Valentine’s Day can be a make or break holiday for singles. Either it reinforces the decision to stay single, or it completely crumbles them into a ice cream-eating, nose-wiping sob fest of self-deprecation. Either way, Orange County encourages you to get off of the couch on V-Day, offering everything from live music to romantic dinners, all built for you to either express your solo strength or find someone with a similar mindset. These are the best Valentine’s Day gifts you can give yourself this year.
3503 S. Harbor Blvd
Santa Ana, CA 92704
Hours: 7 p.m.
A week after its new album “Wonderful, Glorious” is released, Eels will play an intimate show at The Observatory in Santa Ana. If you’re flying solo and want the chance to meet someone with similar interests, head on down to see Eels, as nobody that buys a ticket to this gig is really a casual Eels fan. The bar service is wonderful here, and the large, open-back area is far enough away from the stage to converse with fellow singles while the opener plays. Do not miss out on a band that rarely plays the area on a date perfect for singles to find a mate.
600 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Hours: 8 p.m.
Price: $35 to $185
Now, don’t laugh — Kenny G is one of the most popular and successful artists of the modern era. Nothing says single and romantic like a Kenny G show, especially one at the very classy Segerstrom Concert Hall. The guy understands holidays, as his holiday album “Miracles” is still the best-selling holiday album in history and his instrumental album “Breathless” was a Billboard chart-topper for almost four years. This show will have an extra layer of awesome as conductor Richard Kaufman brings his Pacific Symphony to breathe new life into this romantic show.
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Orange County Mining Company
10000 Crawford Canyon Road
Santa Ana, CA 92705
If you’re single on Valentine’s Day, but want to take a special someone out for a night on the town to change your marital or dating status, the Orange County Mining Company is the place to go. The motif is a bit of a throwback, with mining, pioneers and saloon décor to flood your senses. Enjoy one of the best views in Southern California as you dine on a cliff above the city of Santa Ana. The food is amazing, the wait staff is friendly, and the drinks range from iced tea served in mason jars to mint juleps.
Noche Romántica con Ramon Ayala
House Of Blues Anaheim
1530 S. Disneyland Drive
Anaheim, CA 92802
Hours: 7 p.m.
Nothing’s more fitting for a bachelor or bachelorette than the king of accordion, Ramon Ayala. Ayala, 67, is still giving that style of norteno that inspired hundreds, if not thousands, of contemporary artists. Given the romance-themed titled of this concert, expect some allusions to love and potentially amorous singles in the crowd. If the accordion, sombreros and Disneyland all get your heart racing, there is no better Valentine’s Day gig than this.
141 S. Glassell St.
Orange, CA 92866
Gabbi’s in Orange has a very romantic vibe, something a single person should be able to channel while sitting at its impressive modern bar. The food is divine, a blend of modern and classic Mexican cuisine not found anywhere else in Orange County. While prices can hit some of the higher rates, paying for one versus two makes going single more than appealing. The surrounding area is a great slice of Orange life, but Gabbi’s open-area dining gives you plenty of people watching so you can keep an eye out for a suitable suitor.
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Jesse Seilhan is a writer, editor and photographer from the California Bay Area. After moving to Long Beach, Jesse continues his passion for writing and music by covering concerts, interviewing top artists, and giving a dose of wisdom in a crazy, mixed-up musical world. His work can be found at Examiner.com.