“Wherever you go, go with all your heart,” said Confucius. As with many experiences in life, it’s not where you go, but who you’re with—even if you’re just enjoying your own company. Awe, beauty, and excitements are quite the intoxicating combination and something to consider as you plan Valentine’s Day outing.
Sunset Cocktails Overlooking the Pacific Ocean in Santa Monica, CA
Oh California, how we do love thee. To count the ways, the list is as long as a day can feel pining for your beloved. Whether your romance ideal is snuggling by the fireside with a glass of wine on a bearskin rug in a mountain cabin with pristine snow cascading outside, or a sumptuous meal for two with an ocean view, the Golden State has it all. Terrazza Lounge inside elegant Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica features floor-to-ceiling windows that gift you with a sweeping Pacific Ocean-front view. At select times of the year, the lounge even offers a “Sunset Season” menu, curated to highlight the brilliant multicolored sky. Take a walk along the beach afterward, and ride the kaleidoscope-colored solar-powered (it is California after all) Santa Monica Pier Ferris Wheel. Whether you’re falling in love for the first time or falling in love all over again, this makes for a magical night.
A Road Trip Along Iconic California Highway One
California Highway One is your launch pad to the classic Pacific Coastline-hugging road trip. There’s wine tasting near Santa Barbara; along the way stop at El Matador Beach near the Los Angeles-Ventura County Line. Picnic on the bluff or descend the steep trail to the sand below. Find passion amid the dramatic rock formations. Up the road watch kite surfers from your perch at popular seafood spot Neptune’s Net. Or head in the other direction, south toward the historic Hotel del Coronado, on idyllic Coronado Island. You’ll be near San Diego, where you can have a proper night on the town in the Gaslamp Quarter.
Take a Romantic Stroll Through Bellevue Botanical Garden In Bellevue, WA
This 53-acre Shangri-la is an oasis from the surrounding hustle of the Seattle-area tech mecca. Here you’ll find not just cultivated gardens, but also restored woodlands, meadows and natural wetlands. During the holiday season, the Garden d’Lights features over half a million sparkling lights that create a fantasyland of virtual waterfalls, birds, and plants. Year-round, partake in a docent-led private tour. Or let the sparks fly as you stroll one-on-one through forest-like paths with your beloved.
Drink Champagne Atop Reunion Tower In Dallas, TX
Science has shown novel and arousing experiences can bind you as a couple and heighten attraction—hence all of that bungee jumping, helicopter and hot air balloon riding on reality TV shows like The Bachelor. For high-flying sparks, head to the GeO-Deck at Reunion Tower. From the 470-foot-high, indoor/outdoor observation deck, you have 360° degree panoramic views of the city. Follow with dinner at Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck.
Catch a Drive-in Movie
Whether you’re actually watching the movie or engaging in a bit of classic 1950s necking, this experience is a rare treat! Down from 4,000 in their heyday, there are only about 330 drive-in movie theatres left in the U.S. Stalwarts are Coyote Drive-In theaters in Fort Worth and Lewisville, Texas; Vineland Drive-In just outside Los Angeles; and the Rodeo Drive-in in Bremerton, Washington (closed until spring).