It’s A Date: Sweet Ideas for Valentine’s Day in Athens


Athens County, one of the sweetest places to spend Valentine’s Day.

Love is in the air! Make Valentine’s Day unforgettable and extra special by planning a getaway to Athens, where you’ll fall in love with the brick streets, frozen waterfalls, snow-covered hills and local restaurants.

Where to Stay

Fall in love with the Bodhi Tree Guesthouse, a Buddhist-inspired retreat, situated on a picturesque four-acre hilltop. With a float tank, Thai and traditional massage, private yoga sessions and beautiful grounds to explore, you’ll have no excuse not to relax and rejuvenate.

Step back in time at the beautiful Primrose Bed & Breakfast, an 1892 Queen Anne Victorian house in Nelsonville. It’s filled with historic oak trim and floors and it’s decorated with colorful stained glass transoms. It’s also right around the corner from Nelsonville’s Historic Public Square.

Get away from it all at Lake Hill Cabins, featuring hot tubs, a fire ring and fully-furnished kitchens. Just a few minutes down the road are several spots of hiking trails at Strouds Run State Park (don’t miss the Vista Point Trail) and delicious restaurants in Uptown Athens.

What to Do

All aboard the love train! The Hocking Valley Scenic Railway is hosting a Valentine Chocolate Choo-Choo ride on Saturday, Feb. 13, from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. The event includes two pours of wine, a keepsake wine glass, sweets and a train ride along the Hocking River and through Southeast Ohio.

Get your hands on that hard-to-find album during Stuart’s Opera House Record Sale and Swap Meet. Browse dig through vinyl records, CDs, cassettes and more from vendors and collectors. It’ll be music to the ears of music lovers and those who collect vinyl!

Get your groove on at Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium as The Wild Honeybees throw an epic Mardi Gras dance party on Saturday, Feb. 13 at 8 p.m. The 1,800+ square foot stage will be transformed into a giant dance floor! Grab some free beads, feathers and masks, and dance the night away to powerful and infectious music.

Meet your sweetie in the Kissing Circle, located at the spot on Ohio University’s College Green where four brick walkways meet. The years-old tradition was that any time a man and woman crossed the Kissing Circle at the same time, they kissed each other. The landmark has been a spot for lovers since the 1940s.

Visit the world-class Kennedy Museum of Art and feast your eyes upon a wide range of renowned art collections. During Valentine’s Day weekend, visitors can visit the Insights: The School of Art and Design Faculty Collection and see pieces from established current and past Ohio University professors.

Where to Eat & Drink

Eat your heart out and enjoy a romantic meal at local favorite eateries. For a classy date night, head to 9 Tables Restaurant for New American and Classic French cuisine. Or, enjoy a made-to-order sushi roll or signature dishes made with fresh local ingredients at Lui Lui.

For the ultimate wine-and-chocolate experience, split a bottle of wine or order a flight at Athens’ Uncorked, followed up by a chocolate pastry from Fluff Bakery & Catering.

For wine with a view, visit Pleasant Hill Vineyards, a former horse farm. Enjoy a spectacular sunset and gaze out across rolling pastures and the foothills of Southeast Ohio from high atop a ridge.

Locally-Made Gifts

Make a beeline to Cross Court Cards & Gifts for one-of-a-kind cards and gifts. Give a bouquet that blooms forever: Famous Passion Works flowers are made by local artists who hand-paint each flower. Give your Valentine the glittering frost that never fades with jewels and gems from Cornwell Jewelers.

Or, pour a love potion in the form of local wine, beer and spirits from Jackie O’s, Little Fish Brewing, Shade Winery or Pleasant Hill Vineyards.

Tell us where you stayed and ate on your favorite Valentine’s Day! Share your photos on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook using #IHeartAthens.