Stop sign with a heart drawn around itDare I say it? Valentine's Day is almost here. No need to go into a tailspin, or scramble for date ideas. There are tons of fun, and imaginative ways to spend romantic times in Pennsylvania's Americana Region on Valentine's Day, and all year long.

First of all, an amazing date need not be expensive. Think outside of the box... for that matter, Think Outside! Take advantage of the trails that surround us. Hike Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, Nolde Forest, the Pinnacle, and Gring’s Mill. What could be sweeter than a walk in the woods, with beautiful scenery as your backdrop? Skiing anyone? Weather permitting, Bear Creek Mountain Resort offers evening skiing, and snowtubing deals. Afterwards, cozy up by fire in their lodge. Follow the Hex Barn Art and Covered Bridge Trails from the comfort of your car. Add some great music, and see the hex signs our region is famous for. Or... visit one or all of our five remaining bridges. Their stories are fun, and who knows, you might just steal a kiss inside one of those romantic structures.

Another idea, go somewhere new! Comfort zones are so overrated. Visit Hamburg, Boyertown, or West Reading and find Main Streets jumping with unique shops, cool eateries, entertainment, and brew pubs. All three have museums, historic sites, and galleries. Speaking of galleries, the GoggleWorks Center for the Arts is free, open to the public, and a wonderful place to spend time with someone special. Check out the exhibits, watch artists at work, catch a glassblowing demonstration, or see what's playing at their theatre.

If you're feeling shy, and need some reinforcement, plan a group date. Hire a driver, to play it safe, and check out our wineries. Many of the local vineyards offer Wine & Chocolate tasting events around Valentine’s Day. Score the wines, and determine which vintner produces the best local wine. If beer is your preference, find tasting events at the area breweries. Stoudt's Brewing Company is adjacent to a bevy of antiques shops. Search the stalls, then head to the Stoudt's to assess your spoils.

If none of these ideas hit the mark, there is always the old standby, dinner and a movie. Whatever you do, relax, and enjoy the romance of PA's Americana Region.