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Valentine’s Day Getaways

Getaway Guru - Valentine's Day GetawaysSo you’re going to take your lover to a fancy restaurant on Valentine’s Day, eh? How original. C’mon people, let’s spice it up a bit. Let’s plan the kind of romantic weekend getaway that your significant other would never have dreamed you’d be clever enough to think of.

This year Valentine’s Day falls on Monday, so that gives you the entire weekend to woo and wow your better half with one of our special Valentine’s Day weekend getaways that will keep you out of the doghouse for months (well, for weeks at least).

Getaway Guru - Valentine's Day Getaways - Wine TrainsNow here’s an idea for Valentine’s Day that you probably haven’t considered: Enjoying a gourmet dinner and wine tasting on a vintage passenger train in the Wine Country. There’s something about riding on a train that oozes with romance, and to ride along with your significant other on Valentine’s Day is all the better.

The Napa Valley Wine Train is running special “Love Train Dinners” February 11th through the 14th, complete with strolling musicians and uniformed wait staff serving gourmet dinners and plenty of sparkling wine to get you in la mood.

Two other dinner trains that are offering a similar V-Day experience are the Sacramento Valentine’s Day Dinner Train and the Sierra Railroad Valentine’s Day Dinner Train out of Oakdale, both of which offer multi-course dinners, scenic views, plenty of champagne, live music, and a rose for the ladies.

Yes, a Valentine’s Day sex tour at the zoo. How’s that for a unique way to spend Valentine’s Day? In fact, this feast-and-beast tour is so steamy you have to be 21 or over to attend.

Since 1989 animal-keeper Jane Tollini has hosted a sultry zoo tour that explores the sexual and mating behaviors of animals from around the world, including “new positions, Getaway Guru - Valentine's Day Getaways - Woo at the Zoonew kinky information, ins & out, ups & downs of animal sex, all animals A to Z including U.” It’s a hilarious, educational, entertaining, and highly original way to spend Valentine’s Day.

You can either join in on the romantic afternoon champagne brunch or the evening wild thing dinner, but either way I suggest reserving tickets ASAP as they always sell out. Call 415/753-7236 or log onto www.sfzoo.com for more info.

I scored HUGE points by taking my girlfriend on a seaside getaway to the uber-romantic Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa Getaway Guru - Valentine's Day Getaways - Monterey Plazarecently, so I can pretty much guarantee you that a Valentine’s Day stay at this Monterey beachfront resort will go over quite well. This year we’ve teamed up with the resort to offer a special Romantic Escape Package for $399, which includes a muy romantico Ocean View room, champagne, chocolate-dipped strawberries, and a $100 resort credit toward dining, room service, or spa treatments.

Two other great ideas for a special (and very affordable) Valentine’s Day getaway are stays at the Larkspur Hotel Mill Valley or Ivy Hotel Napa. For lovers of the outdoors, the Larkspur Mill Valley has put together a Valentine’s package that includes a Deluxe Guest Room, backpack, picnic blanket, map of romantic walking trails in Marin County, and even Prosecco bubbly, snacks, and chocolate-covered grapes (hey, free bike rentals too). At the new Ivy Hotel in Napa they’re offering a special $89 February room rate that includes a plush pillow-top bed, 42” HDTV, rain dome shower head, free WiFi, breakfast, wine hour, and much more—it’s is a phenomenal deal for a Wine Country getaway.

This is a romantic getaway of my own invention: Pack a picnic basket with chilled champagne, good bread (Acme or Getaway Guru - Valentine's Day Getaways - Drake's Bay OystersGrace), shallot and vinegar “mignonette” (it’s easy to make your own—give it a try), cocktail sauce, two oyster knives, a pair of plastic wine or champagne glasses, a garbage bag, and some folding chairs. Then hop in the car with your honey and head to Drake’s Bay Oyster Farm at Point Reyes National Seashore.

It doesn’t look like much—just a cluster of wooden shacks and oyster tanks surrounded by piles of oyster shells—but Drake’s is the best place to buy fresh-out-of-the-water oysters by the sack full. Ask the friendly owner give you a quick lesson on how to properly shuck them, drive down to Point Reyes Beach, set up your chairs facing the ocean, pop the cork, and let the oyster-enhanced romance-fest begin. Better yet, book a room at a nearby B&B and make a weekend of it.

Getaway Guru - Valentine's Day Getaways - Safari West PreserveThere’s going to be a rumble in the jungle this Valentine weekend at the Safari West Wildlife Preserve and African Tent Camp near Santa Rosa. This year marks the 9th anniversary of their Wild Jungle Love Valentine’s Day Romantic Safari, an all-day-and-night adult event that includes a wine and chocolate reception, followed by a safari in an open-air vehicle where you’ll learn intimate details about the mating habits of bongo, giraffe, eland, wildebeest, gazelle, zebra, warthog, cheetah and more (What’s a bongo?).

After the safari it’s time for the humans to get a bit wild and party well into the night with dinner, DJs, and dancing. Overnight packages are available as well, and the high-end tent lodgings they have here are amazing.

If you have your own tips and recommendations on Valentine’s Day getaway ideas that you’d like to share, feel free to add your own comments to our blog below. We’d love to hear from you.

3 Responses to “Valentine’s Day Getaways”

  1. Bob Abbey says:

    Mathew – Great ideas !! Our anniversary is February 16th, so I have booked 5 days (Feb 12-16) at the Pelican Cove Inn in Cambria for my wife and I. It is right on Moonstone Beach and is one of our favorite romantic getaway spots. We have also stayed at the Monterey Plaza Hotel in the past. The Duck Club restaurant is fantastic. Keep up the good work. Thanks, Bob.

  2. Alice says:

    We are retired, and love any excuse for a “love fest”, but Valentine’s Day is a fav. You feel that the worst
    of winter is over, and Spring WILL come again. And yes, you are right, you cannot go wrong with
    San Francisco as a romantic getaway. Views, restaurants, Irish coffee, Lyon Street steps, how can
    we go wrong there?

    Our Valentine getaway will be Paso Robles one night, then on to Santa Barbara for a few days. Coming
    back, we can head up 101 and spend a night in Monterey (we found a small, nonchain motel there
    last month that was quiet and affordable, though no extras). I realize you don’t count SoCal as a local
    getaway, but when you are retired, you are able to indulge yourself and head for warmer weather. We
    don’t, however, drive longer than 6 hours without getting a motel for the night.

  3. [...] Valentine's Day Getaways – LocalGetaways Jan 23, 2011 … Getaway Guru – Valentine's Day Getaways – Wine Trains … Two other dinner trains that are offering a similar V-Day experience are the Sacramento Valentine's Day Dinner Train and … [...]

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