Roses are red, violets are blue, this Valentine’s Day gift an epic experience — whether solo or for two! This year, the SBP team is passing on cliché gifts in favor of making lasting memories with our partners, kids, and even our neighbors. Whether learning to surf, discovering mixology downtown, or getting whisked to a fun island escape, these shared experiences, available right here in LA, are sure to strengthen your bond and deliver excitement. Read on for our specially curated list and get booking for Valentine’s Day, the SBP way.
Featured photo: Santa Monica Picnic Co.
1. Learn to Cook Together
Spice up your relationship (quite literally) by taking a fun, hands-on cooking class together. In Santa Monica, The Gourmandise School offers everything from pasta making to sushi rolling, and in Westwood, SBP fave Violet Bistro offers fun, enriching cooking classes taught by one of their professional chefs or special guests. Whichever you choose, you’re sure to chef up mouthwatering dishes while learning new culinary skills side-by-side.
Photos: CBS & Family Savvy
2. Escape to Catalina Island
Escape the city and transport yourselves to the charming island oasis of Catalina, accessible via a scenic boat ride from coastal LA (bonus points if you spot a killer whale along the way). Stay at the chic Hotel Atwater or opt for the cozy Bellanca Hotel, both offering romantic accommodations. Be sure to try the island’s signature Buffalo Milk; Descanso Beach Club has one of our faves.
Photos: Catalina Island & Chilled Magazine
3. Book a Spa Day
Melt away stress and reconnect through a day of full-on pampering at one of LA's blissful spas. Luxurious hotel spas like Beverly Hills Hotel, Hotel Bel Air, Terranea, and The Peninsula offer lavish treatments, while independent spas like Den Mother, Milk + Honey, and Surya provide more intimate sanctuaries to relax and rejuvenate together.
Photos: TripAdvisor & Den Mother
4. Shake & Sip in a DTLA Mixology Class
Uncork your inner bartender with a Downtown LA Mixology Class that transforms cocktail creation into a lively social experience. An expert mixologist will guide you both in shaking, stirring, and sipping your way to mastering three signature cocktail recipes. Learn professional techniques and trade secrets, all while enjoying laughs and libations.
Photo (left): Elevent
5. Reserve a Luxe Beach Picnic
Elevate a romantic date on the sand with a luxury picnic setup from one of LA's premier picnic companies. Lounge on stylishly appointed blankets and cushions, feast on gourmet bites and bubbles, and watch the sun dip below the horizon together. A dreamy, effortless beach escape without having to pack a basket yourself.
Photos: Beach Picnic Co. & Santa Monica Picnic Co.
6. Indulge in a Splurge-Worthy Meal
Savor an extraordinary multi-course tasting menu at one of LA's most acclaimed restaurants. Whether it's the innovative modern Asian flavors of N/Naka, heavenly homemade pastas at Giorgio Baldi, mind-blowing omakase at Brothers Sushi, or Michelin-rated French-American cuisine at Mélisse, celebrating your love over a decadent meal will create edible memories.
Photos: Santa Monica Mirror & Citrin & Melisse
7. Arrange a Surfing Lesson in Manhattan Beach
It’s hard to believe you live by the beach and hardly ever get in the water, right? Well, it’s time to ride the iconic waves of Southern California together by taking a private surf lesson in Manhattan Beach with Soul Surf Sessions. Learn proper techniques from experienced instructors, then go catch some waves hand-in-hand and cheer each other on.
Photo (left): Soul Surf Sessions
8. Go Horseback Riding in the Santa Monica Mountains
Explore the rolling hills and lush, hidden canyons of the breathtaking Santa Monica Mountains on horseback with Malibu Riders. As you navigate scenic trails winding through this natural sanctuary, we can guarantee you’ll connect with nature and one another like never before. And afterward? Grab some drinks and bites at the legendary Old Place.
Photos: Malibu Riders & @kelimccarthy
Complement with an “Uncommon Gift”
Remember, the most heartfelt Valentine's Day gifts often come from unexpected acts of kindness. Complement your experience-based gift with an "uncommon gift” — a homemade treat or card, a thoughtful donation in their honor, a handmade gift certificate for your ‘next romantic dinner,’ or even a Schitt’s Creek-style serenade. Small, personalized touches can make the day even more meaningful.
Booking one of these epic experiences for Valentine’s Day this year? Be sure to tag us in your outings @smithandberg so we can share the love!