8 ways to kick up the romance this Valentine’s Day in St. Augustine


By Laura Hampton


When you live in one of the most romantic cities in the U.S., sometimes you need a little reminder to kick the passion up a notch.

Luckly, Valentine’s Day comes around every Feb. 14.

Though any day is a good day to tell that special someone you care, Valentine’s Day provides an opportunity do something a little bit special for your sweetheart.

Some couples like the grand gestures and bold romantic statements, others like it a little more low key or even lighthearted.

Whatever your relationship’s “romance style” is, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in St. Johns County.

1. Wine and chocolate

The Gifted Cork combines two Valentine’s Day staples for an evening of palette sensory overload. The Eighth Annual Wine and Chocolate Valentine’s Tasting is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Feb. 10. The evening will feature six wines and locally crafted Claude’s Chocolates. The cost is $10 and the deadline for reservations is Feb. 9. For reservations, call 810-1083.

2. Sunset sail

Nothing could be more romantic than St. Augustine’s downtown cityscape — nothing except seeing it from a sailboat in the Matanzas Bay – at sunset! Schooner Freedom offers this romantic two-hour excursion all the time, but Valentine’s Day is an opportune time to take advantage of it. Schooner Freedom will set sail at 4:14 p.m. Feb. 10, 11, 12, 13 and 14. The cost is $50 per person and includes complimentary soda, water, beer and wine. Dolphins provided by nature. For reservations, call 810-1010.

3. Love and laughter

Playwright August Wilson said, “All you need in the world is love and laughter.”

On Feb. 12, the Limelight Theatre will combine those two necessities with the unscripted romantic comedy, “3 Blind Dates.”

The brainchild of improv instructor Amy Angelilli, “3 Blind Dates” follows three single ladies through a round of speed dating and the dates that occur as a result. The twist? The audience selects which speed dater goes on a date with each of the ladies.

The show will be from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $13 in advance and $15 at the door. For information, go to 3blinddatesshow.com.

4. A stunning bouquet

Valentine-worthy plants will be featured at Washington Oaks Gardens Second Saturday Plant Sale Feb. 11. If you’re looking for a something special for the gardener in your life, this is the place to pick up begonias, orchids, delphiniums, ferns and hanging baskets. The sale is from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and plant volunteers will be available to answer quesitons. For information, call 386-302-5590.

5. Classic theater

Theater’s around the world are celebrating 400 years of Shakespeare, the quinessential author of amore.

Locally, A Classic Theatre has planned a weekend performance of “For the Love of Shakespeare.” The theater’s tribute to the Bard is a trio of one-acts with a comedic twist. The one-act plays include “The Dark Lady of the Sonnets” by George Bernard Shaw, “SHAKESappear!” by Milton E. Polsky and “Something Rotten in Denmark” by Ann Karine (aka Annie G.).

Show times are 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17–18 and 2 p.m. Feb. 19 at the Pioneer Barn, 259 San Marco Ave.

Tickets are $20 for adults and $10 for students.

For tickets, go to aclassictheatre.org. For information, call 501-5093.

6. Decades of love songs

In celebration of Valentine’s Day, performer Sandro will sing favorite love songs from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s at the Main Library from 2 to 3 p.m. Feb. 7.

Sandro sings professionally at restaurants and other venues locally. The program is free and open to the public.

For information, call 827-6940.

7. Couple’s therapy

The epitome of luxury, a couple’s message is a great way to unwind from everyday stress and prepare for an enjoyable evening.

The newly opened Poseidon Spa offers a massage for two for $240 (50 minutes) or $360 (80 minutes). For reservations, call 819-6115.

8. Old-fashioned romance

A horse-drawn carriage ride through downtown St. Augustine is always romantic, but the Tasting Tours has elevated the experience with its three-hour Vittles &Vino Carriage Tour.

You and your sweetheart will be meander through the historic district, stopping along the way to indulge in food and wine pairings at four to five award-winning restaurants. The extravagant experience includes Prosecco toasts, fresh flowers for your speical someone and souveinr wine glasses. The cost is $139 per person. The tour departs at 2 p.m. Feb. 10–12. For reservations, go to thetastingtours.com.