Make Athens your Valentine's getaway this February! Whether you're looking to make a grand gesture with a reservation at a nice restaurant, or simply want a low-key lover's day, choose Athens for Valentine's and make it a date to remember. There's just as much fancy as there is free, and everything in between. When all is said and done, Valentine's Day is about celebrating the special bond between you and your loved one.

Here is our steep or cheap guide to Valentine's Day in Athens!

STEEP:

If you want to woo your date with a fancy plate or dreamy stay, consider these ideas:

 1. Romantic B&B stay

The Colonels Bed and Breakfast

Pack your weekender bag for a cozy two-night stay at the Colonels Bed and Breakfast. This lovely bed and breakfast has a Valentine getaway package offered for stays February 14th through the 18th. Enjoy complimentary champagne, fresh florals and a romantic breakfast with your sweetheart surrounded by candlelight and beautiful decor. The enchanting atmosphere of this charming, Southern B&B will add a new layer of romance to your weekend.

2. Meal to RememberSeabear Oyster Bar Dining

Make reservations for a delicious meal in the iconic Athens food scene.

Start out the night with handcrafted cocktails at Seabear Oyster Bar, the atmosphere is intimate and they have a unique selection of small plates to share. Several of Athens' favorite restaurants will be offering special Valentine-inspired cuisine by award-winning chefs. Enjoy three or four-course pix fix meals from one of these top-rated Athens restaurants: Five & Ten, The National, home.made from scratch and Heirloom Cafe and Fresh Market. These venues tend to switch up their menu weekly, so you'll definitely be in for a treat. Everyone loves a good meal and Athens, Georgia does it best! Make your reservations at one of these restaurants this Valentine's Day for an unforgettable experience.

CHEAP:

If you are looking to share a romantic evening for little or no money, consider these options that won't break the bank

1. Picnic with a view
The Fountain on North Campus during the fall.

Plan a picnic at one of Athens' most iconic spots, such as the University of Georgia's Historic North Campus or Herty Field (the location of the first UGA football game). 

Order food from your sweetheart's favorite restaurant or craft his or her favorite meal from scratch! This date will offer beautiful views, a rich sense of history, and that special touch of personalization that cannot be easily replicated. Hanging around North Campus is a beautiful go-to spot because Downtown is right there! Spend some time in the green, then pop over to Walker's Coffee and Pub for a hot drink to warm the mood.

2. Cute Overload

bear-hollow-zoo-bear

Drive down Milledge Avenue to Memorial Park and Bear Hollow Zoo

What better way to say 'I love you' than with a stroll through the local zoo to admire the animals and surrounding nature. It's free to explore, but consider making a donation. The animals are cared for by volunteer college students, and could use some extra Valentine's love as well! After you're done walking around the park and admiring Bear Hollow's cute creatures, check out the hiking trails that are located just beyond the zoo. Immersing yourself in nature is a great way to get closer to your significant other.

3. Stroll through the Garden

state botanical garden of georgia bridge

Take a breathtakingly beautiful stroll through State Botanical Garden of Georgia.

An area so stunning and romantic it is a popular setting for Athens weddings, you and your sweetheart will find it difficult to not feel the Valentine's spirit. There is no admission or parking charge, which makes the Botanical Garden an Athens favorite and your next best Valentine's idea.

4. Indulge your artistic sideGeorgia Museum of Art exterior

Located on the campus of the first state-charted public university, the Georgia Museum of Art makes for an idyllic date from the drive there through the visit itself. Unlike similar institutions, there is no admission charge for the museum. You and your loved one can enjoy a classically romantic evening perusing the many exhibits and collections. This year the museum is having an event on Valentine's where you can paint a bowl and they will donate it to the local food bank. After you explore an exhibit, consider showcasing your artistic abilities and give back to the community-- a great love-filled activity.

 

With two equally awesome nights out, I recommend choosing one now and saving the other for later!

This blog was originally published in February 2015, and completely updated in January 2018 by Reynolds Rogers