No matter where you live in Orange County, the perfect place for Valentine’s Day is not far away. Whether it’s outdoor fun, imaginative whimsy, or music and culture, these romantic settings will help you create a special night your loved one will remember forever. These are Orange County’s best V-Day destinations.
Frank G. Bonelli Park
120 Via Verde
San Dimas, CA 91773
Price: $10 daily vehicle entrance/free on non-holiday weekdays from November to February/$35 for a one-hour horseback ride (Tues-Sun)
Nothing says romance like a lakeside picnic and a horseback ride. Bonelli Park in San Dimas offers expansive lawn areas for a pleasant picnic by the lake, and the Talking Horse Equestrian Center provides one-hour rides for $35 that deliver spectacular views of Puddingstone Lake. After a lovely afternoon by the lake, take your loved one up to the Puddingstone Resort Hot Tubs to unwind. Get there just before sunset for a spectacular view of Puddingstone Lake while you enjoy the relaxing hot water, the open air and the soft candle-lit atmosphere.
Casa Laguna Inn and Spa
2510 S. Coast Highway
Laguna Beach, CA 92651
(800) 233-0449/(949) 494-2996
Price: from $159 per night
Located just a few minutes south of Main Beach Park and the Laguna Art Museum in Laguna Beach, Casa Laguna is the perfect place for an overnight or weekend stay in this culture-rich beach town. Offering economical Courtyard and Ocean View rooms as well as the more private and upscale Cottage with its expansive sunset views, Casa Laguna provides accommodations for any budget. In addition to the tranquil beach atmosphere, Casa Laguna Spa offers a Togetherness Massage for couples and an award-winning breakfast menu to follow up your Valentine’s Day experience. For a unique Italian dining experience complete with frescoes and ocean views, Ti Amo Ristorante is located less than five minutes south of Casa Laguna.
Disney’s Grand Californian Hotel and Spa
1600 S. Disneyland Drive
Anaheim, CA 92802
For a more imaginative and fun Valentine’s Day experience, the lodge-themed Grand Californian is the perfect choice. In addition to its proximity to the Disneyland and California Adventure theme parks, the Grand Californian Hotel boasts award-winning dining at the Napa Rose, perfect for an intimate Valentine’s dinner. With convenient access to the Downtown Disney district, additional entertainment and dining options are available, such as the House of Blues and Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen. After your romantic evening, the Hearthstone Lounge also offers a warm and comfy place for a nightcap before heading in for the night. Don’t forget to treat yourself and your loved one to a Swedish massage or Coconut Rub at the Mandara Spa.
3101 W. Coast Highway, Suite 110
Newport Beach, CA 92663
(888) 851-0094/(949) 200-8037
Price: from $159 for the Classic Cruise
Create an exotic experience by treating your Valentine to an exquisite, Venetian-style gondola ride as part of your night of romance. Top off the evening with an hour-long Classic Cruise, or purchase a complete two-hour dining experience with the Newport Exquisite Dinner cruise. Nothing says “I love you” more than dining under the stars while floating along the peaceful waters of Newport Harbor. If you’re planning to pop the question on this special date, there is no better way to do it than with a romantic gondola dinner cruise.
Segerstrom Center for the Arts
600 Town Center Drive
Costa Mesa, CA 92626
For a bit of culture, treat your Valentine to dinner and a show at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. Leatherby’s Café Rouge, located in the Renee and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall, is the perfect place for pre-show dining featuring seasonal fare. Other nearby dining options include the Silver Trumpet, the Capital Grille, and Morton’s Steakhouse. Choice of shows on this special night and throughout the weekend include Valentine’s Day with Kenny G, the husband/wife musical talents of Marin Mazzie and Jason Danieley, or go big with the three-hour comedy, dance, and circus-style entertainment of Teatro Zinzanni. To check out the calendar and ticket prices, click here.
David McDonald is a freelance writer covering all things Orange County. His work can be found on Examiner.com.