Valentine Vacations

14 sweet places to take your loved ones

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Fountains of Bellagio

The spectacle of all Las Vegas Strip spectacles, the dancing fountains of the Bellagio use highly choreographed water cannons synchronized to music. It's like a water chorus line. The shows are free and attract huge crowds that ring the fence around the lagoon (particularly after dark).

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Eiffel Tower

Scaling the Eiffel Tower is a once-in-a-lifetime experience not to be missed. The Paris landmark recently added children's programming, which has made what was already a family-friendly attraction even better — and the views, as always, are magnifique.

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London Eye

A slow-moving ferris wheel where you stand in an enclosed glass pod with up to 25 other passengers, the London Eye is 418 feet high and takes about 30 minutes to make one rotation, during which your family will see spectacular views of London. The ride is breathtaking and awe-inspiring and your children will keep their noses pressed to the glass the entire time.

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Top of the Rock

he views of New York City are arguably just as good or better from the Top of the Rock observation deck as they are from the Empire State Building, with shorter waits and smaller crowds at the top. Plus, before or after you ascend to the deck you can explore Rockefeller Center itself.

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Hershey Park

Amusement parks are great. Chocolate is great. Marry them and you have a place north of Lancaster that's just about as close to Willy Wonka's vision as you're going to find. Play all day at Hershey Park — a real, live Candyland.

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Laughing Moon Chocolates

You can watch Leigh Williams making her chocolates every day at Laughing Moon Chocolates, but it's the hands-on workshops at this Stowe chocolatier that will have you licking your fingers as well as your lips. You take home everything you make.

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Carriage Ride Through French Quarter

Everyone's first stop in New Orleans should be an exploration of this beautiful, historic French Quarter with its narrow alleys, quaint shops, and flower-draped wrought-iron balconies. One of the best ways to see it is by horse-drawn carriage, where the clop clop clop on the cobblestones will enhance your kids' sense of going back in time.

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Eagle Bahn Gondola

Whether you're looking for stunning views of the valley, or a comfortable, quick ride up the mountain on your way to Adventure Ridge, the Eagle Bahn Gondola — the only gondola in Vail — does not disappoint.

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Golden Gate Park

Your kids will never tire of climbing Golden Gate Park's famously steep Drum Bridge in the Japanese Tea Garden, or looking for carp in the lily ponds. Then there are the windmills, the paddle boats at Stow Lake, the buffalo — the list goes on at this San Francisco beauty.

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Maid of the Mist

Join fellow blue windbreaker-wearing guests on the Maid of the Mist for the classic Niagara Falls tour. The unique boat's eye view gives you a taste of what all those barrel-jumping daredevils had to face.

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Manoa Falls

Just 20 minutes from the hustle and bustle of Honolulu, a tropical rainforest awaits you. If you're a hiking family, you'll appreciate the chance to walk through bamboo groves and under the canopy of lush vegetation. Manoa Falls cascades 150 feet down a vertical face into a crystal clear pool.

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Wailea Beach

Wailea Beach was voted the best beach in the country, and it's easy to see why. A paved boardwalk offers a lovely stroll along the Maui coast and if you're spending freely, the nearby Grand Wailea Resort offers day passes to its out-of-this-world activity pools and water slides.

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Atlantis

Occupying almost the entire area of Paradise Island — which is connected to Nassau by both bridge and boat — Atlantis tops all competitors in terms of sheer glitz and excitement. It's definitely the place to wow jaded city kids who think a tropical vacation sounds boring.

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Hotel Del Coronado

A favorite resort of "The Wizard of Oz" author L. Frank Baum, the Hotel Del (as it's known affectionately by locals) is a feat of whimsical Queen Anne architecture on the San Diego coast. When your children look into the hotel lobby, their eyes will go wide with wonder.

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