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Sel. Photo by Debby Wolvos

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Dreamy Dates

Foolproof Ways to surprise Your Sweetie

Seeking a little date night inspiration? Each of these romantic experiences is a perfect option for Valentine’s Day, a date night, or “just because” all month long.

Amorous Adventures

Among the best ways to create intimacy is to experience something new together. Why not try a hot air balloon ride, for example? Rainbow Ryders offers nightly sunset rides that fly couples across the vibrant Sonoran Desert. The adventure finishes with sparkling wine for two.

OdySea Aquarium—the largest aquarium in the Southwest—is another hidden hot spot for those looking to do something outside of the box. In addition to its 65-plus exhibits and 500 species of animals, OdySea offers a host of VIP experiences, many with adults in mind, including the SeaTREK underwater walking program, a charismatic Penguin Interaction Program, the chance to get up-close and personal with a cuddly sloth, and even a behind-the-scenes shark tour.  

Like OdySea, the Phoenix Zoo is considered by many a spot squarely for families. But in reality, it is the perfect outdoor oasis for couples looking to create new memories. The Premium Adventure, a fully custom and private experience, is ideal for those looking to go over the top. It features a 90-minute personalized tour, plus one premium encounter with a one-horned rhinoceros, flamingos, a giant anteater, elephants, stingrays, tortoises, or a group of reptiles.

Bliss Out

While day spas are often stereotyped as choice spots for girls’ days and mother-daughter pampering sessions, they’re also a great way to enjoy a day of blissing out as a couple. The best spas out there—notably the 44,000-square-foot Well & Being Spa at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess; the Hamman-inspired Joya Spa at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia; the three-story Spa at The Phoenician, a Luxury Collection Resort, Scottsdale; and the Asian-inspired Spa at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, A Gurney’s Resort & Spa—offer ample opportunities to pamper couples via side-by-side massages, relaxation areas, adult-only pools, and co-ed immersive water therapies and bathing rituals. Many also have programs that can be customized for couples, including singing bowl therapy and CBD treatments, as well as a menu of nourishing food that helps put guests in the mood for love. 

Prix Fixe Fun

Most dates revolve around dinner. That is easy. So why not take things to another level by splurging for a specialty prix fixe tasting menu instead? There are several fine dining restaurants across the Valley with ever-changing tasting menus that will tickle the taste buds and act as surefire aphrodisiacs. Sel, for example, features a tasting menu with dishes inspired from Executive Chef and Food Network favorite Branden Levine’s storied career, as well as plates he has loved most from the most awarded eateries worldwide. Café Monarch is another can’t-miss. Its tasting menu has earned it the designation of one of the top three most romantic restaurants in the nation by Trip Advisor. Café Monarch also has a sister restaurant across the street called The Reserve. There, expect a 12-course tasting menu inspired by Michelin-star restaurants across Spain. Roka Akor’s version of a tasting menu is called Omakase, which means “to entrust the chef” and celebrates the highest-end eateries across Japan. Finally, there is Christopher’s at Wrigley Mansion, which just received one of the highest scores possible from Gayot, an international guide to travel, food, hotels, shopping, and attractions. The tasting menu here is as whimsical as it is technically astounding, making it a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list-level date.


Perfect Pairings

Think you are one-half of the perfect pair? Why not see how compatible you are during an interactive night of perfect pairings? While there are a few wine-pairing dinners on Valentine’s Day, consider a reservation for one of two of The Mick’s acclaimed Somm Brawl events on Feb. 20 or 27 to wow your special someone. Each interactive event challenges two lauded Arizona sommeliers to pair a custom four-course menu with wines of their choice. Together, couples sip, savor, and choose the evenings’ victors, who then move on to the finals in March. 

  • Rainbow Ryders
  • OdySea Aquarium
  • OdySea Aquarium
  • Rainbow Ryders
  • Well & Being Spa at the Fairmont Scottsdale Princess
  • at the Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia. Courtesy Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia
  • Spa at Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, A Gurney’s Resort & Spa. Courtesy Courtesy Experience Scottsdale
  • Cafe Monarch. Photo by Harley Bonham Photography
  • Courtesy Christopher's at Wrigley Mansion
  • Roka Akor
  • Sel. Photo by Debby Wolvos