6 Perfect National Park Dates for Valentine’s Day

Looking for the perfect date for Valentine’s Day? Plan an excursion to your nearest national park.

Offering up a one-of-a-kind experience before a stunning backdrop, it’s an ideal venue for a romantic date for two.

From spa treatments to stargazing, read on to learn more about the national parks that will help you have the best Valentine’s Day ever.

Watch the Sunset at Grand Canyon National Park

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View from Yvapai Point, sunrise. Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona (QT Luong)

Cozy up to your sweetheart and watch the sunset over the Grand Canyon in Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona. A majestic experience that leaves the entire canyon awash in color, it’s the perfect evening date for you and your valentine. The National Park Service suggests arriving at least 90 minutes prior to the sunset, so make sure to pack a picnic before you settle in to watch the show. On February 14th the sun sets at approximately 6:09 pm MST; for the best sunset locations visit the park service’s website.

Stargaze at Natural Bridges National Monument

Owachomo Bridge, Natural Bridges National Monument. Utah, USA
Owachomo Bridge, Natural Bridges National Monument. Utah (QT Luong)

What’s more romantic than an evening spent beneath the stars? Natural Bridges National Monument in Utah is in such a remote location that it was named the first International Dark Sky Park, which means that it has some of the darkest skies in the world. Dark skies mean more stars, and without all the light pollution of civilization, visitors to the park are often amazed at how the skies light up at night at Natural Bridges. For this romantic Valentine’s Day outing, bundle up, pack a blanket, and keep your eyes peeled for shooting stars.

Get Pampered at Hot Springs National Park

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Ozark Bath and Bathhouse row at night. Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas (QT Luong)

Hot Springs National Park in Arkansas is an ideal place to get some much-needed R&R with your loved one. For a traditional bath, visit the Buckstaff Bathhouse, a European-like bathhouse that has been open since the early 1900s. The bathhouse package includes a bathtub soak in mineral water, sauna steam, a needle shower, and hot towel wraps. To top it off, the experience ends with a 20-minute Swedish massage, making it the perfect spa day date, but with a much lower price tag.

Enjoy the Sand and Sea at Dry Tortugas National Park

Dry Tortugas National Park
Photo: Steve Lyon/CC by 2.0

What’s better than a day at the beach? A day at the beach when no one else around. Comprised of 99% water and located 70 miles from Key West, Dry Tortugas National Park is one of the most remote national parks in the United States. Dry Tortugas consists of seven islands and can only be reached by boat or seaplane. One of the park’s most popular activities is snorkeling— the park has a vibrant coral reef teeming with marine life. Make sure to look out for tortugas — or sea turtles — the famous reptile for which the park was originally named. Just remember to bring food and lots of water, as there are no concessions available at the park.

Stroll Through the National Mall at Night

The National Mall and Washington monument seen from the Capitol, sunset, National Mall, Washington DC (
The National Mall and Washington monument seen from the Capitol, sunset. Washington DC, USA (QT Luong)

The National Mall in Washington D.C. is one of the most visited national parks in the country. Chock full of world-famous memorials, monuments, and historical sites, the National Mall is an entirely different experience when illuminated at night.  For an ideal Valentine’s Day date, stroll hand-in-hand through the National Mall and behold the dazzling lights of the Lincoln Memorial,  the Washington Monument, and the Thomas Jefferson Memorial.  Plus, an evening walk is the perfect pre-dinner activity on your special Valentine’s Day date.

Ride a Horse Drawn Sleigh at Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park | Photo: Anita Ritenour/CC by 2.0
Yosemite National Park | Photo: Anita Ritenour/CC by 2.0

Lovebirds visiting Yosemite National Park in winter will delight in the opportunity to ride an authentic horse-drawn sleigh. Just two miles from the south entrance of the park, Yosemite Trails Saddle and Sleigh has Belgian Draft horses that carry a sleigh over the snow and through the woods to Skidders Camp. Upon arrival, sleigh riders will enjoy roasted marshmallows, hot apple cider, and cowboy coffee around a warm fire. The sleigh ride lasts 45 minutes so bundle up and get ready to snuggle next to your sweetheart.

 

Hallmark holiday aside, Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to get outside and spend time with someone you love. Which romantic outing are you hoping to try?

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Jersey Griggs is a freelance writer for hire based out of Portland, Maine. To learn more about Jersey, check out her website or follow her on Twitter.

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