Valentine's Day has long been associated with roses, heart-shaped chocolates, and red and pink everything.
Whether you're coupled up or single as a pringle, Valentine's Day can be about so much more!
For a fun, lighthearted take on Valentine's Day, we rounded up eight love-themed destinations. From some of the most iconic cities in the world to tiny towns you've probably never heard of, consider these places for new ways to celebrate this year.
8 Love-Themed Destinations to Visit
We've all heard the iconic slogan: "Virginia is for lovers."
Lovers of what exactly, nobody knows — and that's largely the point. Virginia is for lovers of beaches, of craft beer, of mountains, of history...and of course, for actual lovers.
See for yourself what the romantic hype is all about and plan a trip to this scenic love-themed destination. Visit Shenandoah National Park, take a history tour, chase waterfalls, sip your way through a brewery or winery trail, or go for a scenic drive.
2. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Perhaps the most romantic — in terms of ideals, at the very least — love-themed destination is Philadelphia.
This Pennsylvania metropolis known as the City of Brotherly Love got its name from two Greek words: phileo, which means love, and adelphos, meaning brother.
City founder William Penn had hopes that Philadelphia would become a city of religious tolerance. Later, Philly would play a major role in the human rights movement and become the birthplace of abolition.
Sounds pretty "brotherly" to us!
3. Paris, France
It goes without saying that Paris is one of the most romantic cities in the world. Even the very thought of Paris is inherently romantic.
But what, exactly, makes Paris the "City of Love?"
It's beautiful, for starters, especially after dark when the city comes to life with millions of lights. There's also the fact that Paris is home to not one but TWO of the top five most popular places in the world for proposals: the Eiffel Tower and Disneyland Paris.
What makes Paris one of the best love-themed destinations, though, is actually the Pont des Arts bridge, better known as the "love lock bridge." Here, hundreds of thousands of couples come to attach a padlock to the bridge, then throw the key into the river to symbolize eternal love.
This tradition is romantic, to be sure, but please note that in recent years, local officials have begun regularly removing the locks because the added weight on the bridge is a safety concern.
4. San Francisco, California
Although the famous saying "I left my heart in San Francisco" is actually a Tony Bennett song from the 1950s, it's become synonymous with the City by the Bay.
There are countless ways to enjoy this love-themed destination, whether you're a foodie, an outdoor enthusiast, a history buff, an arts connoisseur...we could go on and on.
A few of our favorite things to do in San Francisco include walking or biking across the Golden Gate Bridge, tasting your way through the Saturday morning farmer's market at the Ferry Building, and hiking the Land's End Trail.
It's also the perfect basecamp for visiting some of California's national parks or taking a day trip to Wine Country!
5. Loveland, Colorado
Loveland, Colorado was named in honor of William A.H. Loveland, president of the Colorado Central Railroad in the 1870s.
Today, the city best known as the gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park loves to play up its name (see what we did there?).
Loveland officially declares the entire month of February "Valentine's Season." The city hosts several love-themed community events including the Loveland Sweetheart Festival and decorates the city with hearts and heart art installations.
There's even an official Valentine Station in Loveland, where people can have letters from all over the world re-mailed from The Sweetheart City!
6. Lovers Key State Park, Florida
Not far from Fort Myers on the Florida Gulf, you'll find one of our favorite love-themed destinations: Lovers Key State Park.
For many years, this area could only be reached by boat. Lovers Key supposedly got its name because it was a popular destination for young courting couples looking for some privacy.
Today, the area is still especially pristine. Enjoy the uncrowded white sand beach, hike around the barrier islands, or paddle around the lagoons and canals, watching for manatees and dolphins.
7. Romance, Arkansas
It doesn't get much more love-themed than a town named Romance.
Truthfully, there's not much to see or do in Romance. In fact, only a couple thousand people live in the unincorporated community.
However, Romance's big draw isn't as a travel destination. It's the post office.
Every year, particularly around Valentine's Day, thousands of people from all over the world send letters to the Romance post office. For decades now, Romance's dedicated postal workers cancel and re-stamp those letters, cards, and invitations — by hand — and send them back out.
To have your own letter "hand stamped with love" in Romance, send it to the address listed here.
8. Valentine, USA
Did you know 15 states in America have towns named Valentine? The list includes Arizona, Indiana, Nebraska, South Carolina, and Texas.
None of these places qualify as much more than small towns, but they make for fun photo ops on road trips and have a great story!
Check out Keepers of the Wild, a wildlife sanctuary in Valentine, Arizona. You can also float down the Niobrara River in Valentine, Nebraska, although we recommend waiting until the summer.
We hope you feel inspired to explore or learn about some of these love-themed destinations and do something a little different this Valentine's Day!
And speaking of different, why not treat yourself (or your sweetheart!) to something other than chocolate and flowers this year? The Wander Club Travel Tokens make amazing gifts, with options for national parks, famous landmarks, and even your own custom ideas!