February 7, 2014

Sure, a fancy dinner with a glass of wine is fine, but why not try something a little unconventional this Valentine's Day? Orange County has so much more to offer than just great food, and your Valentine will certainly be impressed with your out-of-the-box thinking!

Here are some ideas that may not have crossed your mind, but are likely to be just as romantic as another candlelight dinner - and perhaps a little more fun, too.

Whale Watching in Dana Point

Whale watching in Dana Point

Photo credit: Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching

Enjoy a glass of top-notch wine and snack on an array of cheese, crackers and fruits '€“ and keep your eyes peeled for whales, dolphins and sea lions! This 90-minute cruise around Dana Point Harbor is a romantic, relaxing adventure aboard a luxury catamaran from Dana Wharf Sportfishing and Whale Watching. Their Orange County Wine Cruise runs Friday and Sunday nights from 5:30-7 p.m. and costs $49 per person. For more info and to buy tickets, click here." 

If you can't make it to the evening wine cruise, you can catch one of their two-hour whale watching cruises, which depart daily. For more info and to buy tickets, click here.

For a personal account of a whale watching trip with Dana Wharf, check out this recent blog post.

Couple's Day Spa Package in Laguna Beach

Photo credit: Skinterest Day Spa" 

Nothing is quite as romantic as getting pampered and enjoying some relaxation with your significant other. Some of Orange County's best spas reside in the unparalleled Laguna Beach area, whose artsy downtown and beautiful beaches are the perfect place to get away for Valentine's Day. Book a couple's spa package at one of these great locations and grab some dinner and take a walk on the beach after!

Skinterest Day Spa

Start your treatment with a skin pick-me-up that includes a sugar and spice rub, mud mask and Whoopie Red Velvet hand, arm and shoulder massage. Follow it up with a one-hour romantic side-by-side massage using aromatherapy, and finish your experience with some chocolate-dipped strawberries and champagne! Full treatment takes 90 minutes and costs $390." Click here" for more info." 

St. Regis Monarch Beach

Indulge in a 60-minute couple's massage at the five-star Spa Gaucin, or you can book a "couple's retreat," which includes a 90-minute Swedish or Therapeutic Massage and 20-minute Tranquility Bath in your own private spa suite. Cost is $625 per couple. Click here for more info." 

Montage Laguna Beach

Montage Laguna Beach is about as dreamy as it gets! Located right on the beach in Laguna, this stunning resort and spa offers sunset views, five-star meals and a luxurious spa experience." Click here for more info." 

Horseback Riding in Huntington Beach

Horseback Riding in Huntington Beach

Photo credit: Larissa Bahr Photography

Your Valentine's Day celebration will be something out of a movie with the Trail Ride Package from Huntington Central Park Equestrian Center! The package includes a scenic horseback ride through the hills of Huntington Beach, a professional photo shoot and a private gourmet meal at the Red Horse Barn. Rides are happening February 8 or 9, cost is $225 per couple. For more info, or to schedule your reservation, contact Lori at or (951) 285-2094. See their online flier here." 

Romantic Gondola Ride in Newport Beach

Photo credit: Gondola Romance

Enjoy romantic conversation, good food and the quiet of the harbor with a gondola cruise! Gondola Romance in Newport Harbor offers a romantic one-hour Venetian gondola ride complete with a nonalcoholic beverage of your choice, chocolates, cheese and crackers, music and blankets for $95. More cruise options are available, including dinner for two at the Le Bistro and a half-hour Gondola cruise for $100, or a 90-minute dinner cruise for $235. For more information or to purchase tickets, click here."