Flip the Script with These Valentine’s Day Ideas for Him

By Compass + Twine,

Most men have gotten the sense that Valentine’s Day is a ‘Hallmark Holiday’ that’s all about spending money on cards, flowers, and candy. That doesn’t need to be the case. In fact, we’re flipping the script this year by looking at 8 Valentine’s Day ideas for him to show the men in our lives how much they mean to us. Scroll on to see what we’ve cooked up looking at breweries and basketball from Phoenix to Chicago.

Valentine’s Day Ideas for Him in Phoenix

Camelback Mountain Phoenix

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Arizona’s dry heat and endless sunshine make it an ideal place to escape from the winter cold. With Phoenix as your home base, you’ll be close to dozens of hiking trails, world-class golf courses, historic landmarks, incredible restaurants and bars, and acres of vast desert landscape.

Surprise your boo with a sunrise hot air balloon ride over the Sonoran Desert. Float with Hot Air Expeditions and you’ll enjoy a desert picnic complete with some bubbly when you touch down back on land. Hiking at Camelback Mountain is sure to provide incredible cactus-filled views, or for a more leisurely stroll, check out the trails at Usery Mountain Regional Park.

Another Valentine’s Day idea for him would be to treat your guy to 18 holes at TPC Scottsdale Golf Course and see how he handles the 16th hole, known as the best party hole in golf. Five rows rife with beer vendors make the rounds through crowds of rowdy fans, creating a scene more reminiscent of an end zone football crowd than golf.

Enjoy a tasty dinner at The Henry, and then head for drinks afterward at UnderTow, an interesting blend of tiki bar and speakeasy hidden underground beneath a mechanic shop-turned-coffee shop. The Scott Resort & Spa in Scottsdale is an ideal place to stay. The pool is serene and the Jurlique spa is phenomenal if your guy needs a massage after all the activities you planned.

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Valentine’s Day Ideas for Him in Breckenridge

Breckenridge Colorado

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Though you should definitely hit the slopes while you’re in this snow town, there’s plenty more for your adventure-lover to do than just ski in Breckenridge. Hop aboard a snowmobile for a chilly but thrilling tour of the Continental Divide.

If motorsports aren’t up his alley, make some new furry friends instead. Dogsledding with happy, blue-eyed Siberian Huskies is one of the coolest experiences you’ll ever have. But if you prefer to burn off the hot cocoa calories yourself, try planning some snowshoeing or cross-country skiing.

If the object of your affection is more of a water guy, then we have some good news. Breckenridge is a year-round fly-fishing destination. There are plenty of rivers in the area brimming with trout, like the Blue River off Highway 9 known to locals as “the steps.”

Beaver Run Resort has a cool, lodge-y feel that is sure to impress your man. With hot tubs, pools, a tennis court, and several delicious restaurants, it’s the perfect home away from home.

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Valentine’s Day Ideas for Him in Chicago

Chicago Bean

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The first thing you should do after deciding on Chicago is trying to score a reservation at Alinea. Repeatedly named one of the best restaurants in the world, Alinea allows adults to literally play with their food and enjoy exquisite once-in-a-lifetime cuisine. If the reservation is too tricky or the price tag is too high, there are plenty of other amazing foodie spots in the Windy City. Topolobampo, Billy Goat Tavern, or Gibson’s Steakhouse will all impress your man’s taste buds, too.

Less than half a mile from the Magnificent Mile (where you can enjoy an afternoon of shopping at outfitters like Orvis or Under Armour), the Loews Chicago Hotel is a fantastic place to stay. Only two years old, the hotel is beautiful, spacious, and modern.

Impress with a reservation at the Whiskey Keep at the Franklin Room, a modern-day speakeasy making bottle service more approachable. There, you can purchase a bottle of whiskey and they’ll store the bottle for you in their secure Whiskey Keep cabinet to enjoy at your leisure. Perhaps you’ll have to make Chicago an annual trip until the bottle is finished!

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Valentine’s Day Ideas for Him in Miami

Miami Florida Skyline

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Florida is never a bad idea, especially when the temperatures are expected to reach the high 70s or low 80s in February. There’s nothing like the sun, sand, good food, and a little Vitamin Sea coming together for the perfect trip.

Treat your guy to something special and book a room at the iconic Fontainebleau Miami Beach. You’ll find yourself just steps away from great restaurants, like Scarpetta.

One of the best spots for a fun night out on the town lies just downstairs from your room. LIV is a nightclub best known for its killer DJ sets and fun vibe, so be sure you check it out.

During the daylight hours, take your man deep-sea fishing. If you’re worried he might be the type to get a little seasick, check out South Beach Dive & Surf Center. You’ll spend the morning learning the basics then head down to Key Largo for an afternoon below the water. Regardless of which water activity you choose, head out for some delicious, savory Cuban cuisine afterward. Puerto Sagua has the cheapest, most authentic Cuban cuisine, so be sure to go hungry!

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Did you know?: History says Valentine’s Day began as a day to honor Saint Valentine, who was beheaded on February 14th, 278 A.D. by Emperor Claudius II (aka Claudius the Cruel) for defying his decree that stated Roman soldiers could no longer get married, as the emperor thought wives were becoming a distraction from duty. In the 14th Century, the holiday became associated with romantic, courtly love after famed poet Geoffrey Chaucer wrote about it.

Valentine’s Day Ideas for Him in Palm Springs

Colony Palms Hotel Pool Palm Springs

Palm Springs is just one of those eternally sunny, happy destinations that you can always count on for a fun time, no matter what time of year. However, February is probably the best month to visit with average temperatures hovering right around 75 degrees.

Golf, hiking, and pool parties abound in this outdoor, desert haven. If your other half loves to swing the club around, he’ll be in heaven with a plethora of top-notch courses to choose from, many of which are designed by legends like Arnold Palmer or Jack Nicklaus. We suggest booking a tee time at La Quinta Resort & Club (in nearby La Quinta, California) or the Classic Club, followed by an afternoon by the pool at your hotel.

At the iconic Colony Palms Hotel in downtown Palm Springs, you can lounge poolside surrounded by lush gardens and Spanish Colonial architecture or head to the spa for some extra (well-deserved, of course) pampering.

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Valentine’s Day Ideas for Him in Big Sky

Montana Couple Photo

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To really surprise your significant other, plan a trip that takes you both away from everything: City lights, crowds, technology — you name it. Trade it all in for a weekend in Big Sky country on a ranch in Montana.

In February, the region turns into an epic winter wonderland, and there are plenty of activities to keep you busy until it’s time to cozy up by the fire at night. At 320 Guest Ranch south of Bozeman, you can spend your days skiing, snowshoeing, or venturing out on a private sleigh ride. At the end of the day, gather around the bonfire to roast some s’mores and swap wildlife-spotting stories.

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Valentine’s Day Ideas for Him in Austin

Nightowls Band Performance Austin Texas

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There’s a reason Austin has catapulted onto everyone’s travel radar in recent years. The Texas capital is full of character, great people, amazing restaurants, and fun live music venues.

If the weather is nice, you can head out to Lake Travis for the day and charter a boat trip on the water. If you want to stay in the city, plan a brewery crawl around town tasting local favorites and craft beers at places like Craft Pride, Easy Tiger or Wright Bros. Brew & Brew.

In the evening, grab some delicious BBQ or Mexican cuisine, and then hit up Austin’s most famous stretch, 6th Street, and listen to talented musicians play the night away. For your home base, South Congress is a contemporary boutique hotel with a fun rooftop pool scene.

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Valentine’s Day Ideas for Him in New York City

New York City Couple

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No guy will complain about visiting The City That Never Sleeps this Valentine’s Day. Stay at trendy The Ludlow on the Lower East Side (LES) and be sure to treat him to dinner at the hotel’s beloved restaurant, Dirty French.

The edgy LES neighborhood has amazing foodie spots nearby, like Momofuku Noodle Bar, serving one of the best bowls of ramen in the city, Please Don’t Tell (PDT), an underground speakeasy hidden behind a hotdog stand, and Le Turtle, a French spot where the vibe is low-key but the food unforgettable.

With all the pro sports teams here, you’ve got to check out a game. Get tickets to the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden and he’ll really be impressed. The next day, venture across the East River and take him for a tour at Brooklyn Brewery. If he can’t get enough basketball, score tickets to a Brooklyn Nets game at the Barclay’s Center that night.

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Feature image courtesy of Pablo Heimplatz, Unsplash