Valentine's Day

Quick Valentine's Gifts, With a California Twist

Snag future tickets to The Flower Fields, adopt a zoo animal, or take a strawberry-picking tour with your honey.

Yr Rachelle / EyeEm

What to Know

  • The Flower Fields in Carlsbad, a popular destination for couples, opens on March 1
  • Several local zoos, like The Living Desert in Palm Desert, have "Adopt an Animal" programs
  • Tanaka Farms has U-Pick Wagon Tours, for strawberry lovers, on Valentine's Day 2022

Finding flowers on your table, prettily arrayed in a lovely vase, or a sweet stuffed animal, the kind of cuddly toy that depicts your favorite critter, or chocolate-dipped strawberries, juicy treats that many people associate with the Holiday of Love?

These are some of the sweet staples of February's 14th day, in addition to special meals and frilly greeting cards that brim with cooing and wooing.

But in the Golden State? So many days of the year can feel like Valentine's Day.

California, after all, is famous for boasting a plethora of petals in its garden-glorious destinations, and all sorts of zoo animals that, while not exactly cuddle-able, are amazing in all sorts of ways.

And strawberries? Oh yes: We are very much a strawberry-centered state, with farms that feature the flavorful goodie in February, and throughout the spring.

So if you're seeking a way to show your sweetheart your devotion, but didn't set up the vase with flowers or the soft stuffies on the dining room table, take heart: You can still put together a California-themed adventure that has Valentine's vibes, or support a California critter.

Online tickets are available to The Flower Fields, which open on March 1 in Carlsbad. This is the ultra-colorful attraction that features millions of Giant Tecolote Ranunculus blooms in the springtime, making it an ideal spot to stroll, hand-in-hand, with your honeybun.

Or perhaps your honeybun is obsessed with the wilder world?

You can adopt an animal, "symbolically," of course, from The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens in Palm Desert.

This famous spot is home to Mojave Maxine, California's own spring-predicting Punxsutawney Phil, but there are several other beasties to bliss out over, from bobcats to burrowing owls.

No, you won't need to tend to a bobcat in your own home, but you will receive a certificate and photo down the road, as well as some other animal-fun perks, if you go for a higher level of adoption.

And if it is chocolate strawberries you seek, look to Tanaka Farms in Irvine, where strawberry picking is now open (though you'll want to check the up-to-date schedule, to make sure the U-Pick Wagon Ride is happening the day you choose).

You can spirit the strawberries you pick home to dip them alongside your fruit-loving lover, or you can buy them, already enrobed in chocolate, at the Tanaka Farms produce stand.

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