This Seaside Destination In New England Is Bursting With Valentine's Day Romance

New England has everything, including fairy-tale-like scenery and historic architecture. Unsurprisingly, this region has become a go-to destination for couples, especially for Valentine's Day. If you want to take your better half on a perfect romantic winter getaway to celebrate the holiday, consider Stonington, Connecticut. The town is located on Long Island Sound, about an hour from Hartford and New Haven.

Stonington was founded in 1649 and was once known for its maritime industry. In a word, the town is charming. It features scenic waterfront views, colonial homes, and cobblestone streets. Likewise, Stonington is surrounded by greenery. 

Stonington Borough on Stonington Harbor is one of the town's most notable areas. It has several walking trails, including at the Dodge Paddock & Beal Preserve, where you and your loved one can have a romantic Valentine's stroll on the shore.

That said, Stonington's February weather is frosty, and many of its attractions, including DuBois Beach and the Stonington Lighthouse Museum, are closed for the season. Despite this, Stonington will provide you and your significant other with an unforgettable Valentine's Day. There's highly-rated eateries, stunning accommodations options, and more.

Valentine's Day date ideas in Stonington, Connecticut

Stonington is a perfect Valentine's Day destination for East Coast locals. For reference, Stonington borders Rhode Island and is less than an hour from the state's capital, Providence. In addition, New York City and Boston are only a 3- and 2-hour drive away, respectively. But what is there to do with your S.O. in Stonington? You can check out the sea animals at the impressive Mystic Aquarium. It's open every day from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tickets are under $40. 

Or, you can visit Stonington Vineyards. It's open year-round and offers wine tastings for $16. The vineyard's grounds are gorgeous, and although they do not offer food, you can bring your own. Stop at Pasta Fresca & Piadina, a nearby top-rated Italian Deli. Indulge in wine and share a sub for a casual but memorable Valentine's Day. Stonington Vineyards' tastings are available from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

If you prefer a more elaborate meal, dine at Via Emilia. This Italian eatery is in Mystic, which is considered part of Stonington. In 2023, CT Insider voted Via Emilia one of the most romantic restaurants in Connecticut. Via Emilia has a set dinner menu for Valentine's Day 2024. Diners get their choice of an appetizer, pasta, a main meat dish, and a dessert for $95. Valentine's Day reservations can be made online.

Want a meal with a view with your sweetheart? Opt for Breakwater Restaurant overlooking Stonington Harbor. The restaurant serves seafood and is open from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. 

Idyllic stays in Stonington, Connecticut

A romantic getaway needs a dreamy hotel room. The Inn at Stonington (pictured) is located in Stonington Borough and has 19 guest rooms decorated in a coastal New England style. A handful of the rooms feature waterfront views. Other amenities include a gas fireplace and an over-sized jacuzzi bathtub. Room rates during the winter range from $225 to $450 a night. Free breakfast and parking are provided to guests. You can make a reservation for the Inn at Stonington online.

In addition, there's the Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa, located 15 minutes from Stonington. The lavish establishment has a heated indoor pool and onsite eatery, The Helmsman Kitchen & Bar, which serves breakfast and dinner. 

The hotel's spa, Cerulean Beauty & Spa, offers a couples massage for an undisclosed price for your choice of 60 or 90 minutes. You must call the spa to book this treatment. Rooms at the Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa start at $169 per night and can be reserved online.

In addition, you can find several lodging options for under $100 a night (excluding taxes and other fees) on Airbnb. A guest favorite is the True Artist Loft, a $195/night guesthouse with rustic vintage-inspired elegance. Wherever you decide to stay, Stonington will surely add color to your Valentine's Day celebration.