Valentine’s Day is closer than you think, so now is the time to plan those shared experiences that make relationships so much fun. Here are some great suggestions to get you started:
1. Take a tour of downtown restaurants: Let the guides at Tour Roanoke lead the two of you on a sampling of downtown eateries and entertain you with stories from Roanoke’s history. From soup to dessert, you’ll try new places and dishes, make friends and see the city in a new way.
2. Are you brew buffs? Check out some of Roanoke’s many craft breweries with Tour Roanoke’s Hop-On Hop-Off Brewery Tour. Choose the breweries where you want to stop, enjoy snacks along the way, and you won’t need a DD; they’ll do the driving!
3. Pamper yourselves: Enjoy the spa experience together at the Salt Foot Sanctuary in the Hotel Roanoke. Choose a delectable herb and fragrance blend for your foot soak (including hops, guys!), get a foot, hand or shoulder massage, sip a craft beer or spirit and enjoy the ambiance of hand-crafted copper and weathered wood. Take home a mason jar of your favorite “lotion and potion” and be sure to get one to give away. SpaRoanokeVA.com
4. Get tickets to a show you’ll both love: There are so many great venues here, showcasing local, regional and national talent. The Harvester Performance Center is little more than a half hour from downtown Roanoke, in Rocky Mount. The Phoenix and The Spot on Kirk are intimate venues with a funky vibe. Go prepared to eat Mexican street food from the Tulum food truck at The Phoenix. Or have brunch at the Legendary Biscuit Sessions at 5 Points Music Sanctuary, and don’t forget the Bloody Mary!
5. Solve a mystery together: Star City Mystery Dinner Theater serves up an interactive mystery play along with a four-course meal at the Holiday Inn-Tanglewood. During breaks, the cast remains in character while they serve the meal – you can even bribe them for information! (540) 519-7851.
6. Tickle your funny bones: Head down to Corned Beef and Company for dinner and a show as Big Lick Conspiracy presents improv and sketch comedy based on audience suggestions. You never know what will happen!
7. Feel the heat: Share a “Taste of Naples” at Fortunato, one of Roanoke’s premiere Italian kitchens in a one-of-kind, hands-on adventure, in partnership with Tour Roanoke. Learn to make a Neopolitan pizza and a classic Negroni cocktail under the tutelage of top professionals, then mingle and enjoy the fruits of your labor. The next date is Saturday, February 16 – perfect timing! Taste of Naples.
8. Escape together: Escape Rooms are a hot new thing, and Roanoke boasts three. Work collaboratively with other players to solve themed problems, decipher clues, open locks and escape your room before your time runs out. Try not to ask for hints! Deciphered Roanoke, Riddle Me Roanoke, All In Adventures.
You’re still welcome to present your sweetie with flowers and chocolate (in fact, we encourage it; Chocolate Paper is right on the City Market) but you can up your game by planning one (or more) of these great adventures that you can find in your own back yard!
Anne Sampson is a freelance writer and photographer who enjoys cooking, being outdoors and adventures big and small. She has a studio at Gallery 202 on the Roanoke City Market. See her online at annesampsonphotography.com