Valentine’s Day: A Travel Guide for Lovers & Haters

If you have ever been young and in love, there is a good chance that you have celebrated at least one Valentine’s Day away on a mini-break. I know I have. Unfortunately these days, at least for me, Valentines is typically spent like any other day: taking kids to and from school, working, cooking, cleaning…the list goes on. But, if I’m lucky, my husband and kids will remember to give me a card with a heart on it.

Does this make me a hater? No way! And, just in case Mr. Erickson is reading this article, I also fully support the idea of getting away from it all with a cozy vacation for two.

But heading out of town isn’t just for the romantics. In fact, it can sometimes be a welcome escape. And, with the Presidents Day long weekend coinciding with Valentine’s Day, not to mention a number of discounted airfares nationwide, now is the perfect time to plan your next last-minute jaunt.

With that in mind, here is a rundown of some of the best places to go if you are a lover or a hater on Valentine’s Day this year.


  • Ditch the cold and head to my home town of San Francisco for a spot of romance. Roundtrip flights from Milwaukee are $292 and flights from Washington DC are $298. Take a hand in hand stroll along Crissy Field, go dancing at the Starlight Room or head to the wine country for some spa-driven R&R (my favorite place to stay is the Indian Springs Resort in Calistoga).
  • Who needs the River Seine when you can enjoy a dinner cruise on Lake Michigan? Call me crazy but there is something inherently romantic about dining on or near water, especially with a dazzling skyline view. But if a birds-eye view is more your thing, then why not head to the John Hancock Observatory for some pre-dinner drinks? And with flights to Chicago as low as $108 from Minneapolis, $128 from Denver and New York, $178 from Tampa, and $220 from Atlanta now is the time to go. Discounted roundtrip flights from Cleveland can be found for $252 and $317 from Philadelphia.
  • Hands down, one of my favorite “ROM COM’s” is Sleepless in Seattle. So in honor of Sam and Annie here is how you too can enjoy romance in this beautiful city. To start, why not treat your date to the U.S. premiere of Cirque Du Soleil’s Amaluna? Perhaps you can even squeeze in a delicious chocolate tour beforehand. Another popular activity is exploring the Washington Park Arboretum or wandering around the unique shops and boutiques of Pioneer Square.


  • Looking to celebrate the fact that you are young free and single? Then why not head to Las Vegas or New Orleans? Both are perfect places to kick back and have some fun. Hit the Strip or visit the bars along Bourbon Street if you want to party. Alternatively you can check out one of Vegas’ many shows or a premier New Orleans Jazz club if you want a slightly more mellow experience. And, if you are a foodie, both cities have an abundance of first class restaurants to satisfy every appetite. Right now you can find roundtrip sale fares to Vegas from San Diego and Salt Lake City for as low as $128 and $138 respectively – including taxes. And if you want to go to New Orleans, roundtrip flights are as low as $128 from Dallas.
  • Getting lost in a large city is always an adventure. And for anyone looking to avoid Valentine’s Day this year, the hustle and bustle of a city destination can be a great distraction. If you are flying from the East coast or Midwest there are some fantastic fares available to New York right now: from Washington DC you can get a roundtrip flight for just $102, and from Chicago it will only set you back $108.
  • How about walking in the footsteps of America’s Founding Fathers by spending the President’s weekend touring the historical sites of Washington DC? You can find a roundtrip flight from Orange County for as low as $262, or $298 from San Francisco. From Chicago there are flights for $239 and from Houston, $270. And, if you are flying from Orlando you can score a roundtrip for just $179.

Note some of the airfare sales end as soon as Thursday, February 7. Also try and depart on the Thursday and return on the Tuesday to find the lowest fares.

Featured Image: Two People in Love at Sunset (

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