Hiking, heading to the beach or stargazing are just a few of the options you have to celebrate Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank. — STOCK PHOTO
Hiking, heading to the beach or stargazing are just a few of the options you have to celebrate Valentine’s Day without breaking the bank. — STOCK PHOTO

Ashley DeVriend

A college budget doesn’t allow for an extravagant Valentine’s Day. The classic dinner-and-movie night is a date to fall back on, but isn’t the best way to keep the cost down. Luckily for us, San Luis Obispo is a town that holds many different opportunities to have a fun day with your valentine without breaking the bank. Here are some romantic and inexpensive date ideas that will guarantee a night to remember with your valentine in San Luis Obispo.


Why not go for a hike with your special someone? This could be a great opportunity to talk to each other while also enjoying the outdoors. Hiking Bishop Peak, Cerro San Luis, otherwise known as Madonna, or the Cal Poly ‘P’ are all local options. Hike during sunset with your loved one to increase the romance of the evening.


The weather is calling for 70s and sunny skies this Valentine’s Day. Great places to soak up the sun are Avila, Shell and Pismo beaches.

One possibility is to grab ice cream and stroll down Avila Beach. Doc Burnstein’s Ice Cream Lab is a great place for ice cream, served inside The Hula Hut in Avila Beach.

Avila Beach is the perfect place for Valentine’s Day, The Hula Hut owner Bill Price said.

“It is a beautiful place for a walk on the beach and draw hearts in the sand with your lover,” he said. “Come in and get a scoop of ice cream with your valentine.”

Montaña De Oro State Park is a beautiful location to walk along the cliffs of the Central Coast. One option is to pack a lunch or a dinner for a picnic at the ocean. Montaña De Oro also offers great hiking trails right along the ocean.

Dinner and Dessert

Woodstock’s Pizza has a special for single individuals on Valentine’s Day called “Lonely Hearts Club.” The special includes a personal-sized pizza with one topping paired with a pint of beer for a total of $7.99, Woodstock’s marketing representative Jaime Sterling.

“If you’re single come ready to mingle,” Sterling said.

Another option is to eat in. Cooking your date’s favorite meal would mean a lot and could be quite romantic. The candlelit dinner may not be overrated after all. Or, you can cook dinner together; that way your food will definitely be made with love.

Batch store manager Wendle Schoniger said the store has a special this Valentine’s Day.

“Bring your valentine in and make sure to give them a kiss to receive a buy one get one free ice cream sandwich,” Schoniger said.


Stay in with your sweetheart and watch your favorite movie together. Renting a movie from Redbox is only $1. If you have a Netflix account there are many different movies to choose from — one option is to choose a classic black and white film to change things up.


Bring a blanket and head outdoors after sunset. Stargazing is always romantic and gives you and your date alone time. Choose a place that is far away enough from lights so you can see the stars better.


Valentine’s Day happens to fall on a Thursday this year, which is the same night as Farmers’ Market. You and your lucky Valentine could walk through Farmers’ Market downtown and grab something to eat for dinner or dessert. Many vendors at Farmers’ Market sell flowers that you could buy for your valentine.

Be sure to stop by Open Air Flowers right off Osos Street near Higuera Street. The store’s owner, Vance Weber, said the store will be open on Valentine’s Day from 6 a.m. through the evening.

“We have a complete selection of all types of flowers, from the traditional to the tropical and exotics and any combination that will fit anyone’s fancy or budget,” Weber said.

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