Valentine's Day is soon approaching. Whether you have someone to spoil or you’re just looking to curse relationships with your "Galentines," don’t get stuck at the bottom of some overrated, reservation list. Whatever your excuse—impressing your date, exploring the city, or trying something new—here’s the pro tips to avoiding Gainesville’s Valentine’s Day restaurant rush.

Numero uno: ditch the sit-down dinner, and move the party outside. Stocked full of grassy open spaces, Gainesville is nothing short of destination picnic material. You can beat the heat—and the crowds—with a sunset picnic in Yulee Pit, Norman Field or Bo Diddley Plaza.

Hannah Burkhart

If packing up a picnic is just too much effort, order in from the comfort of your couch. With Gainesville’s 352 Restaurant Delivery, there’s dozens of choices available seven days a week. After all, nothing is sexier than sweatpants and takeout.

For those with a streak of spontaneity (and a full tank of gas), adventure awaits just an hour south at the Rainbow Springs State Park. From snorkeling to hiking, the possibilities are endless.

Open 8am to sundown 365 days a year, February 14th is calling your name.

But don’t lose hope. If your bank account doesn’t keep up with your sense of adventure, there’s a breathtaking state park in Gainesville’s backyard. With or without a valentine, a sunrise overlooking Payne’s Prairie should be on every Gator’s bucket list.

cake, carrot
Jocelyn Gordon

Yet another must-do before graduation, grab your boo thing, or your buddy, and your favorite sweet treat. It’s Valentine's night and you’re going to the stadium to indulge your guilty pleasure in the Swamp.

wafer, cream, ice cream, waffle, ice
Jamie Honowitz

If you’ve got an artistic bone in your body, a Valentine’s evening at Corks and Colors was made for you in mind. For thirty bucks, you and your val- or galentine get two empty canvases, a painting tutorial and a glass of Rose.

Yet another unique Valentines’ moment, discover the wonder of the Winter Wonderland of Waterfalls at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Free with your Gator One ID, this light show and butterfly release is sure to leave you with butterflies in your stomach as well.

This Valentine's, don't get stuck sitting on the curb, waiting for your "party of two" to be called from the bottom of the list. Ask yourself, what would Cupid do? Have a picnic, order takeout, kayak in the springs, but most importantly, avoid the Valentine’s Day restaurant rush.