Verona, Italy
Paris? Sure. The city deserves its reputation as the world’s most romantic city. But if you can’t take your sweetie there for Valentine’s Day, don’t despair. We found 14 other surprisingly romantic cities perfect for lovebirds.

The annual Verona in Love festival, Feb. 12-14, features love-themed concerts and dance performances, a heart-shaped market, a minute-long community kiss and free entry to historical sites, including Juliet’s home and tomb. The Juliet Club awards a “Dear Juliet” prize to the best of more than 5,000 letters that arrive in town each year seeking advice in matters of love.
New York City
The observatory at the Empire State Building offers great views of New York City. But, as anyone who’s seen “Sleepless in Seattle” or “An Affair to Remember” will tell you, it’s pretty darned romantic, too. Numerous proposals take place there and, for the past 17 years, 14 lucky couples with contest-winning love stories have had Valentine’s Day weddings up there.
Prince William and Kate Middleton have set a date, but other couples might need some encouragement from Mother Nature. On Valentine’s Day, scientists at London’s Natural History Museum will host a Night Safari, titled Pleasure or Pain — Love in the Natural World, through the museum’s back rooms. Learn about shooting stars, species that mate for life, ingredients for a good love potion and how love can hurt.
A nighttime couples' canal cruise and a diamond-factory tour are alluring Amsterdam adventures. So is a stop at the Amsterdam Hilton to see — or stay in — the suite where John Lennon and Yoko Ono staged their honeymoon Bed-in for Peace in March 1969.
Atlantic City, N.J.
In Atlantic City, where the slogan is “Always Turned On,” the Convention and Visitors Authority hosts a free Valentine’s Day group wedding, civil-union and renewal of vows ceremony. A champagne toast and wedding cake are included, but you’ll need your own New Jersey marriage or civil union license, available after a three-day mandatory waiting period.
The Maryland Zoo in Baltimore is hosting a Valentine’s Day Sex at the Zoo event on Feb. 10. With assistance from animal “ambassadors,” the zoo’s veterinarian and curator promise to divulge “all of the secrets, scandals and shocking facts of jungle love.” Music, an open bar and decadent desserts will help participants cool off.
Loveland, Colo.
Each February, hundreds of thousands of valentines are sent to the Loveland, Colo., post office to be stamped with a valentine verse and re-mailed to intended recipients. Loveland’s streets are also filled with love: A downloadable map guides visitors to heart-shaped sculptures scattered around town.
Dallas-Fort Worth
Love at an airport? It’s possible — and tasty — at the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. The Hyatt Regency DFW, inside the international terminal, has an in-house epicurean studio and offers weekend packages combining hotel stays with cooking classes. February’s aphrodisiac class is full, but slots are open for sensuous French cooking, chocolate couture and something called “It’s All About the Game.”
Washington, D.C.
Washington's Department of Love & Relationships — yes, it has one — has partnered with local attractions to create February date-night packages, including Love a Spy at the International Spy Museum. There, couples can learn how Mata Hari and other spies used seduction as a tool to attract, manipulate and compromise their targets.
Place of Refuge, Hawaii
Couples who have strayed or fought might consider a romantic pilgrimage to the sacred spot known as the Place of Refuge at Pu'uhonua O Honaunau National Historical Park near Kailua on Hawaii’s Big Island. There they can seek a fresh start. “It’s a sanctuary from the past and a place to ask for – and receive – forgiveness,” says Charles Hua, the park superintendent.
Sanibel Island, Fla.
Florida’s Sanibel Island is a romantic beach destination, but it’s also the home of the Bailey Mathews Shell Museum, which has a heartfelt display of sailors’ valentines. These intricate and now highly coveted shell creations were made in Barbados in the early 19th century and sold to English and American sailors to give to their wives and girlfriends at home.
Las Vegas
Some couples head to Las Vegas to be married by Elvis (impersonators). Those not quite ready for the altar might enjoy the Can’t Help Falling in Love scene in Cirque du Soleil’s “Viva Elvis” show, which features home movies of Elvis and Priscilla’s courtship and footage of their marriage ceremony projected on a giant replica of their wedding cake.
Tampa Bay, Fla.
Diamonds are always romantic; doubly so for baseball-diamond fans who make it down to Florida for Grapefruit League spring training. No need to choose a favorite: The New York Yankees, the Tampa Bay Rays, the Philadelphia Phillies and the Toronto Blue Jays all train in the Tampa Bay area.
Zagreb, Croatia
Love doesn’t always last, but in Zagreb, Croatia, lost love is at least lovingly memorialized at the Museum of Broken Relationships. Two artists — they were once a couple themselves — curate a collection of memorabilia, love tokens and other items donated by those whose broken hearts are now, hopefully, on the mend.