Thursday, January 21, 2016

Whether you're into costumed bike rides or riverboat cruises, Portland's got you covered this Valentine's Day. Although the City of Roses might not be...

Although the City of Roses might not be the first place that comes to mind when romance is on the cards, Portland has plenty of memorable ways to celebrate the holiday, from quirky daytime outings to traditional romantic dinners. Here are a few of the city's finest ways to commemorate the day.

Offbeat Dining

Andina is Portland's snazziest Peruvian restaurant, and it's known for an innovative, fine-dining take on Andean favorites and for serving some of the city's best Pisco sours. This year, this Pearl District darling is offering a three-course prix fixe menu ($65) with plenty of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options, plus an optional beverage service a la carte. They also plan to bring a solid line up of live musicians to serenade love-struck diners throughout the evening.

Portland has a lot of vegans, so there are plenty of great places to celebrate Valentine's Day for those who prefer seitan to steak. Northeast Portland's Blossoming Lotus is arguably the best plant-based dinner spot in town, and they're offering a special four-course dinner ($60), with soy- and gluten-free options available. Wine pairings will be an extra $30, and for those who can't make the 5 p.m. or 8 p.m. seatings, Blossoming Lotus plan to offer romantic brunch and dinner specials throughout the weekend.

Dan Savage's Valentines Special

You may be familiar with Dan Savage, the hilariously frank, envelope-pushing advice columnist behind the internationally syndicated Savage Love. This Valentine's Day, he'll take the stage at Portland's Revolution Hall, a recently remodeled former schoolhouse-turned-event-space for a live recording of his celebrated Savage Lovecast. Just come prepared to confess—he'll be fielding questions about sex and love from the audience, as well from his own posse of comedic guests.

Cruises Aboard the Portland Spirit

If you're looking for a romantic place to take your sweetheart and a regular restaurant just won't cut it, one of the Valentine's Weekend Cruises aboard the Portland Spirit riverboat may be your best bet. For $99 per person, you and your date will be treated to a two-and-a-half-hour cruise down the Willamette, complete with a four-course dinner and live entertainment by the energetic, jazzy sounds of local songwriter and pianist duo, The Bylines. The cruise is also available on Saturday, February 13th, for those who want to extend the holiday into a weekend affair.

Worst Day of the Year Ride

The annual Worst Day of the Year Ride is among the most quintessentially Portlandish ways to celebrate the holiday. Though the name might lead you to believe that this annual bike ride is a statement against Valentine's Day, it was originally held to coincide with the worst weather day of the year, allegedly to show that Portlanders are always down to get out and play on their bikes, rain or shine, snow or sleet. Costumes are strongly encouraged, with $5,000 worth of prizes awarded to riders—there's even a special category for the "punniest" costumes.

Whether you're into costumed bike rides or riverboat cruises, Portland's got you covered this Valentine's Day. Although the City of Roses might not be...

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