Around the World Romance: Ideas for Pre-Valentine's Day Planning
|Gondolas on the Grand Canal in Venice, Italy (Stuart McCall/PhotographersChoiceRF/GettyImages)|
February is the month of love...and overpriced restaurants, ridiculous gifts, and absurdly expensive flower arrangements. Whether it's Valentine's Day or you just feel like laying on the charm, here are some activities guaranteed to light a fire or move a mountain.
Normal spa experiences include a cozy setting with plush robes, warm tea, and a stash of the latest gossip magazines, but not so at Hotel Cipriani's Casanova Spa in Venice, Italy. Book the iconic Gondola Massage and the city of Venice becomes your spa setting. As the massage therapists work on your backs, shoulders, necks, and faces, the gentle rocking of the gondola makes for a soothing and truly unique experience with the Venetian centuries-old backdrop drifting past. No worries of getting a sunburn either; the therapists use a blend of oil made of vitamin E & F, high SPF sunscreen, coffee oil, and peach milk.
Sunrise on the Beach
There is very little that is more romantic than being snuggled up on a blanket at the beach watching the sunrise (or sunset, if you're not an early riser) with your loved one. But for the ultimate sunrise, catch a flight from Honolulu and head to Kiritimati (a.k.a., Christmas Island) in the North Pacific Ocean. It's here where you can observe the first sunrise of the day. The Chatham Islands, a territory of New Zealand and home to around 650 people, is the second location in the world to experience this magical moment. If remote islands with small villages aren't on the top of your list, then lay your blanket on the eastern coast of exotic Fiji to see the first rays of the new day.
Hot Air Balloon Ride
Grab your sweetheart and hop into a basket to soar up to the clouds on your own magical balloon ride. Hot air balloon rides can be booked through pilots all around the world, whether your enchanting date takes place in Turkey or the Adirondacks or even Sonoma Wine Country. We suggest coupling it with two flutes of champagne and a preplanned toast—drifting 400 feet in the air can make any of us lose our words.This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience that you will both never forget, but be sure to check the weather and have a back-up plan—hot air balloon flights are extremely dependent on weather conditions.
Horse Carriage Ride
Let your personal tour guide give you a hand up as you climb into your elegant carriage to take a leisurely journey around the city. Snuggle under a blanket and listen to the sights and sounds of New York City, or sit back in awe of the historic homes and cobblestone streets of Charleston, South Carolina. Tours of NYC can be pre-arranged on the Central Park website, or snag a last-minute ride on the south side of Central Park between 5th and 6th avenues. If you want a private carriage tour of Charleston, it is recommended to book online.
We'll surprise you by saying, "Don't go to Napa Valley." During the high season, traffic can be terrible and tasting rooms can feel more like the club you frequented in your 20s. Instead head to Oregon's Willamette Valley, which is known for its cooler climate and is famous for its pinot noir grapes. Some of the country's richest wines come from this area, which makes for a tantalizing experience for you and your taste buds. The area is also known to produce high-quality pinot gris, and many wineries have been internationally recognized for their wines. Cruise through some of the 250-plus vineyards, and then book a room at one of the local inns or bed and breakfasts in the valley to complete the romantic experience.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication