7 cool ways for travelers to say ‘I love you’ on Valentine’s Day

You can pair a night's stay with a skydiving adventure in Lompoc, Calif.
(SkyDive Santa Barbara)

There’s no one way to mark Valentine’s Day, even if you think the day requires roses and a box of chocolates. Here are some ideas that take you near and far — and are guaranteed to score creativity points with your Valentine. Enjoy!

1. For high flyers

For those who want to engage in a little heart-stopping adventure, head to Lompoc, Calif. The city north of Santa Barbara hopes to woo visitors with a Jump & Dream Valentine’s Package that works like this:

Spend a night at a participating hotel and you receive a tandem skydive jump from 13,000 feet in the sky. (Best to clear this with your partner before you go.)

Prices start at $393 at Lompoc Valley Inn & Suites, $437 at Holiday Inn Express Lompoc and $457 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton Lompoc. It’s available through Feb. 28.


Info: Lompoc Jump & Dream Package

2. For animal lovers

Your Valentine can see a newly born zoo baby at the Santa Barbara Zoo.
(Santa Barbara Zoo)

If there’s an animal lover on your Valentine’s Day list, the Santa Barbara Zoo has an especially heart-warming experience (though it won’t necessarily happen on Feb. 14).

You and up to three friends or family members will meet one of the zoo’s newest babies -- as soon as it’s born. You receive a birth announcement and an invitation for a private tour of the zoo’s Veterinary Hospital. The event lasts an hour and comes with admission to the zoo too. It costs $625 for four.

Info: If Only: Private Tour of the Veterinary Hospital, Santa Barbara Zoo

3. For bloody Valentine fans

What do you get when you cross Halloween with Valentine’s Day? Ghouls bearing roses and chainsaws (and a whole lot of faux blood) at what’s called the Cutting Edge Haunted House in Fort Worth, Texas.

On Saturday and Feb 14, you can take a candle-lighted tour between 8 and 10 p.m. of the creepy mansion in what’s billed as a Twisted Love date. Cost is $29.95 per person. Note tickets are timed entry, and some times have sold out.

Info: Cutting Edge Haunted House


4. For essential oil lovers

The pool at Shoreline Hotel Waikiki in Honolulu, Hawaii.
(Paul Dyer Photography)

If essential mineral oils and pineapple iced tea sound like a soothing way to spend Valentine’s Day, the Shoreline Hotel Waikiki in Honolulu has your number.

Not that a trip to Hawaii isn’t romantic enough. With this hotel offer, you get a session on the therapeutic use of oils plus daily breakfast during a two-night stay (starting at $598, plus tax and fees). It’s available now through Feb. 16 only.

Info: Shoreline Hotel Waikiki Nui Valentine’s Day package


5. For chocolate mud fans

The Milliken Creek Inn & Spa in Napa, Calif.
(Milliken Creek Inn & Spa)

Here’s another hotel offer that screams romance: a Chocolate Decadent body treatment with your two-night stay at Milliken Creek Inn & Spa in Napa, Calif.

The hotel describes this treatment this way: “After exfoliation and a salt scrub to the back, arms, legs and neck, the guest is wrapped in a cocoon of chocolate mud and hot linens to encourage relaxation and eliminate toxins, while enjoying a foot and scalp massage. The treatment concludes with a chocolate oils massage.” Wow, but note only one treatment per two-night stay.


The Be My Valentine package also includes a bottle of sparkling wine and turndown evening service with chocolate-covered strawberries. Of course, you get breakfast in the morning and wine at evening receptions too. Two nights cost $985 to $1,738 for two, depending on when you go.

Info: Milliken Creek Inn & Spa

6. For sychronized swimmers

The Aqualillies, pro swimmers you can see with a Valentine's stay at the Los Angeles Athletic Club.

The Los Angeles Athletic Club wants you to spend Valentine’s Day at its pool with a special show. From 7 to 10 p.m., you will be served a four-course dinner at the club’s indoor pool and watch a synchronized swimming show by the professional Aqualillies.


Breakfast for two at the Famous Players Lounge and in-room Champagne and strawberries are part of the package too. $425 per couple.

Info: To make a reservation, email or call (213) 630-5255. Los Angeles Athletic Club

7. For cruise lovers

The Paul Gauguin cruise ship takes travelers to Tahiti and other South Pacific venues.
(Paul Gauguin Cruises)

A cruise to Tahiti may be the perfect Valentine’s Day gift, and now Paul Gauguin Cruises sweetens the pot.


On selected cruises, the South Pacific luxury line offers a $200 credit (per cabin) at the on-board Deep Nature Spa by Algotherm, a box of chocolates and a bottle of sparkling wine. Total value of the extras: $250.

The offer aboard the Paul Gauguin ship is available on sailings Aug. 26, 2017, through Dec. 29, 2018 (except Oct. 7, 2017). You also receive half-off the all-inclusive fares and round-trip airfare from L.A. Must reserve by Feb. 18 to get this deal. Prices for a seven-night cruise of Tahiti and the Society Islands in September 2017 starts at $5,495 per person.

Info: Paul Gauguin Cruises, (800) 848-6172 or contact your travel agent



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