Missouri holds many romantic options for dates, getaways, and other ways to spend time with the one you love.

Romance will soon be in the air, with Valentine’s Day approaching.
For some, the word romance conjures up images of dates gone wrong, loves lost and chances blown. For others, it’s a reminder of love shared with a significant other, fond memories and future promise.
It doesn’t matter into which camp you fall, one thing that’s generally true is you want a little romance in your life – if for no other reason than to keep Mom from harping at you.
So here are some ideas for romantic activities and escapes in Missouri, with consideration given to everyone from first-daters to well-established couples.

First-date fun: Keep things relaxed and casual with a visit to one of Missouri’s ice rinks, like Crown Center’s Ice Terrace in Kansas City (provided you can skate, and look cool while doing so). Along with eliminating some of the pressure of being interesting and a great conversationalist, it’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll have to hold hands at some point during the outing. If your date is happening outside of the ice-skating season, a stroll along the city’s Country Club Plaza is always fun and casual.

Buy your sweetie a sweet read: Take a tasty tour of Missouri with “Delectable Destinations: A Chocolate Lover’s Guide to Missouri.” Along with showcasing a variety of places to sample and buy delicious chocolates in the Show-Me State, this book might help inspire your next romantic getaway, as it includes information on places to see and attractions to visit during your search for all things chocolate.

Impress your new boyfriend/girlfriend: You’ve been on a few dates and want to show you’re interested in seeing where things will go. Dinner at a fine restaurant is always a good way to crank things up a notch. Add in beautiful views of Lake of the Ozarks and Baxter’s Lakeside Grille in Lake Ozark is an ideal place for a romantic meal.

Find a spot to take the next step: Are you ready to drop down on one knee and ask the love of your life a pretty important question? You can’t do that just anywhere, it has to be memorable. Pop the question while enjoying incredible surroundings at Top of the Rock near Branson. You can celebrate with a meal on-site at Osage Restaurant.

Show ’em the spark is still there: You’ve been a couple or married for a while – maybe 10 years or more – and have “been there, done that” when it comes to romance. Take your sweetie on a getaway to a place like The Elms Hotel and Spa in Excelsior Springs or Chaumette Vineyards and Winery in Ste. Genevieve. Along with dining and lodging options, each has access to spa services.

Get outdoors together: Spend time enjoying the outdoors – and maybe a night away from home – when you visit Echo Bluff State Park near Eminence. The park has a beautiful and well-appointed lodge to keep you warm and toasty when you come in from exploring trails and natural features. It’s a great place to connect with nature and your special someone.

Missouri-made, at home: Bring home a bottle of Missouri wine, perhaps a nice selection from Adam Puchta Winery or St. James Winery, and find a made-in-Missouri movie. While there are a range of options with romantic leanings, including White Palace, you might choose to keep it comical with Planes, Trains and Automobiles. Another approach is to watch something scary – a classic tactic for making sure you sit really close together. Try You’re Next. It’s a good one.

Date like it’s 2017: Take a selfie in front of a picturesque backdrop – maybe The Gateway Arch in St. Louis or the Missouri Capitol in Jefferson City – to share it with someone you’re interested in on SnapChat and say, “Hey, I’m thinking about you.”

If you go...

- Crown Center Ice Terrace: Join us for some winter fun at the Ice Terrace at Crown Center, Kansas City's public, outdoor ice-skating rink at Crown Center. The Ice Terrace skating season runs November-March. Please visit our website for information, holiday hours and schedules. Regular admission: $6; younger than 5, and ages 60+, free. Skate rental, $3 (skaters may bring their own). Skaters younger than 13 must be under the supervision of an adult (age 21 or older).

- Country Club Plaza shopping and dining district: This entire 15-block district is home to more than 150 upscale shops, dozens of fine restaurants, nightclubs and hotels. It is one of the Midwest's major shopping, dining and entertainment destination. The Plaza has a year-round calendar of music and other special events.

- Baxter’s Lakeside Grill: Baxter's Lakeside Grille, located on Missouri's Lake of the Ozarks, is a classic American restaurant. We offer upscale yet casual dining. A gluten-free menu is offered. Group accommodations are available in our private dining room, with a customized menu to suit your event. The bluff-top view is spectacular, especially the sunsets.

- Top of the Rocks Ozarks Heritage Preserve: Situated at the highest elevation in Taney County near Branson, with uninterrupted views of the Ozark Mountains and Table Rock Lake, Top of the Rock is nestled among some of the most breathtaking scenery in Missouri. Top of the Rock offers a host of world class recreational opportunities and attractions, from the Lost Canyon Cave and Nature Trail, Ancient Ozarks Natural History Museum and “End of the Trail” All-American Wine Cellar to four elegant yet casual dining options, a spectacular mountain top wedding chapel and a Top of the Rock honeymoon cabin.

- The Elms Hotel and Spa: A circa 1912, 153-room hotel and spa. Rest your head where the famous (Harry S. Truman) and infamous (Al Capone) have slept. Amenities include a 19,000-square-foot spa; hot tubs; pools; and a restaurant.The Elms is 30 minutes north of downtown Kansas City. The hotel completed a massive renovation in 2012. Our Spa at the Elms has a comprehensive and welcoming selection of relaxing spa treatments. Our restaurant offers fine dining in a relaxing atmosphere.

- Chaumette Winery: The premier winery destination in the Midwest, award-winning Chaumette Winery offers a unique, memorable and relaxing experience for every guest. Visit Chaumette and experience the Tasting Room & Gift Shop, the Grapevine Grill Restaurant, The Spa at Chaumette, and the Villages at Chaumette ~ elegantly appointed villas to rent or own. Chaumette offers wedding and corporate event facilities year-round for up to 300 guests, and an “all-faiths” chapel, St. Vincent’s-in-the-Vineyard, which is available for ceremonies. Chaumette is accessible via Interstate 55 at exit 150 / Hwy 32. Travel west 100 feet on Hwy 32 to Hwy B, then south for 14 miles to Coffman. Veer left onto Hwy WW and drive 2.5 miles to the winery entrance.

- Echo Bluff State Park: Whether you prefer a rustic campsite, one of 62 full-service camping sites or a night in the park’s iconic lodge, Echo Bluff State Park has you covered. Fill your days with floating, hiking, swimming, fishing or just relaxing in the shadow of the park’s namesake, Echo Bluff. Echo Bluff is the largest sheer bluff feature of the property. Made of Eminence dolomite, the bluff has been cut by water into concavity, creating a stunning effect.  Just below this geologic wonder is Sinking Creek, a crystal-clear Ozarks stream that serves as the second largest tributary to the Current River. From the park’s lodge, guests will be able to enjoy this one-of-a-kind stunning panorama.

- Adam Puchta Winery: Established in 1855, Adam Puchta Winery is the oldest continuously owned and operated family winery in the United States. The Puchta family, now in their 7th generation, continues to produce award-winning wines in a unique, charmingly historic setting. We offer wine tasting and a gourmet gift shop; live music on some weekends. Located beside Frene Creek, on the original family homestead, 2.5 miles west of Hermann, off Route 100.

- St. James Winery: St. James Winery, which opened in 1970, is Missouri's largest and most awarded wine producer. Visitors enjoy complimentary wine tastings, with more than 30 wines and juices to choose from. Wine cellar tours are offered hourly on Saturday and Sunday, and on other days by reservation. Our gift shop features our wines, gourmet foods, stemware, and wine accessories. Picnic tables are available under the grape arbor in front of the winery and in The Gardens, an outdoor seating area right next to the winery.

The Missouri State Capitol: The Capitol, completed in 1918, covers three acres in downtown Jefferson City. The dome rises 238 feet above ground level and is topped by a bronze statue of Ceres, the Roman goddess of vegetation. In addition to housing the two legislative bodies, the building provides office space for the governor, lieutenant governor, secretary of state, treasurer, state auditor and administrative agencies. It holds the Missouri State Museum, which features exhibits of historical significance. The structure is notable for its architectural features, including: eight 48-foot columns on the south portico; six 40-foot columns on the north side; a 30-foot-wide grand stairway; and 13-foot by 18-foot bronze doors on the south side. Tours provide an excellent education on the State of Missouri and the structure itself. Guided 45-minute tours are given daily, free of charge: Monday-Friday, on the hour, 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (except at noon), and Saturday-Sunday at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Self-guided maps are available at the tour desk, on the first floor. Please visit our website to make a reservation online. Reservations required for groups of 10+.