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In such a beautiful and bustling city, there’s no excuse for doing the classic dinner-and-a-movie routine. Get creative with these six date ideas that take advantage of all that Palm Beach has to offer.
Grab a basket from Picnic Fashion—the go-to place in the Palm Beaches for colorfully themed outdoor tableware and accessories—and fill it with festive finger foods from Carmine’s Gourmet Italian Market. Artisanal cheeses, Spanish olives and Tuscan crackers paired with a pinot grigio and followed by a slice of panettone will set the mood for a romantic repast.
Before indulging in the fancy fare, load up a couple of kayaks at John D. MacArthur Beach State Park and paddle through the estuary, into the Intracoastal Waterway and out to Munyon Island—a healthy half-hour trip. Kayaks can be rented on site, or there is a public launch for those with personal kayaks. The island provides a picturesque place for a picnic, whether on the sunny shore facing west or in a shady pavilion nestled next to the nature path. Setting up, breaking down and stowing a blanket, portable table, shatterproof dishes and glasses, and even an umbrella is easy, as everything folds neatly and compactly. But don’t head back to the mainland just yet. First, explore the island’s intricate mangrove trails and look for egrets, herons and maybe a roseate spoonbill feeding amid the foliage. Below the water’s surface, enjoy sights of darting pinfish and jumping mullet.
Set out around sunset for a slow cruise up U.S. Highway 1 to one of Jupiter’s most iconic destinations: the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse. During select dates in February, romance is in the air—at 108 feet.
Couples can climb up the circular stairs to the balcony and soak in sweeping views of the river and ocean while sipping Champagne in the tranquil twilight. After the pop of the cork comes the pop of the question, as many lovebirds take advantage of the occasion to propose to their mate. The Valentine’s tradition includes 15 minutes aloft, one twosome at a time.
Whether newly engaged or still in love on the 105-step descent, make Guanabanas the next stop for an al fresco dinner. The restaurant’s general manager, Jon Sullivan, recommends the macadamia-and-coconut-encrusted fresh catch as an entrée and a piece of Key lime pie for dessert. Get another glass of bubbly or switch to spirits, as Guanabanas offers one of the best rum selections in the area. Start things off with an order of Sanibel steamers.
The oasis-like atmosphere of the waterfront establishment should be savored as much as its food, so wander through the palm trees to the curved dock lined with Adirondack chairs, and watch the boats go by.
Head to Renato’s Palm Beach for a bottle of Italian wine and a bowl of gazpacho zuppe at the upscale eatery tucked away on Worth
Avenue’s Via Mizner. There is seating in an elegantly lit courtyard or one of the formal dining rooms, where the wait staff’s impeccable service is a hallmark.
Then, hop in a car and take a short ride up to the Kravis Center. Tickets for two to “Pippin,” a Tony Award-winning Broadway musical with a sensational score of soaring songs, can be had for as little as $30 apiece. The show finds a young prince searching for adventure, passion and the meaning of life.
The night doesn’t have to end there. CityPlace’s Il Bellagio Restaurant comes with a show of its own—the fountain modeled after the famed and similarly named Las Vegas resort water feature whose shooting sprays and streams are synced to music. Try a coffee cocktail—the Grand Café mixes Svedka vanilla vodka and Kamora liqueur with the brew and is topped with whipped cream, while the White Cloud has a sambuca kick to it. It pairs well with a shareable chocolate soufflé.
Bring a bottle to Uptown Art’s Evernia Street location and grab some brushes, as a modest masterpiece is about to be created on canvas. Partners can paint together as a team or challenge one another to find their inner Picasso during a fun and lively class led by a local artist. Depending on the day, students will learn how to make a scenic landscape, a still life or a stylistic sunset to take home and hang.
Let those 16-by-20s dry in the trunk of the car, and take a leisurely walk east to Flagler Drive and the West Palm Beach Waterfront, viewing the downtown skyline and the island’s pristine buildings and homes.
Then, go for a giggle at the Palm Beach Improv to finish off a dynamic date. This month, funnymen Steve Treviño, billed as one of the country’s hottest comics and the new voice of the Mexican-American, and Anthony Jeselnik, a standout stand-up comedian from Pittsburgh, have gigs at the hotspot of hilarity. And for one night only—Feb. 18—the venue will host “GH Fantasy Weekend,” featuring stars from the long-running ABC soap opera “General Hospital,” including fan favorites Tyler Christopher and Laura Wright.
Indulge in a couples massage at The Spa at PGA National Resort. Share a room with that special someone during the service, and feel the stress melt away as Swedish techniques are applied. Add aromatherapy for a multisensory experience. Post-massage, splash in the spa’s refreshing Waters of the World swimming pools containing imported salts that simulate Israel’s Dead Sea and France’s Salies De Béarn. The mineral-rich waters have highly healing properties.
A healthy lunch at the iBar is a good way to transition into the rest of the day. On the menu are chicken lettuce wraps with julienne vegetables and sweet-and-sour sauce; lemon hummus with toasted pita triangles, English cucumber slices and tomato relish; and watermelon-and-feta salad with torn mint leaves and citrus dressing.
How about a round of golf to extend the amorous afternoon? Choose from five outstanding courses: The Champion, The Estates, The Fazio, The Palmer and The Squire. The Champion is home to The Honda Classic and is one of the toughest links in Florida, according to the PGA Tour. The Squire has been dubbed “the thinking man’s course,” described as “the ultimate test of accuracy and precision” and is the shortest and most-exacting at the resort.
Schedule a private cooking lesson at In The Kitchen in Tequesta, where husbands and wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, and heart-to-heart soulmates can participate adventurously in an interactive dinner demonstration taught by a professionally trained chef. Prepare rich Italian dishes such as semolina gnocchi gratin with fresh Pomodoro and creamy ricotta, or try making steamed dumplings, chicken-and-coconut soup, panang curry and other spicy Thai favorites. For the more health-conscious, get into the vibe of roasted beet hummus, asparagus and arugula salad with figs and white balsamic vinaigrette, and seared salmon with black rice, sautéed shiitake mushrooms and edamame.
Next, take a trip south to downtown Abacoa and stroll the specialty shops. Be sure to take a peek inside the women’s boutiques Marston and Ms. Outlaw. Men might be inspired to buy something for their fashionable femmes. End the night at Aaron’s Table & Wine Bar with one of its signature after-dinner jars (raspberry sorbet with strawberries or ice-cream sundae), a baked Alaska, the bread pudding, or a traditional cheesecake with a not-so-traditional taste (blueberry and popcorn).