3 Unique Ways to Spend Valentine's Day in South End
Whether it's a first date, five-hundredth date, or a Galentine's date, here's how to curate a memorable February 14th in Charlotte's historic South End.
This Valentine's Day, break out from the norm and spend the holiday exploring the city you love. Charlotte's historic South End neighborhood is teeming with industrial charm, and it's the ideal background to your 2019 Valentine's Day, no matter who's by your side on the holiday. Blending the brick facades of old textile mills with the vibrant hues of freshly painted wall murals, this part of Charlotte has a personality of its own, giving you all the more reason to plan your Valentine's Day popping around its various points of interest.
If you're hoping for either an eclectic, romantic, or a quintessentially "Charlotte" holiday, South End has it all. Valentine's Day falls on a Thursday this year, so see below for our insider tips on a memorable Valentine's Day in South End for all kinds of dates. Whether you're a new couple, long-term lovers, or a gal-pal group, Sound End is full of surprises. With affordable date night activities around each turn, you'll find a new reason to love the historic South End of the city.
Valentine's Day in South End for New Couples
The nerves and butterflies still feel new with fresh couples. As such, it's best not to plan a night that expects a lot out of either party. Although overly romantic gestures may come across as too-forward at this point in your relationship, you can still be sweet with a Valentine's spent in South End. Explore some of the staples that give the spot its quirks—below are our suggestions for a light-hearted, romantic, and affordable evening in the neighborhood.
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Start with Sweets
What's Valentine's Day without a little sugar? Put a South End spin on gifting sweets and treat your sweetie to a delectable pastry from Lincoln's Haberdashery. This cute corner-store-slash-bar is a casual, cultural place to pick up preordered V-Day pastries—they're running a special menu right now that includes items like Love Fortune Donuts and Frasier Cake.
Do a DIY gallery crawl
Historic South End hosts a free gallery crawl through various venues in the neighborhood every first Friday of the month. Valentine's Day doesn't fall on the first Friday of the month, but that doesn't mean you can't make your own South End gallery crawl. Simply follow suit of the monthly activity and bop around to a few galleries. Check out the South End gallery page here to plan your artistic adventure. Even if you're not an art aficionado, this activity can be a blast if you take the time to appreciate local artists' creative pursuits. Plus, it's not uncommon for galleries to have wine on-hand to add to your viewing pleasure. Soak up Charlotte's culture and bounce perspectives off one another during this unique (and affordable) date. Who knows, maybe you'll fall in love—either with your date or a for-sale piece of art.
Wind down with a nightcap
Depending on how the rest of the night went, you have a couple different options. You can end the night with a tasty cocktail in a hip setting such as Zeppelin, or you can keep it casual with a beer at Craft.
Valentine's Day in South End for Long-Term Lovers
You're not strangers to spending this love-filled holiday together, so there's not much left that can woo you, right? Nope, wrong — if you're in South End. This fast-growing neighborhood is always full of new things to experience, so try viewing Valentine's Day in a fresh light this year. With all of the opportunities for unexpected romance here, you may even feel like you're in an episode of The Bachelor. Maybe.
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Book a surprise bouquet
Many women love getting flowers—especially "just because." However, when it comes to Valentine's Day, your babe may be expecting the usual: roses. For a different spin on the romantic gesture, try starting your night with a surprise visit to Bookout Blooms. Before your date night begins, swing by this florist in Atherton Mill to pick up a pre-arranged bouquet for your love. Bringing your partner to the flower shop is a new way to present the gift—plus, you could likely plan ahead to design a custom bouquet and pay in advance. So, all you have to do is swoop in and pick up your thoughtful one-of-a-kind bouquet. Bookout Blooms closes at 6 p.m. on weekdays if you want to pick up flowers before you start your date night.
Indulge in fine wine
While you're at Atherton Mill, see another staple in the converted cotton mill-turned retail hub. Wine bar and shop Vin Master is a regular tenant at Atherton, closing at 10 p.m. on Thursdays. Either enjoy a fine wine in the cozy bar area, or pick out a special vintage to bring home and enjoy on the couch together.
Stroll with dessert
End the night with nostalgic romance. South End is especially darling at night when string lights hung in hidden spaces give the air a warm glow. To finish the evening on a sweet note, grab an ice cream cone from either Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams or Golden Cow Creamery (if you want a little longer walk). With your desserts in-hand, you can spend the rest of the night talking and exploring South End's secret sweet spots, such as the Riva Finoli Passage near Magnolia Emporium, the new lit park area near Price's Chicken Coop, complete with seating, or the glowing Nebel's Alley near Superica. Take your pick.
Galentine's Day in South End
No romantic date on your schedule tonight? No problem, because South End has all the fixings for a great night out with your girlfriends. This Valentine's Day, soak up the girl-time, catch-up chats, and infectious laughs.
Make custom candles
New to the area and moving into a larger space down the road this spring, The Candle Bar is a pop-up custom candle-making class on Camden Road. The February 14 evening spots are already filling up quickly, but you can still reserve a Valentine's Day session here. Or, you can celebrate your Galentines on the day Leslie Knope intended it, February 13. Bring your own bottle of wine (or beer) and pour your own candle. You'll have to wait three hours for it to harden until you can take it home, so this is a great way to start and end the fun if you book a session at 5 p.m. or earlier. Pro tip: The last session ends at 8 p.m. and you'll have to get your candle shipped to you, earlier is better for a take-home treat.
Get some grub
Walk off the wine and fill your bellies with some tasty sandwiches, salads, and veggie-friendly fare from Roots Café. Or, if you worked up a bigger appetite, Mr. K's is closer and serving its no-frills burgers, ice cream floats, and fries 'til 6 p.m. Roots closes at 8 p.m.
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Snap an artsy selfie
Lastly, it wouldn't be a night spent in South End without some photographic evidence of the public art. While you can stop into many different nooks to find artful details in this neighborhood, nothing is as holiday-appropriate as the freshly painted Confetti Hearts Wall by Evelyn Henson (located at 1920 Camden Road). Seemingly perfect for Valentine's Day with its multi-colored candy hearts floating on a white background, this Instagram-ready piece of public art is just begging for a group picture documenting your best Valentine's Day yet. Plus, it's right near the Candle Bar, so you can scoop up your new scent before you head home.
Need more things to do in South End Charlotte? We're just scratching the surface. Visit HistoricSouthEnd.com for all the updates you need on South End—from what's here now to what's to come.