1. A coffee shop
Charlottesville coffee shops are known for their cozy and comfortable settings that are perfect for spending some quality time with that special someone. Sipping on some hot coffee is a great way to get the conversation flowing — some may even say that coffee houses are some of the most romantic places around. You’ll go from budding romances to committed relationships.
2. The Downtown Mall
The Downtown Mall is a true staple of Charlottesville. With its delicious restaurants and chic retail stores, there is truly something for both you and your bae. Revolutionary Soup is notable for its poetic setting — among books and love poems — it is sure to set the mood for a perfect night.
3. Sunset picnic
Catching a sunset over Charlottesville can be both a romantic date and a beautiful sight to see. Depending on the unpredictable weather we have in Charlottesville, this Valentine’s Day date can either be a springtime splendor or a winter wonderland. Don’t forget to pack some sandwiches and your date's favorite candy to make this sunset session really special.
4. A party
Luckily, Valentine’s Day falls on a Friday this year. And you know what that means — there are plenty of opportunities to dress up and dance the night away with that special someone. Parties are a great way to connect with a lot of people and friends, but they are also a great chance to have fun with bae. I highly recommend a dance battle — find out who’s the true dancing queen.
5. The Corner
Ah, The Corner, the hub of student culture at the University — a place where there is something for everyone. With great local restaurants and an abundance of other students, there is never a dull moment. The romance can be seen everywhere this time of year — lovebirds sharing booths at Boylan Heights and valentines splitting a bagel at Bodo’s Bagels.
What I am about to reveal to you is top secret. Did you know that there are free retro arcade games in the 1515 basement? Well, now you know, and it is a perfect way to have a little fun trying to beat high scores and fostering friendly competition between you and bae. 1515 has been making its way into the hearts of Hoos since 2017, and it will continue to be a fun and free space for college couples and friends alike.
7. The Lawn
The classic move for students at the University is to take a nice long walk around Grounds. The Academical Village, listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, is perfect for walking around. The Lawn, capped by the Rotunda, serves as quite the romantic — and historical — backdrop for a picnic. The Lawn’s immense size allows sweethearts to have their own personal space right in Jefferson’s backyard.
8. The library
As students at Jefferson’s university, there is always time to study. With midterms season coming right around the corner, turn your Valentine’s Day into a study date. A study date could actually be a well-needed thing. If not studying, the booths and study rooms in Clemons Library are perfect for quiet socialization — just don’t distract those who are actually trying to study.
9. The movies
Going out to see a movie has been a staple Valentine’s Day event. So keep the tradition going with a sappy rom-com or a riveting action movie. Unfortunately, most movie theaters in Charlottesville aren’t within walking distance of Central Grounds, but a short — and romantic — drive gets you there in no time. Then for a small fee, you can be watching a never-before-seen movie with your other half. Never forget to bring snacks in advance — carefully.
10. Your dorm room or apartment
Sometimes the best way to spend Valentine's Day with that special someone is at home, wherever home is. Being comfortable is extremely important in a relationship, so sometimes the best date is the kind where you stay in and cozy up on the common room couch eating Doritos and drinking pink lemonade — from Crossroads, of course. Just a word of advice — the money one doesn’t spend on organizing a date can make for a much better Valentine’s Day gift. Just as the old saying goes, “Home is where the heart is.”
This article previously listed Carter Mountain Orchard, which is closed until March 27, and has been updated.