Romance on the Gulf Coast – Top 10 Valentine’s Day Ideas

This year, make Valentine's Day special for the one you love.

As the day of love and adoration approaches, many find themselves without a plan to express their feelings to the object of their affection. While we do encourage our readers to articulate and share their heartfelt sentiments throughout the year, Valentine’s Day presents itself as a must for those who prefer to maintain a relationship with the very person they endear. As such, it becomes your duty to make each February 14 a small celebration of love for those dear to you.

Beyond the heart-shaped boxes, mounds of candy and arrangements of flowers, there is a world of romance out there just waiting for you to enjoy. This Valentine’s Day, dust off your romantic ambition and do something extraordinary for that special somebody in your heart. Here are the top 10 Valentine’s Day ideas from your friends at

1. Beach Day! – It is pretty much safe to say that everyone enjoys a romantic walk on the beach. Luckily for you, the Sarasota area is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Treat your valentine to a sunset on the beach, accompanied with a small picnic basket filled with an assortment of snacks and beverages. Siesta Key Beach is perfect for your romantic destination.

2. Cinema Gold – What perfect timing! Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and Hollywood releases a movie to mark its arrival. The cleverly named Valentine’s Day comes out Friday, February 12, and is brimming with an all-star cast of celebrities your sweetheart is sure to admire.

Why go to the movies? The title alone says it all.

3. Stay Parked – Is a romantic walk on the beach too cliché for your taste? The Sarasota area boasts a number of gorgeous parks to spend your special day. Bay Front Park in downtown Sarasota offers a beautiful view across Sarasota Bay, and its lush grassy expanses are perfect for setting up a private picnic.

4. Romantic Feast – A number of local restaurants are offering Valentine’s Day specials sure to please your palate. Check out any of Mattison’s three area locations, The Melting Pot, The Bijou Café, Cosimo’sFleming’s or see if your favorite spot is available.

5. The Art of Love – Ignite your senses and plan a tour of Ringling Museum’s fine collection of stunning artwork. The beautiful courtyard area, renowned masterpieces and brilliant architecture sets the perfect stage for a romantic afternoon. From February 13 – April 25, delight in the groundbreaking exhibition In Search of Norman Rockwell’s America.

6. Pamper Yourselves – Downtown Sarasota is home to one of the world’s most renowned hotels, The Ritz-Carlton, Sarasota. Spend a night a world away yet within reach in one of The Ritz-Carlton’s luxury water view suites. Make a reservation and ask for the Romantic Escape package for a special romantic surprise for you and your valentine.

7. Circle of Love – With an assortment of dining options, ice cream shops, boutiques and bars, St. Armands Circle offers an exciting outdoor getaway for a Valentine’s Day stroll.

8. Night Out – Described as the perfect way to wine and dine any sweetheart whether you are young or old the Apron’s Cooking School of Publix is featuring Valentines Night Out on Saturday, February 13. Here, for just $100 per couple, sweethearts are treated to a culinary delight prepared by the talented cooking school chefs. To reserve your seat, you must call 941.358.7781.

9. Cupid. Cosmos. Cinema. – This Friday, February 12, take your valentine to the Village of the Arts in Bradenton for the inaugural Cupid. Cosmos. Cinema event. Bring a comfy seat or reserve a VIP table for two and enjoy live music, a special screening of the romantic classic “An Affair to Remember,” and food and drinks available for purchase. For more information about the Village call 941-747-8056 or visit HERE.

10. Home Field Advantage – Instead of joining the amorous masses at a restaurant this Valentine’s Day, whip up a romantic dinner for two at home. Be sure to set the mood with candles, hearts and flowers.

* Single this year? Stop by Ceviche Tapas Bar & Restaurant in Sarasota for Singles Valentine Happy Hour with SRQ Singles. This event poses a great opportunity to meet and mingle with fellow valentine soloists. With luck, you can return to this post next year for great Valentine’s Day ideas with your newfound sweetheart.

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