Valentine’s Day Travel Ideas
Choose your ideal romantic destination and plan a private Valentine’s Day weekend trip for two so you can rediscover the joys of spending time with your sweetheart. Hotel and restaurant staff know to make such visits special. Here are just a few suggestions.
Heed your urge for the urbane
Large sections of New York’s Central Park seem custom made for lovers. Legend says sharing a kiss on Bow Bridge guarantees everlasting love. Take a carriage ride, too, to marvel at the natural beauty preserved in the heart of the world’s most sophisticated city. Strawberry Fields, the John Lennon memorial across the street from the strange old Dakota
Just make sure to dress warmly with city style. After getting your fill of Manhattan, spend the night across the bridge in Brooklyn, perhaps at Aloft, a pet-friendly hotel with modern flair.
For a similar experience on the West Coast, you can walk through Forest Park in Portland, Ore., while admiring the way the homes peek through the trees. Follow the tree-lined paths through lush undergrowth long enough and you’ll reach the zoo in Washington Park. Return to your hotel, change into your Valentine’s Day best, and enjoy a romantic dinner at the high-rise Portland City Grill, where you can enjoy a violin concert and dazzling views.
Get a rest out west
Bisbee, Ariz., offers gourmet food, boutiques, galleries and charming architecture in a small, walkable downtown that developed between hillsides in an era before cars took over Main Street. Book a one- or two-night stay at the (reportedly haunted) Copper Queen Hotel, and carry a camera as you explore so you can collect gorgeous photographs of each other, the landscape and the blocks of Victorian and art deco homes in the old mining town.
Catalina Island, accessible but far from Los Angeles, is managed by a conservation group that allows no use of private cars. Residents and visitors arrive by boat, hydrofoil or helicopter and drive golf carts, stroll the paths or hike the hills while enjoying warm weather year-round. Whether you stay in luxury on the mountain above the seaside town of Avalon or camp in a private cove where the sea laps the beach, you can leave your cares and the bustle of the city behind.
In northeastern Florida, you can take a romantic cruise along the St. Johns River or explore the Amelia Island town of Fernandina on foot or in a horse-drawn carriage. Go shelling on the beach, then visit the lighthouse before sipping a classic cocktail at the Palace Saloon and retiring to your room at the venerable Florida House Inn in the heart of Fernandina’s historic district. Pack wind-stopping shell jackets to keep out sea breezes, but also bring something Valentine red to wear out to dinner.