Valentine’s Day in Oregon

Valentine’s Day…

the holiday you either celebrate or hate.

There seems to be no in between for most. However, if you are the type who isn’t about celebrating a day “made up by corporations to buy things”, it may help to know that February 14 is Oregon’s birthday.

Whether you’re celebrating the day of love or Oregon’s birthday, February 14 is a perfect excuse to have a good time with a loved one or friends!

Check out these ideas to plan a Valentine’s Day/Oregon birthday adventure!

1. Hit the trail

Bond with your loved one and nature by getting on the trail. Getting outside can be a great mood booster. And the abundance of negative ions around waterfalls are sure to leave you on cloud 9.

  • Places to adventure around in Portland city limits:
    1. Forest Park
    2. Hoyt Arboretum
    3. Portland Japanese Garden
    4. Washington Park
    5. Powell Butte Nature Park
    6. Tryon Creek State Area
    7. Sauvie’s Island
    8. Tualatin Wildlife Refuge
    9. Marquam Nature Park

2. Take a waterfall tour in the Gorge

There are many things to see in our beloved Gorge! And you don’t have to hike to see them. This tour can take anywhere from 2 hours to all day.

3. Go a snowshoe adventure

Technically it is still winter—so take advantage of it! Make sure that you know how to drive in the snow and carry chains or have traction tires.

  • If you need some Snowshoeing 101, check out my blog post
  • You can rent snowshoes at REI or Next Adventure (in Portland or Sandy). *I recommend Next Adventure
    • Next Adventure: $20.00/pair
    • REI: $18.00/pair for members or $27.00/pair for members with approx. $100 deposit

4. Relax and eat on Wy’east

Does dinner with a view of a PNW mountain sound more your style? Or how about a little stroll in a winter wonderland? Then head up to Wy’east. *Please know how and be able to drive in the snow.*

  • Stroll in White River Sno Park. Take a walk through this popular sno-park with a view of Wy’east and have a picnic back at your car afterwards
  • Drive up to Timberline Lodge and walk around. The scenery behind the lodge is beautiful
    • Stay: Book a night up there and check out their outdoor heated pool, hot tub & sauna. Add in-room treats for an extra special touch
  • Eat inside the famous Timberline Lodge
    • They are not offering a holiday menu this year (2022), but you can make a reservation for the Cascade Dining Room or eat at Ram Head’s Bar
  • Places to Eat in Government Camp:
    1. Ratskeller
    2. Huckleberry Inn
    3. Charlie’s Mountain View
    4. Hood Brewing Co
    5. Skyway Bar & Grill
    6. Wraptitude
  • Make a dinner reservation at Mt. Hood Oregon Resort in Government Camp. They are offering a Valentine’s Day menu

5. Go sledding or cosmic tubing

Grab a sled and recreate a childhood memory with your loved one! You can either pay for amenities or go old-school and find a hill for free.

  • Places to sled:
    1. Skibowl – day tubing & cosmic tubing (Fri-Sat + holidays only). Advanced reservations only for cosmic tubing.
    2. Summit Ski Area
    3. Cooper Spur Resort 
    4. Snow Bunny Hill
    5. White River Sno Park
    6. Little John Sno-Park

6. Park & picnic

There are so many beautiful parks to choose from in Portland.

Here is a short list of my favorites:

  • Cathedral Park – have a picnic under one of Portland’s most famous bridges and admire the gothic architecture in St. Johns
  • Tabor – a large park with trails and a view of the downtown PDX skyline. Perfect during sunset. Map of the park
  • Tom McCall Waterfront Park/Southfront Waterfront Park – sure, you could argue that this isn’t a park… but being the 1.5-mile waterfront stretch is what makes this special. Plus, you’re in downtown so you can pick up picnic supplies down here and walk to the waterfront. Great for people watching and looking at the Willamette
  • Council Crest Park – overlooks downtown PDX in Portland’s West Hills
  • Laurelhurst Park – located in one of Portland’s most “uppity” neighborhoods and very charming. Paved walking trails, ancient Douglar firs, an off-leash dog area, and a duck pond are what makes it special
  • Washington Park – in southwest Portland with Hoyt Arboretum, the zoo, the Japanese Garden and more. Get “lost” in here for hours
  • Overlook Park – hang with other locals and have a picnic during sunset. Find the best views of train-yards in PDX here. Bring your furry loved one along to enjoy the off-leash dog area

7. Pick up trash

Don’t forget to show Mother Earth some love this Valentine’s Day! Pick a local park or trail and bring your gloves and trash bags. *Please use gloves and a trash picker for safety*

  • Places to pick up trash:
    1. Your neighborhood
    2. A trail
    3. Local park
    4. Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area
    5. State Park

8. Get active

Pacific Northwest people are known for being active. Bond over breaking a sweat! Valentine’s Day doesn’t have to be filled with sweets and drinks.

  • Attend a yoga class
  • Put on your climbing shoes and hit up a climbing gym
  • Channel you’re inner child and ice skate at Lloyd Mall *if open
  • Burn calories in a cycling class
  • Go on a bike ride around town

9. Hit the green at Top Golf

Challenge your partner or friends a driving range. Top Golf also serves food and drinks!

10. Wine or beer tasting at home with a cheeseboard

Just like with food, you don’t have to go out to enjoy a tasting! Grab a few different options of wine and some snacks/boards to create your own home tasting.

  • Create tasting sheets to write what you think they are (blind tasting), your favorites, your favorite pairings, and other notes
  • Visit Total Wine & More to see if they have any tastings going on—it’s free!!

11. At-home craft night

You don’t have to pay for a class, have your own craft night at home!

  1. Painting
  2. Charcoaldraw each other
  3. Origami
  4. Paint your own puzzlefind a blank puzzle at an art store
  5. DIY: Heart Bath Bombs (For Valentine’s Day) – Adventures In Making blog
  6. DIY Floral Valentine’s Soap Pop – DIY Blog

12. Cook at home

Pick your favorite meal from a restaurant and make it in your own kitchen! And pick up special ingredients as well to recreate your favorite bar drinks.

13. Have a movie night with special treats & snacks

Pick your favorite movie or one you’ve been wanting to see, and recreate a movie night at home!

  • Special snacks: popcorn with added candy, chocolate covered pretzels, pop, alcoholic drinks, and more recipes from BuzzFeed

14. Self-guided art walk

Take a self-guided stroll around town and admire our local PNW artists.

  • There are a couple neighborhoods to explore in Portland:
    1. Alberta Arts District – map
    2. Central Eastside Industrial District – map
    3. All over Portland – map
  • Tualatin art walkmap
  • Beaverton muralsmap

15. Valentine’s Day cruise on the Portland Spirit

Take in the city lights and delicious food from the Willamette River. Enjoy a 4-course meal, an opera singer, jazz and 20th century Broadway music. *Starting at $118 per adult.

16. Enjoy Portland’s famous food scene

There are so many places to choose from in Portland – it’s almost overwhelming. Thankfully most restaurants offer their menu multiple days – so you can eat at multiple places!

Restaurants offering Valentine’s Day menu:

  • Multnomah Falls
  • Park Avenue Fine Wines
  • Bullard Tavern
    • Dinner box for 2 to-go
    • Brunch box to-go
  • Pop Pizza
  • Norr Kitchen
    • Chefs table or regular tables
  • Fullerton Wines
  • Someday
  • Brasa Haya
  • Piccone’s Corner
  • Ps & Qs Market
  • Flying Fish
    • Baskets for 2
  • Cooperativa
    • Pizza Bianca & Flowers Box for 2
  • Epif – vegan
  • Providore Fine Foods
    • Take Out Box for 2
  • Bar Casa Vale
  • Morchella
  • Gracie’s Restaurant – Hotel DeLuxe
  • Berlu
  • Le Pigeon
  • Ox Restaurant
  • Cafe Du Berry
  • Olympia Provisions Southeast
  • Lucca
    • Dinner for 2 to-go
  • Bergerac Bistro
  • Brix Tavern
  • MomoYama
  • Nostrana
  • Ovation Basket
    • Valentine’s Day Basket for 2
  • Nebbiolo Wine Bar
  • The Hive Social
  • Ponzi Vineyards
  • Eastburn
    • Valentine’s Day dinner in restaurant
    • Anti-Valentine’s Day Party in the taproom
  • Buffalo Gap Saloon & Eatery Share the Love charity dinner
  • Hunt & Gather

17. Treat yourself with Portland sweets

Is it a Valentine’s Day without chocolate? I’d say no, unless you’re not a chocolate fan.

Check out these sweet spots around Portland!

  1. Pix Patisserie menus
    1. Prix Fix menu
    2. Diamond Giveaway going on
    1. Take ut for 2 (wine bottle, 2 desserts, 4-piece chocolate box)
    2. Take Out & Make Out Box
    3. Chocolate boxes
  2. Fifty Licks
  3. Pinolo Gelato
  4. Pie Spot
  5. Holler Treats

18. Have a laugh at a comedy night

Get giggly with your other half at one of these shows.

  • Go Comedy Go Stand Up at Zoiglhaus Brewing Company. Free – Facebook
  • Kellen Erskine at Helium Club – tickets

19. Catch a drive-in movie

Drive-ins became popular again because of COVID. And it seems the trend is here to stay.

Pack a car picnic and hit up the drive-in at the Washington Square Mall.

  • Showings:
    • 2/11: He’s Just Not That Into You & How to Lose A Guy In 10 Days
    • 2/12The Notebook & Dirty Dancing
    • 2/13: Me Before You & The Proposal

Buy tickets

20. Make dessert together

Put away your wallet and nice clothes and stay in the kitchen! Baking together can be fun, especially when a bottle of wine joins the party.

Check out some of these decadent dessert recipes

* My favorite

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