Whether you're single, in a relationship, or it's complicated, Valentine's Day calls for a celebration of some sort, especially during a pandemic. Hold the ones you love close (if you're in their covid bubble, obviously) and give back to the community during this year with these five selections.
1. Schedule a private appointment at Beads and Things
I cannot stress how perfect this is. Surprise your partner or your roommates with a private appointment at Beads and Things to make a one-of-a-kind accessory. My boyfriend set one up for us and it was so romantic to walk among the beads and charms from all around the world with rainbows scattered across the ceiling as the sun shone through pendulums hanging from the windowsills. Make it almost like a secret Santa: draw names and make jewelry for that person, or everyone makes something matching! It's easy, inexpensive, and so much fun.
2. Have a romantic dinner at Ciro
There aren't many Italian restaurants I endorse as an Italian myself, but I absolutely loved Ciro. The staff is incredibly friendly, the atmosphere is so fun, and the food is delicious. Make a reservation or, in the true COVID-19 Valentine's Day spirit, get takeout! You can even order online. I recommend the Rigatoni Alla Vodka and the Mushroom Ravioli al Tartufo. And, on Valentine's Day, you absolutely cannot skip out on dessert.
3. Shop around White's Mill
Even if you don't end up buying anything, this local spot is something to behold both on the outside and the inside. White's Mill has "proudly served Southeast Ohio since 1809," it's only a couple of years younger than the university! Nestled on the bank of the Hocking River, you can pick up soil for your succulents, pick up a new one, or buy super cool accessories as gifts for those that you love in your life.
4. Stop at Larry's Dawg House for dessert
If you do end up skipping dessert at Ciro, drive-thru at Larry's for a delicious shake, malt, cone, and more! And honestly, if you've got hungry from all the local business supporting you've been doing, you already know the hot dog are so good. It may not be Weenie Wednesday, but who says Valentine's Day isn't the season for giving?
5. Watch the sunset atop Bong Hill
The ideal and most picturesque way to end your date. I feel like there just isn't a better way to end a night in Athens. Taking in this breathtaking view, marveling at the beauty of Athens, the world, and being so thankful in that moment for your excellent taste in universities and company. The vibes are immaculate. Start gushing to your friends how much you love them or kiss your s/o as the sun dips below the town we love so much.
No matter how you're spending February 14th, make sure to love yourself, those around you (or far, because of the pandemic), and your community, because everyone's been lacking a little love this past tough year!