Sweep your special someone away with flowers and a romantic getaway--though not necessarily in that order. Here are a few of our favorite floral and vacation pairings--but feel free to mix and match your own Valentine's Day package!
The velvety petals, which come in red, pink, purple, or white, are perfect for those who love romantic hues.
L'Auberge de Sedona, Sedona, AZ
With red-rock views and dazzling canyons, a drive through Sedona is a surefire way to get hearts aflutter. To really get things going, stop for lunch at L'Auberge de Sedona on the banks of Oak Creek, a place so romantic that a grass-stained knee doesn't signal an accident but a proposal. Share wine, a grilled chicken-and-brie crisp, and the warmth of the stone fireplace at the inn's creekside restaurant. Get even cozier by spending the night either in one of the 31 cottages along the creek or up the hill in a lodge room. lauberge.com.
Tazetta daffodils (narcissus)
To a fragrance lover, give these highly scented flowers.
Cavallo Point, The Lodge at the Golden Gate, Sausalito, CA
Cavallo Point is so close to the city, you could walk across the Golden Gate Bridge for a glass of bubbly on the porch, where rocking chairs and couches are positioned for a view of those red towers jutting above the Marin Headlands. This WWI-era Army base turned luxe lodge has an Ultimate Date Night Package that--when you break it down--is quite a deal: $450 buys a four course dinner for two at the elegant Murray Circle; breakfast the next morning; parking; and a room with a fireplace, original pressed-tin ceilings, and a front-row seat to the San Francisco skyline. Plus, free yoga in the former base chapel and hikes around Marin County in between. cavallopoint.com.
To those who can't wait till spring, give tulips, which are often grown in local greenhouses for early bloom now.
Palm Springs, CA
Korakia Pensione, Palm Springs
Grab the glass of mint tea that awaits you in your Moroccan- or Mediterranean-style room, then head out through French doors onto your bougainvillea-edged patio to sip and stare at the San Jacinto Mountains. Later, go for a swim in one of the inn's two torch-lit pools under clear desert skies, or catch an outdoor movie. Rates include breakfast; two-night minimum on weekends; korakia.com.
Winter-white petals stun with their geometric shape.
Catalina Island, CA
Two Harbors, Catalina Island, CA
On the far side of Catalina, away from the main town of Avalon, is Two Harbors, a tiny boaters' haven that feels like an island on the island. For all the isolation, you don't have to rough it here. In addition to boat-in and walk-in campgrounds, Two Harbors has the Banning House Lodge in the vacation home of Catalina's onetime owners. All 12 rooms have views of the harbor. When you're not enjoying the comforts of your room, you can snorkel through swaying kelp beds and kayak to hidden coves. Steep trails lead into the Catalina backcountry. Or just stroll across the isthmus and look out over the Pacific: next stop, Hawaii, 2,500 miles away. www.visitcatalinaisland.com/twoharbors.
These distinctive blooms, usually shaped like cups or bells, come in a number of hues, including white, green, pink, red, and deep purple.
Waimea Plantation Cottages, Kauai
Once you lay eyes on your cute little cottage that's been rescued from a shuttered sugarcane plantation, spruced up, and set here in a grassy coconut grove, your guidebook of Kauai's must-see sights doesn't stand a chance. Spend mornings drinking coffee on the porch before wandering under the banyan trees to a lonely hammock to collapse hip to hip, long-neglected novels in hand. At night, as a ceiling fan stirs over
your quilted bed, the whooshing of the waves lulls you to sleep. waimea-plantation.com.
More favorite vacation cottages
'Iceberg' floribunda roses
Snowy white blooms cover this bush.
Todos Santos Inn, Baja, Mexico
Hidden away in a quiet village near Cabo San Lucas is this enchanted brick-and-adobe hacienda. Disappear into one of its antique canopy beds, or head to a nearby beach. Rates include breakfast; todossantosinn.com.
Floribunda 'Preference' variety
Crimson blooms on a very disease-resistant bush make this rose a real winner from the coast to the desert. (It won the Golden Rose Award at the Rose Hills International Trials in Southern California one year.)
More favorite roses
Los Angeles, CA
Bamboo Retreats, Los Angeles
Don't mistake Bamboo Retreats for a hotel. An "anti-hotel" is more what the owners--one a screenwriter, the other an interior designer--had in mind when they opened the peaceful Hollywood Hills hideout a few years ago. Don't look for a sign, or for that matter a lobby or a bellhop angling for a tip. Instead, you'll be greeted and ushered right to your door so your vacation can begin immediately. The minimalist Japanese-inspired studios and suites are spare but luxurious, with big views and miniature kitchens--in case you just don't feel like going out. 3-night minimum; bambooretreats.com.
More Valentine's Day ideas