If you’re currently cooking up some Valentine’s Day plans, be aware that Downtown Long Beach has all the ingredients to make the day romantic and memorable for you and your beloved. Dining and live entertainment options are plentiful, gifting opportunities abound, and of course we have that unique, Long Beach seaside flavor and ambience to partake of, in a variety of ways. Here is a small sampling of Downtown Valentine’s Day suggestions that will spark your imagination and help you create a recipe for romance.
SWAN PEDAL BOATS AT RAINBOW LAGOON
Pedaling a graceful swan boat in tandem with your sweetheart is the perfect way to be alone and work up an appetite together. The swans, which are rentable seven days a week from 10am until 10pm, are illuminated at night, making them even more magical. “Be there after dark on Valentine’s Day, pedal to the far reaches of the lagoon and find yourself under a ginormous heart that will be lit up on the side of the Hyatt Hotel,” Swan Boat Supervisor Jennifer Arroyo told us. She also advised swan boaters to make reservations at least a week early, and to be aware of possible (if infrequent) extreme weather events, which could cause cancellations.
Harbor Breeze Yacht Charters, located in Rainbow Harbor adjacent to the Aquarium of the Pacific, is hosting a very special Valentine’s Celebration Cruise aboard the luxury yacht Sir Winston on Saturday evening, February 11. Why not cuddle up with your shipmate and indulge in bottomless champagne and a sumptuous buffet while taking in the evocative sights of the harbor after dark? The two of you will enjoy the mysteries of our port from a refreshing new perspective. For details about the menu and to book passage on this three-hour tour, click here.
FUEGO RESTAURANT AT HOTEL MAYA
In a part of town filled with spectacular views, Fuego at the Maya stands out. There’s something special about the restaurant’s expansive views of the ocean, the coastline, the Queen Mary, and the Downtown skyline. Take a little trip over the Queensway Bridge with your honey on Valentine’s Day and see for yourself! Fuego’s enticing menu (make a reservation here too) runs the gamut from Calamari Frito to Seafood Crepas to Caramelized Plantains to Filet Mignon, all of which pair nicely with a Signature Fuego Margarita. You and your date will LOVE Fuego, which one OpenTable reviewer describes as “an experience like something out of a magazine!”
FERRIS WHEEL AND CAROUSEL AT THE PIKE OUTLETS
While seated next to your Valentine in a gondola on the Pike Place Ferris Wheel, its 2000 LED lights ablaze, look over to the Cyclone Racer Roller Coaster Bridge and, if you squint your eyes, you might think you’re seeing the notorious and legendary Long Beach Pike of yesteryear. Get that nostalgic feeling on the Ferris Wheel (open from 3pm until 9pm on Valentine’s Day), and keep it alive with the ’20s-era Carousel (open 3pm until 9pm on Valentine’s Day as well), located nearby at 95 South Pine Avenue. If these old-school vibes suddenly inspire you and your dreamboat to get matching tattoos, be advised that the world-renowned Outer Limits Tattoo Parlor (formerly Bert Grimm Tattoo during the Pike amusement park’s heyday),at 22 South Chestnut Place, open from noon until 8pm every day, has top-quality tattoo artists and design ideas to get the job done right!
Being in love means crossing bridges together. In Downtown, the two of you can traverse the immersive, state-of-the-art Rainbow Bridge, which connects the Downtown Promenade with the Terrace Plaza above Seaside Way. Illuminated by 3500 LED lights, this 650-foot span offers a spacey and dreamy little pause for the two of you, and perhaps you can catch a drink and live music at RISU, located just below the bridge at 207 East Seaside Way, before continuing your sojourn to other romantic regions of Downtown.
With its remarkable location at First Street and Pine Avenue on the ground floor of the former First National Bank, which was built in 1906, L’Opera is, in its way, a literal and figurative cornerstone of the Downtown scene. The place’s old-world charm, class, and character are perfect for a night out with your favorite person. Enjoy a sumptuous, multiple-course Classic Italian feast, then linger over an Espresso while splitting a Tiramisu or Gelato. There’s an excellent chance that opera singer Sam will suddenly stroll in to regale you and yours with a love song that will send the romance quotient off the chain. Open from 4pm until 10pm on Valentine’s Day. Click here to make reservations.
For a much less sedate and much more naughty Valentine’s Day experience, try Harvelle’s, the nightclub at 201 East Broadway that describes itself as “dark and vixenish.” Harvelle’s, the venue which brings you events such as “Little Miss Nasty” and “Circus of Sin,” is presenting not one but TWO Valentine’s events; The first, “Valentine’s Vixens,” goes off on February 10th as a sexy prelude to Valentine’s Weekend. Doors open at 8pm. Then, on the 14th, the club will put on a special Valentine’s Day Comedy and Burlesque Show guaranteed to be scandalous and very exciting. Indulge in the evening’s drink specials and pub fare while cheering on some hilarious comedians and tantalizing lovelies. Again, doors open at 8pm.
For more details on both events, click here.
We’ll let Eloise Wood, co-owner of Clay On First Pottery Studio at 406 First Street, Unit B, describe their fantastic Valentine’s Day offering: “We have a huge annual Valentine’s pottery event called ‘Toast-to-Ghost,’ in reference to the movie Ghost where Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze do the infamous pottery scene. It’s our biggest event of the year and is always tons of fun! All skill levels are welcome. Couples share a pottery wheel and create two or three pieces of pottery together. We also have snacks catered from local shops and we serve drinks as well. The link for the event is here: https://www.clayonfirst.com/valentines-day.”
This art studio, at 501 East Broadway, Unit C, is another opportunity for you and your significant other to create something together on Valentine’s Day. At “Whimsical Love,” the theme of this year’s Valentine’s Day event at the studio, couples will be instructed step by step in the art of creating a diptych — a two-paneled painting — in which each partner paints one side. It’s a BYOB event! Bring a six-pack of PBR or a chilled bottle of Cristal champagne; whatever it takes to help get you in the right mood. To learn more about the event and to sign up, click here.
PRIMAL FOODIE VALENTINE AT THE ALTAR
The Altar, an event space at 230 Pine Avenue, will be hosting this truly timeless and tasty Valentine’s Day event. Erected in 1903, this is the oldest building in Downtown Long Beach! Its original wooden floors, exposed brick, and magnificent arched ceiling create a retro-loft feel, perfect for superb cuisine and vintage music. Providing the food will be Primal Alchemy Catering, which has earned the reputation as one of the finest chef-owned, food-forward catering companies in Southern California. Serenading you as you sip libations and dine in splendor will be Hedgehog Swing, a gypsy-jazz quartet known for its ability to conjure up vibes from the past. For more information and to buy tickets, click here.
LOVE LOCKS AT SHORELINE VILLAGE
Yet another way to signify your love in a Downtown setting is to venture to Shoreline Village with your soul mate and secure a symbolic love lock onto a section of fence across from the Raindance Gift Shop. This local tradition was inspired by a couple who met and got married at Shoreline Village 30 years ago. Since then, scores of couples have put their love on lock at this location. Join them by bringing a small lock of your choice and finding a spot on the fence to lock your love in.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHOCOLATE FACTORY
Just around the corner from Love Locks is some chocolate — and it’s widely known that good chocolate contains certain Valentine’s Day-enhancing ingredients. Open from 10am until 9pm on Valentine’s Day, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory will fill your bag with such chocolate-y delights as Gourmet Truffles, Semi-Sweet Double Chocolate Fudge, Dipped Marshmallows, and Rocky Road Caramel Apples. Sweets for your sweet…..
A BEAUTIFUL CALIFORNIA FLOWER SHOP
Josy Johnson’s shop at 455 Atlantic Avenue is filled to the brim with beautiful fresh flower arrangements along with all kinds of Valentine’s Day-appropriate gifts. The shop will be open on February 14th from 9am until 5pm for in-person shopping. Same-day delivery service is also available; Click here to see the shop’s extensive assortment of Valentine’s Day floral arrangements.
This shop is the fun stop for you and your passion flower when it’s time to get sensual. Lovers, at 441 East Broadway, specializes in adult novelties, DVDs, adult games, men’s and women’s lingerie, massage oils, toys, lubricants, party supplies, and a whole lot more. Topping off the evening with a private show? Keeping it light and funny, on the sexy side? However you want to handle it, Lovers has the goods when it comes to adding that certain spice to your Valentine’s Day. Open from noon until 11pm on February 14th.