As a daydream believer, romantic comedy aficionado, and enthusiast of all things “love,” I bring you: the best Valentine’s Day ideas for couples in Central Florida.

For the Lovebirds

My all-time favorite date idea, which I may or may not have already experienced myself, is truly the total package. It incorporates sweet treats, sweet scenes and your sweet-heart. On this all-morning date, you can share the dated beauty and charming lakes of downtown Lakeland with that special someone.

First thing, visit The Poor Porker at 8:00 a.m. Do plan to arrive at that time or shortly thereafter because their well-loved beignets frequently sell out.

The Poor Porker
The Poor Porker

After grabbing a specialty coffee and a BAG of beignets (yes, one order fills a whole bag), take a quick stroll down to Lake Mirror to set-up camp. The best spot I’ve found is on the large steps in front of the promenade, where you can really soak up the pure beauty of this special, little town.

Hollis Gardens
Hollis Gardens

After the picnic, head to Hollis Garden - a prime spot for many Central Florida proposals and weddings. This expansive garden area displays numerous flowerbeds, neo-classical architecture, fountains and more. Soft, classical music even plays in the background. End your day in the gardens sitting on the edge of the beautiful koi pond - your sweetie will love it, I promise.

Dinner

What’s the most important part of this day? I think most can agree it’s the specialty food. I grin foolishly just daydreaming about how many adorable couples will get engaged over a fancy dinner this Valentine’s Day. Because I know your significant other will find it too-cute that you took time out of your busy schedule to call and make a dinner reservation, I’ve picked out a few fine establishments for you to consider:

True Blue Winery in Davenport, (863) 419-4400: Open Saturday, February 13th. RSVP only; deadline for RSVP is February 6th. A special Valentine’s Day dinner will be served from 6-8PM. Dinner packages include a bottle of wine or a pitcher of beer to accompany steak or chicken dinner.

True Blue Winery
True Blue Winery

Harborside in Winter Haven, (863) 293-7070: An exclusive Valentine’s Day weekend menu will include Cupcake “Red Velvet” Red Blend wine for $5.99 per glass.

Harborside Restaurant
Harborside Restaurant

Bok Tower Gardens Picnic in Lake Wales, 863-676-1355: Enjoy a romantic picnic in the gardens during a beautiful carillon concert. Pre-order your picnic basket from their Blue Palmetto Cafe for $29 per couple.

Bok Tower Gardens
Bok Tower Gardens

Bay Street Bistro in Lakeland, (863) 683-4229: Special Valentine’s Day menu including Four-Course Dinners for $60 per person.

Luigi’s Italian Restaurant in Lake Alfred, (863) 956-9100: Specials include String Bean Salad Appetizer, Veal Shank Osso Buco, Lobster Pescatore Combo, and Stuffed Pork Chops.

Grillsmith in Lakeland, (863) 688-8844: Valentine’s Day Prix Fixe Menu, $55 per couple or $75 per couple with a bottle of wine.

Flowers

If you get butterflies in your stomach every time you see a delivery man carrying flowers, you might be just as sentimental as me, and that’s okay - here I have listed some important information that might come in handy this Valentine's Day:

  • The Wild Hare Flowers in Winter Haven, 863-293-1900
  • The Flower Corner in Davenport, 863-421-0827
  • House of Flowers in Auburndale, 863-967-3471
  • Mrs. D’s Flower Shop in Lakeland, 863-665-1011

A Very Harry Valentine’s

Love is in the air, and so is the snitch. You heard me - the game of Quidditch (inspired by the Harry Potter novels) is coming to the Lake Myrtle Sports Complex in Auburndale this Valentine’s weekend for the U.S. Quidditch South Regional Championship. Food trucks, activities, and intense Quidditch matches make for a unique Valentine’s Day like no other.

US Quidditch South Regional Championship, PC: Isabella Gong
US Quidditch South Regional Championship, PC: Isabella Gong

Pre-Valentine’s Day Entertainment

Release your inner-sleuth at The Ritz Theatre in Winter Haven during the Murder Mystery Dinner and Show, “Death is a Cabernet, Ole Chum,” February 13th. Purchase tickets at ritzmurdermystery.com.

Spice Up the Night

Join the Pinewood Estate of Bok Tower Gardens for A Night in Havana. Spice up this Valentine’s Day with a Cuban-inspired dinner at the gorgeous Mediterranean- style Pinewood Estate mansion. $225 per couple includes a four-course meal, flowing cocktails and endless romantic entertainment.

Call to make reservations soon because this event sells out fast. 863-676-1408

Pinewood Estate at Bok Tower Gardens
Pinewood Estate at Bok Tower Gardens