If you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day in Tucson, you’re in luck. Between the revitalization of downtown and the local food and music that have always been here, there’s a lot to choose from for a great romantic night.
If you and your date are up for a bit of a physical challenge, try out Blackett’s Ridge in Sabino Canyon on the northwest side of town. By romantic coincidence there’s a full moon exactly on Valentine’s Day, and if you start hiking just before sunset you’ll catch a beautiful moonrise at the top of the ridge.
Come back down for dinner at The Abbey – it’s less than five minutes drive from the trailhead, and its modern American comfort food will hit the spot after your exercise.
Take advantage of Tucson’s gorgeous city views at La Encantada. There are several classy restaurants that aren’t too hard on the wallet, like Armitage Wine Lounge – for vegetarians, try their famous roasted vegetable ravioli. After dinner, treat your sweetheart to gelato at neighboring Frost, a Tucson original that’s so good it’s gone worldwide.
And because La Encantada is nestled at the base of the Santa Catalinas, you can bring that dessert with you to one of their secluded balconies and enjoy a sparkling vista you won’t find in most cities.
For something a little more lavish, Laura Benanti – Baroness Elsa Schräder in the recent television version of Sound of Music – will be singing at the Westin La Paloma Resort on Valentine’s Day. Not only do you get an evening of cabaret, but your ticket includes champagne and dessert.
Make it a full, romantic night and schedule massages at La Paloma’s spa and have a multiple-course dinner at the resort’s restaurant Azul.
Old Favorites in Downtown
If your date likes live music and dancing, there are two places to go: La Cocina and Hotel Congress. The former offers unusual dinners, warm cocktails, and the most beautiful courtyard in Tucson, while the latter has an edgy, chic history and rooms upstairs to stay in. Outdoors or in, if you want to dance, these are where you want to be
Just as with up in the foothills, it’s easy to do dinner, dessert and a view down in the city; each just takes on a different flavor. On the lighter side, Saint House offers rum cocktails and Caribbean fare, while Proper combines local ingredients into unique combinations. The best of them all, though, is Café Poca Cosa – it’s the most expensive, but even receiving the menu is something of a spectacle, and the food is amazing.
If you’re still up to be out and about afterwards, try the often startling but tasty ice cream flavors at Hub for dessert, and enjoy a cocktail while you relax and people watch from the rooftop lounge of Playground next door.