Most romantic Valentine’s Day destinations

(January 3, 2013) Just about any place on earth can be romantic when you’re there with a special person, but beautiful surroundings can lift a Valentine’s Day getaway into the unforgettable category. This Valentine’s Day, there’s no shortage of fabulous destinations for you to consider.

Romance is always in the air in Florence, Italy, the capital of Tuscany and birthplace of the Renaissance. Stroll through the museums, such as the magnificent Uffizi Gallery, to admire the city’s incredible collection of art. Outside, walk hand-in-hand through lovely public squares: the Piazza Michelangelo has a terrace where you can sit and enjoy the view of the Arno Valley. At Ponte Vecchio, attach a padlock to the bridge and toss the key into the Arno River to ensure that your love will be eternal.

The tango, Argentina’s favorite dance, is as passionate and intricate as the city of Buenos Aires itself. There are wonderful neighborhoods to explore, such as Palermo Vieja, which has lots of hip cafés and browse-worthy antique stores along its cobblestone streets. San Telmo is a historic district of elegant churches and mansions, some of which have been converted into trendy lofts and art galleries.  You’ll love the brightly painted houses of La Boca, where it’s not unusual to see tango dancers performing on the street: they may inspire you to take a lesson.

The incredible natural beauty of the Hawaiian Island of Kauai can make even long-married couples feel like young lovers again. The Fern Grotto on the Wailua River is popularly known as the island’s most romantic spot, but many others could qualify for that title. Hanalei Bay’s blue-green water and two miles of beach make it a great place to share a sunrise. After relaxing at the beach, hike the Kalalau Trial along the absolutely stunning Na Pali Coast, or, tour the island’s mountainous, waterfall-laced interior by foot or helicopter.

If the tropics sound nice but you long to enjoy the best of winter together, look toward Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Just north of town, the gorgeous Teton Range of the Rocky Mountains offers fantastic skiing and snowboarding. Cuddle up on a sleigh ride through the National Elk Refuge; take a snowshoe tour; or, feel as if you’re flying over the snow behind a team of sled dogs. Back in town, browse through an art gallery or two before enjoying dinner and a glass of wine, perhaps by the warmth of a roaring fire.

For more suggestions for your romantic Valentine’s Day getaway, talk with your travel professionals.

Robbert van Bloemendaal, Blue Ribbon News special contributor and world traveler

This travel column was written by special contributor Robbert van Bloemendaal, an experienced world traveler, native of Australia, an Ambassador with the Rowlett Chamber of Commerce, and president of  Travel Leaders of Rowlett.

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