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This past year has been a wild ride, to say the least. If it has taught us anything, it's to cherish your loved ones every chance you get. While Valentine's Day (like most things) may look different this year, we've got some ideas to make it just as memorable as years past. Whether you're celebrating your first Valentine's Day or your 50th with that special someone, we've got you covered.

Get Outside

February 14th falls on a Sunday this year. Sunday afternoons beg to be spent outside enjoying pleasant weather (hopefully) and good company. Here are some fun outdoor date ideas:

A Picnic in the Park

O'Neal Bridge's view sitting over the Tennessee River from McFarland Park never gets old, but the Shoals has several beautiful parks to choose from! A picnic of all of your favorite foods, a bottle of wine, and that view will surely make for an unforgettable date. You can grab lunch at Tuscumbia's Claunch Café in Spring Park and listen to the waterfall while you enjoy your time together. Another idea is to bring your pet along for a stroll at Deibert Park, or grab a book from the Florence Public Library and bring it a few steps over to hang out in Wilson Park.

A Glass of Wine at the Carriage

The Carriage's Florence and Sheffield locations offer a wide array of wine, beer, and other cocktails you can enjoy. Their outdoor seating area provides a view of the downtown Mobile street and the Shoals Theater marquee or the historic charm of Downtown Sheffield. It is the perfect spot for a romantic brunch or pre-dinner drink spot!

Hiking Cane Creek Nature Preserve

If you want something aesthetically pleasing that'll also get your blood pumping; a hiking date is perfect for you. Cane Creek Nature Preserve is a privately owned, scenic trail in southern Colbert County, featuring many waterfalls, boulder fields, beautiful overlooks, and more.

Stay in for the Night

If the weather puts a damper on your outdoor activities, you can opt for a cozy night-in ordering takeout and watching a movie.

Enjoy a Livestream Concert presented by Single Lock Records & Billy Reid

If you've been missing the music scene in the Shoals, this live virtual concert is just what you need. Florence native John Paul White will be performing songs about love and heartbreak alongside his friends, Cedric Burnside and Erin Rae. Grab a ticket and settle in for a night filled with good music and good company.

Watch Muscle Shoals

Put on your comfiest pair of PJs and cuddle up. Branch out from the usual Rom-Coms you watch on Valentine's Day with the Muscle Shoals documentary. You can buy the DVD at Fame Recording Studios, Muscle Shoals Sound, or Florence-Lauderdale Visitor Center in McFarland Park. The 2013 documentary highlighting the music history of Muscle Shoals will set your soundtrack for the night.

Order takeout from a local restaurant like:


A local favorite, Odette offers high-quality, locally and sustainably raised Alabama cuisine. You can order a delicious takeout meal online or on the phone. Odette also offers dine-in for dinner.

The Shoals Shack

This St. Florian hot spot serves hot & fresh food right out of the window of the "shack." Excellent service & delicious food make The Shoals Shack a perfect pick to cater your Valentine's dinner.

Alabama Bliss Bistro

If you're looking for a home-cooked meal, but you lack the kitchen skills or don't have the time, Muscle Shoals' favorite, Alabama Bliss Bistro, is the place for you. The Bliss girls prepare "take and bake" family size meals prepped and ready for the oven.

Make Dinner Reservations

Local restaurants with dine-in options available are dedicated to keeping their customers safe and happy. If you're comfortable, support your local businesses and make a reservation at one of these romantic spots, but don't forget your mask!

360 Grille

Overlook all of Florence and the beautiful Tennessee River in Alabama’s only revolving restaurant this Valentine’s Day. A reservation here is sure to make for a night you won’t soon forget.

Sweet Basil Alabama

Sweet Basil is located in English Village shopping plaza and offers delicious gourmet food served in a fun café setting. Sweet Basil's Valentine's Night will follow a fixed menu. Starters feature a welcome glass of bubbly, pickled shrimp and tomato toasties. The salad course will be a fried green tomato stack on organic greens. The night's main course will be sweet, glazed duck breast crepes with peach salsa and crema, seared 4 oz. Filet of beef cooked medium rare with burgundy mushrooms, truffle lobster mac n' cheese, spinach madeleine, and a French baguette with sea salt butter. Finish the night with the molten lava cake with fruit and raspberry coulis for dessert.

Red Clay Table

This downtown Sheffield hot spot would be an excellent choice for your Valentine's Reservations. Their special Valentine's Day dinner will feature bread, shrimp cocktails, French onion soup, Caesar salad, your choice of either filet mignon, chicken marsala or salmon for your entrée served alongside a baked potato and asparagus, and crème brûlée with dipped strawberries for dessert. All of this paired with a live violinist, you cannot go wrong!

Have a Spa Day

A couple's massage is the perfect way to relax and relieve the stress caused by this past year. These local spas are sure to make for a peaceful afternoon.

GunRunner Spa

The GunRunner Spa is located on the ground of the GunRunner Hotel. The spa offers a wide variety of cosmetic and relaxing services. You can book a 50- or 80-minute couple's massage for you and your significant other to enjoy together.

Marriott Shoals Spa

The Marriott Spa pays tribute to Muscle Shoals music history by naming all of its spa services after famous songs and artists from Muscle Shoals. "Sharing the Night Together, Dr. Hook" is their appropriately named couple's massage. Book a 50- or 80-minute session to show your loved ones you care about them.

Book a Room

Whether you're a local looking for a charming stay-cation spot or on a romantic getaway, you won't be disappointed booking a room at one of these spots.

Joe Wheeler State Park

Overlook the beautiful Tennessee River from a cozy cabin or a lakeside hotel room. A romantic weekend getaway at Joe Wheeler promises something for everyone with amenities like fishing, golf, tennis, swimming, convention/banquet facilities, transient slips, restaurants, and a marina. JWSP has Valentine's Weekend specials featuring a Prime Rib buffet for two, plus a room overlooking the lake with a private balcony on Friday night. On Saturday, you can book a room for two overlooking the lake with a seafood buffet for two.

The GunRunner

Book one of the GunRunner's ten luxury rooms themed around the history of the Shoals. The GunRunner is right in downtown Florence, steps away from favorite local restaurants, shops, and more.

The Stricklin Hotel

The Stricklin is another boutique hotel nestled right in the heart of downtown Florence. Each of their 24 rooms has a king-sized bed and all other expected modern conveniences.

Waterloo Lodge

If you're looking for a quiet weekend away, a cabin at the Waterloo Lodge is the perfect pick. The Waterloo Lodge is located right on the lake and has eight rustic style cabins available to book.

Celebrate Galentine’s Day

"Galentine's Day" was made famous by the show "Parks & Recreation." The main character Leslie Knope describes it as "only the best day of the year." So, whether you're single or taken, February 13th is about showing your love for your true soulmates-- your girls! Here are some fun ways to make it happen:

Valentine’s Cookie Decorating Class at Watson House

Grab your girls and head over to Watson House Design and Landscapes on February 13th for an afternoon of fun. All materials are provided to decorate your six Valentine's Day themed cookies. You'll leave with sweet treats, fun memories, and a new skill.

Happy Hour at The Boiler Room

A happy hour cocktail is a perfect way to celebrate your galentines. The Boiler Room runs happy hour nightly from 5-8 pm. Their bowling lanes, arcade games, and live music are sure to make for a night you won't soon forget.

All in-person events or dine-in options at restaurants require social distancing and guests to wear their masks to keep themselves and others safe.

Make your plans now to spend Valentine’s Day in The Shoals. You won’t regret it!