place to do that is at bang! Downtown. Here’s why: 1. They’re tapas-style, meaning a) you can prove that you eat lots of different stuff, and b) you don’t have to agree on what to eat. 2. They serve all their cocktails in martini glasses, but serve pretty much everything, meaning you can look like the kind of person that likes sophisticated drinks while actually consuming a cotton-candy flavored cloud of delight. 3. Their interior has an all-black Soho vibe, meaning you can dress sleekly without going overly formal. 4. The $45 prix fixe for the 14th is just the right price point to say “we’re more than friends” without being intimidating.

For the fun-lovers:

What’s more romantic than dancing? Get out of your comfort zone and check out the Friday Night Dances class at the Blue Light Ballroom, starting at 9 pm. Afterward, salsa your way downtown for a late-night drink at the Whiskey Jar. Don’t feel like dancing? Trevor Noah’s show at JPJ will get you a laughter-induced ab workout. (Tickets here) Grab a simple, gourmet dinner and a glass of wine before the show at Hotcakes at Barracks Road, then walk over.

For Palentines:

Pippin Hill has live music and smores this weekend, and their vineyard manager has opened up a limited re-release of their 2018 Sparkling Rosé. We recommend you grab some girlfriends, boyfriends, or otherwise platonic party members and head out to Pippin, have a glass (or bottle) of bubbly Rosé, and enjoy being able to say “wow, what a beautiful view” without having someone staring way too intensely at you and sighing “yeah, it really is.”

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