10 Not-So-Cliché Valentine’s Gifts

Tired of the usual roses and bonbons? Here are a few romantic alternatives, available at shops in Arlington and Falls Church.

Couple’s Challenge

Experts say that trying new things as a couple is the best way to keep romance alive. What better way to spark a connection than with a pair of climbing memberships to Earth Treks in Crystal City?

Sweet Like…

Three words: Mike’s Hot Honey, available at The Cookery (formerly Ah Love Oil & Vinegar) in Shirlington and the Mosaic District. What you put it in—or, ahem, on—is up to you.


Word Play

My husband figured out early in our relationship that the path to my heart was a through a handwritten card—with bonus points for making me laugh. He’d do well to spill his soul into one of these gems from Covet in Bluemont.


Book Love

Whether your soul mate is into home cooking or Vampire novels, the mavens at One More Page Books in East Falls Church can help find the perfect book for your beloved—and pair it with chocolate and wine, too.


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Good Scents

Happy Valentine’s Day to you: Find your signature scent at Arielle Shoshana in the Mosaic District and ensure that the memory of you lingers long after you’ve departed. https://www.arielleshoshana.com/


Little Things

If Arlington-based SwoonFor.com isn’t on your go-to list for international, handcrafted goods, you’re missing out. This natural horn catchall is an everyday reminder that the recipient is loved—made even more memorable when it comes with a key to the gift-giver’s place.


Perfect Pair

Cheesiest gift ever or most romantic gift ever? I say the latter. You’ll find this tandem number at Conte Bikes in Falls Church and Arlington.


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Wrist Candy

Jewelry is a Valentine’s Day go-to, but unless you’re planning to propose, make sure you’re not handing her a ring-sized box. Instead, knock her socks off with this show-stopper cuff from Sophie Blake in the Mosaic District.


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Beyond Roses

Skip the dozen red roses and commission a unique floral arrangement from a local, independent floral artist like Gretchen at Tiny Bloom Shop or Brooke at Stem & Thistle.


Photo by Caitlin Scott, Great Scott Photography

Love Letters

Go big or go home: If Valentine’s Day is the day you pop the question, these light-up letters from Brightly Ever After in Falls Church will highlight your intentions in the most memorable way.

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