There is nothing more romantic than exploring a beautiful spot with someone who shares your love of nature and the outdoors.
Here are five Florida Rambler ideas for romantic places to help you celebrate Valentine’s Day.
A walk on the beach at Lovers Key State Park
For years, this barrier-island beach in Fort Myers Beach was accessible only by boat, so only lovers seeking solitude went to the trouble to reach it. Today, it’s more accessible, but it’s still easy to get away from people and enjoy its hard-packed white sand, shells and birds. It’s no surprise it is also a popular wedding site.
A visit to Lovers Key can be more active than just beachcoming. A concessionaire who offers a wide range of rentals– standup paddleboards, kayaks, paddle boats, bikes. The company, Lovers Key Adventures and Events, also sells bait, ice cream and runs a variety of kayak tours, including to Mound Key, an island whose mound was built by Calusa indians 2,000 years ago.
A getaway to Key Largo
Who represents Hollywood’s most classic image of romantic lovers?
Bogie and Bacall. That’s why, after the 1948 film noir movie “Key Largo” was a hit, the island decided to make the most of it, even though the movie was filmed at Warner Brothers Burbank Studios. The island’s post office had been known as Rock Harbor, but after the movie, area businesses started a petition drive to change the post office name to Key Largo.
Later, further securing a Bogie connection, an entrepreneur brought the original “African Queen” from Bogart’s 1952 movie with Katherine Hepburn to Key Largo.
For a romantic ride, you can take a tour of the Key Largo waterways on the African Queen for $49 per person. If that’s a little steep for you, consider having lunch at Skipper’s Dockside in Key Largo, where you have a good chance of seeing the African Queen steam by.
Solitude at Honeymoon Island State Park
With a name like that, it has to be romantic. And it is. This state park north of Tampa originally had a most un-romantic name: Hog Island. But a 1930s Florida marketing genius re-named it Honeymoon Island and teamed up with Life Magazine to hold a contest for newlyweds to win free honeymoons in rustic little beach-front cabins here.
Today, what’s romantic about Honeymoon Island is the magnificent sandspit beach that extends three miles into the Gulf of Mexico. Keep walking along this beach and you’ll soon feel like the only people in the world.
A night in a special B&B
A charming bed and breakfast sure beats a standard hotel for a romantic weekend. We have many favorite B&Bs in Florida, but one that seems especially romantic is the Black Dolphin in New Smyrna Beach.
In addition to its beautiful waterfront setting, the Black Dolphin has guest rooms and suites with private outdoor terraces, elegant Euro-style bedding and spa baths.
The breakfasts are out-of-the-ordinary and you are within walking distance of restaurants and shops in New Smyrna Beach’s historic downtown.
More about the our favorite Florida B&Bs.
A cabin or camping on Hontoon Island State Park
A far cry from European linens and spa baths, this state park near Deland is an island in the St. Johns River that offers a different kind of romantic experience.
Here, what’s romantic are the cute little rustic cabins, the isolation from the world and its technology and the opportunity to hike and kayak in natural beauty where you will never find a crowd.
Because the island has no cars or roads, the camping and cabin sites are among the prettiest you’ll find. They are situated in a shady hammock secluded from the busy waterfront.
More about visiting Hontoon Island State Park.