So 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 Tuesday, so that gives you both the weekend and/or Tuesday to woo and wow your better half with one of our special Valentine’s Day getaways that will keep you out of the doghouse for months (well, for weeks at least).
Fresh Oysters and Ocean Views
This is a romantic getaway of my own invention: Pack a picnic basket with chilled champagne, good bread (Acme or Grace), 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 Drakes 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 Drakes 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.
Valentine’s Day Dinner Trains
Now 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 a special “Love Train Dinner” on February 14th 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 Sunday Brunch Dinner Train out of Oakdale, both of which offer scenic views, plenty of champagne, live music, and a rose for the ladies.
Woo at the San Francisco Zoo
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 San Francisco Zoo tour that explores the sexual and mating behaviors of animals from around the world, including “new positions, new 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.
Really Romantic Resorts
I scored HUGE points by taking my girlfriend on a seaside getaway to the uber-romantic Bodega Bay Lodge recently, so I can pretty much guarantee you that a Valentine’s Day stay at this beachfront resort will go over quite well. This year we’ve teamed up with the resort to offer a special Valentines rate starting at $139 a night, which includes a muy romantico Ocean View room, private balcony overlooking the bay, and a fireplace.
Two other great ideas for a special—and very affordable—Valentine’s Day getaway are stays at the West Cliff Inn in Santa Cruz (full breakfast, afternoon wine and hors d’oeuvres, and bicycles to borrow to tool around town starting at just $115 a night) and Ridge Resorts in South Lake Tahoe. With rates starting at $78 a night your get a king-bed hotel room, indoor pool, indoor/outdoor pools, health spa, free shuttle to casinos, and ski-in/ski-out access via their new Hiiltrac Skier Express elevator direct to Stagecoach chairlift at Heavenly Ski Resort. This amazing deal even includes a $25 resort credit toward spa treatments, dining, and more! It’s is a phenomenal deal for a Lake Tahoe getaway.
Safari Sex Getaway
There’s going to be a rumble in the jungle this Valentine weekend at the Safari West Wildlife Preserve near Santa Rosa. The preserve is hosting a “Safari Sex Tour” featuring an open-aired safari vehicle ride led by animal experts who reveal the secrecies of wild-life courtships. Guests will learn intimate details about the mating habits of African mammals such as bongo, giraffe, eland, wildebeest, gazelle, zebra, warthog, cheetah and more (What’s a bongo?). The sex tour, which costs $90 per person, includes a chocolate and wine reception. 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 your favorite Valentine’s getaways in Northern California that you’d like to share, feel free to add your own comments to our blog below. We’d love to hear from you.
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