By Christy Walcott
Even if you prefer nontraditional or more personalized date options, when it comes to Valentine’s Day, you want to do it up right! I’m talking roses, candlelit dinners and the type of gift that comes in a perfectly wrapped and ribbon-adorned box. This holiday brings out the best in many (or the worst, depending on your opinion of romance) and helps you appreciate those timeless, starry-eyed traditions.
If you’re not a fan of Valentine’s Day, I understand that you have already stopped reading, and I can’t say I blame you. For those who wish to whisk their loved one away on a romantic adventure in Gaylord, Michigan, read on!
Outdoor enthusiasts will agree the best way to start out a “date day” is getting some fresh air and sunshine. Why not start your perfect Valentine’s Day with a snowshoe STROLL (no need for cardio today) through the lovely trails following the AuSable River in Michaywe? Hold hands along the meandering pathway and take a selfie or two because here you’ll find the perfect backdrop for your special day. And no worries if you neglected to pack your snowshoes – our friends at White Birch Outfitters will hook you up with rentals. Better yet, these trails are groomed for Nordic skiing if that’s more your cup of tea, and White Birch Outfitters just happens to rent those, too.
After you let the fresh air rejuvenate you, then it’s time for a surprise! When you simply need to re-center yourself, entering the spa at Treetops Resort instantly lifts your cares away. Even if you’re not a massage connoisseur, today is the day to indulge in a couples massage. Knowing your partner is by your side, relaxing and feeling equally tranquil makes it that much better. The couple’s room at Treetops is soothing with a contemporary ambiance that will appeal to men and women alike. Trust me, this one is a winner and you’ll score extra brownie points if it just happens to be February 14th.
At some point in your romantic excursion, you’ll need to refuel. My top recommendation for a romantic night out is family-owned and operated Bennethum’s Northern Inn. Every time I dine at Bennethum’s, I barely sit down before asking, “you want calamari, too, right?” It’s not just my favorite hard-to-find appetizer drawing me back in though; it’s the creative, monthly themed menu. While you can always count on your favorites (including the warm, doughy garlic bread that seems to magically appear on the table prior to your meal), the ever-changing entrees entice you into making new mouthwatering discoveries on each visit. Finish it off with a decadent red velvet martini and your sweet tooth will thank you!
With a little planning, you can make your stay in the Alpine Village a romantic getaway to remember for many years to come. Check out our website for all your outdoor, indoor and dining options to build your own Valentine’s Day trifecta. And don’t worry, if planning just isn’t your forte and you accidentally overlook that it is indeed Valentine’s Day, Hogan’s Jewelers right downtown has an excellent selection of stunning jewelry that they will wrap up in one of those perfect little boxes with ribbons for you.