Valentine's Day can be a divisive holiday. Is it a romantic date that gives you an extra reason to shower your significant other with love and attention, or is it a scheme by corporate America to convince you to randomly blow a bunch of money in February? Either way, I think we can all agree that while money can't buy happiness (or love, unless you live in Nevada, where that kind of thing is legal...), any opportunity to spend more quality time with the person you love is an opportunity worth taking.

And that's what this list is all about. Forget dropping major dough on jewelry, or relying on the standard dinner and a movie, there are some seriously romantic (and seriously fun) experiences right here in the Hudson Valley that will make even the biggest V-Day cynic realize that there's more to the 14th than a last-minute chocolate-buying frenzy at the pharmacy.

The Rules

A quick note: this list runs the gamut. As we discussed, not everyone is a candy and flowers kind of couple, but everyone does (or at least should) want to spend some extra-special quality time with the one they love. That being said, I'm covering everything from classic romantic ideas (hello, massage oil and candlelight) to some more non-traditional dates that will leave you with a smile on your face without feeling like you got duped by some Valentine's Day propaganda. Let's get into it.

Alan Caishan/Unsplash
Alan Caishan/Unsplash
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 Classic Idea: Couples Massage

I know I'm not scoring any points for originality, but what I like about the idea of a couples massage is that you both get one. How many times have you got into the "you always ask me for a back rub but when it's my turn you always say you're too tired" argument? This way you both get some bodywork done and you'll leave feeling relaxed and ready to go home to use some oil of your own. Bodhi Holistic Spa in Hudson offers Yelp's highest-rated couples massage in the Hudson Valley.

Victoria Saint Martin
Victoria Saint Martin
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Classic Idea with a Twist: A Night at City Winery in Montgomery

This takes the classic idea of Valentine's Day dinner and gives it an awesome twist. First off, it's at a winery, and nothing says class and sophistication like wine tasting (unless you're on a bus tour and this is stop number ten... in that case all hope is lost).

You can also reserve your own fire pit, where you can enjoy appetizers and gaze into each other's eyes (or just drink more wine). Plus, if you are looking to keep it traditional, classic dinner reservations are available as well.

Wavetop
Wavetop
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Fun and Non-Traditional Idea: Escape Room

If you roll you eyes at all things sappy, take your valentine to an escape room! Nothing says romance like being locked in a room together. Plus, if you can't solve the puzzles to escape, you can always just make out with each other until your time is up. Top-rated escape rooms in the Hudson Valley include Escape Time Adventures in Wappingers Falls, Headless Horseman Escape Rooms in Ulster Park, and Escape the Mystery in Middletown.

Google Maps
Google Maps
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Classy and Free Idea: Olive Oil Tasting

I'll admit, I rolled my eyes at this one until I actually did it. Scarborough Fare has locations in both New Paltz and Beacon, and offers countless varieties of both olive oil and balsamic vinegar. You'll need to try their 25-year-aged balsamic; not only will it completely blow your taste buds out of your skull, it'll also leave you feeling like the classiest person in the Hudson Valley. While this could be for all relationship levels, it has a great first-Valentine's Day vibe around it. Plus, the tasting itself is free!

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lightphoto
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Baller AF Idea: Mini-Vacation at Mohonk Mountain House, New Paltz

Now this one costs a bit more, but the options at Mohonk will leave you and your valentine feeling like you are a world away from the everyday life without having to travel nearly any distance at all. You can save 30% off mid-week packages, too. They offer extensive spa services, whisky tastings, multi-course dinners, snowshoeing, ice skating, and more.

Bonus Idea: Hibachi Dinner

This is just a personal favorite and one of the first dates my now-wife and I went on almost eight years ago. Plus, what says romance more than an onion volcano and having a shrimp tossed in your mouth by a spatula-wielding chef? Good news for you too: there's a ton to choose from here in the Hudson Valley.

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