The Romantic Season at New Jersey’s Southern Shore:
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What’s romance without some chocolate or a little decadence – translated, that’s a spa treatment for two, wine and chocolate events, dining by the fire, breakfast in bed or whatever your heart desires, and it can all be found in New Jersey’s Southern Shore Region.

Ever thought about indulging in a leisurely soak in an over-sized whirlpool tub, just the two of you, followed by a side-by side massage and an aromatic salt scrub? Doesn’t it just sound oh, so romantic on a chilly Valentine’s Day weekend or as part of a wintry escape? Right here in Cape May, this capital of prim and proper Victoriana, the Cape May Day Spa specializes in spa packages that are sure to curry favor with your significant other. www.capemaydayspa.com

Add a few nights at a beachfront hotel, B & B or a cozy Inn– and, viola! – instant romance. Topping the list of romantic hotels at the Jersey Shore named on the travel site Trip Advisor is the Icona Diamond Beach. With the Atlantic Ocean just steps away to lull you to sleep or add to the ambiance, the hotel has perfectly appointed suites with private views of the beach, ultra soft robes for both of you and a full service restaurant and lounge in the lobby. It’s the perfect recipe for a cozy weekend with that special someone. www.icona.com

Another romantic hotel listed on Trip Advisor happens to be one of the oldest in the region. The Carroll Villa on Historic Jackson Street in the center of town is one of only five Victorian hotels left in Cape May and the perfect spot for a romantic getaway. It’s an absolutely intriguing bed and breakfast hotel with a creative and unpretentious flare – plus there’s the Mad Batter for a Bloody Mary or mimosa and breakfast on the newly designed porch – or in front of the fireplace. www.carrollvilla.com or www.madbatter.com

Is there romance without chocolate? Doubtful. Check out the MidAtlantic Center for the Arts schedule for the next Chocolate Lover’s Feast, a sweet indulgence of endless chocolate creations held several times a year at the Blue Rose Inn. www.capemaymac.org You can even stay overnight! Owners of the family-owned Inn will offer attendees a gift card toward a two-night stay for perhaps another intimate getaway. www.blueroseinn.com

Wineries are the perfect places to celebrate your love. Many of the 17 wineries located in Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties offer intimate settings, some with fireplaces or firepits to gather by and taste the latest selection. On Valentine’s Day Weekend, Feb. 10-11 an event called the Wine and Chocolate Trail Weekend will take place at wineries throughout the region offering wine tastings, new releases, pairings, tours, music and entertainment, special food preparations and dinners. Check out the Best Bets section for a listing of regional wineries.

So, you left wanting more? Wine and chocolate that is! Don’t worry…there’s another opportunity to enjoy this decadent combination. The Wild Chocolate and Wine Fest will take place, Mar. 24-25, at Byrne Plaza in Wildwood’s downtown. Dance with your favorite gal or guy, enjoy tastings from area wineries, and shop at craft artisan tables at this debut event. www.WildChocolateAndWine.com

If excitement is an aphrodisiac, head to Atlantic City for the thrill of gambling, dinner at five-star restaurants and great shows. Casino hotels provide unrivaled service with staff ready to make your stay romantic, carefree and so enjoyable. Need dinner reservations, shopping information, a special gift? Just say the word and someone will make the call, find the gift or answer the question. www.atlanticcitynj.com

Minutes away from Atlantic City, the Historic Towne of Smithville located in Galloway Township invites visitors to wander along cobblestone walkways, over footbridges and into more than 60 shoppes offering everything from clothes to confectionary items. Historic Smithville Inn, located in the Historic Towne, began as a one room, stagecoach in 1787, and today, guests are invited into one of several private dining rooms complete with white linen covered tables, cozy fireplaces and an extensive menu. Whether you are a couple enjoying a new romance or the comfort of shared years together, the dining experience at the Historic Inn is the perfect way to end the day. www.historicsmithvillenj.com

Love is in the air and romance isn’t limited – it’s free for the taking at venues throughout the Southern New Jersey Region. It can be as simple – and delightful - as a blanket on the sand, a bottle of wine and a quiet ending to a perfect day as the sun dips into the bay amid a palette of colors. Walks, bike rides along the Boardwalks from Atlantic City to Cape May, even an afternoon of bird watching for those who love nature as much as they love each other all add to that getaway feeling just for the two of you. Isn’t it romantic! Welcome to the season of love in the Southern New Jersey Region!

VALENTINE’S SPECIAL EVENTS

VALENTINE’S DAY WEEKEND AT WILLOW CREEK WINERY:
ROMANTIC VINEYARD VALENTINE’S DINNER: February 10, 2018. A truly romantic vineyard experience awaits you and your Valentine at Willow Creek Farm & Winery. You’ll dine by candlelight at our farm while enjoying a 5-course menu special crafted by Master Chef Brian Parker from the Southern Mansion of Cape May. SEATING TIMES: 6pm and 8pm (Limited seating available). COST: $75 per person + tax. Dietary restrictions may be accommodated if notice is provided at the time of reserving.
MAKE IT EVEN MORE SPECIAL – ADD A SUNSET VINEYARD TOUR TIME: 5:00 p.m. (for 5:30p.m. sunset) COST: $15:00 per person + tax (Tickets Limited). We recommend dressing warmly for this Sunset Vineyard Tour. 160-168 Stevens Street, West Cape May, New Jersey 08204. 609-770-8782. www.willowcreekwinerycapemay.com

WINE AND CHOCOLATE TRAIL WEEKEND:
February 10-11, 2018. Wineries are the perfect places to celebrate your love. Many of the 17 wineries located in Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties offer intimate settings, some with fireplaces or firepits to gather by and taste the latest selection. On Valentine’s Day Weekend, Feb. 10-11 an event called the Wine and Chocolate Trail Weekend will take place at wineries throughout the region offering wine tastings, new releases, pairings, tours, music and entertainment, special food preparations and dinners. Check out the Best Bets section for a listing of regional wineries

AN EVENING OF BURLESQUE WITH THE VINTAGE VIXENS OF VALENTINES AT ELAINE’S DINNER THEATER:
​February 14 & 16, 2018. 8pm (cocktails at 7pm) Enjoy a variety of entertainment centered around love as The Salty Sirens put a sassy spin on the history of Valentine’s Day. You’ll have a fun-filled trip back in time to a period when entertainment was theatrical, sassy, and teased the imagination. Experience this modern take on classic burlesque, rooted in Victorian vaudeville. Food and beverages available for purchase. Tickets $30 Limited event; advance purchase recommended. Purchase tickets online or at the Washington Street Mall Information Booth at Ocean Street. 513 Lafayette St., Cape May, NJ 08204. 609-884-5404. www.capemaymac.org

CAPE MAY WINE TRAIL TOUR: MID-ATLANTIC CENTER FOR THE ARTS:
February 17, 2018. Spend the afternoon visiting Cape May County’s wineries and sampling the unique flavors of each. First, enjoy a brief tour and tasting at Willow Creek Winery and then lunch at Willow Creek Winery. Then board the MAC trolley, which will shuttle you to two or three local wineries -- Willow Creek Winery, Hawk Haven Vineyard and Natali Vineyard -- and learn about viniculture and visit the tasting rooms. Includes wine-tasting glass. Includes lunch and a brief tour and wine tasting at Willow Creek Winery, plus a wine tasting, cheese and crackers and a souvenir glass at Natali Vineyards. Trolley leaves the Physick Estate at 11:00 a.m. and returns approximately 4:00 p.m. $75.00 per person. Space is limited. Purchase tickets in advance. 1048 Washington St., Cape May, NJ 08204. 609-884-5404. www.capemaymac.org

CHOCOLATE LOVER’S FEAST AT THE BLUE ROSE INN:
February 17, 2018. It’s a bountiful feast for chocolate lovers! Enjoy seven plated courses of delicious chocolate desserts at the Blue Rose Inn, 653 Washington St., and hear how each was created from the chef who prepared it. This is a limited event so reserve early. Admission $40.00 per person. 653 Washington St., Cape May, NJ 08204. 609-884-5404. www.blueroseinn.com

CRAFTS & COLLECTIBLES IN WINTER AT CAPE MAY CONVENTION HALL:
February 17-18, 2018. The show features an array of handmade items, unique gifts, glassware, jewelry and more, held at Cape May Convention Hall. Admission to Convention Hall shows is $2:00 for adults, children 12 and under are free. Beach Avenue at Stockton, Cape May, NJ 08204. 609-884-5404. www.capemaymac.org

CAPE MAY WINE SCHOOL AT THE WASHINGTON INN:
February 18, 2018. Learn all about delicious wines of Sonoma County in this series. Discern and appreciate a selection of fine wines and increase your knowledge of pairings. ​A delightful tasting of the fine wine of Jackson Estates. Taste the delicious quality wine that comes from this famous growing area of California. $40:00 per person. Limited to 80 students. Purchase tickets directly from the Washington Inn by calling 609-884-5697. 801 Washington St., Cape May, NJ 08204. 609-884-5697. www.washingtoninn.com
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Supported in part by a grant from the New Jersey Department of State, Division of Travel & Tourism.