Posts Tagged ‘romantic places’

WalletHub: Top 20 Places to Celebrate Valentine’s Day

February 5, 2018
SF_033115_1479e2(c) Karen Rubin-GoldenGatePk

Golden Gate Park, San Francisco. San Francisco tops the list of Top 20 Places to Celebrate Valentine’s Day © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner and America’s sweethearts planning to spend an average of $143.56 each on the occasion, the personal-finance website WalletHub today released its report on 2018’s Best Places for Valentine’s Day along with interesting stats about the holiday in its Valentine’s Day Facts infographic.

To determine the most romantic yet affordable cities for celebrating the Day of Hearts, WalletHub compared 100 of the largest U.S. cities across 23 key metrics, ranging from florists per capita to forecasted precipitation to cost of a three-course meal for two.

Top 20 Places for Celebrating Valentine’s Day    
1 San Francisco, CA   11 Austin, TX  
2 San Diego, CA   12 Scottsdale, AZ  
3 Las Vegas, NV   13 Denver, CO  
4 Orlando, FL   14 Washington, DC  
5 Chicago, IL   15 San Antonio, TX  
6 New York, NY   16 San Jose, CA  
7 Portland, OR   17 Minneapolis, MN  
8 Seattle, WA   18 Atlanta, GA  
9 Honolulu, HI   19 Phoenix, AZ  
10 Los Angeles, CA   20 Houston, TX  

To view the full report and your city’s rank, visit: https://wallethub.com/edu/best-and-worst-cities-for-valentines-day/10056/

Valentine’s Day Facts

  • $19.6B: Total Valentine’s Day spending projected for 2018 ($143.56 per person celebrating).
  • $191 vs. $99: Men plan to spend nearly twice as much as women, on average, for Valentine’s Day 2018.
  • $8.5 Billion: Amount Americans will spend on jewelry ($4.7B), flowers ($2B) and candy ($1.8B).
  • 9 Million: Number of marriage proposals made each Valentine’s Day.

For the full infographic, visit: https://wallethub.com/blog/valentines-day-facts/10258

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/krubin0830/

instagram.com/famtravltr/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Advertisements

48 Hours of Romance and Adventure in Morro Bay, CA That Won’t Break the Bank

February 1, 2018
California Highway 1 Discovery Route

Kayaking in Morro Bay, California © Dave E Leiberman/goingplacesfarandnear.com

MORRO BAY, Calif.– Romance abounds all year long in Morro Bay with glorious sunsets and fresh local oysters at the ready. Valentine’s Day and the extended President’s Day weekend are ideal times to plan a romantic getaway, and if you want to save a few clams, Budget Travel just listed Morro Bay, CA as one of the top 10 world-class places to visit in 2018 that won’t break the bank.

Day 1: Rock the Embarcadero

  • Rock your arrival with the ever-stunning Morro Rock.
  • Enjoy lunch on the Bay before checking in to your room with a romantic view. These winter lodging specialsare ready for romance.
  • Enjoy a romantic dinner at Windows on the Water, a local favorite for romance.
  • Late night fun for two with live music at the newly opened Siren Bar.

Day 2: Outdoor Adventure for Two (or more)!

  • A delicious bayside breakfast came be found on the patio at Blue Skye Bistro, overlooking the bay. The menu includes magnificent mimosas for those mesmerizing moments.
  • Enjoy a fun-filled morning on your kayak and lunch adventure. Paddle through the waters of Morro Bay and its 800-acre wetland and stop for a romantic picnic on the sand spit.
  • Enjoy a delectable dinner and sunset. Consider a warm-hearted waterfront dinner at the Galley Seafood Grill & Bar.

Day 3: Whales and Wildlife

  • After a lovely breakfast on the Embarcadero, set out on a winsome Whale Watching tour. The central coast is home to hundreds of humpback whales feeding on abundant sea life in the fall and winter months.
  • Morro Bay makes it easy for cyclers to get around town with bike trails and a harbor front pathway winding past families of sea otters, out to the rock and down to the beach.
  • End the day with a passionate meal at the Thai Bounty, featuring authentic Thai BBQ, seafood and cuisine.

Day 4: Parting is such Sweet Sorrow!

  • Say Au revoir and grab a coffee and breakfast from La Parisienne Bakery– one of the best “finds” in Morro Bay.
  • Make it a historic goodbye by stopping at the interactive Museum of Natural History,located in Morro Bay State Park.
  • Savor your final Bon Voyage Lunch at the Marina at Bayside Café.

For the full itinerary, click here. Couples can also find their own secluded beach in Montano De Oro State Park, or visit Hearst Castle just 30 minutes north of Morro Bay. Come find your romance in Morro Bay now, and all year long.

For additional information on hotels offering winter midweek rates from $55 and weekend rates from under $100, check out booking engine here.

For information on exciting things to do and see in Morro Bay, visit www.morrobay.org.

See also:

Four Friends and a Babymoon in Morro Bay on California’s Highway

 

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/krubin0830/

instagram.com/famtravltr/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

 

Feel the Love Throughout New York City This Valentine’s Day Weekend

February 10, 2016
Love fills the air throughout New York City through Valentine's Day weekend © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Love fills the air throughout New York City through Valentine’s Day weekend © 2016 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Feel the love in New York City this Valentine’s Day. Throughout Valentine’s Day weekend, the City’s five boroughs will be filled with activities and events where residents and visitors can find their true love or cherish time with their loved ones.

“New York City is the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable and romantic Valentine’s Day getaway,” said Fred Dixon, president and CEO of NYC & Company. “From a date night under the stars of the Hayden Planetarium to romantic nature walks and chocolate tastings at Wave Hill in the Bronx, the heart of the five boroughs can be felt throughout the City.”

At the crossroads of the world in Times Square, celebrate Valentine’s Day at the Heart of Hearts public art installation. The display features 12 golden mirrored hearts that create a kaleidoscopic effect, reflecting the fast pace action of Times Square. Those looking for the perfect spot to renew their vows can join hundreds of locals and visitors at Duffy Square for a vow renewal ceremony. When the sun goes down, a special midnight moment by artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss will span across Times Square’s billboards for three minutes before midnight every night in February, presented in partnership with the Guggenheim Museum. (timessquarenyc.org).

Theatergoers who are in town during Valentine’s Day weekend can take advantage of 2-for-1 tickets to some of New York City’s best shows during Off-Broadway Week. Featuring more than 30 productions, Off-Broadway Week makes seeing a production more accessible and affordable. To purchase tickets, visit nycgo.com/offbroadwayweek.

Other Valentine’s Day events and activities taking place throughout the City include:

American Museum of Natural History: The stars of the Hayden Planetarium will illuminate on Valentine’s Day evening with a special Romance Under the Stars event. The museum invites couples for this unique date night, complete with an open bar cocktail hour, champagne, chocolates, hors d’oeuvres and music by the Josh Rutner Quartet, followed by romance storytelling under the stars of the Planetarium. To purchase tickets, visit amnh.org.

The Bronx Museum of the Arts: Kids can create their own special valentine with arts and crafts on Saturday, February 13. There will be activities throughout the afternoon and plenty of fun for the entire family (bronxmuseum.org).

Brooklyn Museum: In celebration of Valentine’s Day, take the free Love and Lust in American Art tour, which includes a stop at the American Identities installation and the exciting Coney Island: Visions of an American Dreamland exhibition (brooklynmuseum.org).

Bronx Zoo: On Valentine’s Day, the Bronx Zoo’s Name a Roach event will crawl back to life. Visitors can keep an eye out for more information about this year’s event at bronxzoo.com.

Brookfield Place: Purchase gifts for a special someone at Dry Bar, Cos Bar and many other fine shops at the new Brookfield Place in Lower Manhattan. When done shopping, take a romantic walk beneath the 650 color-changing lanterns in the Winter Garden atrium as part of the Luminaries lighting display, which has been extended through Monday, February 29. (artsbrookfield.com).

Carnegie Hall: Mitsuko Uchida will conduct The Cleveland Orchestra from the piano as they charm the audience with beautiful melodies of Mozart this Valentine’s Day. The blend of the heroic and humane makes Piano Concerto No. 25 one of Mozart’s most popular, and the andante movement’s tenderness will fill your heart with love. To purchase tickets, visit carnegiehall.org.

Central Park Conservancy Ice Festival: This Valentine’s Day, celebrate at Central Park Conservancy’s Fifth Annual Ice Festival in Naumburg Bandshell. The event includes ice carving, a photo booth, a Central Park trivia contest, sweet treats and, as night falls, a 1980s-themed silent disco with DJs and more. For information on this free event, visit centralparknyc.org.

Cupid’s Chase 5K New York: Community Options, Inc., will hold its Annual Cupid’s Chase 5K Run on Saturday, February 13, kicking off at 10am in the West Village. The race will take place at Hudson River Park’s Charles Street Pier (enter at Christopher Street). To register, go to comop.org.

Empire State Building: The world famous Empire State Building will host 14 lucky pre-selected couples on Valentine’s Day as they say “I Do” on the 86th floor observation deck. At night, the spectacular heartbeat light show illuminates the building with shades of red, pink and white. Visit esbnyc.com for more information.

Gotham Archery: Learn how to shoot a bow and arrow like Cupid at Brooklyn’s Gotham Archery during Valentine’s Day weekend. After a brief intro class, archers can test their skills on one of the 30 shooting lanes and enjoy some friendly competition. To book a class, visit got-archery.com.

Historic Richmond Town: Take a step back in time, tour village homes from the 1690s to 1860s and see images of valentines from the General Store’s collection at Staten Island’s Historic Richmond Town on Saturday, February 6. Participate in the Victorian Valentine Workshop, where guests will learn about Victorian scraps, paper lace and decoupage to create their own valentine (historicrichmondtown.org).

Hornblower New York Cruises: This Valentine’s Day, sail aboard a love boat with one of several Hornblower New York cruises. From a Valentine’s Day Dinner Cruise to a two-hour happy hour mixer aboard the Aboard Alive After Five cruise, a cruise around the City’s skyline makes for an unforgettable evening. To book, visit hornblowernewyork.com.

Jazz at Lincoln Center: The sound of jazz will fill the air as Jazz at Lincoln Center offers three musical jazz performances through Valentine’s Day weekend. A regular at Jazz at Lincoln Center, singer Cécile McLorin Salvant will put on a Valentine’s Day–inspired performance that will have you feeling the love. Monty Alexander & Friends: Sinatra at 100 will treat you to jazz hits that will satisfy both nostalgic and contemporary tastes. In addition, jazz pianist and singer Freddy Cole will share Songs for Lovers, a great way to end a date night. To purchase tickets, visit jazz.org.

Love Sculpture: While exploring the sights of Midtown Manhattan, take a photo in front of the Love Sculpture. Originally designed by American artist Robert Indiana as a Christmas card for the Museum of Modern Art, the sculpture sits on the corner of Sixth Avenue and 55th Street and is the perfect backdrop for a Valentine’s Day photo. For those looking for hope in the new year, not too far away is the Hope Sculpture on the corner of Seventh Avenue and 53rd Street.

Museum Hack: Couples can join Museum Hack for a private tour of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, where a guide will reveal stories of love, relationships, fertility and ancient longing. Book a tour at museumhack.com.

Museum of the Moving Image: The Museum of the Moving Image in Queens will be screening several films throughout the day including Inside Out and Burden of Dreams. Families can also check out the family workshop and learn what goes into designing their favorite characters. For screening schedules, visit movingimage.us.

National Lighthouse Museum: All lighthouse lovers are invited to Staten Island on Saturday, February 6, for a beautiful evening of Valentine cabaret. Special signature drinks, hors d’oeuvres and entertainment are all part of a night to remember. To register, go to lighthousemuseum.org.

New York Botanical Garden: Between chocolate tastings and exploring the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory, visitors to the Bronx are in for an immersive treat on Valentine’s Day. Walk through beautiful tropical rain forests of the conservatory, have a special love poem written and listen to music under the palm dome. Champagne, beer and wine will also be available for purchase (nybg.org).

New York Public Library: On Thursday, February 11, the New York Public Library will present Shakespeare, Love and Spring at Lincoln Center. This free performance is on a first come, first serve basis and features skits and songs of women in love, doomed love and universal love (nypl.org).

NYC Candy Stores: Sweeten your visit to New York with gifts from around the City. At M&M’s World Times Square, create customized M&M’s candies with your own image and personal message for special someone. Also stock up on jelly beans, gummies, chocolates and apparel at Dylan’s Candy Bar in Manhattan. Voilà Chocolat invites chocolate lovers to dip their own chocolate-covered strawberries, top off their own artisanal truffles and create personalized chocolate bars with love messages on Valentine’s Day weekend.

On Location Tours’ Romantic Movie Moments Tour: On the Romantic Movie Moments Tour, a local New York City actor will bring to life some of the most alluring movie locations featured on the big screen, including the bookstore where Harry and Sally met in When Harry Met Sally. To book a tour, go to onlocationtours.com.

One World Observatory: With breathtaking 360-degree views, One World Observatory, the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, can be the perfect place for a memorable night. The Date Night package includes admission for two, two glasses of prosecco and chocolate truffles. To purchase tickets, visit oneworldobservatory.com or call 800-416-7192.

Queens Botanical Garden: For an unusual yet fun Valentine’s Day weekend event, the Queens Botanical Garden invites bird lovers to their 19th Annual Bird Counting Event. The event will include a nature walk, scavenger hunt and bird spotting along the way. To register for this free event, visit queensbotanical.org.

Rainbow Room: Atop Rockefeller Center, the beautiful Rainbow Room will be open for brunch and dinner, with live music from Vince Giorando & The Nighthawks and Nightingale Jazz Band, throughout Valentine’s Day weekend. Gigacup oysters, truffled boulangere potatoes and roasted salsify are just some of the delicious offerings to be found. To book a table, go to rainbowroom.com.

Staten Island Museum: Painter Sarah Yuster will share insights into her dreamy and romantic works of art depicting the lush landscapes and streets of Staten Island at the Staten Island Museum at Snug Harbor on Saturday, February 13; wine will be served. To register, visit statenislandmuseum.org.

St. George Theatre: On Saturday, February 13, the St. George Theatre in Staten Island will host its exclusive Murder Mystery Dinner Show: Crime and Pun-ishment. Couples are invited to wear their best pin-striped suits and flapper dresses as a pair of undercover feds and jilted lovers make an appearance at this fun speakeasy. Book a table at stgeorgetheatre.com.

The Rink at Rockefeller Center: For those ready to pop the question, The Rink at Rockefeller Center is offering three VIP packages as part of its Engagement on Ice program. All packages include exclusive ice time and a celebratory romantic glide as the crowd cheers. Couples can also choose their favorite song to play and enjoy a celebratory champagne toast for an unforgettable proposal. For more information, visit the rinkatrockcenter.com.

Top of the Rock: As part of the 2016 Winter Starlight Music Series, Top of the Rock Observation Deck will host a special Valentine’s Day concert with a live performance from Joelle and the Pinehurst Trio. Guests will be immersed in 360-degree views of the City as they enjoy food and beverage available for purchase from The Sea Grill. To purchase tickets, visit topoftherocknyc.com; concert is free with price of admission.

Wave Hill: The intimate winter gardens of Wave Hill in the Bronx are a perfect backdrop for spending time with someone you love on Valentine’s Day. Adults can enjoy a decadent chocolate and wine tasting, where they can learn about how the chocolates were made from a premier chocolate maker. Families can enjoy a nature walk through the gardens, spot heart-shaped leaves and create a special keepsake to take home (wavehill.org).

Your Love, Our Musical: Located in Brooklyn’s Gowanus neighborhood, the Littlefield venue will host Your Love, Our Musical on Valentine’s Day, where comedians Rebecca Vigil and Evan Kaufman will interview a real couple and create an improvised musical about the couple’s love story. Tickets to this fun celebration of love can be purchased online at littlefieldnyc.com.

In addition to these events, there are several Valentine’s Day and romantic-themed hotel packages throughout the City:

Hotel Packages 

Hilton Garden Inn Staten Island and Hampton Inn & Suites Staten Island: For a quiet getaway that is close to all the action, the Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Inn & Suites Staten Island have several offerings as part of their “Eat. Stay. Love” package during Valentine’s Day weekend. Enjoy a three-course dinner at Lorenzo’s Restaurant, Bar & Cabaret or a lavish gourmet brunch buffet, complete with romantic piano music. Overnight accommodations are also available and includes in-room champagne and a breakfast buffet. For reservations, go to lorenzodining.com or call 718-477-2400.

Loews Regency New York: For the perfect girls’ night, the Loews Regency New York on the Upper East Side is offering a Girls’ Night In package, complete with a $200 food and beverage credit, monogrammed bathrobes and slippers, an in-room movie and accommodations in a grand or luxury suite. Spa treatments at the Julien Farel Salon are also available for an additional cost. To book the package, visit loewshotels.com or call 212-759-4100.

The Marmara Park Avenue: One of Manhattan’s newest hotels, the Marmara Park Avenue invites couples to book their Suite Hearts package on Valentine’s Day weekend. The package includes a drink at the OneOne-Four Bar & Lounge, a carriage ride around Central Park, a special hammam treatment for two in the authentic Turkish hammam and complementary early check in and late check out. To book, visit park.marmaranyc.com or call 212-603-9000.

The New York EDITION: Celebrate the month of love in style with the New York EDITION’s Suite Surrender package, which includes overnight accommodations, a premium bottle of rosé, a white rose petal turndown service and room service breakfast for two. To book a room, visit editionhotels.com/new-york or call 212-413-4200.

Peninsula New York: Romance is in the air during Valentine’s Day weekend at The Peninsula New York. The hotel’s Lucky in Love package includes accommodations in a deluxe king room, one dozen roses, a bottle of champagne and daily breakfast or brunch for two. Upon arrival, guests will receive a red envelope that could contain a complimentary upgrade to a suite, free dessert, a champagne toast at the rooftop bar and lounge and more. Go to newyork.peninsula.com or call 212-956-2888 to learn more.

Royalton New York: Couples can warm up by the fireplace and book a special Royalton Fireplace hotel package. The package features a choice of scented fireplace wood including oak, pecan, maple, hickory apple or limited-edition Burn Baby Burn Cherry Wood in the room’s fireplace. In addition, couples can enjoy cherry-chipotle braised short rib, a specially made cocktail named “My Cherry Amore,” a selection of desserts and more. To book, visit royaltonhotel.com or call 212-869-4400.

Sheraton New York Times Square: For the ultimate and memorable New York luxury experience, book a Penthouse Escape Package at the Sheraton New York Times Square. Relax in their two-level, 3,500 square-foot Penthouse Suite on the 45th floor overlooking Times Square and Central Park, complete with bottomless premium wine tastings, an in-suite gourmet cooking session and more. To book, visit sheratonnewyork.com or call 212-581-1000.

The Westin New York Grand Central: Just a short stroll from Bryant Park in Manhattan, the Westin New York Grand Central is offering a romantic getaway for couples with their Presidential Suite package. The package includes a split of prosecco, a personal guided Manhattan run, late checkout and accommodations in the 1,035-square-foot Presidential Suite on the 40th floor, complete with sweeping views of the skyline and a Jacuzzi tub. To reserve, call 212-490-8900 or visitwestinnewyorkgrandcentral.com and enter code PRSPKG.

For other great Valentine’s Day weekend events, visit nycgo.com/valentinesday.

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

In Celebration of Valentine’s Day, Villas of Distinction® Names its Top Five Most Romantic Villa Vacations

February 14, 2014
Leamington Cottage in Barbados is one of the five most romantic places for a villa vacation.

Leamington Cottage in Barbados is one of the five most romantic places for a villa vacation.

Love is in the air and the villa experts at Villas of Distinction®, the world’s premier villa rental company as part of World Travel Holdings, are sharing five of the most romantic villa vacations.

Count them down …

5. Leamington Cottage in Barbados – Couples can relax, sit back and enjoy each other while a cook prepares their favorite meal for a romantic dinner on the spacious terrace with breathtaking views of the beach and sea, and a housekeeper takes care of the cleaning — what’s more romantic than that? This one-bedroom, one-bath self-contained cottage has its own private entrance and is located on the beachfront in front of a reef, which is ideal for swimming and snorkeling with your sweetie.

4. Les Palmiers in St. Martin – Extreme privacy is what makes this villa a dreamy location for adoring couples looking to spend time beachfront. Les Palmiers, a one-bedroom villa with a king-sized bed sits on Baie Rouge Beach with spectacular views of Anguilla. Couples will enjoy sipping a drink in the daybed on the marble pool terrace just feet from the beach. Les Palmiers was also named the prime honeymoon location in St. Martin by “L’Art de voyager.”

3. Bali Hale Cottage in Maui – Covered patios surround this cozy hideaway for the best of outdoor living along with spectacular ocean and mountain views. If passion in a relationship equals adventure … this is the right getaway. Bali Hale Cottage is located near Launiupoko Beach Park, which offers adventures such as whale watching, surfing, snorkeling, kayaking and more. This elegant one bedroom allows guests to enjoy the tranquility of peaceful sunsets while being just minutes away from the action — fine dining, theater, shopping, parasailing, deep sea fishing, scuba diving, championship golf courses, Hawaiian Luaus, and dozens of white sand beaches.

2. The Loft in Tuscany – Italy is considered one of the most romantic destinations and a stay at The Loft, a completely renovated apartment just a few steps from Piazza Santa Croce, in the historical center of Florence is the perfect setting to fall in love all over again. A couple who enjoys the rural chic feel will relish in The Loft’s features including hardwood floors, high original beamed ceilings and two large luminous windows facing a narrow street, typical of old Florence. The dining area and fully-equipped kitchen with all the modern finishes is the ideal room to create a romantic meal together.

1. Tremoille in Paris – Paris … the city of love, a favorite destination for couples enjoying their honeymoon, renewing their wedding vows, or just wanting to rekindle their love. Tremoille oozes love with its early 19th-century setting, large windows overlooking a quiet courtyard and its contemporary elegance with a beige leather sofa and glass coffee table. Exploring one of the most seductive cities in the world is sure to spice up any relationship.

Of course the definition of romance is different for everyone and the villas offered by Villas of Distinction offer something for all types of romantics. To find a villa vacation that fits your relationship, visit www.VillasofDistinction.com or call 1-800-289-0900 to speak to a Villa Specialist who can customize a romantic adventure.

Villas of Distinction®, part of World Travel Holdings, is a premier luxury villa provider with an extensive portfolio of thousands of privately-owned villas in more than 50 luxurious destinations. For nearly 25 years, Villas of Distinction and its team of expert concierges have been helping travelers find their perfect vacation home without a membership fee. The company takes pride in offering customized vacations to meet every imaginable need, with most villas featuring private pools, butlers, maids and chefs. www.VillasofDistinction.com.

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

‘Miami Vices’ Couples Getaway Pulsates with ’80s Soundtrack at Mayfair Hotel Miami

February 9, 2014
Mayfair Hotel & Spa Miami

Mayfair Hotel & Spa Miami

The Mayfair Hotel & Spa Miami celebrates its shared 30th birthday with Miami Vice, which filmed at the hotel, by orchestrating sizzling new packages for Miami Romance Month, featuring a soundtrack based on the 1980s hit songs from the TV show, designed to score the perfect lovers’ getaway.

“The Mayfair’s new collection of romantic escapes showcases Miami Vice’s groundbreaking use of pop music, it was the first TV program to broadcast in stereo and to feature current hit songs in every episode,” said the hotel’s General Manager Axel Gasser. “In 1984, both the Mayfair Hotel and Miami Vice debuted and became legendary Miami icons, along with the musical hits from Miami’s most decadent decade.”

While other programs traditionally used made-for-TV music, the producers of Miami Vice were the first to insist on using original music, spending $10,000 or more per episode to buy the rights to hit songs by contemporary artists. Having a new single played on Miami Vice was a boost to musicians and to record companies, and sparked a groundbreaking new trend.

Whether you rocked out to 80s metal mania, bopped to New Wave, or jammed to synth-pop and electro dance, you can soundtrack your own romantic getaway thanks to these packages that hit the high notes from The Mayfair Hotel & Spa Miami, honoring these beloved 80s hits from Miami Vice.

For adventurous couples, the hotel offers an adrenaline-rush for those who want to explore new heights together in their relationship. This high-speed thrill features a private plane ride for two, and climaxes in a tandem skydive as the lovers fall through the skies together.

The Mayfair has composed a very tactile escape for lovers, based on these lyrics: “Face to face, and back to back, you see and feel, my love attack. Turn out the light babe, are you someone else tonight.”

The Miami Vices Romance packages start at $1,150- $1,900. Reservations are required for the Miami Vices Romance packages, one week in advance of arrival date.

Miami Vice starred Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas, and shined the global spotlight on Miami as a hot new destination. The music on the series became a signature hallmark. The Miami Vice theme is the last TV show theme to make it to #1 on the Billboard charts, and several soundtrack albums dominated the airwaves.

The show was so popular that major pop stars of the time were clamoring to have their songs included on the episodes.

Some of the leading music stars of the day even made guest appearances on the show, including: Sheena Easton, Gene Simmons of Kiss, Robert Palmer, John Taylor and Andy Taylor of Duran Duran, Phil Collins, Bernard Edwards of Chic, El DeBarge and Fiona.

Reservations are required for the Miami Vices Romance packages, one week in advance of arrival date.

To book the Miami Vices Romance adventure, call the hotel’s “Vice” specialists at 305 441 0000.

The Mayfair Hotel & Spa is part of the Schlesinger family’s iconic portfolio of hospitality excellence, including its sister property the Brazilian Court Hotel in Palm Beach.

Heralding its 30th anniversary with the completion of more than $10 million in extensive renovations, The Mayfair Hotel & Spa is located in the heart of Miami’s historic “first neighborhood,” The Village of Coconut Grove. The boutique architectural gem is the only Gaudi-inspired hotel in the United States, an artistic masterpiece that blends Art Nouveau, Asian and Old World European inspirations.

The dramatic interior atriums teem with elaborate Asian gardens and fountains. Subtropical fantasias cocoon guests inside a private Zen oasis – overflowing with palm trees, orchids, tropical ferns and bamboo, birds and butterflies, monolithic columns and Tiffany stained glass ceilings. Hand-carved by local artists, the Mahogany woodwork and doorways, copper and stone sculptural creations are all one-of-a-kind (the molds were broken after the unveilings).

The Mayfair features 179 luxury suites, most with private terraces and Japanese Soaking Tubs (built for two), imported Brazilian doors, marble bathrooms with Roman Spa Baths, stone floors, sea-grass furnishings, hand-carved Mahogany headboards, and opulent details.

The indulgent culinary experiences at The Mayfair are helmed by Executive Chef Dario Correa. The Italian trattoria Spartico showcases a stone-faced wood-burning Ambrogi oven imported directly from Milan. Above the Mayfair surrounds the decadent rooftop pool and cabanas.

The hotel boasts one of a handful of Jurlique Australian Spas in America, a 4,500 square-foot holistic day-spa with sunlit treatment suites, a Couples’ Suite for dual treatments, and certified-organic products that are biodegradable and exclusively grown on Jurlique’s private farms in South Australia’s pristine Adelaide Hills.

The property is pet-friendly, has a 24-hour Fitness Center, 15,000 square-feet of events and meeting space, and offers a complete Business Center with complimentary WiFi in all rooms and common areas.

The Mayfair Hotel Miami is celebrating its 30th anniversary along with Miami Vice, which filmed at the hotel, featuring yearlong promotions and special events to be announced throughout 2014.

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Half Moon Bay Coastside is Place Go for Romance

February 9, 2014
The Half Moon Bay Coastside, a beautiful coastal region approximately 40 minutes South of San Francisco, comes together to celebrate the month of love with romantic getaway packages, kayaking adventures and an opportunity to create a glass blown heart to commemorate the weekend.

The Half Moon Bay Coastside, a beautiful coastal region approximately 40 minutes South of San Francisco, comes together to celebrate the month of love with romantic getaway packages, kayaking adventures and an opportunity to create a glass blown heart to commemorate the weekend.

The Half Moon Bay Coastside has long been considered one of the most romantic places in the world so what better place than to celebrate Valentine’s Weekend? The Half Moon Bay Coastside, a beautiful coastal region approximately 40 minutes South of San Francisco, comes together to celebrate the month of love with romantic getaway packages, kayaking adventures and an opportunity to create a glass blown heart to commemorate the weekend.

Below is a sampling of the Valentine’s Day merriment along the Half Moon Bay Coastside. Visit www.visithalfmoonbay.org for everything needed to plan a visit including information on cozy inns and luxury coastal resorts, renowned restaurants, farm visits, golfing, wine tasting, fishing, whale watching, surfing and much more.

– ROMANTIC ADVENTURES –

Romance in the Sky
See Half Moon Bay from an entirely new vantage point with a romantic airplane tour. Take in the aerial views of the dramatic Pacific coastline or fly up to see the Golden Gate Bridge in this once in a lifetime experience. The U-Fly Adventure SkyTour puts guests in the pilot seat and lets “U-Fly” the airplane for 95% of the flight. The professional pilots will take care of the takeoff and landing while ensuring that their co-pilots have a fun and safe experience. Each flight can accommodate up to two passengers. Flights depart from the Half Moon Bay and San Carlos Airports. Check website for pricing and to book your next flight. (650) 804-0665,  www.flybayarea.com.

Hearts & Wine
During the month of February, why not create your very own hand blown glass heart for the one you love? During one of Half Moon Bay Art Glass classes, students learn the art of glass blowing by creating a one-of-a-kind glass heart. Following the class, wander next door to neighboring La Nebbia Winery for some wine tasting. Class is $60 per student and hearts are available the next day for pickup or can be shipped for a small fee. Half Moon Bay Art Glass at La Nebbia Winery, 12341 San Mateo Road on Hwy 92, (650) 283-5626, www.hmbartglass.com.

Whale Watching
For a romantic adventure, hit the high seas to witness the annual migration of the gray whales. Through the months of February and March, approximately 15,000 gray whales swim south from the icy waters of the Arctic to mate and nurse their young in the warm, shallow lagoons along Magdalena Bay in Baja, California. Gray whales move at a steady speed of about five miles per hour, and most can be spotted in an area that extends from the kelp beds (about 3/4 miles from the shoreline) out to the horizon.

Several local companies offer whale-watching excursions:

Kayak Pillar Point Harbor
There may be nothing more romantic than paddling through the gorgeous Pillar Point Harbor on a tandem kayak with the one you love. Discover the world of sea kayaking in a dynamic and diverse environment. Paddle amongst seals, birds, and other marine life in protected Pillar Point Harbor or for the more adventurous couple, head into the wild blue waters of the Pacific Ocean. Guests can choose from single, double, and triple kayaks. Half Moon Bay Kayak, 2 Johnson Pier, (650) 773-6101, www.hmbkayak.com.

– INDULGE IN VALENTINE’S INSPIRED DISHES –

Half Moon Bay Brewing Company
Known for their award-winning, handcrafted beer and sustainable coastal cuisine, Half Moon Bay Brewing Company is planning a special Beer & Dessert Pairing Menu for Valentine’s Day that is sure to light the fires of romance! In addition to a delicious selection of Oysters Rockefeller and flat iron steak with blue cheese, dessert lovers can indulge in items such as  “beeramisu” and a Mavericks Chocolate Porter Ice Cream Sandwich with chocolate ganache and beer vanilla sauce, both paired with special housemade brews. Available from February 7-17. On Valentine’s Day children under 12 dine for free from the healthy kids menu with the purchase of an adult entrée. 390 Capistrano Rd., (650) 728-2739, www.hmbbrewingco.com. Media Contact: Caitlin Sandberg (530) 400-9207, caitlin@ellipsespr.com.

La Costanera
Known for their contemporary Peruvian cuisine and breathtaking views of the Pacific, La Costanera is celebrating Valentine’s Day in culinary style by offering a special prix fixe menu with some of Chef Altamirano’s special dishes such as lobster bisque, tuna tartare and Scallops Carlitos, along with eight delicious entrees ranging from pan roasted swordfish to grass fed Creekstone Black Angus New York steak. The Valentine’s Day dinner is $85 per person. 8150 Cabrillo Hwy, Montara Beach, (650) 728-1600, www.lacostanerarestaurant.com.

Navio at The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay
Spend Valentine’s Day at Navio savoring a taste of the sea at its most authentic while basking in the aromas from the smoky, wood-fire oven. Romance seekers will enjoy their choice of a five-course Champagne Dinner or a Valentine’s Brunch.

  • Valentine’s Champagne Dinner- Experience a five-course dinner with offerings such as beet cured salmon, house made ricotta ravioli, beef tenderloin or olive oil poached mero bass. End the evening with a citrus passion dessert and a chocolate gift box for each couple. Dinner is offered February 14- 16 from 5 to 9 p.m. The dinner is $165 per person with wine pairing; $125 per person without wine pairing.
  • Valentine’s Brunch- Enjoy brunch at Navio on February 15 or 16. A chocolate lover’s dessert room will enhance the award winning brunch. Valentine’s Brunch is $98 per person and seatings are available at 11 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

Reservations are required for all Valentine’s weekend dining events and can be made by calling 650-712-7000. 1 Miramontes Point Road, (650) 712-7000, www.ritzcarlton.com/hmb. Media Contact: Deanne French, (949) 240-5088, Deanne.French@ritzcarlton.com.

The Observatory Room at The Ritz-Carlton Half Moon Bay
A Valentine Jazz and Romance Dinner awaits guests during an unforgettable evening which includes a four-course prix fix menu with selections such as seafood platters, pumpkin and roasted chestnut ravioli, surf and turf (beef tenderloin and main lobster), along with wine pairings and a gift box of chocolate truffles to share (one per couple). Live jazz music will entertain guests throughout the evening. Dinner is priced at $280 per couple and is offered Friday, February 14 with seatings available at 6 and 8:30 p.m. Reservations are required and can be made by calling 650-712-7000. 1 Miramontes Point Road, (650) 712-7000, www.ritzcarlton.com/hmb. Media Contact: Deanne French, (949) 240-5088, Deanne.French@ritzcarlton.com.

Sam’s Chowder House 
Known for fresh, off-the-boat seafood and stunning views of the Pacific, Sam’s is featuring their first Wine Lover’s Lobster Clambake Night on February 12 with complimentary wine tasting by Franciscan Estate Winery. On Valentine’s Day, indulge in culinary specials such as lobster bisque and ?. Cap off the evening with palate pleasing chocolate “Blackout” cake with raspberry mousse or a chocolate ganache. 4210 North Cabrillo Highway, (650) 712-0245, www.samschowderhouse.com. Media Contact: Julie Shenkman, (650) 726-1005, julie@julieshenkman.com.

Moss Beach Distillery
Famous for their stunning ocean view dining and great local seafood, Moss Beach Distillery will offer a three-course prix fixe Valentine’s menu featuring Filet Mignon, Pesto Stuffed Salmon, Roasted Vegetable Lasagna, Chicken Marsala and Linguini Di Mare. Before or after dinner, cozy up under a blanket on the outside patio while gazing at the ocean. Price is $75 per person and includes a special gift for the ladies. 140 Beach Way, Moss Beach, (650) 728-5595, www.mossbeachdistillery.com.

– STAY IN LOVE –

S’mores Package and Spa Romance
Known for their breathtaking vistas and soft ocean breezes, The Ritz-Carlton, Half Moon Bay provides an intimate setting for couples to enjoy a Valentine’s celebration.

  • Experience S’more Romance – Guests are invited to rekindle romance and passion at the Northern California coastal resort with the “S’more Romance Package” that includes accommodations in a Terrace Fire Pit guest room, a $200 daily spa credit, a s’mores kit for two to enjoy by the fire, full daily breakfast for two in Navio or in-room dining and the resort fee. For added pampering, couples can enjoy a Romance Bath. Glowing candlelight and soft music set the stage for a luxurious bath filled with bubbles, infused with alluring essential oils, and topped with fresh rose petals. Luscious shea butter moisturizer and hand-made soap complete the experience. S’More Romance Package starts at $1,115 and the Romance Bath is $75.
  • Romance in The Spa – Ideal for couples, the Romancing the Stone” massage treatment includes the resort’s signature couples massage with the use of hot stones for warmth and to help melt away tension. Following the treatment, couples will enjoy a glass of champagne or sparkling cider. Romancing the Stone is available for 60 or 90 minutes and starts at $415 per couple.

One Miramontes Point Road, (650) 712-7040; www.ritzcarlton.com/hmb. Media Contact: Deanne French, (949) 240-5088, Deanne.French@ritzcarlton.com.

It’s Amore Package
Seal Cove Inn, a serene hideaway set amongst a meadow of wildflowers and bordered by cypress trees, has partnered with It’s Italia Restaurant to celebrate the month of love. The “It’s Amore Package” includes a one night stay at Seal Cove Inn, a bottle of bubbly at check-in and dinner at It’s Italia ($100 value). For true romance and relaxation, be sure to take advantage of an in-room massage for an additional $120 per person. Subject to availability from February 1 – 28. Packages starting at $350. Must call the Inn directly for reservations. 221 Cypress Avenue, Moss Beach, (800) 995-9987, www.sealcoveinn.com.

Love is in the air at Oceano Hotel
With a spectacular location overlooking picturesque Pillar Point Harbor, this luxurious seaside locale is the perfect place to celebrate Valentine’s Day with the one you love! Guests can enjoy the serene coastside from their private balcony with a bottle of wine and a box of chocolates. Head to dinner with a $75 voucher for a local restaurant (Miramar, Moss Beach or Flavor) and the following morning indulge in breakfast for two in the lounge or delivered in-room. Packages are available for one or two nights and start at $415. 280 Capistrano Road, (650) 726-5400, www.oceanohalfmoonbay.com.

Champagne  at Goose & Turrets
Goose & Turrets Bed & Breakfast in historic Montara is planning a special Valentine’s breakfast of champagne and souffles. Guests spending the night on February 13 or 14 will enjoy this romantic breakfast at no extra charge. In addition, owners Raymond and Emily Hoche-Mong will add some romantic French touches that they learned during their three-month stay in Chinon, France. Packages start at $175 plus tax. 835 George Street, Montara, (650) 728-5451, www.gooseandturretsbandb.com.

Half Moon Bay Coastside

The Half Moon Bay Coastside is a charming seaside respite located approximately 35 minutes south of San Francisco. Nestled between the Santa Cruz Mountains and the Pacific Ocean, this breathtaking region consists of four distinct areas – the North Coast, Half Moon Bay, the South Coast and the Redwood Region. Featuring the best of Northern California all in one place, visitors will enjoy miles of white sandy beaches, redwood forests, a historic downtown filled with local artisan shops, beautiful state parks, fields of wild flowers, and trails along ocean bluffs and mountain ridges as far as the eye can see. A sampling of activities includes horseback riding on the beach, farm fresh dining, shopping, biking, hiking and world-class golfing and surfing.

For more information on Half Moon Bay, download Half Moon Bay’s free app iCoastside, visit www.visithalfmoonbay.org or call (650) 726-8380. For the latest news on the area, visit www.visithalfmoonbay.org/blog, join Facebook www.facebook.com/visithalfmoonbay and follow on Twitter www.twitter.com/visithmb and check out YouTube www.youtube.com/visithmb

For more travel features, visit:

www.examiner.com/eclectic-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

www.examiner.com/international-travel-in-national/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures