Valentine’s Day is the one day of the year dedicated to expressing your love for your special someone. This year, don’t opt for the usual roses, candy hearts or teddy bears. Instead, give them a vacation they’ll never forget.

Pensacola — with its sugar-white beaches, turquoise surf and charming, colonial-era downtown — has become a magnet for couples looking for a romantic getaway.

You’ve scored major points just by getting here, but what do you do once you’ve arrived? To help you out, I compiled a list of romantic, unique and fun date ideas that your loved one will never forget.

1. Enjoy a spectacular sunset – and toast your future – on a Sunset Sail

Sail away, sail away, sail away in Pensacola Bay. Break out the champagne and toast to your future while cruising around Pensacola Bay and the Santa Rosa Sound on a private sailing yacht as the sun melts into the horizon. Relax and enjoy the natural scenery and wildlife that surrounds you on a private, two-hour sunset sail by Jolly Sailing.

Jolly Sailing sunset sail

2. Cooking Classes at SoGourmet & Kitchenry

Pull out your apron and chef hat, because it’s time to show your special valentine all your culinary chops. SoGourmet & Kitchnery, located in Downtown Pensacola’s trendy SoGo district, offers weekly gourmet cooking classes and wine tastings. More of the cereal-and-milk variety of chef? Don’t worry. The SoGo staff will make you look like “Top Chef” material, which will definitely impress your valentine.

Culinary Class

3. Take your relationship to new heights

Love is definitely in the air at 3,000 feet, to be exact. Snuggle up with your special someone while you cruise above the crystal clear waters of the Gulf Coast with Capt. Eric Kline of Gulf Coast Air Tours. Sip champagne aboard a private plane while watching the sun melt over Pensacola Beach, Fort Pickens, and Perdido Key. Tours last approximately an hour.

Gulf Coast Air Tours

4. Disconnect and reconnect

No business. No kids. No interruptions. Just romance. Turn your Valentine’s Day into a long weekend adventure with Romance Package at the Hilton Pensacola Beach Hotel. The package includes champagne and breakfast in bed. On the special day, celebrate the most important person in your life over a gourmet three-course dinner prepared by Pensacola Celebrity Chef Dan Dunn with a Valentine’s Dinner at H20.

Hilton Pensacola Beach

5. Take a moonlit stroll down the beach at Gulf Islands National Seashore

Feel the sand between your toes, the wind in your hair and the love in the air as you stroll hand-in-hand down the moonlit beach voted Florida’s best by USA Today readers. Trust us. It’s spectacular.

couple-walking-on-beach-at-dusk