- By Colleen McNamara
Sadly, the days of giving each one of our classmates a Valentine’s card are behind us. The perfect Valentine’s Day activity requires a little extra effort now, but thankfully, the wealth of ways to research and plan a date makes the process easy peasy. According to StreetFight magazine, Americans are expected to spend $18.2 billion on Valentine’s celebrations this year. And the largest chunk of that change won’t be spent on flowers and chocolate — but experiences to share (like, say, dinner and a movie!)
Now, where to go, and what to do?! If you’re scrambling for ideas — and reservations — use these search apps to find the best local spots near you.
Why we love it: Who doesn’t love a useful, authentic tip (if not a coupon?!) Foursquare’s active user community is committed to providing one another with interesting tidbits about local businesses. The Foursquare City Guide app is easy to use; you can sort your local business search by theme: things to do, nightlife, coffee & tea, to name a few. Star ratings and total distance to the place from your current location make picking the perfect spot easy.
Why we love it: Pictures! Pictures! More Pictures! They say a photo is worth a thousand words, and if it’s an appetizing photo, it could be with your (future) memorable meal at that dreamy new French bistro you’ve been eying. Yelp houses a mindblowing 121 million reviews (!) and 18% of those are user comments on restaurants specifically, ideal for those looking to go out for a romantic dinner. The newest version of the app allows you to ask questions about a specific restaurant — such as, “are there specials tonight?” — and you might even get an answer right from the owner. Yelp’s app gives you a birdseye view of all pins that might interest you on a local map — making it easy to plan a fun, multi-stop date.
Why we love it: If you’re reading this and you’re scared it’s too late to snag a reservation at one of those “on trend” spots in your city, fear not: there may still be hope! DINR is the app is built for those plagued by last-minute syndrome. The app, only available in Canada as of yet, will show available times at the partner restaurants in your city. They’ll even send you push notifications if seats free at one of your favorite restaurants. Download it here.
Why we love it: We know, we know… this makes us SO traditional — but what’s wrong with keeping it classic? A good ol’ reliable Google search can take you exactly where you need to go (literally and figuratively). If you’re one who favors the star rating system and you love to browse reviews, Google has it. If you want immediate directions from your location, Google has it. And, if you want to spend your Valentine’s celebration somewhere close by, you can simply conduct a “near me” search and take your pick from Google’s Local Pack.