Valentine Weekend Itinerary
Woo your valentine in CLE
By Lexi Hotchkiss
Valentine’s Day is on a weekday, but don't let that get in your way. You can still woo your boo--choose the weekend before or after, and cue the romance. Of course, your options are aplenty: Glue “Be Mine” candy hearts to the inside of your beloved’s car, write corny haikus, perform a YouTube-worthy rendition of a boy band song.
OR, you could knock your steady’s socks off with a weekend getaway to CLE.
Evening: The way to your sweetheart’s heart? The stomach (duh). Start your trip at Dante, located in a restored bank in the trendy Tremont neighborhood. Chef Dante Bocuzzi serves refined modern American cuisine through a five-course tasting menu in cozy private booths or even in the repurposed bank vault. 2247 Professor Ave., Tremont, 216.274.1200
Next, canoodle as you peruse charming boutiques, art galleries and quaint independently owned bars and eateries sprinkled throughout the trendy Tremont neighborhood. Bonus points: Make a stop at Lilly Handmade Chocolates for a tasty update to the traditional heart-shaped box of chocolates. 761 Starkweather Ave., Tremont
Head east to close the evening at the place Down Beat magazine proclaims as one of the best jazz clubs in the nation--Nighttown. Nosh on some late-night bites and sip a fancy cocktail while enjoying the smooth sounds of the renowned Manhattan Transfer. 12387 Cedar Rd., Cleveland Heights, 216.795.0550
Overnight: “We’re staying at the Ritz?!” Get that divinely upscale overnight experience at the Ritz-Carlton Cleveland. 1515 W. 3rd St., Downtown, 216.623.1300
Morning: Start the morning in Ohio City for an ooh-la-la petit déjeuner at the quaint French bistro Le Petit Triangle. Leave without trying the crepes and you’re out of your mind! 1881 Fulton Rd., Ohio City, 216.281.1881
Head a couple blocks away to stroll hand-in-hand through one of Cleveland’s most iconic destinations--the West Side Market. Buy some roses, nosh on delectable desserts and even snap a #soinlove selfie from the balcony above. 1979 W. 25th St., Ohio City, 216.664.3387
After all that walking, hop the RTA train for a quick trip back Downtown. You've earned a little relaxation. Book a couples massage at Marengo Luxury Spa located in the gorgeous Old Arcade in Downtown Cleveland. 401 Euclid Ave., Downtown, 216.621.4600
Dine waterside overlooking the beautifully frozen, peaceful Lake Erie while sipping a margarita (day-drinking is totally okay--no judgment here) at modern Mexican joint, Nuevo at North Coast Harbor. Add a little spice to your lunch date with one of their famous guacamoles, tacos or arepas. 1000 E. 9TH St., Downtown, 216.737.1000
One you've wrapped up lunch, head back down the pier just next door to the one and only Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, because nothing says romance like artists belting out their inner-most feelings to the sound of an electric guitar. Six floors of exhibits await you and your main squeeze, giving you a taste of nostalgia, adrenaline and a nod to the Rock Gods. 1100 Rock and Roll Blvd. (E. 9th St.), Downtown, 216.781.ROCK (7625)
Evening: Keep the love-licious dining going at the gorgeous Cowell & Hubbard located in Playhouse Square. French wine and cheese will add that special spark to your evening in this upscale delight. 1305 Euclid Ave., Playhouse Square, 216.479.0555
The Cleveland Jazz Orchestra's "Tierney Sutton sings for Lovers" promises an evening of smooth, sexy jazz tunes inside the opulent Ohio Theatre in Playhouse Square. 1511 Euclid Ave., Playhouse Square, 216.241.6000
Morning: Go ahead and sleep in a bit after that action-packed Saturday. Then, head over to University Circle for brunch at hotspot Trentina. This is no ordinary brunch, but rather an upscale--and gorgeously delicious--take on eggs and pancakes. 1903 Ford Dr., University Circle, 216.421.2900
Next, meander your way across the street to the Cleveland Museum of Art for a look at one of the world’s most renowned--and FREE--permanent collections of art. Use the high-tech gadgets in Gallery One to explore examples of work made with romance in mind. Finish up the morning with lunch at the in-museum restaurant, Provenance (try the mac and cheese. For real.) 11150 East Blvd., University Circle, 216.421.7350
Afternoon: Don’t worry, we’re not your jonesing-for-grandkids mom. But we would be remiss to not mention that the butterfly-flanked waterfall inside the Costa Rican Rain Forest glasshouse at the Cleveland Botanical Garden is one of the most popular spots to get engaged. Just sayin'. 11030 East Blvd., University Circle, 216.721.1600
While you're there, get that ultimate lovey-dovey experience of ice skating at the Rink at Wade Oval. This unique polymer-surfaced ice-skating rink located in University Circle is dyed pink for Valentine’s Day. 10820 East Blvd., University Circle
Evening: Make your way to the cute, quaint nearby neighborhood of Little Italy for dinner at Mama Santa. It's got a reputation from locals and visitors alike as one of the best authentic Italian meals you'll find this side of the Atlantic. Don't completely stuff yourself though--you and your honey simply must get a cannoli at Presti's Bakery to cap off your oh-so-sweet weekend in CLE.