I Heart GR

Engage with the West Michigan Woman Community!

Whether you're looking forward to quality time with your sweetheart this Valentine's Day or are simply trying to keep yourself busy, the Grand Rapids area is full of options to help you plan the perfect day.

There's also no shortage of opportunities to show your love for local retailers and family-owned businesses while you treat yourself and your loved one. From sweet treats and cozy eateries to downtown shopping areas and cultural stops, you can support local and find what makes your heart happy.

Start your day with brunch.

i-heart-gr-AnnasHousePhoto courtesy of Anna's House.

With several West Michigan locations, including Grand Rapids, Holland and Kalamazoo, Anna's House is a great brunch spot with plenty of options to suit your fancy. Try a romantic breakfast and choose the Twilight French Toast: baked French bread soaked in crème brûlée sauce, fresh berries, and raspberry melba. Hungry yet?

Anna's House offers a separate, entirely vegan menu as well as gluten-, dairy-, and nut-free options. The family-owned retro-style diner has a bright, cheery atmosphere, perfect for the day of love.

Treat yourself!

Show yourself some love with a self-care day. Treat yourself to some small-batch, handcrafted personal care products at Apothecary Off Main in downtown Grand Rapids. You can feel good about supporting a local business that in turn only sells products from smaller, up-and-coming vendors. You'll find a wide range of items here, from aromatherapy essential oils to specialty shaving and body products for men and women.

After that, a visit to a local spa is a great way to relax on your own or with your favorite person. There are so many to choose from in Grand Rapids! But if you want a true Beer City, USA experience, try the Brew and Renew services at the Amway Grand Plaza's spa. You can experience beer-inspired services like a brew pedicure, which comes with a cold one to enjoy while you get pampered.

Plan an experience.

If experiences are your love language, purchase a Culture Pass GR to adventure through Grand Rapids' art and culture scene. The three-day pass gives you access to over 10 cultural attractions in Grand Rapids, like the art museum, public museum and even John Ball Zoo.

If you get hungry between all your cultural stops, Valentine's Day weekend kicks off Beer Month GR, which means many local breweries will be offering specialty beer and food pairings on their menus that you won't find any other time of year.

Go for the classic movie and dinner date.

There's always the classic dinner-and-a-movie Valentine's Day date—and now you can do it all in one location, in the heart of downtown Grand Rapids. Studio Park is home to several food options, a concert venue and a Celebration Cinema.

Get dressed up for a romantic dinner date at One Twenty Three Tavern, which serves modern takes on classic comfort foods like meatloaf, shrimp 'n' grits, burgers, and plenty of vegetarian options, before catching a movie after. It's a combination that can't be beat!

Worried about parking? Studio Park has its own parking garage! Validation is free when you dine at One Twenty Three or buy something from the movie theater concessions.

Or, do whatever makes you happy.

i-heart-gr-OhHelloPhoto courtesy of Oh, Hello Co.

West Michigan is full of adorable, walkable downtown areas to spend an afternoon or evening finding whatever makes you and your partner happy.

Bundle up and head to downtown Grand Rapids, where you could visit Mosby's Popcorn to choose from more than 125 popcorn flavors, browse Vault of Midnight's expansive collection of comic books, grab a locally made artisan gift at Oh, Hello Co., and caffeinate yourselves at Madcap—all without having to worry about finding another parking spot. Most of these are right on Monroe Center, within walking distance of each other.

Just a few minutes' drive away, you could walk around Gaslight Village in East Grand Rapids and shop at adorable boutiques like Duffield Lane, a family-owned clothing shop with a nautical twist, offering looks for moms, kids, and grandmothers alike. You'll also find locally owned businesses like Great Lakes Woolen Co., upscale resale boutique Rosa's Closet and Hoffman Jewelers. Gaslight Village may be small, but there's still something to pique most interests.

If you get hungry, head to Rose's, a Reeds Lake staple that's perfect for a romantic dinner. Grab dessert at Jersey Junction, an old-fashioned ice cream parlor with specialty sundaes sure to satisfy your sweet tooth.

What are you planning for Valentine's Day this year?

Courtesy of Happy PR.

Main photo courtesy of One Twenty Three.

More stories you'll love