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  • Writer's pictureShanna Kelly

Day On the Island: Valentine's Weekend Edition

Are you looking for something to do for Valentine's Day weekend? Well, you’ve come to the right place with Seven Mile Island. What could be more romantic than being with your loved ones in the place you love? 

In this new series “Day On the Island,” we’ll be giving you ideas for fun-filled and relaxing plans to get you out of your routine and out of the house, especially in these cold, dark months. While it may seem like everything is closed, you’ll be surprised to see a day full of activities ahead without having to leave the island for any of it. First stop: a romantic weekend on a seven-mile island. 

Coffee Talk is closed until March.

1. But first coffee

While I was going to have you get outside and get your exercise in right away, I realized that some of us — myself included — can’t function before morning caffeine.

If you’re visiting just for the weekend, however, your house may not be stocked with coffee beans. And while some of your favorite coffee places may be closed for the season, such as Avalon Coffee and Coffee Talk, you can still get a cup without leaving the island.

When everything else is closed, you can always rely on that red Wawa sign to be lit up. And in winter, when the island seems like a ghost town, Wawa remains the place to be in the mornings. You can get a hot cup of their various brews or treat yourself to one of their more sugary, yet delicious, pre-made iced coffees. While you’re at it, hit the bakery section for a fresh pastry for breakfast.

For those who are desperately craving a comforting cup of Avalon Coffee, their location in Rio Grande is still open, but it will be a bit of a drive — an uncaffeinated drive, might I add.

2. A walk on the beach

Okay, now that you’re caffeinated, let’s get back to that exercise I mentioned earlier. Before you get all cute and get in your car, go for a walk on the beach while it’s daylight. Throw on your sweatpants, but bundle in layers. The beach is guaranteed to be windy, but if the sun is out, you’ll likely want sunglasses and to remove a few layers.

This walk can be quick-paced or relaxing, and it can even be with your furry friend as dogs are allowed on the beach in winter.

Either way, the focus is to get your body moving and to soak up the salt air, and hopefully some sun, so you’ll be feeling your best for the rest of the day. 

If you’re feeling unmotivated to go on the walk, just remember, it’s not your typical walk, it’s one with an ocean view. I swear, looking out at the ocean can heal all winter depression, even for just a few minutes.

It’s also the best time of the year to collect shells. Various conches wash up, and with less people on the beach, you’re more likely to find them first.

You could even be extra cute and seek a shell with your partner. Spray paint it and write a cute message or your initials and the date to mark the memory. The shell can serve as cute decor in your house or even a jewelry dish.

For reference, I collected these shells for New Year’s Eve, spray painted them and wrote everyone’s names and the year on the front. Then, I had everyone write their goals for the year on the inside.

Avalon beach tag necklace from Serendipity.

3. Island shopping

Now, it’s time to mindlessly browse two of the best things: jewelry and books. Serendipity in downtown Avalon is open and offers jewelry, clothing, accessories and more from independent sellers, crafters and brands. You never know what you’re going to find, and every time you go, you’re bound to find something different.

For books, you have to head to Barrier Island Books. You may have walked past the entrance in downtown Stone Harbor a million times without knowing, but if you’re a book person, you’ll be beelining for the door the next time you’re in town. The shop primarily offers used books in great conditions for great prices, but has recently started selling new condition books as well. And if you have books you’ve finished reading, bring them in for credit toward that day’s or future purchases. 

If you’re hungry after browsing all the books, head right next door to Fred’s Tavern for a quick bite to eat. Or grab a hoagie from Wawa.

4. Icona Winter Wonderland & Ice Skating at The Sandbar

Up for some ice skating or just want a specialty cocktail at a fire pit? Head to Icona’s Winter Wonderland & Ice Skating at The Sandbar. For just $10 you can enjoy a 90 minute skate session, including the skate rental. How many chances do you have to ice skate surrounded by sand?

The Avalon Brew Pub full takeout menu is available for a bite to eat and the specialty cocktails range from a Polar Bear Hot Chocolate to a Winter Margarita. Being outside in winter never sounded so nice.

5. Icona Romantic 3-Course Chef's Dinner

If it’s the Saturday before Valentine’s Day, then once you’re done skating — or well, drinking and watching people skate — head inside the Icona for a 3-course chef's dinner for two in the Seaglass Ballroom with piano entertainment. Seatings are from 6-8 p.m. and be sure to call to make a reservation in advance.

If it’s another weekend day or you didn’t make a reservation, you can always head inside to the Icona’s Avalon Brew Pub for dinner. 

Stay tuned for a full list of Valentine's dinner options for the weekend before and after the holiday.

6. Harbor Square Theatre movie

Nothing says romantic weekend like a good movie. In this streaming era, it can be all the more meaningful to go for an outing at the theater for a special occasion. If it’s Feb. 9-11 you can see “Argylle,” a spy movie with a star-studded cast, including Henry Cavill, Dua Lipa, John Cena and more. And if it’s Feb. 16-18, you can see “Bob Marley: One Love.”

For trailers, ratings and a full list of the five movies showing in downtown Stone Harbor in February, read our article “Two Oscar-nominated films, more hit Harbor Square Theatre this February.”

7. Drink at Fred’s Tavern

Not feeling a movie? Or looking for something to do before or after your showing? Head across the street to Fred’s Tavern. With its classic dive-bar aesthetic, it’s a staple on the island all year round and is open every day until 2 a.m. It also frequently has live music, so pop in to check out the night scene.

Connected to the bar, is also a liquor store. So, if you'd rather head home for some drinks, you can gather all the supplies in one stop.

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