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Romancing the O.C.

Romantic ideas and activities for celebrating Valentines Day in Orange County


From romantic escapes and classic dinner dates, to romance on the water and a hike along beach trails -- here are some ideas for celebrating Valentine’s Day in the O.C.

The Romantic Getaway

© Daniel R. Blume
Whether you’re looking for a high-end luxury experience, a quiet weekend in a cozy beach cottage, a spectacular view from a cliff-side hotel or an escape to a remote sea-side resort -- the O.C. Beach cities provide plenty of options for romantic getaways. Not sure where to start? Here’s a list of the top 10 beach hotels in Orange County.

The Classic Dinner Date

© Karol M
When it comes to courtship and romance, the classic dinner date has endured through the ages. Between restaurants on the waterfront in O.C. beach cities and still others with fantastic views from the hills, there's a variety of romantic restaurants to choose from. Whether you're in the thick of new love or celebrating a love that has stood the test of time, it's hard to go wrong with a romantic dinner for two.

The Gondola Ride

© Carolyn Conner
You don’t have to go to Italy to experience the romance of a gondola ride; Gondola Adventures in Newport Beach brings the romance to Orange County. Sunset is prime-time for romance, so book your reservations well in advance.

Whale Watching at Sunset

© Chris Willis
If you're looking for a unique Valentines activity, a sunset whale watching cruise through the Dana Point harbor may be just the ticket. The '95 Dana Pride sets sail at 4:00 p.m. and the $32 admission includes champagne, chocolates and other treats. Make dinner reservations at one of the harbor restaurants and top the night off in indulgent style.

Take a Stroll

© Caitlin Childs
A walk on the beach may seems like a dating profile cliche, but it has long been considered a romantic activity. For a unique bent on this romantic tradition, local parks, trails and nature reserves provide great options. The Bolsa Chica Wetlands, Newport BackBay and San Clemente trails are just a few ideas for outdoorsy couples. You might even consider a leisurely sunset bike ride along the PCH trail between Huntington and Newport Beach.

Take a Cruise

© Basheer Tome
Dana Point and Newport Beach both provide options for sunset harbor-cruises. Tickets for the Newport Beach cruise are $25 or $50 to add unlimited drinks. The Dana Point cruise includes wine, cheese, hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar for $49. Visit the websites to for reservations and booking information.

For Lovers Only Concert

© Getty Images
Celebrate Valentine's Day with soulful songstress Roberta Flack at the O.C. Performing Arts Center in Costa Mesa. Showing Feb 9-11 only. Tickets start at $25 and are available online or at the box office.
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