Some Valentines like a real challenge.
You can book a dinner reservation anywhere, buy flowers and naughty underpants anywhere.
Likewise Valentines cards and heart-shaped boxes of chocolates.
So what can the creative and discerning lover get here in Greater Jacksonville that is available nowhere else?
Hmmm … How about spend a romantic day at the beach in the middle of February?
You can’t do that if you’re land-locked.
And ... um … freezing your ass off up north on Cape Cod is still freezing your ass off.
No so sexy, nope.
Take your Valentine for a walk on the wild side
For some, nothing says I love you like exotic animals.
Behold, gentle readers, the wealth of wild-animal encounters close at hand for your Valentines enjoyment.
But what if you’re in the mood for more fearsome beasts?
The St. Augustine Alligator Farm & Zoological Park on Anastacia Island is home to some of the most awesome predators known to man.
If you’re water babies and one with the bottlenose dolphin, then Marineland is your GR8RJax™ Valentines destination.
Some Valentines dig getting back to nature
Believe it or not, nothing puts nature nuts in the mood like a romp in a state park.
Greater Jacksonville has some beauties to choose from.
And they’re so convenient to the First Coast – Ft. Clinch, just northeast of Jacksonville, Washington Oaks State Park near Flagler Beach, Ravine Gardens in Palatka and Mike Roess near Keystone Heights.
At $5-8 a carload, that’s one economical Valentines date.
Amelia Island ahoy for Valentine’s Day, shipmates
Shanghai your pirate king or queen to Fernandina for a buccaneer’s holiday and drink in a little history with your Valentine’s grog.
Fishing for a marriage proposal?
Book a tour through St. Photios Greek Orthodox National Shrine in St. Augustine.
Nothing screams Gimme a damn ring! like soaking up a list of famous St. Augustine weddings from the parish priest.
If asking for a rate sheet for the wedding chapel doesn’t set bells ringing, plan a carriage ride through the Old City and visit the beacon at the Old Lighthouse.
But my date’s into military hardware
Hard-core fans of prison movies will plotz over a tour of Florida’s state prisons at the Bradford/Union county line.
Batten down for a maximum-security Valentine’s Day overload.
The bottom line
Nope, you don’t have to settle for a chick-flick and a sack of Krystal® burgers.
Go GR8RJax™ for Valentine’s.
Wishing you flocked hearts, red roses & moonbeams!
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OFFICIAL BIO: K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years and knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org