Baby, it's cold outside. But you can make February sizzle if you think beyond the bonbon box this Valentine's Day and plan a romantic out-of-town rendezvous.
Of course, countless hotels peddle cookie-cutter "romance packages." But most are meh — certainly not sweet enough to sweep anybody off their feet. So we've scouted out some of the most alluring romance adventures, located nearby or a nonstop flight away.
Some are surprisingly affordable; others will convince you that you can't put a price tag on romance. There are whirlwind weekends involving treks around town, and those that give you reasons not to leave the hotel room. Whichever you choose, your sweetie will surely say yes to practically anything you are proposing.
Conversely, being dateless this year doesn't mean you need to spend the holiday watching "Real Housewives" reruns with your cat. Grab your BFF and check into one of these epic "galentine" getaways — where you can reminisce, recharge and raise the roof — with the one who's always had your back. (Unless noted, rates quoted are double occupancy and do not include tax.)
Nemacolin Woodlands Resort, Farmington, Pa.
The setting: A spectacular five-diamond, four-season resort set upon 2,000 rolling acres, abounding with a sundry of recreational and dining diversions.
The romance: Nemacolin's Ultimate Bachelorette Package celebrates the dreamy date you've already selected. The two of you will spend four nights in the presidential suite with champagne, a private butler and daily breakfast, and be indulged with romantic epicurean dinners (one in a private cabin), a couples massage, dog-sledding, Jeep off-roading, a helicopter ride and a private photo shoot.
Details: $16,000. nemacolin.com. Nemacolin is 188 miles from Baltimore.
Inn At 202 Dover, Easton
The setting: Circa-1874 mansion in a picturesque, historic town on Maryland's Eastern Shore.
The romance: Two nights in a king suite with steam shower, airjet tub, rose-petal turn-down service (with champagne) and in-room breakfast. Awaiting you after a customized tour of Easton is a three-course afternoon tea and a $50 credit to dine in the Inn's Michelin-recognized restaurant.
Details: Feb. 10-12. $1,127. innat202dover.com. Inn At 202 Dover is a 70-mile drive from Baltimore.
Kimpton Mason & Rook Hotel, Washington, D.C.
The setting: Stylish urban hotel within walking distance of D.C.'s finest restaurants, boutiques and attractions.
The romance: The Put a Ring on It package provides everything one needs to "pop the question": accommodations in a Premier Spa Suite, appointment at a local jewelry store to select the ring, photographer to capture the moment, exclusive access to the hotel's scenic rooftop bar for post-engagement photos, a bottle of Mason & Rook's custom blend Joseph A. Magnus bourbon, two dozen roses, $100 bar credit to toast at adjacent-cocktail bar Radiator, discount on upcoming nuptials planned at the hotel.
Details: Available Feb. 10-19. From $1,145/night, rate code RING. masonandrookhotel.com. The MARC train travels from Baltimore's Penn Station to D.C.'s Union Station for $8.
San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino, San Juan, Puerto Rico
The setting: Four-star oceanfront hotel on Condado Beach.
The romance: The steamy Couples Retreat Package includes accommodations in an ocean/pool view room with private balcony, champagne and chocolate-covered strawberries, a one-hour salsa lesson, a candlelit dinner in Marriott's La Vista Latin Grill, a couples massage and happy hour.
Details: $356/night, three-night minimum. Promo code ES8, MarriottSanJuan.com. Southwest Air flies nonstop from BWI to San Juan, from $207.
The National Hotel, Miami Beach, Fla.
The setting: Historic art deco oceanfront (South Beach) digs. Need we say more?
The romance: Inspired by the provocative, about-to-be-released film "50 Shades Darker," The National's 50 Flavors of Romance package will tantalize all of your senses:
You'll indulge in a poolside dinner in the dark (blindfolded), sampling 50 dishes and 50 light bites of ice cream; and throughout the weekend be served 50 sips of champagne, 50 strawberries in different styles, a 50-minute couples massage, 50 flowers displayed around your room, 4 p.m. checkout and an ocean-view room upgrade.
Details: Feb. 1-28. From $885. ($635/package plus room choice) nationalhotel.com/specials. American Airlines flies nonstop from BWI to Miami International Airport, from $92.
Acme Hotel Co., Chicago
The setting: Boutique hipster hotel in Chicago's River North neighborhood — the first hotel in the U.S. to outfit guest rooms with Amazon Echo personal assistants.
The romance: Fantasy meets frisky in this Twisted Romance package, offering a standard king room, "Naked at the Art Museum" Scavenger Hunt, the game of Twister, ACME-branded panties (for her), risque conversation hearts, sexy dice, tequila, and 3 p.m. checkout.
Details: $199/couple. acmehotelcompany.com. Southwest, United and American Airlines fly nonstop from BWI to Chicago, from $78.
Boston's three Kimpton Hotels – Onyx, Marlowe and Nine Zero
The setting: Onyx and Nine Zero are located in the heart of Boston; Marlowe is in Cambridge.
The romance: Kimpton's Do Me Baby package leaves nothing to chance, filling your king deluxe guest room with highly potent aphrodisiacs: a bottle of prosecco, a Temptation Kit, a hot fudge sundae with cherries, $50 credit to the adult boutique Hubba-Hubba, a transportation credit and late checkout.
Hotel 48LEX, New York
The setting: Upscale boutique hotel in NYC's Midtown East neighborhood.
The romance: 48Lex's Angel/Devil weekend package dares you to choose between nice and naughty. "Angels" rise early in their luxe accommodations to use their complimentary pass to Brick Fitness CrossFit workout. They'll receive a branded yoga mat to take home and fresh-pressed juices, and participate in complimentary Vinyasa Yoga. "Devils" loll late in their room, feasting on a decadent breakfast served in bed, contemplating what to purchase with their $50 gift card to Bergdorf Goodman's intimate apparel store. They return to an in-room chilled bottle of Champagne. (For more devilish ideas, check out the Museum of Sex nearby: museumofsex.com.)
Details: Both packages include late checkout. Available through Feb. 28. From $279, hotel48lexnewyork.com. NYC is 192 miles from Baltimore, via car or Amtrak.
Cast a spell
Craddock Terry Hotel, Lynchburg, Va.
The setting: A quirky, shoe-themed hotel in the former Craddock Terry Shoe Co. headquarters, overlooking the James River and Blue Ridge Mountains.
The romance: News flash: Many women are passionate about shoes. So this Soul Mates package is guaranteed to send her head-over-heels for your oh-so-thoughtful trip-planning R&D. A bottle of champagne awaits your arrival. Once inside your deluxe abode, slip into "his and hers" slippers and munch on shoe-shaped cookies before heading out for dinner, with a $50 dining certificate. Remember to leave your shoes outside the room upon returning to your rose petal-covered, turned-down bed. When you open your door in the morning to retrieve the wooden shoebox containing your breakfast, you'll spot your shoes, freshly shined.
Details: From $289, valid throughout February. craddockterryhotel.com. Lynchburg is a 218-mile drive from Baltimore.
The Bethel Inn Resort, Bethel, Maine
The setting: Country inn-style resort offering four seasons of recreation, in a historic town.
The romance: Valentine's Day package offers overnight accommodations, a candlelit four-course dinner, country breakfast, a guided moonlit cross-country ski tour and glass of champagne under the stars, and use of all resort amenities including its 92-degree outdoor heated pool and saunas.
Details: From $259/couple. bethelinn.com. Southwest Air flies nonstop from BWI to Portland International, from $121. Bethel is a one-and-a-half-hour drive from the airport.
Lansdowne Resort and Spa, Leesburg, Va.
The setting: Full-service, luxury hotel overlooking the Potomac River.
The romance: Lansdowne's two-night Month of Romance package includes in-room flowers, prosecco and charcuterie, a daytrip to two local wineries (includes transportation), breakfast, evening dessert and libation.
Details: From $355/night. destinationhotels.com. Lansdowne Resort is a 69-mile drive from Baltimore.
Brook Farm Inn, Lenox, Mass.
The setting: A circa-1882 country inn/farm in the Berkshires, near a charming town with galleries, shops, fine dining.
The romance: Chilled prosecco and dark chocolates, a tour of romantic Ventfort Hall Gilded Age Mansion or tour/tasting at Berkshire Mountain Distillery, a couple's massage, dinner at elegant Table Six restaurant, and breakfast.
Details: Any two-night sequence Thursday-Monday. From $625. brookfarm.com. Southwest flies nonstop from BWI to Bradley International Airport in Hartford, Conn., from $54. Brookfield Farm is a one-and-a-quarter-hour drive from there.
Collins House Inn, Marion, Va.
The setting: Charming B&B in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
The romance: The two-night Stay & Play Valentines Weekend package includes breakfast, a tour and tasting at Davis Valley Winery & Distillery, a couples painting and champagne class at Wayne Henderson School of Art & Music, five-course dinner at the inn, chocolate-covered strawberries in your room.
Details: From $505, Feb. 10-12, reserve by Feb. 6. Call 276-781-0250 to reserve. collinshouseinn.com. Collins House is a 370-mile drive from Baltimore.
Dunes Manor, Ocean City
The setting: A newly renovated oceanfront Victorian hotel along Ocean City's boardwalk.
The romance: The Sweet and Spicy Valentine's Day Package includes oceanfront accommodations, salsa & bachata dance lessons on Saturday, and a four-course — plus amuse bouche — gourmet dinner for two.
Details: Two nights, Feb. 10-12, $429/couple. One night, Feb. 11, $329/couple. dunesmanor.com.
Avenue Inn B&B, New Orleans
The setting: 1890s-era Thomas Sully mansion in NOLA's garden district.
The womance: Fuhgedaboudhim with this sassy Girlfriends Getaway/Breakup Package. You and your BFF will enjoy three nights' accommodations, Mardi Gras beads, a copy of the best-selling book, "He's Just Not That Into You," two pints of Ben and Jerry's ice cream with large spoons and a front-row rocker on the porch, one-hour massages, tickets to the Gray Line Cocktail History tour, passes for two days of unlimited riding on NOLA's streetcar, continental breakfast, and a voodoo doll with pins and a Sharpie to write his name.
Details: $399/per person. avenueinnbb.com. Southwest Air flies nonstop from BWI to New Orleans, from $164.
Intercontinental Toronto Center, Toronto
The setting: Centrally located modern hotel with spacious guest rooms, spa, and indoor pool.
The womance: This Call Us Cupid package features a subscription to Bernie A.I, the personal matchmaker app that understands your type and finds suitable suitors on your favorite dating networks. Also included, car service for a night on the town, a "mood-enhancing" cocktail, chocolate truffles, Saje Remedy Bar of essential oils, Veuve Clicquot Rose, overnight accommodations with breakfast, 3 p.m. checkout.
Details: $599 Canadian (about $450 U.S.)/room (room accommodates up to four guests), torontocentre.intercontinental.com.