With world-class restaurants, tons of natural beauty, and abundant cultural offerings, Ashland, OR is without a doubt America’s most romantic Valentine’s Day destination. So this year, surprise your special someone with a trip to Ashland that they’ll never forget.
It happens every year. You’re just coming off the holiday season — you know, that streak of heavy-hitters running from Thanksgiving to New Year’s. And just when you get your head back into the real world, Valentine’s Day comes up.
You want to treat your special someone to something nice — you really do. But more often than not, you pick up some wine, chocolate, or roses after work.
“Here ya go, honey! Love ya!”
Because after all, life gets busy.
But this year will be different. Show your significant other how much you care by surprising them with a trip to one of America’s 25 best Valentine’s Day destinations. In the middle of a cold and dark February, the getaway will do you both a lot of good.
So drop the needle on some Marvin Gaye, and as the song says, “Let’s Get it On.”
People have been celebrating Valentine’s Day — also known as St. Valentine’s Day, or the Feast of St. Valentine — for centuries. The date became associated with romantic love in the 14th century.
By the 18th century in England, lovers began celebrating their affection with chocolate and cards. Also at this time, 2 of Valentine’s Day’s most enduring icons — Cupid and the traditional heart shape — came into prominence.
Valentine’s Day is now celebrated all over the world. So in addition to planning a special trip to one of America’s most romantic Valentine’s Day destinations, are you looking to add an international twist to your Valentine’s Day? Or is your sweetie from overseas?
If so, here’s a look at some fun Valentine’s Day traditions from around the world.
South Koreans love Valentine’s Day so much they celebrate variations of the holiday once a month from February to April. On February 14, it’s all you, ladies. On this date, women woo their beaus with chocolate, candy, and flowers.
On March 14, known as White Day, it’s the men’s turn. Chocolate, candy, and flowers remain part of the holiday, but this time men are expected to take things to the next level by giving their sweetie a gift.
And if you’re single in South Korea, there’s a holiday for you too. It’s appropriately called “Black Day.” On this day, single people fill their sad, empty hearts with dark bowls of jajangmyeon, or black bean-paste noodles.
Valentine’s Day is a relatively new holiday in Denmark. If you’re a woman in Denmark, you may receive a gaekkebrev, or a “joking letter.” In the anonymous letter — made from special fancy paper — there’s a joke or funny rhyme. Guess the sender, and get an Easter Egg later in the year.
Paris, the City of Lights. Widely considered one of the most romantic places on the planet. But a traditional French celebration, called the loterie d’amour, or “drawing for love,” makes an episode of The Bachelor seem like child’s play.
Men and women call to each other from houses facing one another. Couples pair off, and men not satisfied with their match simply leave one woman for another.
Women left unattached gather around a bonfire, burning pictures, swearing, and hurling insults at those who broke their hearts.
If it sounds to you like this tradition could get a little out of hand, you’d be right. Loterie d’amours are now banned in France.
Instead of Valentine’s Day, the Chinese celebrate Qixi, or the Seventh Night Festival, which falls on the seventh day of the seventh lunar month each year.
On this date, Chinese women offer fruit to Zhinu, the daughter of a heavenly king, in hopes she’ll help them find a good husband. In addition, couples head off to temple to pray for good health and prosperity.
To add a Welsh twist to your Valentine’s Day, look no further than your silverware drawer.
…Okay, not exactly.
For centuries, the Welsh have been exchanging intricately carved spoons as tokens of their affection. Carving a horseshoe means good luck, wheels are a sign of support, and keys mean the recipient now has the keys to the giver’s heart.
Technically, the Welsh don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day at all. Instead, they celebrate Saint Dwynwen on January 25.
On Valentine’s Day Eve in some parts of England, women lay 5 bay leaves on their pillow. The idea is to encourage pleasant dreams about their future husbands.
In other parts of England, children wait for Jack Valentine to leave candies and small gifts on their porch.
In the Philippines, mass weddings are common on Valentine’s Day. On the big day, hundreds gather in public spaces to declare their love or renew their vows.
Italian tradition says it pays for young, single women to wake up early on Valentine’s Day — because the first man they see will become their husband within a year.
On June 12, Brazilians celebrate Dia dos Namorados, or “Lovers’ Day.” They mark the occasion with chocolates, flowers, and cards. But in true Brazilian style, there are also music festivals and performances all over the country. And the very next day is Saint Anthony’s Day, honoring the patron saint of marriage.
In South Africa, women wear their hearts on their sleeves — literally. On Valentine’s Day, it’s customary to write the name of those whom you are interested in on a paper heart and pin it to your sleeve. So on Valentine’s Day in South Africa, you just might be surprised by a secret admirer.
Now you have some unique gift ideas for your loved one. Now let’s quit the foreplay and get to what we’re all here for — America’s 25 Most Romantic Valentine’s Day Destinations.
When compiling this ranking, RAVE slipped into something more comfortable while triangulating similar lists from all over the internet. We considered the opinion of sites like TravelPulse.com, U.S. News & World Report, and CountryLiving.com. We also examined local travel sites, wikis, and a whole lot more.
Before assigning a destination our Love Meter score, we evaluated each location based on the following:
- How often does the destination show up on similar lists across the internet?
- Is it an unexpected destination for Valentine’s Day? (The out-of-the-way places earned a little extra love.)
- How much is there to do while visiting the destination on Valentine’s Day?
So read on. You might be surprised to find that one of America’s 25 most romantic Valentine’s Day destinations is just around the corner.
Where to Eat: Brickroom
Where to Stay: Columbia Hotel
Home to Southern Oregon University and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, beautiful Ashland, OR is like a fairytale come to life most any time of year — but especially in the winter time.
While you’re there, simply stroll around Lithia Park, or see America’s first Elizabethan theater (though the festival is in its off-season for Valentine’s Day). The town is filled with boutique shopping (with actual bookstores and record shops!), art galleries, charming hotels, bed & breakfasts, and fine restaurants.
If getting outdoors is your thing, Mount Ashland is nearby, as well as all sorts of year-round hiking options. Back in town, spend the holiday spinning your loved one at the city’s ice rink. The first 25 couples receive a special gift!
There’s also Love on Bourbon St. ~ A Valentine’s Day Spectacular!, a New Orleans-themed celebration featuring live music and Cajun-inspired cuisine. And if your idea of a good Valentine’s Day tends toward more “adult” pastimes, there’s Love Revolution’s Annual Exotic Erotic Valentine’s Day Ball, a benefit for sex and intimacy education.
Love Meter: 100
Where to Eat: Cafemantic
Where to Stay: Stone Arches Bed and Breakfast
The town of Willimantic loves Valentine’s Day so much they hold an annual Cupid Contest, honoring citizens who show the community a little extra love throughout the entire year. How sweet is that?
And speaking of sweet, this scenic former mill town also hosts an annual chocolate festival, including a Stupid Cupid Pub Crawl and the Cupid Made Me Do It 2 Mile Urban Challenge. And if you or your loved one has a sweet tooth, don’t miss the Let Them Eat Cake! Cake Baking Contest, or the Chocolate Chip Stroll. And the whole festival culminates on Valentine’s Day with an evening cabaret of love songs.
Tons of other local attractions in Willimantic join the fun on our favorite romantic holiday, in a downtown district full of charming shops, museums, galleries, and restaurants.
For example, Cafemantic offers dinner specials all week long. In the past, specials have included East Coast oysters, roasted organic chicken, or hand-rolled potato gnocchi.
Love Meter: 99
Where to Eat: Tupelo Grille
Where to Stay: Whitefish Mountain Resort
Spending Valentine’s Day in Whitefish will be chilly. But you know, chilly weather gives you an excuse to snuggle.
You can pass the time in Whitefish exploring the trails and enjoying the beautiful vistas of Glacier National Park. On your visit, you’ll find vacation rentals full of rustic charm, like Snow Bear Chalets (photo above by Trevon Baker).
If skiing is your thing, head on up to the Whitefish Mountain Resort. Be sure to try the Inspiration trail for breathtaking views from the south side of the mountain.
Whitefish itself is an incredibly charming, pedestrian-friendly little town. Walk arm-in-arm to dinner reservations at the Boat Club. Or unwind with your loved one while the sun sets, sipping drinks at Spotted Bear Spirits or any number of other upscale options.
Visitors to Whitefish can also enjoy a horse-drawn sleigh ride or a night out on the town, warming up with live music, theater, craft beer, or a locally sourced steak. In fact, Whitefish is so romantic they filmed an episode of The Bachelor here!
Try Whitefish and you’ll agree that this small Montana town is definitely one of America’s most romantic Valentine’s Day destinations.
Love Meter: 98
Where to Eat: Jimmy’s Hideaway
Where to Stay: Eben House
Head to Provincetown for Valentine’s Day and you’ll find award-winning local inns, B&Bs, and boutique hotels — lodging options for every style: intimate, charming, comfortable, and sophisticated. And while in Provincetown, you’ll also find many of Cape Cod’s finest dining establishments, with world-class cuisine and lively local entertainment options.
Since February is the off-season in Provincetown (for now), it’s very affordable for a Valentine’s Day visit. You’ll be able to pass the time shopping with your honey at eclectic local shops, or admiring art at the many galleries in town. In fact, The Provincetown Art Association and Museum is a nationally recognized and accredited year-round cultural institution.
Other options for Valentine’s Day in Provincetown include bundling up to watch the sunset at Herring Cove Beach, or walking along the West End Jetty. After all that, you can relax with a spa treatment or massage. Then head off for a romantic movie at Waters Edge Cinema, Provincetown’s art house theater.
You may end up snowed in while in Providence — in that case, sip some wine, read a book, and enjoy.
Love Meter: 97
Where to Eat: Blacksmith Restaurant
Where to Stay: The Atlantic Hotel
Life is so romantic in Berlin, MD that Hollywood decided to film not one but two romantic films here: Runaway Bride and Tuck Everlasting. So visit Berlin and tell your own love story by strolling along Berlin’s Main Street, hand-in-hand with your special someone.
In Berlin, historic buildings house upscale boutiques, bakeries, cafes, and antique shops. You’ll feel transported to a time long ago, when romance was very much alive. While you’re in town, visit the shoreline in nearby Assateague, where wild ponies roam the dunes. It all works together to make Berlin one of America’s most romantic Valentine’s day destinations.
Berlin includes the kids in the Valentine’s Day festivities, making it a great place to bring the entire family. Stop in at the Welcome Center for the Be Our Valentine Kids Event. While there, the little ones can decorate their Valentine bags and then stroll around downtown to collect goodies from local businesses.
Love Meter: 96
Pigeon Forge, TN
Where to Eat: J.T. Hannah’s Kitchen
Where to Stay: Blue Mountain Mist Country Inn & Spa
Home to Dolly Parton’s Dollywood (reason enough to visit), Pigeon Forge has a lot of other options for Valentine’s Day. First off, there’s Sweetheart Month at the Pigeon Forge Titanic Museum, where you can buy your loved one a necklace in the style of Rose’s Heart of the Ocean from the movie Titanic.
Sing it with us now: “Neaarrr…farrr…wherever you arrree…”
Ahem, sorry about that.
Anyway, the museum also has a half-scale replica of the ill-fated vessel, as well as 400 artifacts in 20 galleries. It’s the largest permanent Titanic museum in the world.
Also in Pigeon Hole, there’s the Riverstone Resort and Spa, offering couple’s packages for Valentine’s Day. Or catch dinner and a show at The Comedy Barn, Lumberjack Feud, or The Great Smoky Mountain Murder Mystery Dinner Show.
Other options include ramping up the adrenaline at The Island’s ropes course or on Foxfire’s swinging bridge, the longest in America. And for big appetites, head over to the Log Cabin Pancake House for a classic, no-frills, old-fashioned pancake brunch.
Love Meter: 95
Amelia Island, FL
Where to Eat: 29 South
Where to Stay: Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island
Floridians already know Amelia Island is one of America’s most romantic Valentine’s Day destinations. While on the island, you can take a horse-drawn carriage ride or ride horseback on the island’s 13 miles of beautiful coastline.
Once ruled by pirates, Amelia Island is now full of excellent restaurants. And after dining, you can treat your sweetie to something sweet from Luxe Artisan Chocolate Bar. Next, relax with a spa treatment, or take in some art with Amelia Island’s Artrageous Artwalk.
Then enjoy a show at the Amelia Island Playhouse, or revisit your shared love for Sinatra with the Amelia Island Jazz Festival’s Big Band Bash, held on February 14 every year.
For lodging, there are plenty of romantic options on the island. Consider the Residence Inn Amelia Island, or the Surf Motel, both offering packages that include cozy fire pit access.
There’s also the Omni Amelia Island Plantation’s “Amelia Amore” package, combining luxury accommodations, intimate dining, and romantic excursions by paddle board, horseback, and private boat.
Love Meter: 94
Where to Eat: Allison’s Restaurant
Where to Stay: The White Barn Inn
Kennebunkport calls itself New England’s Most Romantic Town. And the town celebrates love all February long, with a series of events called Paint the Town Red. During the event series, everyone gets involved — from restaurants to retail stores.
While in Kennebunkport, eat at restaurants serving “red plate specials.” Or shop at stores offering “red tag specials.” Take a sleigh ride, listen to poetry, go to a Latin dance party, or sample red wine.
Other events include the date skate and an oyster shucking class. On the Soup & Snow Stroll, you can snowshoe or walk at the Mousam River Wildlife Sanctuary. Then warm up with drinks, soup, and sweets. And Frosted! is an ice bar party where attendees enjoy light snacks, s’mores, hot chocolate bars, and dance music.
On top of all that, there’s a dizzying array of other special dinners and wine tasting events. It all makes for the perfect way to celebrate Valentine’s Day.
Love Meter: 93
Where to Eat: Hershey Grill
Where to Stay: Hershey Lodge
Hershey, PA is the home of one Hershey’s Chocolate, the most recognizable brand of chocolate in America. So it makes sense that the town of Hershey layers on the sweetness when it comes time for Valentine’s Day.
In fact, Hershey celebrates all month long with Chocolate-Covered February. Along with chocolate-themed events like a chocolate martini mixology class and chocolate spa treatments, there are also fun events for kids, like the “Try it With Truffles Chocolate Lab Class.”
All sorts of hotels, spas, and restaurants offer chocolate-themed specials. Your options will include the Chocolate Dinner Extraordinaire at Hotel Hershey, or special chocolate-covered menu items at Houlihan’s Restaurant + Bar.
And while in Hershey, be sure to check out their annual chocolate sculpture. In 2018, Hershey unveiled a likeness of Hershey Chocolate founder Milton Hershey, made entirely of chocolate.
Love Meter: 92
Berkeley Spring, WV
Where to Eat: Tari’s Premier Cafe
Where to Stay: Highlawn Inn
Take your loved one to Berkeley Springs for Valentine’s Day and relax in warm mineral spring waters. Here, you can share a Roman bath in Berkeley Springs State Park’s beautiful bathhouse, built circa 1815.
The tiled tubs are 4 feet deep, and they’re in private bathing chambers so you and your sweetheart can enjoy the water in peace. After soaking in the tubs, keep the relaxation going with a special massage and soak combo package. Then head over to Ellen’s Tea Room for delicious treats like homemade scones and fresh chocolate-dipped strawberries.
Other February events in Berkeley Springs include Mystery Dinner Theater, Hearts A Glow Valentine Dinner at the Highlawn Inn, and a Sweetheart’s Dance.
Selecting the Winter Package from Highlawn Inn gets you 2 nights’ lodging, with wine and cheese upon arrival, plus 2 gourmet breakfasts for 2 at Highlawn Inn and other romantic perks.
Love Meter: 91
Where to Eat: 107
Where to Stay: Old Magnolia House Bed & Breakfast
If you can’t make it to the real Paris for Valentine’s Day, consider heading to what some consider the next best thing: Paris, TX.
Okay, Texas’ Paris probably doesn’t really compete with the original City of Lights. But with a 60-foot replica of the Eiffel Tower, complete with a red cowboy hat (this is Texas, after all), it’s a fun and romantic option for lovebirds looking to get away for the holiday.
Visitors can shop in Paris’ charming historic district, or get some exercise on the bike and foot path called the Trail de Paris. Visit the Lamar County Historical Museum, or see some art at the Plaza Art Gallery. There are also all sorts of other popup dinners and couples’ dance nights, as well as Valentine’s Day games and a pre-Valentine’s ball.
This, and much more, makes Paris, TX one of America’s most romantic Valentine’s Day destinations.
Love Meter: 90
Where to Eat: Crystal and Jules
Where to Stay: Iron Gate Inn
If vintage charm is your Valentine’s Day style, Madison, IN could be right for you, with a whopping 133(!?) buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Head to Madison and get your history on while touring the Lanier Mansion, the Jefferson County Historical Society, or properties of Historic Madison, Inc.
While in Madison, you can catch a show from the Madison Community Players. Or check out Blush on Main and Rembrandt’s Gallery & Wine Bar, presenting their annual Women & Wine Fashion Show.
Stroll along Madison’s beautiful riverfront, or visit the historic downtown district. For a little more adventure, try the Hatcher Hill or Clifty Falls Trails for some spectacular waterfall sightseeing.
For live music, try the Riverboat Inn on Friday evenings, or catch Brooke Reindollar and Steve Pullias Saturdays at the Thomas Family Winery.
Madison is home to all sorts of dining options, as well as 3 local wineries. So come thirsty!
Love Meter: 89
New Iberia, LA
Where to Eat: Bon Creole
Where to Stay: Cottages at Rip Van Winkle Gardens
Spice up your Valentine’s Day by visiting the home of America’s most famous hot sauce, Tabasco. Visitors can even tour the Tabasco factory and gardens on nearby Avery Island.
While touring the gardens, walk along a 3-mile trail among beautiful vegetation and towering oak trees. Admire the flowers, decorative Buddhas, and birds. On the way out, stock up at the Tabasco Country Store.
Nearby Jefferson Island is home to the Rip Van Winkle Gardens. While there, stop by the Café Jefferson for refreshments. Don’t leave the island without tossing a coin in the wishing well, surrounded by stone lions and other ornate decorations.
Another sightseeing option in New Iberia is City Park, right next to the Bayou Teche.
While in New Iberia for Valentine’s Day, you can catch Cajun music at Landry’s Seafood & Steakhouse, or try the sushi at Bojangles Sushi & Oyster Bar.
Love Meter: 88
Cape May, NJ
Where to Eat: Harry’s Ocean Bar & Grille
Where to Stay: Wilbraham Mansion
Forget everything you think you know about New Jersey. Cape May is a beguiling Victorian town that’s undoubtedly one of America’s most romantic Valentine’s Day destinations. For the holiday, local restaurants, shops, and hotels go all out, offering everything from breakfast in bed to wine tastings.
If you and your sweetheart find yourselves in Cape May, the first thing we recommend is sipping beers at the Winter Beer Garden at Congress Hall. Unwind with tabletop corn hole while sampling snacks and local brews.
Another option is to indulge your sweet tooth with the Wine and Chocolate Trail Weekend at Hawk Haven Winery. At the event, guests sample a variety of wines and chocolate. What else do you need for Valentine’s Day?
Try the Valentine’s Day Couples Cocktail Class at Nauti Spirits Distillery, or the Chocolate Lovers’ Feast at the Blue Rose Inn. Learn about what Valentine’s Day was like for the Victorians at A Victorian Valentine: Love, Courtship and Marriage at Cape May United Methodist Church.
Love Meter: 87
Where to Eat: Madeline’s
Where to Stay: Cambria Pines Lodge
The entire San Luis Obispo area of California’s Central Coast is a great romantic destination for Valentine’s Day. And Cambria, CA is a great homebase from which to take it all in.
First of all, check out Hearst Castle, just up the hill from Cambria. Tour the castle’s grand rooms, suites, cottages, and kitchens and relive a time gone by. Hold hands while taking in the beautiful view of the Pacific Ocean from atop the Enchanted Hill.
Also in Cambria is Moonstone Beach, where you may be able to spot sea otters and whales just offshore while exploring beautiful tidepools.
Elsewhere in the San Luis Obispo area, lovebirds can enjoy a Valentine’s Day Dinner at Vina Robles, take a horse-drawn carriage around the historic Madonna Inn, or cuddle up with a beach bonfire provided (for a fee) by Beach Butlerz.
Love Meter: 86
Seneca Falls, NY
Where to Eat: 84 Fall
Where to Stay: Barrister’s Bed & Breakfast
The Finger Lakes region of New York has a lot to offer visitors looking for a romantic Valentine’s Day destination. And Seneca Falls, commonly said to be the inspiration for Bedford Falls in the film classic It’s a Wonderful Life, is a great place to start. If you’re a fan of old-timey Hollywood romance, the Seneca Falls area is right for you.
The Finger Lakes are very deep, so the region stays (relatively) warm even in winter. This means that even in February, you can get outside to enjoy local wine and craft breweries. In fact, all of Erie County is full of great craft breweries. And many, like the Rusty Nickel, go all in for Valentine’s Day.
At these Valentine’s-themed ticketed events, attendees receive a special brewery glass filled with sweet treats before enjoying a special Valentine’s 5-course dinner emceed by head brewer Dave Johnson. But reserve early! Events like these sell out quickly.
With such a rich abundance of arts and culture alongside great dining, Seneca Falls makes a great lovers’ retreat in February.
Love Meter: 85
Truth or Consequences, NM
Where to Eat: Latitude 33
Where to Stay: Fire Water Lodge
A good game of Truth or Consequences could spice up anyone’s Valentine’s Day, as would a visit to the small artsy New Mexico town of the same name. Call the town T or C (so you’ll fit in with the locals), and while you’re there, soak with your honey in natural hot springs at any one of 10 different bathhouses.
Next, stroll through downtown to take in some culture at numerous art galleries. Or see a movie at the classic El Cortez Movie Theater. Another great sightseeing option near T or C is a tour of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Galactic, the anchor tenant at Spaceport America.
The Sierra Grande Lodge celebrates Valentine’s Day with a 4-course menu prepared by Executive Chef Taffy Glenn. Attendees relax with a complimentary glass of Gruet Brut while enjoying the specialty menu.
Past dishes have included caramelized onion and blue cheese flatbread with aged balsamic and trout en papillote served with lemon butter, julienne vegetables, and rice pilaf.
Love Meter: 84
Where to Eat: Woodman Lodge Restaurant Steakhouse and Bar
Where to Stay: Treehouse Point
Only about 30 miles from Seattle, Snoqualmie is home to the beautiful Snoqualmie Falls. You might remember these falls from the cult-classic TV show Twin Peaks. When you go to visit the falls, you can stay at nearby Salish Lodge. Another fun lodging option is Treehouse Point, where guests can stay in actual treehouses. How romantic is that?
In addition to all the natural beauty, those visiting Snoqualmie can take advantage of numerous Valentine’s Day dining options. For example, the Snoqualmie Casino presents an annual Valentine’s Dinner. Past menu items have included king crab and carved ribeye.
Another option is dinner at Bord Hede, in the nearby Camlann Medieval Village, a living history museum project portraying rural England in the year 1376. While there, enjoy a meal made from real 14th century recipes.
Love Meter: 83
Where to Eat: Café Roka
Where to Stay: The Gardens at Mile High Ranch
Like a little bit of the Wild West preserved in a time capsule, Bisbee is where you’ll find romantic desert vistas and a sense that the past has come back to life. Don’t forget to take a stroll in the beautiful desert hills surrounding Bisbee, particularly at sunset. Then mosey hand-in-hand along historic, Victorian-era streets to visit art galleries, cafes, and boutique retail shops.
There’s also Bisbee’s annual chocolate tasting, where attendees savor tasty treats from home bakers and more. And every second Saturday in Bisbee, downtown shops and galleries hold open houses. Have dinner at any one of Bisbee’s many charming restaurants, sample microbrews or stop by a micro-distillery, and then hit the chocolate tasting for dessert.
One unique option in Bisbee is the Old Bisbee Ghost Tour. Attendees tour all sorts of Old West historical sites to hear tales of the paranormal and unusual. Maybe, if all goes to plan, your sweetheart will jump in fear and will need to hold your hand.
Love Meter: 82
Where to Eat: D’floret
Where to Stay: Lambertville House
Lambertville and neighboring New Hope are known as very LGBTQ-friendly communities, making them great places to celebrate all kinds of love for Valentine’s Day.
Like a scenic artists’ colony on the Delaware River, Lambertville’s adorable downtown is packed with art galleries, antique stores, and coffee shops. While you’re there, enjoy people-watching while sampling beer or wine, or walk arm-in-arm through streets lined with beautiful Federal-style townhouses.
When it comes to the arts, Lambertville has plenty to offer — like the River Queen Artisans gallery, showcasing local art and artists while featuring local musicians with regular live performances. If antique shopping is more your style, head over to Golden Nugget Flea Market.
And when it comes time to eat, head over to the Lambertville Station for a wine cellar with over 50 boutique wines (and then come back for the award-winning Sunday brunch).
Love Meter: 81
Where to Eat: Agave Grille
Where to Stay: Sonoran Desert Inn and Conference Center
If bird watching sounds like a great way for you and your honey to spend Valentine’s, head to Ajo, AZ. Ajo is a purpose-built community with a spacious town plaza and Spanish colonial revival architecture. With only one stop light, you’ll really feel like you’ve gotten away from it all in this small Sonoran Desert town.
What makes Ajo especially unique, and perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, is its proximity to the Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument. A desert preserve, the monument is a go-to destination for all things birder, as well as for nature-lovers in general looking to spend their holiday hiking.
Valentine’s-themed events in Ajo include the Valentine’s Gala, a silent auction and raffle with entertainment, wine, hors d’oeuvres, and dessert. While you’re in town, visit the Ajo Historical Society Museum, or play a round of golf at the Ajo Community Golf Course.
Another option is to take the Ajo Scenic Loop, a 7-mile drive that passes through a gorgeous stretch of pristine desert.
Love Meter: 80
Where to Eat: Emilitsa
Where to Stay: Portland Harbor Hotel
Portland was once a sleepy fishing village, but has evolved into a hip and vibrant modern city, full of art, culture, and history.
If you’re visiting Portland for Valentine’s Day, take a leisurely stroll down to the cobble-stoned port area of town. You’ll find plenty to do there, including ample dining options and wine bars to visit. Then, get some retail therapy on nearby Congress Street.
While in Portland, be sure to hit Mathew’s Pub on Free Street, billed as Portland’s oldest pub. Sample some fancy cocktails at Opium at the Danforth Inn, or try some craft beer at LFK, located in a cozy former bookstore. Next, spice things up with the blind tasting menu from Hugo’s on Middle Street.
Be sure to check out Portland’s great museums and music venues, too.
Love Meter: 79
Colorado Springs, CO
Where to Eat: Mountain Shadows Restaurant
Where to Stay: The St. Mary’s Inn
High up in the beautiful Rocky Mountains, Colorado Springs is definitely one of America’s 25 most romantic Valentine’s Day destinations. While there, take fireside yoga classes or horseback riding lessons.
Couples can also enjoy a Sweetheart Dinner and Dance, a Chocolate Lovers Walk, or a 4-course High Tea in Miramont Castle. Or treat your loved one to a traditional French 7-course Red Dinner with wine pairings from Master Chef Jamie Faulker at Colorado Springs’ Brayla Events Center. And after dinner, stay for cocktails and dancing.
But if all the lovey-dovey stuff is a bit too much for you, Colorado Springs has something for you as well: Consider the Anti-Valentine’s Day Party Bus Bar Crawl.
You can also check out the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, or the Cripple Creek Ice Festival. Whatever you’re looking for in your Valentine’s getaway, you can likely find it in Colorado Springs.
Love Meter: 78
Where to Eat: Osage Restaurant
Where to Stay: Big Cedar Lodge
If your idea of the most romantic Valentine’s Day destination includes rustic accommodations, head to Big Cedar Lodge near Ridgedale, MO. This high-end resort offers a 2-night romance package, including a personalized wine bottle, a special en suite amenity, and a $50 dining credit.
Go the extra mile and pamper your snookums at the Cedar Creek Spa, where every room has a fireplace and the facility comes complete with saunas and steam rooms that open up to private open-air showers.
Or rent an entire bungalow at Big Cedar Resort for Valentine’s Day, with a balcony overlooking Table Rock Lake. Bungalows include a kitchenette, sofa bed, and full bath — room enough for 4 guests, all told.
Other things to do in Ridgedale include the Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum (perfect for kids!), and the Lost Canyon Nature Trail and Cave.
Love Meter: 77
Where to Eat: The Dining Room at Castle Hill Inn
Where to Stay: The Vanderbilt
One of the Northeast’s most beautiful Valentine’s Day destinations, Newport offers plenty to do for lovers. If you go, stay at the Vanderbilt. Built by Alfred Gwynne Vanderbilt in 1909, the 33-room mansion is now restored to its former glory. The mansion is complete with a spa, 2 restaurants, and indoor and outdoor pools.
The property even offers a Vanderbilt Valentine’s package. In the morning, make your way to a champagne breakfast before heading off to a 30-minute “Chocolate Lovers” class. Later, enjoy a 4-course dinner in chef Jonathan Cartwright’s restaurant Muse.
Other options for Valentine’s Day in Newport include a couple’s massage and winery tour, cooking classes, and a helicopter and vineyard tour. All this and more makes Newport one of America’s most romantic Valentine’s Day destinations.
Love Meter: 76