15 Romantic Things to Do

By: VISIT FLORIDA staff

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Romance is something different for everyone. Whether you're looking for an outdoor escapade or a resort rendezvous, an adrenaline adventure or a perfect proposal, read on for some of Florida's most romantic spots.

Florida is often thought of as one of the most romantic destinations for the love birds. There are endless choices of quaint and quiet lodging options, charming historic downtown restaurants and postcard-like beach views.

Start with these 15 romantic ideas to help you decide where you would like to bring your significant other for a romantic getaway you will never forget. Just pick one of these passionate pastimes, swoop up your sweetheart and start luring?


1: The National Hotel, Miami Beach
Restored to its original Art Deco brilliance with a dramatic, multi-million dollar renovation, The National Hotel in Miami Beach epitomizes the mood and décor of the 1940s, redefined with a modern panache. Enter a world of grace, elegance and style at this landmark choice of hotels in South Beach Miami, Florida – where tradition and trend blend seamlessly with warmth and comfort. The hotel is located along the oceanfront, just a short walk from the area’s most popular restaurants, galleries, boutiques, and nightclubs.

2: South Walton
Disappear together into 19th-century Florida. In South Walton, wooden boardwalks cross sea-oat-covered dunes, and colorful beach towns are reminiscent of a simpler time, making relaxing and reconnecting easy. Sleep in a cozy carriage house, a tin-roofed cottage or a beachfront mansion. Stroll, bicycle or jog. Count the stars. Sigh deeply.

3: Cassadaga
Visit a psychic medium in Cassadaga, Florida's eccentric spiritualist town. Visualize the town's Victorian architecture and tin-roof porches.

4: Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, Delray Beach
Marriage on your mind? Propose in Delray Beach amidst the lush and tranquil Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens, with its six historical gardens surrounding a beautiful lake, romantic bridges and waterfalls, and a traditional Japanese teahouse.

5: Mount Dora
Stroll arm-in-arm beneath mossy oaks and breathe the fragrance of magnolias and orange blossoms. Take your morning coffee on the veranda of a historic inn. Mount Dora, 25 miles and a century from Orlando, is a Deep South town of eclectic shopping and a wide variety of dining experiences ranging from tearooms to Asian fusion.

6: Fort Myers & Sanibel Island
Soar heavenward in the open cockpit of a 1940 Waco UPF-7 biplane in the last rays of sunlight. Drift over the uninhabited barrier islands of the Beaches of Fort Myers & Sanibel and swoop low over Sanibel, Captiva, Boca Grande and Useppa. Goggles and pilot provided. There's no talking, so just hold hands and snuggle up.

7: Tarpon Springs
Skip the pricey airfares and get romantic in Tarpon Springs, a real Greek town just north of Clearwater. Kiss the honey from Florida's best baklava off your sweetheart's lips. Light a candle for eternal love at the stunning St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Cathedral. Stroll the sponge docks and practice your Greek with the locals in an authentic Greek taverna. Feast on dolmades, pastitsio and moussaka.

8: Captiva Island
Captiva Island's tiny Andy Rosse Lane dead-ends in sheer romance at the Gulf of Mexico, where you can snuggle in one of the funky, Caribbean-colored cottages of Captiva Island Inn. Relax outdoor patios to live Parrothead music.

9: Richard Petty Driving Experience
At the Richard Petty Driving Experience (locations in Daytona Beach, Homestead and Orlando), you can buy your sweetie a 165-mph ride in a NASCAR-style stock car. Vroom, vroom, baby!

But what if your guy wants major league sports, while you'd prefer a romantic getaway? Channel that testosterone! Head to Tampa Bay, home of the Tampa Bay Rays, the Buccaneers, the Lightning and 15 Major League Baseball teams at 13 sites in the Florida Grapefruit League. After the game, slip away to Whispers, an intimate resort condo tucked behind a lush garden wall on tiny Treasure Island. White sands, dolphins, golden sunsets and massage therapists on call.


10: Gainesville and Quincy
In the University of Florida Gators' hometown of Gainesville is a historic complex with buildings representing a range of eras from Vernacular Victorian and Queen Anne Victorian to Greek Revival and 1920-30s Florida Bungalow. The Sweetwater Branch Inn encompasses more than three acres of land, and happens to be a very popular wedding spot in town. Hint, hint? Just west of the Florida State University Seminoles' Tallahassee campus is the classic Georgian style Allison House Inn in sleepy Quincy, once a wealthy Coca-Cola town.

11: Chalet Suzanne Country Inn & Restaurant, Lake Wales
Sweep her away to the outrageously unique Chalet Suzanne Country Inn & Restaurant, a quirky fairy tale castle in Lake Wales that has towers that lean sideways and miniature doorways to nowhere. The Balcony Room has 10-foot-round bed and balcony, where you can sup like fairy tale lovers high above the dining room. Dine in your robes, if you please - service is by dumbwaiter. For an extra $60, write your initials or a love poem on a tile on the Autograph Garden wall.

12: Palm Beach and Miami Beach
Mmmm... mimosas, smoked salmon, caviar, Belgian waffles and fresh strawberries. Eggs Benedict, tender prime rib, rich pastas and artful salads, decadent tarts, soufflés and chocolate rum cakes. Shall I go on? OK, harps and saxophones and Christofle silver and monogrammed Limoges china. More? Fresh Florida grouper, Gulf shrimp, sushi and omelets to order. White linen and fresh flowers and Key lime pie. What better way to highlight your fine manners and exquisite taste than at an elegant Sunday brunch. Dress code is usually "resort casual" at The Breakers in Palm Beach and the Fontainebleau Miami Beach.

13: Loews Portfoino Bay Hotel, Orlando
Love me, love my kids? Easy! Charm them both at Loews Portofino Bay Hotel at Universal Orlando, a romantic slice of Italy with a Universal Studios' flair. The kids' room is a movie set, with sailboat beds and street lamps, kid-size robes, Nintendo and on-site kids' camp. And here's where you get to be the hero: their magic hotel room key card lets them skip the regular lines on most rides and attractions at the Universal Orlando Resort theme parks.

14: Vizcaya
$7,500 - more or less - will buy you and your beloved exclusive use of Vizcaya, a glamorous 17th-century Italian palace, for a weekday evening of intimate dining. The lavish inner courtyard, balustraded terraces and formal gardens with fountains, statuary, mazes, grottos and the emerald lawns is booked for the affairs of diplomats, debutantes and kings - why not yours? The starting usage rate for an exclusive evening event is $7,500 during the week and $12,500 on the weekend; permits, catering, flowers (and perhaps the ring?) are extra. What the heck, just go ahead and get married. Use of the gardens for an afternoon ceremony costs only $1,500 for up to 25 guests.

15: Santa Fe Canoe Outpost, High Springs
Imagine just the two of you in perfect synch, canoeing down the Santa Fe River beneath a full moon. Never mind the other lovers in canoes up ahead or paddling discreetly behind. The campfire burning at the canoe outpost once the trip is finished seems like it was made just for you. Santa Fe Canoe Outpost (High Springs), a romantic adventure specialist, can make it happen.

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