Give the gift of travel this Valentine's Day

A couple stands in front of the painting 'The Kiss' by Austrian Jugendstil artist Gustav Klimt at...

A couple stands in front of the painting 'The Kiss' by Austrian Jugendstil artist Gustav Klimt at the Belvedere museum in Vienna March 21, 2012. REUTERS/Herwig Prammer

DIANE SLAWYCH, Special to QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:01 PM ET

Could this be the year you do something a little different on Valentine’s Day?

Why not start with a little change of scenery (i.e. head out of town) and consider the types of activities that might appeal to your significant other. For example, you could go on a search of intimate artworks, enjoy iconic attractions geared to couples, “lock your love,” or even ride a wild roller coaster at a theme park.

EUROPE IN VEGAS

If you can’t make it to one of Europe’s most romantic cities for Valentine’s Day, try the next best thing — Las Vegas!

You and your sweetie can start with the Eiffel Tower Experience at the Paris Las Vegas. Take an elevator to the observation deck of this half-size scale of the original Eiffel Tower for views of the Strip and the fountains of Bellagio across the street where there is a show — choreographed music, lights and water fountains — every 15 minutes at night (and every half hour during the day). Or dine in elegance at the Eiffel Tower Restaurant on the 11th floor (book ahead). Check parislasvegas.com.

Another option is a romantic ride on an authentic Venetian gondola on the Grand Canal at The Venetian hotel. Your serenading gondolier will glide your vessel beneath bridges, and through a Venetian streetscape, including a reproduction of St. Mark’s Square. Check venetian.com.

LOVE LOCKS

It’s cheaper than a diamond ring or a dozen roses and it can’t be lost or wilt with time.

We’re talking about love locks — those small locks that couples afix to gates, bridges and other permanent structures around the world as a symbol of their love and commitment. Some are decorated with red hearts or the engraved names of the lovers.

Sometimes two locks are joined together and then attached to a bridge. In Berlin, hundreds of love locks can be seen on the bridges leading to Museum Island. The locks have also been spotted in Odessa, Moscow, Taiwan, Paris, the Cinque Terre in Italy and numerous other places.

Some city officials claim it damages property and architectural heritage but the practice continues. In fact it’s become so popular in the last decade that a few entrepreneurs have begun selling special commemorative engraved padlocks to people who want to “lock their love.” Another company will affix a padlock for you in the destination of your choice (no travel necessary).

UNIVERSAL FUN

What’s your idea of a romantic outing? For some fun-loving couples — including the newly married — it’s a trip to a theme park.

Universal Studios in Singapore has several exciting rides and six theme zones including Sci-Fi City, Jurassic Park, Ancient Egypt and Hollywood Boulevard, where you can pose with characters from television and film. Don’t miss the Lake Hollywood Spectacular show after sunset and enjoy the fireworks and musical performances.

Then bunk down at the luxe Ritz Carlton hotel, where guests are treated like royalty, and the 608 rooms offer unrivalled views of Marina Bay, Kallang Bay and the city skyline. Adjust the mood lighting and hop in a bubble bath next to the window overlooking this vibrant city state.

Next day you can take a self-guided podcast tour of the hotel’s modern art collection — one of the finest in Southeast Asia. The 4,200 pieces include art works by Frank Stella (note the 3-tonne Cornucopia sculpture in the lobby), Dale Chihuly, David Hockney, Henry Moore and more. Check ritzcarlton.com.

FAMOUS KISSES

Romantic couples who enjoy visiting museums and galleries may want to go on a journey in search of famous kisses represented in art.

One place to start is the Belvedere, an 18th-century Baroque palace in Vienna, which is home to the world’s largest Gustav Klimt collection, including his famous painting The Kiss — showing a couple embracing within what looks like a patchwork quilt that shimmers with applied layers of gold leaf. Check belvedere.at.

The Tate Modern in London has Auguste Rodin’s famous marble sculpture The Kiss, though it’s currently not on display. If you don’t have the key to the storage room, and no time to wait till it goes on exhibit again, you could visit the Rodin Museum in Philadelphia instead. They have a replica of Rodin’s The Kiss by sculptor Henri Greber on view, and according to a museum spokesman, more than a few couples have shared an intimate moment in front of it.


Videos

Photos