Valentine's Day pillow

Outside Inn

Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, have you thought about how you’re going to celebrate?  There are so many great things to do, see, eat and buy for your loved one locally.  From all your friends in Nevada City & Grass Valley, we’ve got a few ideas, plus a bunch of great giveaways.  And if you’re interested in celebrating the love at the Outside Inn, don’t forget we’ve got a week day special happening now through February 13th for new reservations.



For the sweet tooth, you can buy DeGroot truffles from Nevada City Truffle Shop, chocolate covered strawberries (milk, dark or white chocolate) from Nevada City Chocolate Shoppe or one of their locally made artisans chocolate.  Maybe you want an ice cream sundae for two from Treats, a bar of Cello Chocolate, a cupcake from Emily’s Catering Pop Up Bakery (they’ll have 20 varieties of cupcakes on February 13th and 14th), decadent dessert from Cake Bakery, organic chocolate from Choquiero Chocolate or something sweet from Lazy Dog ChocolateriaThree Forks Bakery and Brewery promises to have some special chocolate goodies for sale.


HEX in downtown Grass Valley has a lot of options for your plant lover.  Give the gift of a living plant, something that will last long after Valentine’s Day.  HEX offers pre-made air plant terrariums or build your own with their air plant bar and potted plants for easy grabs.   Or if you’re looking for flowers HEX is having a floral wrap pop up sale just for the holiday.  Stop in the store on Neal Street for a modern contemporary take on Valentine’s Day flowers February 12th-14th.  Foothill Flowers, in downtown Grass Valley, hand-picks flowers at the San Francisco Flower Mart for bouquets with gorgeous roses, tulips, orchids, lilies and much more.  And don’t forget Foothill Flowers always sells wine by Dave the Wine Merchant.  For additional Valentine’s Day local options check out Grass Valley Florist.  Another great suggestion is to sign up for the Little Boy Flowers CSA for either the early spring or summer series of locally grown flowers.

Valentine's Day pillow

Valentine's Day products from Cult of Gemini

Gather & Mill Gifts

Love Poems Book

There are some great local shopping options in Nevada City from My Favorite Things, Kitkitdizzi, The Sunroom, J.J. Jackson’s, Mama Madrone’s, TYSA, Gray Goose, or Abstrakt.  Downtown Grass Valley offers gift options in Mint, Cult of Gemini, Element and Loft, His. A Gentleman’s Sundry, The Book Seller and Yuba BlueGather & Mill has jewelry, floral smudges, bath products, stained glass hearts, marble heart dishes, blush & gold painted heart ceramics & pink air plants, crystal gift boxes & cards. 

Nevada City has a classy and tasteful little adult pleasure shop in Seven Hills Business District called HoneyLee’s Novelties. Nestled privately within the health boutique Levity Resource, HoneyLee’s offers curios to enhance connection with yourself or your partner. They will have a special event on Valentine’s Day from 5-9 celebrating the release of Hummingbird’s aka Jennifer Rain Crosby’s “Pillow Book for Love Makers”, a perfect and playful gift for the occasion.

Olive Oil

If you’re thinking about food, there are options from savory treats, to eating out to foodie gifts.  Grab a bag of the Valentine’s Day blend from Carolines Coffee or try the Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar or variety pack from The Olive Groove.  Whether you’re in love with pizza (thanks Pete’s Pizza for the special order of a heart shaped pizza pie) or looking for a fine dining option, you’re certainly not going to go hungry in Nevada City or Grass Valley.  There are lots of great options in downtown Nevada City or Grass Valley to grab a bite to eat.  If you’re not interested in eating out, why not order a pre-made dinner to go, Backporch Market is offering a 4 course Valentine’s Dinner for Two, pre-order the meal by the 8th.


Or maybe you want to hear some live music?   The Miners Foundry welcomes Dinner and Disco featuring The Velvet Foxes (Lorraine Gervais, Alvetta Newby-Jones, and Cassidy Joy) performing live disco standards from the 70s.  Are you a hopeless romantic who has realized that romance is, indeed, hopeless? Then don’t miss Bitter Songs for Bitter People, a Valentine’s Day cabaret at the Nevada Theatre that will give acidic singles and jaded couples something to laugh about! From Sondheim to George Strait, here’s a chance to celebrate your inner-bitter with songs of lost love, nasty breakups, and the agony of facing your ex on Facebook.  Crazy Horse Saloon & Grill welcomes Boca Del Rio for an evening of Brazilian seduction.  Every time Boca do Rio take the stage, they transform the Crazy Horse into an exotic sonic jungle of infinite possibility. This Valentine’s Day, prepare to be whisked away on an enchanting cultural experience while hypnotized by seductive Afro-Brazilian rhythms.


The downtown Grass Valley wineries welcome you to stop by and taste wine.  Stroll to the tasting rooms and and sample local wines from Avanguardia WinesLucchesi VineyardsSierra Starr Vineyards.  Or stop by the wine bar Cork 49 and sample wines from around the world, either with a flight or wine by the glass.  In downtown Nevada City you can taste local wines at Clavey Vineyards & Winery, Szabo Vineyards or Nevada City Winery.  Another great way to try wines from around the world is Carrington’s Fine Wines, check the board outside the shop to see what’s on the tasting menu for the week.

Although I do love the gift that keeps on giving; whether it’s a local wine club membership, a CSA to a farm or gift certificate .  Or maybe you want to give someone an experiential gift; a spot in either the upcoming a guided fishing lesson, an art class, yoga classes, a ticket to a local concert, Chef’s Dinner at Tess’ Kitchen.

Or perhaps you want to get creative and make your sweetheart something special.  The Artist Workshop has Valentine’s Day creative classes.  Check out their calendar for more information about cookie decorating, Paint & Sip at Lucchesi comes with glass of wine, plus new adult and kid clay classes.  Lola and Jack has some fun crafty events too if you want make a homemade gift.

Or maybe you want to join me on the Folk Trails Hiking Club (join us on Thursday, February 13th at 3pm at the Outside Inn to learn about local history).  Maybe this Valentine’s Day you want to book a trip for a future adventure (like a room at the Outside Inn or a campsite at the Inn Town Campground).  If this post doesn’t have enough ideas, check out the Pinterest board with more local suggestions.

And now the giveaways, why not share the love and have 10 different prizes?  Post a comment for your to chance to six cupcakes from Emily’s Catering, $20 gift certificate to HEX, $25 gift certificate to The Olive Groove, $10 gift certificate Nevada City Chocolate Shoppe, $10 gift certificate to Three Forks Bakery and Brewery, $25 gift to Levity Resource Shop, $20 gift certificate to Carolines Coffee, 2 tickets to the Boca Del Rio concert at Crazy Horse Saloon, Decorative pillow and Valentine’s Day card from My Favorite Things and a gift certificate to a class at The Artist Workshop. The 10 winners will be announced Monday, February 10th.  Edited to say winners are:  Kathy Hart: Emily’s Catering, Marea: HEX, Maisie: The Olive Groove, Kat: Nevada City Chocolate Shoppe, Misty Davis: Three Forks Bakery & Brewery, Shiree: Levity Resource Shop, Connie: Carolines Coffee, Dena Nick: Crazy Horse tickets, Deanna Reardon: My Favorite Things goodies, Debbie: The Artist Workshop class.

© 2020 InnSide Nevada City, © photos by Erin Thiem and Lenkaland Photography

70 replies
  1. Elenita Duelo
    Elenita Duelo says:

    I really enjoy reading your thorough blogs whether I win something or not, I always learn something!

  2. Maisie
    Maisie says:

    Soil Sisters Farm also has a wonderful Summer Flower CSA, a great and sustainable gift for your valentine’s day love – they’ll get 12 fresh bouquets each week of the summer!

  3. Marlene
    Marlene says:

    Nevada county is a great place to share with your Valentine. I love the fact that you don’t even have to go out of town. We have lots of great restaurants and I can’t wait to try something new.

  4. Lisa Johnson
    Lisa Johnson says:

    What a *huge* list of options for celebrating our loved ones! Thank you, Erin, for compiling these and for arranging the incredible give-aways/

  5. Sue
    Sue says:

    I’ll admit it, sometimes I take for granted and forget just how much there is to do and see around here in our wonderful county! Thanks for always reminding me, Erin. I’m recovering from surgery, so home in the hills will have to do for this Valentine’s Day, but where else could I sit from my couch and look out the window at the beauty that we have here?!! Happy Hearts Day, everyone!!

  6. Julie L
    Julie L says:

    I absolutely love how you keep me up to date on everything going on. It’s because of your blog I spend more and more time doing things around town. Trying new restaurants or shopping in many of the cutest shops. I live in Roseville and so it’s super easy for me to have day trips up there. More and more I’m thinking of moving there!

  7. Andrea
    Andrea says:

    Thank you Erin for always having such informative blogs. I am a server at a local restaurant and have worked some 40+ years on Valentine’s Day. Valentines is always a very busy day but it’s such a nice way to see all the love in the world, that seems to go unnoticed on a daily basis, especially these days! I’ve seen engagements, babies being announced and anniversaries of 50 years or more being celebrated, that is what this day is about…love❤️My wonderful husband makes everyday Valentines Day, so we will have to celebrate any day, except February 14th‍♀️. Let’s all show a little more love to everyone this year!

  8. Kathy A Dotson
    Kathy A Dotson says:

    I love the way that Erin shares the love! Way to go Erin. Thanks for all that you do for our sweet little community.

  9. Chelsea Lynch
    Chelsea Lynch says:

    I would love to share a couple of cupcakes from Emily’s with my little valentines, Reed and Ruby! ❤️❤️

  10. Kat
    Kat says:

    Thanks for all these great ideas, Erin! I didn’t know about Levity Resource. I always love discovering new hidden gems on your blog

  11. Rachel C.
    Rachel C. says:

    I always look forward to reading you awesome blog, especially when there are holiday related topics! And the giveaways are just a great bonus, thank you!

  12. Lori Ready
    Lori Ready says:

    Hello Erin,
    I really love the idea of giving a CSA for a valentine gift, that truly is the gift that keeps giving. My daughters gave me a CSA to Soil Sisters flower farm last year and it was amazing! It did not begin until July when their farm was in full swing, but I looked forward to picking up my bouquet every week and the flowers lasted a full week! The thing I liked best about their bouquets was that they used a lot of basic plants that grow in Nevada City, even some “weeds” that we often overlook how truly beautiful they can be nestled within a bunch of flowers!
    Just a little “Flowery” thought.

  13. Marcie Lerski
    Marcie Lerski says:

    I really enjoy getting your Newsletter/Blog. Thank you for all of the great Valentine ideas and updates on events and happenings around town. So blessed to be part of this amazing community!

  14. Holli
    Holli says:

    WOW! a gift certificate to HEX would be awesome!
    Air plants are the way to go for someone who
    doesn’t have a green thumb 🙂

  15. Ali
    Ali says:

    I didnt realize there were so many fun Valentine related festivities in our town! Thanks for always keeping us updated on the latest and greatest of Nevada County! Your blog is the first place I look to for good ideas. Happy Valentine’s Day!

  16. Victoria Prechter
    Victoria Prechter says:

    I simply can;t imagine not enjoying any of these fantastic giveaways.
    Coffee and chocolate are my two best friends. Our community has to be the most generous in the world!

  17. Denise Bryant
    Denise Bryant says:

    We are so fortunate to have so much to choose from in our area! Thanks for lots of great suggestions! I’m anxious to check out some of these places I haven’t visited yet!

  18. Eleni Rodgers
    Eleni Rodgers says:

    So many good things to eat. So many places to visit. What fun ideas for gifts. Thanks for highlighting the awesome of the Nevada City area.

  19. Karen S. Stone
    Karen S. Stone says:

    Erin, your photography always astounds me. Your eye for detail and beauty in our everyday world always shows me an entirely different perspective and makes me appreciate the Heart of things that we often deem meaningless. Thank you for your tireless efforts to express the Joy and precious Gifts that are part of living here in Nevada City/Grass Valley. I applaud you for your energy, your artistry and your special sight, as well as your expertise in marketing and media. Always Love on this upcoming Love Day!! This blog post made me grateful and hungry….

  20. Shiree
    Shiree says:

    Great roundup! The Nevada City truffle shop has the best stuff, I love their truffles and key-like pies…mmm

  21. Tina Husa
    Tina Husa says:

    Thank you again for all the fantastic information. So much to do and see in our neck of the woods.
    Happy Valentine’s Day all!!

  22. Vanessa W
    Vanessa W says:

    These are all great ideas! Love how there is something for everyone on here. Will definitely be doing some of these.

  23. Sarah Whittaker
    Sarah Whittaker says:

    Wow! What an awesome giveaway, I love all of these shops and would love to win. We’re so lucky to have these stores in our area!

  24. Marea
    Marea says:

    What a great reminder of all the love Nevada County has to give. I’ll be shopping some of these places to put a V-day package together for my kids.

  25. Judy Silberman
    Judy Silberman says:

    Erin you have covered all the Valentine’s Day bases! What a special place to celebrate love.

    • erin
      erin says:

      Thank you, I really like the idea that you can celebrate love is so many different ways (and it doesn’t have to be the 14th!).

  26. Ingrid Knox
    Ingrid Knox says:

    I loved the flowers I won last year. Maybe I’ll be lucky again this year. Thanks for doing all of the work to post all of these great ideas!!

  27. Dena Nick
    Dena Nick says:

    I love all the wonderful Valentine’s Day idea suggestions! Great photos too, Erin. So many amazing businesses in our area to visit. Some I have been to, and some I still need to get to. Thanks for all the work you put into keeping us up-to-date on what’s happening around here, and for the great give-aways!

  28. Misty Davis
    Misty Davis says:

    What a wonderful list! My dad’s birthday day is on Valentine’s Day so I’m lucky to have two very special people to celebrate! Thank you so much for the ideas!!

  29. Jeannie Nyberg
    Jeannie Nyberg says:

    Wow, so many great gift ideas. Need to get my husband favorite, chocolate covered strawberries. Thanks You for all the great suggestions

  30. Vicky Reeder
    Vicky Reeder says:

    What a wonderful place to spend Valentine’s Day. Love your posts. Thanks for sharing all of the wonderful things in the area.

  31. Shawna Campbell
    Shawna Campbell says:

    You always do such a great job highlighting the businesses in our area. I like reading and learning about all the fun things that people are offering/providing that I may not know about. My two littles and I would have a lot of fun with so many of these things… and a little fun just for the adults, too 🙂

    • erin
      erin says:

      Thank you! I try… although I’m the first to admit that I can’t do it all. But I do hope folks will think of the Outside Inn (and Inn Town Campground) next time someone asks. And yes– there are so many great options in our community, we all need reminders (including me).

  32. Alicia Alonso
    Alicia Alonso says:

    Thank you so much for all you do for our community! I love all the ideas and easy links to local resources you share. I’m hoping to be able to go to Hex for their pop-up with my husband so we can share in the joy.

  33. Bonnie
    Bonnie says:

    My friends always stay at Outside Inn when they visit this area, such a cool place.
    My valentine is my dog Clyde, he’s the best! But I get to eat all the chocolate.

  34. Connie
    Connie says:

    I’m so happy I found you! Thank you for the great list of businesses that we can support right here in our amazing town. I’m reminded I need to get out more! Happy Valentine’s Day.

  35. Jenn P
    Jenn P says:

    Wow, Erin. What a wealth of great ideas. But then, I know to expect nothing less from you. Thank you for all the time, effort, and love you pour into sharing the good things in our community!

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