There’s a lot going on this month, so we understand. Between Black History Month celebrations, the Lunar New Year, and the Rams’ prep against the Bengals, you might have forgotten to notice the day after your annual living room football party.
Yes, Valentine’s Day is on a Monday — and the day after Super Bowl LVI — so the timing is a bit odd. (Pro tip: Drink a glass of water between Roaring Riots, especially after halftime, if you want to avoid a Sweetheart’s Day hangover.)
In Charlotte, by the time you read this, the best booking locations for a Valentine’s Day candle dinner have probably been taken. The flowers should have been ordered by now, and let’s not even start with the nationwide supply chain issues and how it is put a wrench in things.
Before you take the easy route and go for the Amazon gift card (because nothing says love like I bought it right before queuing at Harris Teeter), here are some local ideas to consider at the square :
Channel your artistic side
- Nothing says I love you like looking at love-themed artwork together. Art Walks CLT has created a self-guided Lovers Art Trail. Take selfies in front of your favorite murals in East Charlotte, NoDa, Plaza-Midwood and South End.
- Speaking of murals, Camp North End now has over 50 murals on campus. Sign up for a free 30-minute tour of the adaptive reuse space on Wednesdays or Fridays, or wander the 76-acre campus alone as a couple. We recommend HEX Coffee by hand.
- Become the Artist: Get tickets to the next Gantt Center Photography Masterclass with featured artist Jamel Shabazz. The virtual event takes place from 2-3 p.m. on February 19 and costs $10 to attend.
- Plan Ahead: Book tickets to the Monet & Friends Exhibit – Light, Life & Color in Asheville – and make it a weekend using our guide to the artsy mountain town.
Wine still works
Drop the bottle of Yellow Tail – it’s a special occasion, not a host gift. Choose a bottle from a local wine store with expert help. Charlotte has several good wine retailers. Here are a few:
- Arthur’s, located in the basement of Belk in SouthPark
- Assortment of table wines on 7th Street
- Bond Street Wines on Providence Road
- Winegrower’s wine market at the Arboretum.
[Related: CharlotteFive’s full guide to Charlotte’s local wine retailers]
Even better: make this gift idea interactive by purchasing tickets to Roots Catering and Cafe’s annual Wines Around The World event at The Collector’s Room in Charlotte. It won’t happen until Friday, February 18, so you won’t even look like you forgot until the last minute. , you’ll get 20 wine tastings and 10 small plates from five regions of the world. Tickets come with a bottle of your choice and a special price on additional wines. Rootscafesouthend.com to purchase tickets (click on events). You will have the choice between 5:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m. arrival time.
Candy for your South End candy
Rather than showcasing the standard red-hearted Russell Stovers box, let’s put a local spin on the Eve of Old Chocolates. Create a Sweets Walking Tour of South End, draw it on a map (even cuter if you can’t draw very well), then walk the Rail Trail. Here are some places to stop:
- Start by walking 0.3 miles from Bland Street station to BW Sweets and order a chocolate covered strawberry cheesecake.
- Then walk 0.3 miles to Golden Cow Creamery for its Valentine’s Day-inspired ice cream flavor (a new one comes out every Thursday in February).
- Then walk 0.5 miles to Lincoln’s Mercerie for a sour cream donut.
You’ll probably be full by then, but if you still have room (and want to walk more), you also have Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams, the vending machine donuts from Krispy Kreme or Sunflour Baking Co., all accessible walk. You might even end your trip with a full meal at 300 East (followed by dessert, of course, created by the restaurant’s pastry chef, Laney Jahkel-Parrish).
And if you need a coffee break, be sure to stop by Charlotte’s best cafe—based on your vote in our cafe category—Bitty & Beau’s.
PRO TIP: The more places you go, the less you’ll want to order at each location, so we recommend splitting one item per stop. And if our tour of the South End made you think of Twenty Degrees Chocolate, just know that it’s closed on Mondays (and you should have already had your order for shipping). Save this one for a birthday present!