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A spirit that is not afraid

Must-try Valentine's Day date experiences

<p>Couples can enjoy a custom candle making experience at Auburn Candle Co.</p>

Couples can enjoy a custom candle making experience at Auburn Candle Co.

With Valentine’s Day approaching, some believe the pressure to plan a date superior to all others may increase. Here are eight recommendations for how Auburn students can celebrate Valentine’s Day.

Feeling inclined to spend some quality time together outdoors while getting in some exercise? Chewacla State Park and the Smith Mountain Fire Tower are two options Auburn students can choose from.  

Chewacla is around a 10-minute drive from Auburn’s campus and, after paying a $4.00 per person entry fee,  the entirety of the park is free to be explored.  

The Smith Mountain Fire Tower is the further option, being 25 miles away from Auburn’s campus. The top of the 80-foot tower offers an aerial view of Lake Martin, which is one of the largest man-made lakes in the United States. 

“I’ve been there several times and it’s always so fun,” said Hadley Neal, junior in communication disorders. “The view is absolutely beautiful and well worth the scary climb up the tower. It's an even better experience in good company.”

For dining recommendations, the Auburn/Opelika area’s vast selection of restaurant options can accommodate couples looking to dine at any price point and for any meal. 

With Valentine’s Day falling on a Monday this year, celebrating on Sunday, Feb. 13, may make more sense. This makes brunch, a meal that is typically only served on weekends, another option to celebrate with. 

Lucy’s, which is located in the Ogletree Village Tree shopping center on Moores Mill Road is a popular brunch spot among the Auburn community. Served from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays, Lucy’s aims to provide a "Good Vibes Only" experience to its guests.

Another brunch option to celebrate at is Zazu Gastropub in downtown Opelika. Serving from 10 a.m to 2 p.m on Sunday, this "New American" restaurant offers fine dining in a relaxed environment.

Both Lucy’s and Zazu have dinner menus as well. 

For a more traditional Valentine's experience, a sit-down dinner is always an option. 

Ariccia Cucina Italiana, located inside The Hotel at Auburn University and Dixon Conference Center, features a "Love at First Bite" Valentine’s special menu from February 11-14. The menu features a chocolate flight for two at $12 among many other exclusive items. 

On the more casual side of dinners, there is Mikata Japanese Steakhouse and Sushi Bar. Mikata offers a large menu, including sushi, hibachi, noodles and many other items to choose from. 

Other couples may prefer a shared experience as opposed to a meal for their Valentine’s Day date. 

First, is the Auburn Candle Company. Located right outside of downtown Auburn, the shop is offering a personalized candle-making Valentine's event, complete with a private scent stylist, long stem roses and chocolate covered strawberries. A couple can pour a personalized candle on Saturday, Feb. 12 from 3 p.m.-6 p.m. and Sunday, Feb 13. from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m.. Availability is limited in order to provide an intimate experience, reservations can be booked at 

"It's just a fun experience overall being able to create something that is solely yours that isn't something that can be found out there anywhere else," shop owner Tifani Hedrick said. "It's a great date activity for any time of the year but especially Valentine's Day, to create this bond in a deep way through scent, is kind of an amazing experience." 

Blade and Barrel Axe Co., which is in Midtown of Auburn, is another date idea. Blade and Barrel Axe Co. has nine axe throwing lanes with a $30 facility fee per person and a mandatory waiver to sign before starting. The venue is open Thursday-Sunday, so while throwing axes on February 14 is not an option, the weekends before and after are options.

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Emily Nagy | Culture Writer

Emily Nagy, junior in sociology and a double minor in counseling and journalism, is a culture writer at The Auburn Plainsman.

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