It’s the same routine every year: To plan the obligatory Valentine’s Day date, you and your significant other run through a list of restaurants you haven’t tried and movies you haven’t seen. This year, why not shake things up? Share the occasion with someone who also loves you unconditionally and always knows how to show you a good time — your best friend. Here are some ideas for places to go and things to do with your bestie.
Vineyard Tour and Wine Tasting at Rosenthal: The Malibu Estate
If you were already considering curling up with a bottle of wine on a lonely February weekend, do it in style — with your soul sister! You and your friend can take in the beautiful views of 32 acres of luscious vines running along the Malibu hills, all while enjoying a delicious Cabernet. Reserve your spot for a tour and wine tasting by calling ahead.
26023 Pacific Coast Highway
Picnic and Hike in Cheeseboro Canyon
Grab a couple of kosher take-out meals from the Falafel Grill in Agoura Hills, then drive straight up Kanan Road for about three miles to Cheeseboro Canyon, where you two can set up your own Mediterranean picnic surrounded by the park’s natural beauty: rolling hills, oak trees, streams and diverse wildlife. And if you’re not feeling too stuffed, strap on a backpack and enjoy one of the canyon’s hiking trails.
Cheeseboro Road & Palo Comado Canyon Road
Agoura Hills, CA
Chillin’ at The Spot
(18 and over)
With seating inside or outside, yummy Mediterranean food, coffee, tea and a variety of hookah flavors, The Spot hits the spot when you’re in the mood for a low-key eveningwith your guy friends. There’s no sitting charge, and you can stay as long as you like, enjoying the lively atmosphere and sweet scents of apple and raspberry tobacco.
17200 Ventura Blvd.
Lessons at Simi Valley Krav Maga Training Center
If you’re trying to burn off all of those candy hearts — or possibly just feeling a little extra aggression toward “Singles-Awareness Day” — try a free trial lesson in the exciting Israeli martial art. Friends who sweat together, stay together.
1407 E. Los Angeles Ave., Suite. J
Simi Valley, CA
Massages at Happy Feet
A Zen Chinese foot-massage salon is the perfect place for friends who want to relax together. Dimmed lights and the sound of a running water fountain create a super-relaxing environment, and don’t let the name fool you: For a reasonable price, Happy Feet masseuses give a lot more than just a foot rub. The 50-minute massages include 30 minutes of reflexology and 20 minutes of neck, back and head massage.
17629 Ventura Blvd.
Jewelry Making at the Bead Lounge
Stylish jewelry plus arts and crafts plus a good friend equals a fabulous girls’ date. This jewelry boutique, with two locations in the Valley, is an inviting place to spend an afternoon catching up with your pal while designing your own jewelry using semiprecious stones, glass beads and charms. The cozy environment and friendly staff — always on hand to give design tips — make it easy to forget the time and the grown-up world outside!
2900 Townsgate Road
Westlake Village, CA
4873 Topanga Canyon Blvd.
Woodland Hills, CA
Art Gallery at the Jewish Federation of Greater Santa Barbara/Bronfman Family Jewish Community Center
Syrupy romantic comedies will always be waiting for you at the video store, but this Valentine’s Day, you might enjoy soaking up a bit of culture by viewing the work of childrens’ book illustrator Tibor Gergely and his artist wife, Anna Lesznai. Let the universal beauty of art inspire you and your BFF.
Santa Barbara, CA
Volunteering at SOVA: Community Food and Resource Program
Rather than just exchanging heart-shaped boxes of chocolates, you and your friends might spread a little love to people in need. To help at SOVA, you can get together with your friends and organize your own food drive by packing up those extra cans of food crowding your pantry. Your generosity helps alleviate hunger in the community — quite a loving gift to give.
16439 Vanowen St.
Van Nuys, CA (818) 988-7682