• Unique ideas for Valentine's Day in Atlanta

    By: Phil W. Hudson, For the AJC


    Atlanta may be known as “the city too busy to hate,” but it certainly isn’t the city too busy to love.

    Instead of buying the usual Hallmark card, expected flowers and some traditional Sweethearts candy, lots of Atlantans know they need to try a little harder to prove their love to that special someone. To help you get a little more creative than roses, candy and a card, we compiled a list of romantic things you and your partner can do this Valentine’s Day that are uniquely Atlantan.

    Yonah Mountain Vineyards: Valentine’s Day Getaway 

    Yonah Mountain Vineyards in the rolling hills of Cleveland, Ga., is offering a special wine tasting Feb. 11-17 for $50. The tasting includes two five-pour tastings and a cheese plate with Valentine’s chocolate to share. The tastings will occur in the tasting room, which includes a fireplace, comfortable seating and beautiful views of the vineyards. On Feb. 16, Yonah Mountain Vineyards is planning a Valentine’s Day dinner and movie event that includes a gourmet dinner, one glass of sparkling wine (with more available for purchase), popcorn and a screening of the romantic film “The Notebook.”

    Doors open at 6:30 p.m. and the movie begins at 7 p.m. Feb. 16. $50. Yonah Mountain Vineyards, 1717 Highway 255 S, Cleveland. 706-878-5522, yonahmountainvineyards.com.

    Atlanta Hawks Pride Night 

    The Hawks plan to host its first Pride Night on Feb. 14 against the New York Knicks. The Love Wins-themed celebration will celebrate a spirit of inclusion with a pregame party featuring a set by DJ Beelax of 96.7 The Beat, special rainbow lighting of the “ATLANTA” letters, unique menu items, Pride Collection apparel and special halftime performances by Robin S. (“Show Me Love”), Crystal Waters (“100% Pure Love”) and some of Atlanta’s most popular drag entertainers. Former President Jimmy Carter and First Lady Rosalynn Carter are also scheduled to attend the game to receive an honor as part to the team’s 50th Anniversary celebration.

    7:30 p.m. Feb. 14. $24 and up. 1 State Farm Drive, Atlanta. 1-866-715-1500, hawks.com.

    Dance With Me Buckhead: Argentine Tango Lessons

    The company that is home to Maks & Val Chmerkovskiy from “Dancing With the Stars” will help you put some pep in your step by heating things up this Valentine’s Day with Argentine Tango lessons on Feb. 14, 21 and 28. If you and your loved one have ever wanted to be as smooth as Baby and Johnny from “Dirty Dancing,” this is a smart first step.

    6:50 p.m. Feb. 14, 21 and 28. Call for pricing. Dance With Me Buckhead, 3500 Peachtree Road, Suite 1074 D, Atlanta. 404-400-1121, dancewithmeusa.com/studio/atlanta-buckhead-dance-studio.

    Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse: “Romeo and Juliet”

    The Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse is spreading love by celebrating its 19th anniversary of performing “Romeo and Juliet,” a play about young lovers, feuding families and one friar with good intentions. The home of The Atlanta Shakespeare Company notes the presentation contains graphic Elizabethan poetry of a lascivious nature performed by professional actors.

    7:30 p.m., except on Sundays, when plays begin at 6:30 p.m. Performances through Feb. 24. $15. 499 Peachtree St. NE, Atlanta. 404-874-5299, shakespearetavern.com.

    The Optimist: Valentine’s Day Celebration 

    Celebrate Valentine’s Day at Chef Ford Fry’s The Optimist with a four-course, coastal menu by Executive Chef Josh Coker. The meal at Atlanta’s most popular seafood restaurant and oyster bar costs $80 per person with coursed wine pairings available for an additional $30 per person.

    $80 per person. 914 Howell Mill Road, Atlanta. 404-477-6260, theoptimistrestaurant.com.

    Love Stories of Oakland: Valentine’s Day Edition

    Love is in the air at Oakland Cemetery. A cemetery may seem like a strange place to tell love stories, but Historic Oakland Foundation will host “Love Stories of Oakland” Feb. 9-10. The special program will feature a love-themed walking tour with a costumed guide, complimentary drinks, and the opportunity to get a little Victorian love advice. During the tour, expect to learn about the common symbols of love found on gravestones and uncover epitaphs that hope for eternal togetherness. Patrons will also “meet” Fred and Julia Palmer, an interracial couple who defied discrimination and miscegenation laws in the late 19th century, and hear the story of Marion Kiser and Sarah Turner Ivy, who met at Oakland while visiting the gravesites of late spouses and fell in love in the gardens. Tickets must be purchased in advance at freshtix.com.

    2:30-6 p.m. $8-$16. 248 Oakland Ave. SE, Atlanta. 404-688-2107, oaklandcemetery.com,freshtix.com

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