What to do with a boo this Valentine's Day

Illustration by Tonesha Yazzie

Valentine’s Day is a special holiday dedicated to celebrating love and happiness. Figuring out the right way to spend the holiday with a special someone can be a difficult process. Trying to figure out the best restaurant, activity or gift with all the available options can be overwhelming, all while trying to avoid cliches.

If on a budget this year, there are still plenty of activities to do in Flagstaff that are free and perfect for Valentine’s Day. For outdoor dwellers, Flagstaff has numerous hiking trails with varying difficulty levels.

Timothy Carlson, CEO for Hike the Planet!, ranked the best trails in Flagstaff. Hike the Planet! is a website dedicated to outdoor enthusiasts, produces content that reviews backpacking gear and posts articles about hiking. According to the article, Fatman’s Loop Trail is an easy-to-moderate 2.5-mile trail through a mixture of desert and coniferous forests. Kendrick Peak Trail is a more difficult hike, taking a 4.5-mile trail each way. This trail is similar to the San Francisco Peaks, as hikers traverse the San Francisco volcanic field, but this hike will most likely have less traffic due to the difficulty.

Another easy and very romantic hike could be the Lava River Cave, with just under 2 miles of hiking roundtrip. Though this hike takes more preparation and research before embarking due to conditions in the caves, Carlson stated on his website that it may be one of the most interesting hikes in or around the city.

A way to make hikes even more special and romantic on Valentine’s Day could be to bring a picnic to share with a significant other. Sit at the apex of a mountain, enjoy a breathtaking view and replenish the energy lost from the grueling trek.

Provided one has the budget and is looking to splurge on their significant other, flowers are one of the most simple, but effective ways to make someone feel special. Sutcliffe Floral has been serving Flagstaff locals for over 75 years and was dubbed by the Arizona Daily Sun as the best florist in town in 2019. The shop was also awarded this title for 15 consecutive years, from 2002 to 2016.

Jordan Pynes is an arrangement designer and manager at Sutcliffe Floral and encourages Flagites to shop local this Valentine’s Day. Flowers are a lovely sentiment to give someone to show they are special. When buying flowers, picking the right bouquet can be difficult because there are so many options to choose from.

“People should know that you should always order through your local florist and not an online company,” Pynes said. “You’re going to get way better service and way better product if you order locally. I would recommend a designer’s choice arrangement, and that’s when you let the designer choose the arrangement with what they think would look best. Basically, we’re not having to copy a picture, and you get something unique and special every time.”

Although this is her personal recommendation, the classic dozen red roses is one of the most popular arrangements for Valentine’s Day, along with sunflowers and wildflowers. Pynes also discussed add-ons for offered arrangements, such as chocolate, balloons and jewelry. She added that Sutcliffe Floral also offers a discount on house plants to NAU students and faculty.

If one is looking to relax with their significant other this Valentine’s Day, getting a couples massage could be sufficient. Cheyanne Cuevas, front desk associate at Massage Envy, said that she recommends couples massages this holiday.

“Our couples massages are a great way to bond because it gives both of you an opportunity to relax in the same room. We have add-ons with our lotions for different enhancements, our environment is also very calming as you can adjust the table warmers, lighting and music volume,” Cuevas said. “To book, we base on what customers want individually, a deeper or lighter pressure, to customize your own personal massage to do together.”

Cuevas also discussed how accommodating Massage Envy is for their customers, especially students, because they open at 8 a.m. and close at 10 p.m. They do bookings online to make it easier for busy people to schedule massages and offer student discounts for their membership option.

Relaxing with a significant other can be a nice way to bond and create a special memory that will last forever. Senior Taylor Tonge spent her last few holidays in town. She said that spending Valentine’s Day in Flagstaff in the past has been sort of a nostalgic time. Tonge has been dating her boyfriend for two years and in the past they have opted for a more low-key, conventional celebration.

“We went to Chili’s,” Tonge said. “That’s where we go for most of our date nights, so it was pretty nostalgic.”

Tonge plans on spending her Valentine’s Day a little different this year. She plans to spend this year’s holiday at Cornish Pasty Co., a restaurant and bar downtown that could be a fun way to spend the holiday.

An option for couples of drinking age could be an event hosted by the Granite Creek Vineyards, in Chino Valley, Arizona, called Valentine’s at the Vineyard. The event takes place over Valentine’s Day weekend, Friday through Sunday, running from noon to 5 p.m. The vineyard offers wine tasting, live music, complimentary desserts and entrees for purchase.

Aim to make this Valentine’s Day even more special than the last by trying some of these suggestions. Show that special someone how much they really mean and celebrate one another, together.