Year-Round Valentines

PSA: It’s Valentine’s Day . In years past, I would have been thinking about this day well in advance. Cards would have been purchased; dinner reservations would have been made… Yes, as the unofficial planner in the relationship, I’m usually the one to set these plans in motion. It takes the guesswork out of the equation for my husband and I get to enjoy the places I really want to go to.

This year, however, I am the brand new mother to an adorable 4-month-old girl. It’s an amazing new world for me to navigate but it doesn’t leave me with much time or head space for anything else, including intricate plans for a romantic night out. Based on our timing, we might end up celebrating later in the month – but with more time to plan and less competition for prime reservation times, that’s a-okay with me. Luckily, Seattle has plenty of opportunities to be romantic throughout the year. Here are some of the future dates I’m dreaming up…


Six Seven

Heels and Makeup

There’s nothing wrong with a traditional fancy dinner date. And as a new mom, I find myself craving reasons to wear heels and put on makeup. For this date, I envision a table for two at a tried and true waterside restaurant like AQUA by El Gaucho or Six Seven at The Edgewater. We would enjoy cocktails at the bar as the sun sets over the water before heading to our table for two. Doesn’t get more romantic than that, right? Well… if he wanted to spring for a dinner at Canlis with their impeccable service and sparkling views over Lake Union, I certainly wouldn’t complain about that either.


Chihuly Garden and Glass Kristin Gillespie

Culture Fix

Seattle is teeming with opportunities to dive into the arts and culture scene, each one just that much sweeter when experienced with your sweetheart. My husband proposed to me at the Seattle Art Museum, so that continues to be hallowed ground for us and we love to revisit favorites from their contemporary collection or discover new artists in their rotating exhibitions. Or perhaps we’ll take a stroll through the stunning Chihuly Garden and Glass or go head-to-head at the Seattle Pinball Museum. Performing arts are strong here as well. He’s a big fan of Seattle Symphony and I’m a sucker for the theatre scene. (Hint: Hamilton is playing at The Paramount Theatre through March 18).

Note: If you are visiting Seattle in February, you’ll want to check out Seattle Museum Month anyway – whether you’re with your love interest or not.

Food is My Love Language

Let’s bring it back to food for a moment. If my tastebuds are happy, we can call the night a success. Sushi is a crowd-pleaser in our relationship, and for us, Shiro’s in Belltown is a sure bet. My mouth just watered a little bit thinking about it. For a special celebration, however, I’d love to splurge on an omakase, or ‘chef’s choice’, meal at Sushi Kashiba and let destiny guide our meal.

If sushi’s not your thing, there are plenty of other date night options that would lead to happy stomachs. For southern comfort food, Restaurant Roux is a cozy spot for date night. They often have live music and they serve up some mean shrimp & grits. I’m also dying to try newcomer Junebaby, recently named one of Eater’s Best New Restaurants of the Year.


Elliott Bay Book Company Kristin Gillespie

Hygge for Two

Of course, romance doesn’t always have to equal candlelight and roses. I love a good day date as well. In my perfect world, we would start with brunch at Oddfellows Café + Bar on Capitol Hill (brioche French toast with mascarpone, please!). Considering that he is an audiophile and I am a bookworm, it’s super convenient that both Everyday Music and The Elliott Bay Book Company are just steps away from the cafe. We could spend hours between the two. The bookstore, in particular, is warm and inviting with plenty of plush seating and high wood beamed ceilings, plus a well-stocked coffee shop in the back to sustain you through your browsing. Once we’ve both purchased the books and vinyl that we can’t live without, we’d make our way toward Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery. Really, all you need to know about this place is in the name. If that’s not hygge, I don’t know what is.


At the risk of sounding cliché, I know that any celebration we dream up will be special as long as we do it together. But if this holiday gives me an excuse to get out and explore the city I love with the person I love, I’ll take it. In fact, let’s stretch Valentine’s Day throughout the year and keep exploring! Do you have more ideas for fun Seattle dates? Share them in the comments below.

About the Author

Kristin Gillespie

Kristin Gillespie is Director, Content Strategy at Visit Seattle. An avid traveler and Seattle transplant of over a decade, Kristin loves to explore the Northwest and is rarely found without a camera in hand - although these days it's typically pointing at her charming baby girl.

More Posts By Kristin Gillespie
Kristin Gillespie


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