Occasions like Valentines Day challenge the writer of local color whose job it is to tell how hometown celebrations are unique … or at least different.
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 we in Greater Jacksonville do on Valentines Day that only we can do?
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.
Not real 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.
Timid couples will find the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens more their speed. This Valentines Day admission is buy one, get one free.
But what if you’re in the mood for more fearsome beasts?
The St. Augustine Alligator Farm 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.
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 valentines day shipmates
Shanghai your pirate king or queen to Fernandina for a buccaneer’s holiday and drink in a little history with your Valentines 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 prisions at the Bradford/Union county line.
Batten down for a maximum-security Valentines Day overload.
The bottom line
Nope, you don’t have to settle for a chick-flick and a sack of Krystal® burgers. Go GR8RJax™
Wishing you flocked red hearts, romance & moonbeams,
©2013 All rights reserved.
OFFICIAL BIO: K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years, most recently in Texas, is a successful grant writer, knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design and wants to work in the public sector. Contact: email@example.com