We’re a day away from the one day a year when making-out in public becomes socially acceptable, and I’ll be celebrating with a six-pack and my dog. But since I wasn’t always single, my ability to recognize a worthy romantic experience is still somewhat intact. Once you’ve read through the following ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, the table for two and box of Godiva chocolate will seem as good as plastic flowers and cheap wine. Read on for a guide on celebrating Cupid’s holiday (or Single’s Awareness Day) in the major cities of the United States. The best part: these ultra-romantic and luxurious experiences are available year-round.
Salt Baths; photo courtesy of Aire Ancient New York.
Yes, a spa-day seems like a pretty typical way to start. But when you find yourself in an underground Roman bath in Tribeca surrounded by candles, brick walls and rustic light fixtures; the word typical no longer applies. At Aire Ancient New York you can enjoy this privately, as in the whole place to yourself, with access to all their services and amenities. This includes hot, cold, warm and salt water pools, steam room, hot marble relaxation room and all private massage rooms. A red wine ritual in one of their private VIP rooms where you literally soak in what most single people chug, is also available. The wine used to fill the marble tubs is imported from Spain and offers antioxidant benefits along with a nice post-ritual purple glow.
Single yurt; photo courtesy of Treebones Resort Big Sur.
Maybe it’s just me, but when I think Los Angeles, my mind automatically goes to the road trip I did through the Pacific Coast Highway. The views along Big Sur were awe-striking and spectacular. I could try to explain how gorgeous it was, but it’s kind of like explaining the fetish room in a sex store, I’d rather you experience it for yourself. So in light of that, glamping in Treebones Resort Big Sur at the edge of a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean beats a sunset hike to the Hollywood sign anyday. You’ll be staying in your own secluded yurt, the glamping version of a tent. The whole resort is eco-friendly and everything you’d expect from a California vacation. They have live music every night, guided hikes every day and meditation massage sessions.
Private sail boat; Photo courtesy of Captain Kirk's San Francisco sailing.
Then you find yourself in San Francisco, voted as one of the most romantic cities in the United States. How the Golden Gate Bridge looks when the pink and orange rays of sunset hit it, probably explains why. The best way to appreciate that moment is on the water, and the best way to be on the water is on a private sailboat ride for two. You will toast with fine wine under a cozy blanket as you ride around the bay and pass the picturesque town of Sausalito, Angel Island, Tiburon and the not-so-loving Alcatraz Island.
Private helicopter over the Grand Canyon.
The Vegas strip doesn’t exactly evoke romance and everlasting love. So to escape gambling and getting married by Elvis, take a private helicopter from there to the Grand Canyon. It’s a breathtaking view that can only be entirely appreciated from thousands of feet in the air. Champagne and talks about how “your love runs deeper than the canyon” will be available during the flight. And if you really wanted to get hitched, a ceremony overlooking the wondrous national park can also be arranged.
Lawn at the Deering Estate's "Moonlight & Music" Valentine's Day jazz concert.
A few years ago I attended the Deering Estates “Moonlight & Music” Valentine’s Day Concert. I went with my boyfriend at the time, so no, I wasn’t just creeping among couples. The combination of great jazz, laidback atmosphere and the surrounding 444 acres of untouched Florida flora by Biscayne Bay is enough to soften any cynics heart. Including mine. The whole evening takes place under the stars on the lawn of the estate’s historic mansion. It’s picnic style, so you can bring your own food and wine. They also have catering available upon request.
View of Northern Lights form teepees; photo courtesy of Aurora Village.
NORTH OF THE BORDER
It wouldn’t be romance if I didn’t include an unexpected and once in a lifetime trip, right? So why not take seeing the Northern Lights off your bucket list. Out of the many freezing cold places you could witness the aurora borealis, the best option is Yellowknife, Canada. For one, its latitude and climate make it slightly warmer and more comfortable than in other watch-points. It also has the highest viewing probability compared to other place around the world. But most importantly, you can watch it from Aurora Village, a campground decorated with heated teepees and a great blend of authentic aboriginal culture with modern amenities.