It’s February and love is in the air. If you’re looking to schedule a romantic vacation, whether for Valentine’s Day or just to get a change of scenery to beat winter cabin fever, grab your sweetheart and make sure to steal a kiss at some of these ravishingly romantic sites.
1. The Empire State Building Observation Deck—New York, NY
Cliché? Maybe, but no trip to New York would be complete without taking in the stunning views of the city skyline from the top of one of the world’s most iconic buildings. Enjoy the unparalleled view of the City that Never Sleeps from the iconic, open-air 86th Floor Observation Deck or ride up the building’s mast to the newly renovated 102nd Floor Observation deck in a glass elevator for 360-degree views through floor to ceiling windows. Either way you’re bound to have your breathe taken away.
2. Japanese Friendship Garden—Phoenix, AZ
If you’re trying to escape the cold with a little desert getaway this winter, there’s no saying you still can’t enjoy a little romantic green space. Ro Ho En, the Japanese Friendship Garden of Phoenix, is a tranquil oasis in the middle of the city. Created as a monument to Phoenix’s sister city of Himeji, Japan, this
lush 3.5 acre garden features decorative stone work, 50 varieties of plants, lanterns, foot bridges, a 12-foot waterfall and over 300 colorful Koi fish. Take a relaxing stroll through the meticulously maintained paths celebrating eastern aesthetics and culture and finish your day with a relaxing bite at the
authentic Japanese tea house.
3. Chicago River Walk— Chicago, IL
If the cold doesn’t bother you winter might be the perfect time to explore the Windy City. While less lively in the winter than during warmer months, the Chicago River Walk is a great way to get around without worrying about traffic. Experience the city’s lights and stunning architecture and sample a diverse array of food and beverage offerings. Plus after dark (March through December) you can get a spectacular view of “Art on the Mart,” the largest permanent, digital art projection in the world.
4. Bio Luminescent Bays of Puerto Rico—San Juan, PR
Think a moonlit stroll along the beach is the perfect way to wrap up an island date night? What if the only light wasn’t coming from the moon? Puerto Rico is home to three of the world’s five bioluminescent bays, where the sea itself comes to life after dark. Mosquito Bay, Laguna Grande, and La Parguera are all within day trip distance of San Juan and are home to bioluminescent single-cell organisms which glow when they are stimulated by motion. The best way to experience this phenomenon is from the water on a private kayak tour. These natural phenomena are active year round and can only be
witnessed in the moment in person as photography cannot accurately capture the magical appearance of the glowing water.
5. Teton Balloon Flights—Jackson Hole, WY
Want to see the mountains like you’ve never seen them before? Forget hiking. Get a bird’s eye view of the majestic Tetons from man’s first, and most romantic, form of flight—a hot air balloon! Flights depart daily, year-round from four different locations including within Yellow Stone National Park. Private couple’s flights and semi-private group tours are available so you can experience this once in a lifetime experience solo, with the whole family, or with just your special someone.
6. Gondola Getaway—Long Beach, CA
You don’t have to go to Venice for the romantic ambiance of a personal gondola tour. The canals of Naples Island in Long Beach, just half an hour outside of Los Angeles, host the oldest and largest fleet of gondolas in the U.S. With a number of add-ons and options available to personalize your experience, taking a ride with the company’s Venetian-trained gondoliers is the perfect date excursion for Valentine’s Day or just a special Saturday night. All rides are BYOB for couples who want to bring wine along on their cruise.
Photo: Alliance Center for Independence. No copyright infringement intended.