Blog & Photos By: Brittany Racca
"Here's lookin’ at you, kid." - Casablanca
Valentine’s Day can be both a blessing and a curse, just like love. People wrote poems about it, sung songs and have done every version of a kiss possible in movies.
For those lucky enough to have a significant other, there are a lot of expectations for V-Day no matter how long you’ve been together. It is of course advised you let them know you care every day of the year, but Valentine’s Day is the one day you can really go all out and be the quintessential cliché for love. From flowers and candy to proposals, you’re always asking yourself "How can I show the person I love that they’re the most important person to me?"
And the truth is, everyone loves to be reminded just how much they matter to someone. So, we have come up with a few romantic options for Valentine’s Day that are both traditional and a little nontraditional.
"Nobody puts Baby in a corner." - Dirty Dancing
1. Baby and Johnny were far from traditional but their love is timeless, just like this classic V-Day idea - food. Because, what's more traditional and fun than a delicious meal (that you didn't have to cook)?
Bojangles Sushi & Oyster Bar on New Iberia's Historic Main Street has a fabulous menu for a lunchtime meal, and the setup of the restaurant feels very intimate regardless of where you are seated. The low lighting is lovely for a quiet afternoon out.
Afterwards, stroll Main Street and window shop or walk down to PJ Allain's Sculpture Garden and immerse yourself in this unique hideaway alongside the Bayou Teche.
If your special someone likes to dance, Landry's Seafood & Steakhouse and Preservation Bar & Grill offer entertainment on select nights and weekends. Other date spots include, but are not limited to Calabria and Jane's Seafood.
"As you wish." – The Princess Bride
2. Note: Avery Island is closed at the moment, but you can make plans to take your sweetie soon.
Avery Island might be known for its Tabasco plant, but there is a hidden gem on this island that many overlook. Jungle Gardens with it lush vegetation and towering oak trees is a three mile trail through flowers, Buddhas and birds.
Weather permitting, there is nothing as romantic as a bike ride along the winding paths of Jungle Gardens. It's easy to imagine Buttercup and Westley riding off into the sunset Cajun style when you visit.
Stop for lunch at the new 1868 restaurant and then set off on your journey. Pedal past the "swamp" and under the hanging moss and through the wisteria arch. Visit to see all the natural beauty.
If the weather doesn't participate, you always have the option of driving the gardens in your vehicle and they will still be just as beautiful.
"You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how." – Gone With the Wind
3. Jefferson Island Rip Van Winkle Gardens is the location of many weddings in Iberia Parish. Whether you're ready to take the big leap or already have, it doesn't mean you shouldn't consider this destination for your Valentine's Day.
The flowers, the bygone era mansion house and Café Jefferson, with its romantic dining-on-the-lake setting, are just a few of the well-known assets. But, the Asian architecture and fairytale elements abound in this secret garden. The wishing well is surrounded by stone lions and an ornate door that could possibly hold the entrance to Narnia or Wonderland. Curiouser and curiouser…
"I love you. I know." – Star Wars
4. Everyone wants a fiery love like Han and Leia and this date idea definitely brings the heat. Tabasco has a Hot Bananas with Rum and Chocolate recipe that is just as delicious as it sounds.
For the ooey gooey romantic in you, try their Smoldering Swirled Brownies or Chocolate Chunk Cookies. For more Tabasco recipes visit their website and remember, no matter which dessert you end up creating, as long as you're baking it with the one you love it's sure to be sweet.
"I love you. I am who I am because of you. You are every reason, every hope, and every dream I've ever had, and no matter what happens to us in the future, everyday we are together is the greatest day of my life. I will always be yours." – The Notebook
5. Nature has been a continuing theme in this post, and it's because Iberia Parish has an abundance of beautiful outdoor locations, of which this list names only a few. Our last suggestion doesn't have to just be for a romantic evening, it can also be to reconnect. With what or whom is up to you.
New Iberia City Park sits right along the Bayou Teche and has a stunning view of the moss covered trees down the winding waterway. You'll only need three things for this activity: a blanket, you and clear weather. Star gazing might seem like such a small gesture, but in today's hectic world we often don't get to simply be.
We get stuck in a continuous cycle of chores, appointments, meetings, traffic jams and so many other everyday to do lists that we forget to take time out of the day to just breathe. And it is so important to take time for yourself.
It seems to be frowned upon nowadays, where if you aren't in a constant state of motion you aren't accomplishing anything, but it's a lie. Sometimes all you need is to be with someone you care about, look at the stars and remember how big this world really is.
Think about it, out of every period of time and space you were lucky enough to live in the time they were with you. Every single moment and choice and hardship of your life has led you to that moment, to love. I think that's beautiful.
So, I hope this post has left you with new romantic ideas and maybe a little more because like Prince Charming says:
"True love isn't easy but it must be fought for because once you find it, it can never be replaced." – Once Upon a Time
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