Classic Romantic Dates Made Better, by Bridge Day

When planning Valentine's Day dates, there are always the standbys. But what if you could make the classics better? Diogi's dessert

Add a little Bridge Day flavor, with a dash of WV flair and New River Gorge beauty. Insta-upgrade. 

Here's how to do Valentine's Day, the Bridge Day way:

Classic: A sunset Better: Well, actually, we like this one. But, not just any sunset. A gorgeous mountain sunset after an evening hike through the New River Gorge. Long Point Trail is a particularly scenic spot.

Classic: An oceanside stroll Better: Stroll! Cute. But how about we instead get the crashing of the waves from a pounding river, then head 876 feet above it, atop our favorite structure. Harness up and stroll across the New River Gorge Bridge for Bridge Walk with your sweetie and stare down at the rushing New River.

Classic: Meet in the middle of a spaghetti noodle Better: Skip that thin little noodle and share something tasty. Meet in the middle of a Bridge Day favorite— funnel cake! It's a bit more complex to wind the path of a swirled cake, but, hey, love's all about getting close!

Classic: A sweet champagne toast Better: A sweet cheers! With beers! Delicious craft beers! Enjoy some of West Virginia's best selection at Pies and Pints. And don't forget what you're cheers-ing to. For each tasty craft brew you try, toast to something you adore about your darling.

Classic: Massages Better: Going for feel-good tingles? Adrenaline feels pretty amazing as well. Earn a rush of feel-good chemicals! Plan a skydive instead!

Classic: A romantic getaway Better: Well, if you're thinking of a sweet retreat, you're fooling yourself if you think you'll find something more romantic than a secluded New River Gorge cabin with some local character. (A single room in a crowded hotel? Boo!) Tucked back into the trees, hot tub, fireplace… cozy cabin life. Many of them have romantic packages, with everything from champagne to share to rose petals on the bed.

Classic: Singing your sweetheart a song Better: All the cute things you love about your lover, all the memories together, put into poetry and set to a tune! But give this one a real push by mixing it with another romance cliche: shouting it from a mountaintop. Literally.

Classic: A scavenger hunt Better: Take your search to the trails of the New River Gorge with a geocaching journey together!

Classic: Diamond jewelry Better: Sure, there's something swell about anything shiny, but Tamarack has glimmer and more, in the form of intricate, handcrafted artisan pieces. Find something one-of-a-kind, as unique and special as your special someone.

Classic: Breakfast in bed Better: Make your breakfast county-style with Tudor's Biscuit World. Drive-Thru. Enjoy it from the comfort of your seat, with a much better view than from bed, as you drive down the scenic Midland Trail.

Classic: Dinner & a movie Better: Movies are simple entertainment, so why not switch that out for something even more fun? Try an adventure. Ziplining, horseback riding, caving, skiing, hiking— whatever you'll both enjoy. Then dinner, somewhere in downtown Fayetteville.

Classic: Chocolates Better: It's hard to believe, but there are more appetizing desserts than basic cream-filled chocolate hearts. For example, 2008's Taste of Bridge Day winner, Diogi's Salvadorian bread pudding.

Classic: Stargazing Better: This one's a bit more tricky. First, postpone the date by reserving a rafting trip for the early summer season. (The confirmation will be your gift on the actual day-of.) Then, after going hard on the river, lay down somewhere overlooking the Gorge. It will feel twice as great to relax after an intense adventure. And, while you're looking across the landscape, compare: the shine of the stars in the sky, and the flickering glimmer of the fireflies below.

How are you upgrading your Valentine's Day date?