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.
- Waterfall trails close to Portland & short mileage (since the holiday is on a Tuesday this year)
- Check out my Top 10 Hikes 60 Miles or Less from PDX for some ideas
- Places to adventure around in Portland city limits:
- Forest Park
- Hoyt Arboretum
- Portland Japanese Garden
- Washington Park
- Powell Butte Nature Park
- Tryon Creek State Area
- Sauvie’s Island
- Tualatin Wildlife Refuge
- 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.
- Waterfall Tour of the Gorge
- If you have time, drive to Cascade Locks and share a [small] ice cream cone from East Wind Drive In
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
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
- Book a spa and massage at the Mt. Hood Oregon Resort in Government Camp
- Places to Eat in Government Camp:
- Huckleberry Inn
- Charlie’s Mountain View
- Hood Brewing Co
- Skyway Bar & Grill
- 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:
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
- Powell Butte Nature Park – a park with multiple forest trails
- 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
- Pittock Mansion Acres – pretend you’re a Portland elite and have a picnic in the mansion’s yard. Complete with a view of downtown PDX. You can also hike up here from Forest Park
- 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:
- Your neighborhood
- A trail
- Local park
- Columbia River Gorge Scenic Area
- 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
- Make a running or walking route around town or Forest Park or downtown Portland waterfront
- Check out Forest Park’s many trails
- 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
- Make your own cheese, meat, fruit board(s) at home! How To Make The Perfect Cheese Board from Lemon Tree Dwelling: Fresh Recipes for Everyday Life blog
- DIY wine tasting: How to Hold a Wine Tasting Like the Pros and Hosting Your Own Wine Tasting? Here Are Tips from a Pro! Make it a blind taste test for some extra fun
- DIY beer tasting: Bottoms Up! Here’s How to Throw The Ultimate Beer-Tasting Party: including what beers to buy, food recipes, music playlist, planning, and party favors! How To Host A Beer Tasting Party from theeverygirl.com
- DIY cider tasting: Fall Party Idea: Host a Cider Tasting
- 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!
- Charcoal – draw each other
- Paint your own puzzle – find a blank puzzle at an art store
- DIY: Heart Bath Bombs (For Valentine’s Day) – Adventures In Making blog
- 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.
- Dinner some of these recipes
- Make your own chocolate fondue from Chelsea’s Messy Apron
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!
- Create your own home-theater with the help of this blog post, DIY Living Room Theater: Bring The Movie To You
- Special snacks: popcorn with added candy, chocolate covered pretzels, pop, alcoholic drinks, and more recipes from BuzzFeed
- Bring the fair into your home with these Fair Food recipes
- Watching a Disney movie? Stick with the theme with recipes straight from Disneyland!
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:
- Tualatin art walk – map
- Beaverton murals – map
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.
- Buy tickets – Schedule: 7:00PM – 9:30PM.
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
- Brasa Haya
- Piccone’s Corner
- Ps & Qs Market
- Flying Fish
- Baskets for 2
- Pizza Bianca & Flowers Box for 2
- Epif – vegan
- Providore Fine Foods
- Take Out Box for 2
- Bar Casa Vale
- Gracie’s Restaurant – Hotel DeLuxe
- Le Pigeon
- Ox Restaurant
- Cafe Du Berry
- Olympia Provisions Southeast
- Dinner for 2 to-go
- Bergerac Bistro
- Brix Tavern
- Ovation Basket
- Valentine’s Day Basket for 2
- Nebbiolo Wine Bar
- The Hive Social
- Ponzi Vineyards
- 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!
- Pix Patisserie – menus
- Prix Fix menu
- Diamond Giveaway going on
- Take ut for 2 (wine bottle, 2 desserts, 4-piece chocolate box)
- Take Out & Make Out Box
- Chocolate boxes
- Fifty Licks
- Pinolo Gelato
- Pie Spot
- 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.
- 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
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
- * Pecan Pie with Dark Chocolate Chips
- *Whoopie Heart Pie
- Cookies n Cream-Oreo Cake
- Black Bean Brownies (GF-Vegan)
- Carrot Cake
- * Gâteau Moelleux au chocolat
- Brownie Waffle Ice Cream
- Blueberry-Lemon Cake
- Funfetti Cake
- Strawberry Fields (Forever) Cake – perfect for Valentine’s Day
* My favorite