The great outdoors never fails to impress. This Valentine’s Day avoid long lines at your favorite Italian restaurant with a romantic excursion outside. Enduring wintry weather this Saturday? Take a brisk hike with your loved one and plan a visit for later in the year. These amorous (and wallet-friendly) sites will still be there in time for the next anniversary or birthday.
1. Kissing Rock, Monterey County, California
This distinct granite arch in Pacific Grove, California, resembles two lovers kissing. It’s a heart-stopper, especially when the Pacific waves crash in at high tide.
2. Lovers Key State Park, Florida
Tucked away on one of four islands that comprise Lovers Key State Park in Florida, Lovers Key Beach is perfect for kayaking and paddleboarding. These islands are also home to bottlenose dolphins, bald eagles, and West Indian manatees. Here’s a great icebreaker: It is now commonly believed that many of the female figures (read: mermaids) witnessed by men at sea during the time of Christopher Columbus were actually manatees.
3. Bridalveil Fall, Yosemite, California
One of the most popular waterfalls in Yosemite Valley, Bridalveil Fall flows all year. Rainbows often accompany the enchanting mist that surrounds it, adding to its dreaminess.
4. Bridal Cave, Missouri
Bridal Cave has the highest concentration of onyx formations – from draperies that resemble curtains to chandelier-like clusters of soda straws — per square foot than any other known cavern in the United States. The spellbinding cave in Camdenton, Missouri has seen over 2,500 couples exchange vows within its stalactite adorned walls.
5. Lover’s Leap, Lake Tahoe, California
Native American legend claims two lovers jumped to their deaths from the summit of Lover’s Leap in Lake Tahoe, California, though no one knows why. A popular spot for climbers, Lover’s Leap offers a hard-to-beat view of the Eldorado National Forest lands and Sierra Nevada mountain range.