Love Notes

Five Easy Yet Romantic Valentine's Day Date Ideas

Head to the park or a beach, pretend you're a tourist at a local attraction and more.

By Heather Dunhill February 7, 2022

Valentine’s Day day is just around the corner—and if you don't want to brave the crowds for dinner this year, we came up with some easy, outside-the-chocolate-box ways you can still be a romantic hero and score major points with your loved one.

The Breakfast

Let’s face it, a homemade breakfast is a luxury these days, whether it’s scrambled eggs and cheese on a fresh croissant, blueberry pancakes or these decadent Captain Crunch French Toast sticks. (Extra points if you deliver it on a tray with your finest china.)

The Picnic

This weather forecast is calling for a cool Valentine's afternoon, so pack a couple blankets, a basket of goodies and venture out to one of Sarasota’s parks or beaches.

If you’re not an at-home chef, then think about some fresh salads and crackers from Morton’s Gourmet Market, a charcuterie board from Artisan Cheese Company, or sweet treats from ofKors Bakery or Five-O Donuts.

If you want to bring along some bubbly or vino, pop into Fine Wine and Tastings on Main Street in Lakewood Ranch for a recommendation.

The Romantic Outing

Stroll together through one of our spectacular museums, some of which have restaurants on site. Or venture to The Bishop Museum of Science and Nature in Bradenton for a show at their new, state-of-the-art Planetarium. One of the shows on the schedule is Passport to the Universe narrated by Tom Hanks.

The Tourist Experience 

As locals, we can be guilty of forgetting about all the wonderful local attractions that are just a short drive away.

For outdoor enthusiasts, we have innumerable options for hikes—Emerson Point Preserve is a particular favorite. There’s always kayaking with a guided tour through Mangrove tunnels with Sea Life Kayak Adventures.

For the animal lovers, there’s The Lemur Conservation Foundation, Myakka Elephant Ranch or the Sarasota Sea Lion Preserve. And if you want kitschy, cool and old-school, think Jungle Gardens.

The Moonlight Movie

Grab your laptop or iPad, a couple blankets and some hot cocoa, and head outside for a romantic movie under the palm trees. Don’t forget the popcorn, which could be old-school Jiffy Pop (yes, they still make it in the stovetop popping pan!).

For movie inspiration, check out TV Guide’s "14 Best Romantic Valentine's Day Movies to Watch on Netflix, Amazon, HBO Max, Disney+, Hulu and More."

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