Ditch the roses and chocolate
Goal: To Travel
Go big on Valentine’s Day. Because nothing says true love like a trip to Machu Picchu. Spend a week hiking through rugged and remote mountain villages in the Peruvian Andes. Mountain Lodges of Peru offers customizable five- or seven-day, lodge-to-lodge hiking trips [from $3,240, all inclusive] for couples, where you’ll spend your days exploring archeological Inca sites and logging miles through the mountains and your nights in luxury lodges, complete with outdoor hot tubs, private chefs, and Peruvian cooking classes.
Goal: To Relax
You and yours truly will head to Wilbur Hot Springs in a remote corner of northern California—about two and a half hours from San Francisco—for one reason and one reason only: to unplug (there’s no cell reception and no wifi). The place is part health center, part spa, part Japanese-style onsen retreat. There’s a reason the sign on the road in says, “Time to slow down.” Book a room in the hotel or a private cabin [from $235], then spend your days doing yoga, getting a massage, cooking in the communal kitchen, and soaking in the outdoor mineral hot springs, which are said to be therapeutic for mind and body.
Goal: To Ski
Head to Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where a ski trip for two can include everything from blower powder to mountain-top peanut-butter-and-bacon waffles to a sleigh ride through an elk refuge. The Bentwood Inn, a cozy log cabin lodge, offers four- and five-night winter ski packages [from $1,470 for two] for two that include lavish accommodations, ski passes, dinners and breakfasts, fresh chocolate chip cookies, and yes, a moonlit sleigh ride.
Goal: To Learn Something New
Sure, you could go out for white tablecloth dinner on Valentine’s Day, along with everyone else. Or the two of you could learn how to whip up balsamic beer French onion soup or chocolate pots du crème from world-class chefs at the Cook Academy at the Essex, a culinary resort in Burlington, Vermont. The hotel offers a romantic getaway package that includes meals, a couples’ massage, and a bottle of sparkling wine.
Goal: To Go Rustic
At the Doe Bay Resort on Washington’s Orcas Island, you can pitch a tent, book a charmingly rustic cabin, or stay in a glorified yurt or dome overlooking the coastline. In the winter, bring your own bedding to winter camp in the domes or choose one of their powered and heated yurts for a less rugged experience. An on-site café serves food from the resort’s own organic garden and on Valentine’s Day weekend, a live folk/rock concert will take place in the evenings. Want to glam up the trip a bit? Skip the ferry ride and reserve two seats in a seaplane from Seattle’s Lake Union.