The day before the big day is here! Do you have all your Valentine’s Day plans in order?
We hope that the gifts have arrived, the dapper and darling threads have been picked out, and the reservations have been confirmed.
However, if the schedule could use a boost or if—God forbid—you are just now realizing that “Valentine’s Day isn’t that big of a deal” does not actually translate to “I do not expect a single thing to be different on Feb. 14 than any other day of the year,” herein are Chattanooga’s top 5 Valentine’s Day dates:
Room for a view
With all the rain of late and the usual hustle and bustle of daily life, the striking beauty of Chattanooga can be easy to overlook. They don’t call it the Scenic City for nothing, you know. Working two locations that capitalize on views of the river and downtown into the Valentine’s Day plan might do the trick for a bit of atmospheric inspiration. The Hunter Museum of American Art hosts its String Theory Concert Series, featuring a classical trio program, and the Boathouse serves up Gulf specialties, oysters on the half shell and even champagne, complete with a waterside porch.
When: Concert begins at 6:30 p.m., the Boathouse closes the kitchen down at 10 p.m. (with the bar following suit at 11 p.m.)
Where: 10 Bluff View Ave. and 1459 Riverside Drive
How much: Tickets range from $25 to $30 for museum members and $35 to $40 for nonmembers, plate prices at the Boathouse range from $9.45 to $27.45
For the foodies
The evolution of the Chattanooga restaurant scene has resulted not only in the continued support in local farmers and their weekly markets, but also the farm-to-table movement and an array of inspired, adventurous and well-executed dishes on menus across the Scenic City. If you are of the refined palate group and looking for a culinary-centric evening, a relaxed cocktail hour in the upstairs lounge at The Meeting Place followed by a multicourse meal at either Easy Bistro & Bar—think grilled lobster and roasted pork chop—or TerraMae—truffle-infused baby beets and roasted kingfish—is in order.
When: The Meeting Place opens at 5 p.m., Easy Bistro & Bar and TerraMae both end service at 10 p.m.
Where: 1278 Market St., 203 Broad St. and 120A E. 10th St.
How much: Cocktails and wines by the glass at The Meeting Place range from $8 to $15, entrees at the two downtown restaurants range from $16 to $32
Sweets for the sweethearts
Take the opportunity of Valentine’s Day presents to indulge in all chocolate, all the way. Chattanooga has plenty of local venues for a chocoholic outing: beginning with The Hot Chocolatier on the Southside, where handcrafted truffle flavors include caramel bon bon and lemon soufflé; moving to Rembrandt’s on Bluff View for perfect chocolate macaroons and éclairs; and finishing the night with a stop at Brix Nouveau on the North Shore for a flight of zinfandel, syrah and petite sirah wines and a special chocolate tasting.
When: The Hot Chocolatier shutters the shop at 7 p.m., Rembrandt’s and Brix Nouveau keep the doors open until 10 p.m.
Where: 201 W. Main St., 204 High St. and 301 Cherokee Blvd.
How much: Items at The Hot Chocolatier and Rembrandt’s are less than $10, Brix Nouveau glasses are $8 and up
The low-key option
Say the fancy stuff is not your couple style, and blue jeans and a ball cap are more the daily uniform than suit and tie or high heels. Even the low-key can be romantic, and, in a pinch, a jazzed-up version of typical weekend plans can make for a special occasion. Crust Pizza has a menu brimming with tasty, off-the-wall pizza combinations, and St. Elmo’s dark and cozy corner tasting room at Moccasin Bend Brewing Company welcomes visitors of all ilks (even those toting their own grub). Pizza and beer? Delicious.
When: Crust’s ovens close down at 10 p.m., MBBC stays open until late evening
Where: 3211 Broad St. and 4015 Tennessee Ave.
How much: Specialty pizzas run $14 for a 12-inch and $18 for a 16-inch with custom pizzas totaling $10 and $12, respectively, with toppings ranging from 50 cents to $1.50; MBBC charges a modest $4 for each pint
Off the grid
If the crowds and the concrete jungle of downtown or the mall are not enticing environments, hit the road for a quick trip south to Fort Oglethorpe, Ga., and then still further south to LaFayette, Ga. The Chickamauga Battlefield offers an abundance of picturesque trails and meadows perfect for a twitterpated moment, and the Chattanooga Street Tavern specializes in traditional pub fare with a British flair.
When: Park closes at sunset, tavern serves until 10 p.m.
Where: 3370 LaFayette Road, Fort Oglethorpe and 123 N. Chattanooga St., LaFayette
How much: Entrance to the battlefield is free, prices at the Chattanooga Street Tavern range from $5 to less than $20