Valentine’s Day lands on a Friday this year. Sounds like the start of something beautiful, such as a weekend away. Here are some spots that just might make your hearts beat a little faster.

When I went to Canoe Bay, I’ll admit, I fell in love — with the wooded trails, the restaurant’s top-notch food, the lake, the plush beds and double-headed showers. This resort in Chetek, Wis., ­has gracious prairie-style cottages (where every room has a fireplace but no phone) and a dining room filled with tables for two. It is one of the region’s best resorts for filling your heart, even if it empties your wallet. Rooms are still available for Cupid’s busy weekend (; 1-715-924-4594).

For that same sense of woodsy seclusion but a lower price, go to Heartwood in Trego, Wis. This conference and retreat center is owned by Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, offers discounts to Thrivent customers and is inexpensive for all (anyone can go). On its 700 acres, Heartland has two lakes, a river and a range of accommodations, from lodge rooms to cottages overlooking a lake. The “ultimate chocolate martini” at its Pine Lodge Restaurant seems made for the holiday (www.heart; 1-800-577-4848).

Closer to home, two historic red brick beauties come to mind. Stillwater’s Water Street Inn offers whirlpool tubs, fireplaces and views of the St. Croix River (; 651-439-6000). Charlie’s Pub, on its ground floor, is offering a five-course Valentine’s dinner.

In Red Wing, it’s easy to grow besotted with the St. James Hotel, which has antique furniture, a spa and a dimly lit, wine-focused restaurant, the Port, which offers its Valentine’s dinner menu all weekend long (; 1-800-252-1875).


Send your questions or tips to travel editor Kerri Westenberg at