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Arts & Culture Deal Featured Food, Restaurants & Dining Travel, Shopping & Leisure Fara Illich February 10, 2010

Downtown Phoenix has more than its share of swoon-worthy spots, and you don’t have to empty your wallet to enjoy them. Here are a few suggestions for Valentine’s Day to keep your budget in check and curb those last-minute raids on the drugstore candy aisles:
Valentine's DayPicnic at the Park
Grab some bread, cheese and wine at the Phoenix Public Market and head for Civic Space Park. While you’re at the Market, pick up some Wei of Chocolate, a wonderful brand of organic dark chocolates made right here in Phoenix. (If you’re a guy, remember that chocolate is an aphrodisiac to women; a study in Italy found that chocolate can actually increase a woman’s sex drive. Go ahead, buy in bulk).
Friendship Garden
Picture stone footbridges, lanterns and flowing streams. Frankly, you had me at stone footbridges. Ro Ho En, also known as the Japanese Friendship Garden, is a beautiful spot that’s perfect for a little canoodling. Admission is only $5 per person. If you’ve got some extra spending money, make reservations at Sens for some Asian tapas.
i_heart_phoenixHot dogs Plus Home Tour
When it comes to romance, all it takes is a little creativity. Stop by Ed the Hotdogger, load up on your favorite condiments, then hail a cozy pedicab to take you around Downtown’s gorgeous historic districts. To arrange a ride, call the Arizona Pedicab Co. or the Bumble Bee Pedicab Co.
Make a Wish
I’m a big fan of the gardens at the Arizona Center, one of the most undeniably romantic spots in Phoenix. If you’d like to romance your date with a gesture that costs just pennies, throw a few coins in their fountains and tell your honey to make a wish. Cap off the night with dessert at the Teeter House in Heritage Square, the perfect intimate setting. The ice cream topped with chocolate-dipped strawberries is just $5.