Love’s in the air in the Great Lakes

Secluded lighthouses, romantic sleigh rides through the snow and rock ‘n’ roll. For a Valentine’s Day with a difference, head to the Great Lakes USA where the romantic experiences beat chocolates and flowers hands down!

Here’s a roundup of some of the more unusual experiences available for loved up couples within the stunning Great Lakes region:

Wisconsin

Spend an evening under the stars at the Daniel M Soref Planetarium, the largest in the state, located in the Milwaukee Public Museum. The most romantic offering in the planetarium’s repertoire is definitely “Romancing the Stars,” playing Valentine’s Day weekend only. Constellations that have romantic significance will be pointed out, and a rose and chocolates will also be handed out to each couple. Milwaukee Public Museum’s Planetarium and IMAX Theater – Milwaukee.

For more active couples, Candlelight Skis & Hike around the state could be an ideal romantic activity. Grab your cross-country skis and glide (or hike) your way across trails illuminated by hundreds of candles. Afterwards, snuggle up by the fire and grab some warming refreshments. Experience the Valentine’s Candlight Night at Interstate State Park or find one of the many other candlelight skis and hikes at Wisconsin’s State Parks.

Michigan

Mackinac Island in the winter is truly magical. You can get to the island via air taxi and, once you arrive, rent some snowshoes to get around. The Cottage Inn is a cosy bed and breakfast that offers complimentary fudge! Wander around on snowshoes or cross country skis to enjoy the quiet beauty of Mackinac Island and the lakes that surround her.

Not many people can claim to have stayed in a lighthouse, so for a true romantic getaway, the north shore of the Upper Peninsula in Michigan is where you will find the Big Bay Lighthouse; a remote hidden inn located in a former lighthouse overlooking the impressive Lake Superior, the largest of the five Great Lakes.

The 1890’s red brick structure boasts a 60-foot tower that welcomes guests to 14 intimate rooms within this secluded cliff top retreat.  During the day visitors can take advantage of some of the romantic winter activities; such as an afternoon winding through the snow drenched forest nestled together in a cosy dog sled, while the evenings lend themselves to quality time spent tucked up in front of the fire with views across the glistening lake. www.bigbaylighthouse.com.

Illinois

What says I love you more than getting down on one knee 1,353 feet above Chicago? Since The Ledge opened there have been a number of proposals and even weddings on The Ledge. It’s a romantic location – especially at night.

Skydeck Chicago at Willis Tower invites guests to experience “Love on the Ledge,” a one-of-a-kind date that is an extraordinary and unforgettable experience. With awe-inspiring views, The Ledge ensures a breath-taking Valentine’s Day experience for romance-seeking couples. Adventurous duos can defy gravity as they dare to stand out on The Ledge more than 1,350 feet over Wacker Drive, looking out over the sparkling city

For fitness couples planning to visit Chicago, here’s a Valentine’s run for a good cause on 11 February. The only catch is you have to do the run in your underwear. Runners raise funds for the Children’s Tumour Foundation while competing for prizes like T-shirts, new undies and flasks. There’s also an after-party at John Barleycorn. Cupid’s Undie Run

Minnesota

Minneapolis was voted one of the Top Unexpectedly Romantic Cities in the nation. Here you can take your sweetheart on a romantic carriage ride along the Mississippi River. See the Stone Arch Bridge on the Mississippi River on this magical horse drawn carriage ride. Cruise along the Cobblestone of Main Street and see the beautiful view of the skyline of Minneapolis. www.thehitchingcompany.com

Follow trails by candle light and cross-county ski over 5 miles of ski trail, snowshoe or hike nearly 2 miles of trail, ice skate and kick sled on a frozen lake, all by candlelight at the Lebanon Hills Visitor Centre in Eagan. Several bonfires and the Visitor Centre will be available for event goers to warm up. www.exploreminnesota.com/events/14543/trails-by-candlelight

Ohio

With the latest inductees into the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland announced, treat your Valentine to a date with a difference! Not only does the permanent collection contain thousands of one-of-a-kind items-ranging from musical instruments and song lyrics to quirky stage props and colourful costumes, but there is cool memorabilia and artefacts borrowed from artists and collectors.