- Travel and Places
Romantic Getaways - Unusual Spots to Rekindle
My Funny Valentine
My husband and I met during highschool. 16 years, 2 kids and one mortgage later, we occasionally find we need a recharge. With young children and demanding jobs, we rarely find the time for a long romantic weekend. Instead, our fate dictates stolen moments, pizza on the couch and maybe a movie if we can keep our eyes open. My destiny, however, does not have to be yours! I may spend less time traveling than I used to, but I spend more time dreaming and planning for "when the kids get older." I hope you find the vacation spots below intriguing enough to visit. And, when you return, come back and post a comment so I can, for the time being, live vicariously through all of you! In the meantime, Happy Valentine's Day (every day of the year) to all the lovers out there.
A Keystone Romance
My home state of Pennsylvania has a wonderfully eclectic balance of potentially romantic, often exciting, sometimes adventurous or alternately family friendly activities. Whether you want the kitsch experience of a champagne glass shaped hot tub, or the modern amenities of a big city, PA may just be the vacation destination for you.
Amish Country - Lancaster and Beyond
Do black overalls and straw hats set your heart aflutter? Then journey to Lancaster, PA for a lover's weekend with your valentine, or a week's vacation with the family. There's something for almost anyone here in this picturesque region. Amish country itself offers a plethora of quaint B&B's, quiet country drives and delectable dining opportunities. Venture just a short drive away from the land of the quiet folk, and you can find fabulous deals at the Rockvale and Tangiers Outlets. Looking for a family style outing? Check out the Strasburg Railroad, an authentic working railway, or Dutch Wonderland, an amusement park that caters to the littlest thrill seeker.
Perhaps a sweet for your sweet is the romantic getaway for you? Then head to Hershey, PA for a chocolate coated adventure. Hershey Park is one of my favorite family destinations. This family friendly and beautiful amusement park (still treelined in a number of areas, and a dresscode in place - no swimsuits outside of the waterpark area) has a wonderful variety of rides from the charming tiny Ladybugs to the thrilling near vertical drop of the StormChaser coaster.
Off-season is no reason to skip a chocolate adventure. Across the street from the amusement park is Chocolate World. Sample some amazing treats, ride through the indoor attraction that allows you to experience the journey of chocolate from bean to bar, and fulfill all of your chocolate purchase requirements at great prices.
Amusement park not your thing, but you still want a little indulgence? Head over to the Hotel Hershey. The Hotel itself is beautiful, the restaurant delicious and the spa indescribable. I've often joked that I could bathe myself in Hershey's cocoa... but never knew I'd have the chance!
From revolutionary war history buff to late night club goer, Philadelphia (or Philly, if you prefer) has the perfect evening for everyone. Try out candlelit tours of Old City or check into the bars and nightclubs all over the city. Hit the Philadelphia Art Museum for a peaceful afternoon of exquisite beauty (Sunday afternoons are "donation only" - no admission charge), or, for the couple with kids, explore the Franklin Institute or the Please Touch Museum where you truly are encouraged to get interactive with the art.
Too cold for a night under the stars? Not in Philadelphia! The planetarium at the Franklin Institute offers a starlit experience anytime of year. Or, if stars of the human variety are more to your liking, purchase tickets to a show at any number of Philadelphia's theatres and entertainment venues. If sounds excite you more than sites, the Philharmonic is a world class orchestra to delight any musical romantic.
Once a honeymoon hotspot, the Poconos have upgraded to cater to couples and families of all ages and types. A few hotels do still boast the once famous champagne glass jacuzzi's, but you and your sweetheart can also ski, snowboard or tube down snow covered hills. If the weather isn't quite right for the white and fluffy sport variety, hiking and mountain biking are every popular choices. Want a wet and wild travel adventure? Check out Great Wolf Lodge and its enormous indoor heated water park.
A Love for [all] Ages
They say that "Virginia is for lovers." This couldn't be more true, but its also for families and friends, young and old. From beach to ballroom and historical treasures to high tech thrills, plan your perfect couple's weekend or share a little love and let the family tag along.
Wiliamsburg is a historical town plucked right out of colonial America. Ask a cast member of this living production to take your picture and they will balk at your bewitching electronic sketchbook (your camera.) See how life was for our earliest settlers so many years ago. Experience the crafts, foods and culture of the time and, most importantly perhaps, take a romantic torch or candlelit stroll through a simpler time before you retire to a luxurious old fashioned inn with your honey.
More of a warm weather destination, for obvious reasons. But, for those who might be looking now, but planning for later, worth inclusion in this article. The Virginia coastline has numerous beaches to choose from. Visit their website to find the one that is right for you.
If you want to hit the dunes for some winter fun, the possibilities are greater than one might expect. In early February, the area hosts the Mid-Atlantic Home and Flower show. Take your sweetie for a glimpse of spring in winter's coldest months. Or, if outdoor adventure is more your style, book a whale watching tour to see the humpbacks make their way from the Chesapeake. If you and your love are crazy for each other and for fitness, look into the Virginia Is For Lovers 14K run scheduled in 2010 for February 12th.
(Note: for those planning trips for the warmer months, be sure to check out Busch Gardens, the areas premier amusement park with fun for all ages.)
I hope this you found this article helpful. If you enjoyed it, check out some of my other helpful hints below. Enjoy your special someone on Valentine's Day and beyond, and may Love lead you exactly where you want to go.
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