Love, Self

20 Best Valentine's Day Experience Gifts & Ideas For Incredibly Romantic Getaways

Photo: Tijana Moraca / Shutterstock
woman receiving present

Studies have shown that couples who play together, stay together. And playing means more than just taking time for some cuddles and bedroom antics.

With Valentine's Day being the most romantic time of year, it only makes sense that couples would want to do something that isn't quite so cliché, like giving or receiving flowers and then dining at an expensive restaurant.

Instead, Valentine's Day gifts and gift ideas can come in the form of just having fun and exploring common interests together. That's why celebrating means leaving your couch.

This year, give your partner one or more experience gifts, where you can become closer than ever.

Whether that means traveling, doing a fun activity, or even planning a vacation, the options are endless. There are so many things couples can do together, from cooking to wine tasting to adventurous dates, all of which can be romantic.

So, surprise each other this Valentine’s Day with an adventure neither of you will forget.

RELATED: The 10 Most Romantic Destinations You've Never Heard Of

Here are the 20 best Valentine's Day experience gifts & ideas for incredibly romantic getaways:

1. Private Balloon Ride, Finger Lakes Region

Couples visiting the Finger Lakes region of New York can book an intimate overnight at La Tourelle Resort & Spa and reserve its “Take Flight” package, which takes lovebirds on a hot air balloon adventure that launches from the resort’s lawn and showcases birds’ eye views of Cayuga Lake. Guests can even take part in the action by learning how to inflate the balloon in preparation for the one-hour ride.

Couples can also embark on their own extra excursion within driving distance at the monumental “Grand Canyon of the East,” across more than 70 hiking trails and over 40 waterfalls throughout the Finger Lakes region, in a forest bathing session with a certified forest therapy guide, and in cow cuddling therapy for two.

(Plan your trip on Trip Advisor)

2. Horse-Drawn Carriage Tour, Charleston, SC

Charleston has been rated the number one small city in the US for multiple years in a row. You will get a one-hour tour in a beautiful white carriage drawn by one of the gorgeous Percheron draft horses. The tour winds through beautiful historic Charleston, South Carolina where you will hear about houses, churches, gardens, and the history of the Holy City. 

Your tour can be customized, and you can be picked up at your hotel and taken to a restaurant for a romantic dinner or lunch. These tours are so romantic that many couples actually get engaged while on tour.

(Plan your trip on Trip Advisor)

3. Couples’ Cow Therapy, Finger Lakes B&B

At Mountain Horse Farm, a cruelty-free, Bed and Breakfast wellness resort in the bucolic Finger Lakes region, couples can book two-person, powerful cow cuddling and horse therapy sessions that aid with healing, self-awareness, and overcoming personal challenges. Visitors can brush, pet, play, and snuggle with therapy cows during these “cow cuddling” sessions along with a trained equine therapist.

(Plan your trip on Trip Advisor)

4. At the Race Car Track in Watkins Glen, NY

Couples with a knack for speed and racing can book a ceremony a getaway at Watkins Glen International, home to road racing of nearly every class, including the World Cup Championship, NASCAR, and more. The duo can book an instructional or competitive course with experts on the track.

Watkins Glen International welcomes guests on a nearly daily basis, April through October, to Drive The Glen and experience the Fans R1st Viewing Area. Patrons may take their personal vehicle for three-paced laps around the storied road course for $25 and/or watch the cars on track from the Argetsinger grandstand from 10 AM-5 PM.

(Plan your trip on Trip Advisor)

RELATED: 7 Ways To Save A Boring Marriage (Before It's Too Late)

5. Hotel Barriere Le Fouquet's Paris, France

Surprise your partner with a spontaneous trip to the City of Love, and enjoy a romantic holiday together in the new Harcourt Suite at Hotel Barrière Le Fouquet’s Paris. Inspired by Studio Harcourt, Paris’ most famous photography studio known for its romantic black and white photos, the VIP Suite package allows couples to celebrate the holiday like iconic movie stars.

As part of the experience, couples can capture a portrait together from their very own living room that doubles as a photography studio, design a custom perfume together at the Guerlain flagship, enjoy a private dinner for two in the suite’s dining room, and a couples massage at the esteemed Spa Diane Barrière. Cap off the trip at Le Joy’s romantic suspended patio garden with a Veuve Clicquot la Grand Dame toast.

(Plan your trip on Trip Advisor)

6. Hotel Metropole Monte, Monaco

Afterwards, guests are picked up in an Aston Martin (with Bond music playing) to head to a helicopter ride, return to the hotel for an intimate lunch at Yoshi (Joël Robuchon’s only Japanese venue), and depart again for a romantic driving tour of the French Riviera. In the evening, guests receive an in-room duo massage, Vodka Martini aperitif at the lobby bar, and an exclusive dinner on the outdoor terrace of the Suite Carré d’Or. 

(Plan your trip on Trip Advisor)

7. Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya, Mexico

Secrets Akumal Riviera Maya is located in the heart of the Riviera Maya along the famed white-sand beaches and calm, clear waters of Akumal. This brand-new, adults-only resort offers a truly magical experience with stunning ocean views, an expansive infinity pool along with 11 smaller pools, all located nearby the centuries-old Mayan sites of Tulum and Coba.

Indulge in 24-hour room service, daily refreshed mini-bar, limitless gourmet dining, and top-shelf spirits six à la carte restaurants, one international buffet, a café and a grill, seven bars and lounges, pool and beach wait service, nightly entertainment, and more. And if Mexican food is your love language, there are also unique culinary activities like kitchen tours to meet chefs, cooking classes, tequila/wine tastings, and more.

(Plan your trip on Trip Advisor)

8. Galapagos Islands Cruise

The Sea Star offers private dining for couples on the middle deck, and will set up a romantic dinner for 2 under the stars. Prepare for a magical trip sailing from the Central to the Northern Archipelago with visits to must-see Genovesa and Bartolome Islands, plus other enchanted sites filled with untamed wildlife and plantlife including boobies, sea-lions, sharks, frigate birds, Darwin finches, hawks, giant tortoises and much more.

On the Sea Star, snorkeling equipment and sea kayaks are available without extra charge (with wet suits for rent). Hop on board for a lively encounter with nature.

(Plan your trip on Trip Advisor)

RELATED: 7 Sneaky Ways Travelling Actually Makes You Healthier, Says Science

9. Immersive Multimedia Night Walk, Whistler, BC 

The magical and enchanting one-hour night walk is set in the forests of Cougar Mountain and follows the footsteps of two long-ago hikers, Leonard and Gloria, a father-daughter duo who journeyed to discover the hidden mystical valley where stardust falls. Over the course of the 1km trail, guests are met with a mesmerizing combination of emotive lights, videos, sounds, and scenography.

From talking trees and neon nature to an array of visually stunning lights and sights that need to be seen to be believed, it’s a perfect way to enjoy a romantic outing that’s an unforgettable experience with a charming narrative. 

(Plan your trip to Vallea Lumina)

10. Romantic Gala Dinner Cruise, Dubai Creek

Visitors can embark on a 2-hour dinner cruise, savoring delectable international and Emirati dishes and enjoying an array of entertainment, all while embracing the glittering scenic views of Dubai. A party of two can spend an evening exploring Dubai. Or, step aboard the beautifully illuminated Sun and Sky floating restaurant, and admire Deira’s sparkling landmarks over a sumptuous dinner buffet.

Settle on the outer deck or in the elegant cabins, and savor international and Emirati dishes as you pass the floodlit Rolex Towers, souks, and other landmarks. As you dine, enjoy an array of entertainment, including traditional Emirati dance shows, a Magic Show, and a live DJ.

(Plan your trip on Trip Advisor)

11. Romantic Sightseeing Experience, Dubai

For first-time visitors, experience the ideal date night touring the stunning metropolis, where you’ll be treated to a nighttime architecture tour from the back of a luxury Cadillac. This experience also includes entry to the Dubai Miracle Garden, stops at Dubai Mall, The Pointe, and Pier 7, and professional photo shots, all for $130. 

(Plan your trip on Trip Advisor)

RELATED: 30 Romantic Valentine's Day Gifts And Gift Ideas For The Woman You Love

12. Hotel Arts, Barcelona


Offering a special Valentine’s Day experience that includes an unforgettable proposal coordinated by the hotel concierge, not only does the three-night stay include all the frills of most Valentine’s Day hotel packages, but in addition to the proposal, lovebirds will also receive private check-in to one of the hotel's spacious signature suites, ice-cold Cava, chocolate covered strawberries, a custom flower arrangement made by the hotel’s florist designer, a personal photographer for a day, a pampering couple’s massage at the hotel’s 43 the Spa, private dining with personal instrumentalists, and more. 

(Plan your trip on Trip Advisor)

13. Gourmandise School of Sweets and Savories, Los Angeles

This spot offers an array of renowned cooking and baking classes. Throughout February, the school invites you to grab your partner and get your hands dirty in their beautiful commercial kitchens for a special couples class or unique Valentine’s Day course. Renowned Gourmandise chefs will be your guide through each delicious dish.

Enjoy Valentine’s Couples Night: Fresh Pasta With Your Love, where each participant will be able to create and taste a fresh pasta dinner from scratch. Experience the art of making the perfect fluffy doughnut with Doughnuts & Fritters, or join the sweet ride with Valentine’s Day French Macarons. For the busier couples, The Gourmandise School offers gift certificates for any of their profound courses with no expiration date.

(Plan your trip to The Gourmandise School)

14. Cakebread Cellar, Napa 

In Napa, California, plan a day trip to one of the world’s luxury wine producers, Cakebread Cellars. Cakebread has so many great tasting options like an intimate Reserve Tasting that features the winery's finest wines, paired with an artisanal Charcuterie board.

Cakebread has just rebuilt its entire visitor’s center complete with 9 unique rooms for wine tasting and chandeliers made from barrel staves used to age their Chardonnay. This is a one-of-a-kind luxury experience and will be the ultimate gift for wine lovers and lovers alike.

(Plan your trip to Cakebread)

15. Ultimate Luxury Escape, The London West Hollywood, Beverly Hills

For the ultimate splurge, couples can book the Ultimate Luxury Escape package, including two nights in the 11,000 square foot Vivienne Westwood signature Penthouse, a two-day complimentary rental of either a Rolls Royce Dawn Convertible or Rolls Royce Ghost, private dinner for two in a suite or on the Penthouse rooftop terrace, in the suite, 90-minute couples massage and/or facial from spa partner, welcome bottle of Dom Perignon champagne, and complimentary overnight valet parking.

(Plan your trip on Trip Advisor)

16. Sky Zone Trampoline Park, USA Locations 

This place has everything you need to make it the most memorable gift yet as you jump, climb, dodge, and, most of all, have so much fun with your partner. Sky Zone Trampoline Park has more than 200 locations nationwide, from Los Angeles to Chicago and beyond, combining fun and fitness for guests of all ages to enjoy. There are a ton of activities to choose from, including Ultimate DodgeballSkySlam, and Foam Zone, among others.

(Plan your trip to Sky Zone)

RELATED: 21 Men Explain How They Feel About Valentine's Day

17. Sailing Virgins, Virgin Islands

This company offers an incredible adventure sailing program in paradise, where participants end up with a globally-recognized sailing qualification. The fast-track skipper course commences in Le Marin, in the south of Martinique, sails for seven days around the legendary waters of the French Caribbean, and returns the following Saturday at midday.

Couples live on board a fast, comfortable Beneteau First 40 yacht for the entire week. Meals on board (breakfast, lunch, and two dinners) are included, as are instructions and your accommodations.

(Plan your trip on Trip Advisor)

18. Skyspace, Los Angeles

Skyspace is a charming and unique experience that offers guests the best views in California, flanked by two massive outdoor decks and the piece de resistance: a 45-foot, 100 percent transparent Skyslide that hangs 1,000 feet above Downtown LA, and propels guests from the 70th to the 69th floor along the exterior of the iconic US Bank Tower.

Breathtaking 360-degree views paired with an exciting trip down the electrifying Skyslide create the perfect combination of romance and thrill. And the best part about Skyspace’s SoCal location? While most of the US is currently tracking tremendously cold weather, the sun is always shining in LA, and the weather is nothing but mild.

(Plan your trip to Skyspace)

19. Mermaid Swim Class, USA, Canada & Mexico Locations

While these classes are G-rated, there is definitely a level of flirtation that happens when couples come. Mermaids are seductive creatures by nature (think: hair flips, slippery skin, and the wave motion of your body when doing the dolphin kick), and these classes are so cool.

You’ll learn to swim in this 60-minute aqua-fitness class in a beautiful mermaid tail that is both a great life skill and also an awesome workout, but just plain fun. They’ll also teach synchronized swimming techniques, as the speed and power behind the mermaid tail will help you go way faster than you knew possible. Leave some time for photos at the end, so bring your camera to get the perfect shot of you as a mermaid.

(Plan your trip to Aqua Mermaid)

20. Go City Passes

For couples who want a unique date night exploring a new city together, the Go City pass allows travelers to have the flexibility to explore cities at their own pace, and on their own terms, while saving on popular attractions. The pass also gives travelers access to off-the-beaten-path activities such as pizza walking tours, gelato-making classes, surf lessons, and more.

Go City locks in one low price for multiple attractions and experiences. And the best part is that these experiences are available all over the world, in many destination cities like Boston, Las Vegas, New York, Oahu, Rome, San Diego, and more.

(Plan your trip on Go City)

RELATED: 55 Best Valentine's Day Gifts For The Woman You Love

Aly Walansky is a NY-based lifestyle writer who focuses on health, wellness, and relationships. Her work appears in dozens of print and digital publications.

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