With consumers poised to spend an average of $161.96 on Valentine’s Day in the U.S., according to the National Retail Foundation, tri-county destinations are getting in on the action.
The National Retail Foundation survey found that 34 percent of consumers anticipate spending a total of $3.5 billion on an evening out.
Experiential gifts, such as tickets to an event or a trip to a spa, were desired by 40 percent of those surveyed while 25 percent planned to give those kinds of gifts.
Across the Tri-Counties, hotels, wineries and restaurants are planning special events, offering holiday experiences for visitors and locals alike.
Here is a south-to-north sampling of specials that caught our eye:
Zin Bistro Americana, a restaurant serving contemporary American comfort food, is hosting a weekend-long Valentine’s celebration with live music and dancing, an a la carte menu with chef specials and specialty cocktails. It has a patio, bar, lounge area and lakefront dining. For reservations, call (805) 865-0095.
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library will hold its 12th annual Sweetheart’s Dinner and Dance. The evening will include a three-course meal, live music, a professional photographer and tours of the Air Force One Pavilion and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Museum, including Pompeii: The Exhibition. Visit www.reaganfoundation.org or call (805) 577-4057.
Chocolatier Jean-Michel and his wife Jill are offering two specials for the month of February at Chocolats du CaliBressan.
“Rose” consists of dark chocolate and spicy rose ganache in a dark chocolate heart, and “Love” contains dark chocolate and lingonberry ganache in a white chocolate shell. To order, call (805) 684-6900 or email [email protected]
• Cat Therapy is having a “Galentine’s Day Purrty” with bubbles, sweet treats and time to play with rescued cats and kittens. Visit www.cattherapysb.com.
• The Santa Barbara Sailing Center is offering a Double Dolphin Valentine’s Cruise or a private charter. Visit www.sbsail.com.
• Happenings at The Ritz-Carlton Bacara, Santa Barbara include Romance on the Reef with Resident Marine Biologist Sara Welsh. For reservations, call (805) 453-9422.
• Bella Vista at Four Seasons Resort The Biltmore Santa Barbara has planned a special four-course menu for Valentine’s Day. Call (805) 565-8237 for reservations.
• Bluewater Grill is offering “From Europe with Love,” turning to the countries that wrote the book on love — France and Italy — for this year’s celebration. Call (805) 845-5121.
• Finch & Fork at the Canary Hotel is having a Valentine’s Day “Dinner Under the Stars” chef’s tasting. Call (805) 879-9100 or email [email protected]
The Chumash Casino Resort spa has two offerings for Valentine’s couples: a rose-scented facial and the Sweetheart Serenity Package, which includes a 25-minute scrub, 25-minute soak and an 80-minute massage. Book by calling (805) 691-1755.
Cliff Hotel and Spa is throwing a Sunset Melene Reception, which will include wine, a live performance and sunset-watching on the oceanfront. A three-course meal also available from the hotel’s sous and pastry chefs. For tickets, see the Eventbrite invitation at https://bit.ly/2Gt1tM6 or call (805) 773-5000.
SAN LUIS OBISPO
The Madonna Inn will provide horse drawn carriage rides on Feb. 14 around the inn. Dining specials include filet mignon, lobster and prime rib as well as private label wine flights and sugar cookies. Spa specials also available. Visit www.MadonnaInn.com or call (805) 543-3000.
For the foodie, Niner Wine Estates is hosting a six-course meal and wine pairings with sweet and savory dishes inspired by the Valentine’s Day staple chocolate. Book online at www.ninerwine.com or call (805) 226-4891.
• Contact Annabelle Blair at [email protected]