1. SET THE MOOD IN WHAT FEELS LIKE AN UNSTAGED MOVIE SET
Fabulous Nevada architect Frederick DeLongchamps was the brainiac behind a whopping six courthouse throughout the state, but Lovelock’s is super-special because it’s one of only two round-shaped courthouses in the NATION. Whoa. In true Classical Revival style, this 1920s era gem and downtown plaza will have you believing Marilyn Monroe and Clark Gable themselves just wrapped a scene from The Misfits on the front steps of this wonder. [A vibe that fits, although the flick was filmed in Reno near another iconic Nevada courthouse.] Even if your sweetie doesn’t have you weak in the knees, you can bet your bottom dollar this architectural gem will be hitting all the right spots.
2. TAKE YOUR LOVE TO NEW HEIGHTS
Tis true, it’s not just Reno and Elko that will take your love to new heights in the Silver State. Aside from snuggling up to your love in a hot air balloon basket, launching in the heart of Nevada will divvy up expansive views of the Great Basin that are too stunning to forget, and give passengers a bird’s eye view of the charmingly cozy 2 square-mile downtown area. Talk about an outing that will indeed, have your love aloft.
3. WRAP YOUR LIPS AROUND SOME MILKSHAKE MAJESTY
If there’s one thing I know, it’s that their milkshakes bring all the boys to the yard at this mighty fine Nevada establishment. Ooook, maybe it’s just a good place to split a milkshake with your honey boo boo. Get your hands on some of the tastiest comfort food, or grab it to go to bring with you when dropping into the backcountry on a romantic adventure for two.
4. SNAG YOURSELF A CHARMING KEEPSAKE
While you’re strolling Main, pop into Nanny Jo’s for a nostalgic memento that will give you all the feels. Family owned and operated, the walls of the joint are lovingly jazzed up with black and white snapshots of you guessed it, Nanny Jo herself. Exchange some heartfelt conversation with Nanny Jo’s granddaughter, or score a hand-stitched handkerchief, endearing photo or even a locket from days past—all of which are gifts your Valentine is sure to cherish.
5. GET ALL KINDS OF DARK AND STORMY IN THIS SIZZLING GHOST TOWN
If you need a little extra help in getting into the spirit this Valentine’s Day, let me introduce you to the spectacularly dynamic Seven Troughs. Exploring this whopper of a ghost town will prove to be a day well spent with your better half, but also happens to be the magic behind some tasty libations. Word on the street is that Seven Troughs range is such a great hunting spot that a pair of distilling dynamos launched Seven Troughs Distilling, naming it after their favorite place to bag some birds. While the variety is sure to please any cocktail connoisseur, let me just leave you with five little words: try the dark and stormy.
6. SPELUNK WITH YOUR SWEETHEART
If you’ve got a hankering for red-hot romance with some redheads, Lovelock Cave and Scenic Byway is just the ticket…you may just have to let your imagination take the wheel on this one. Fascinatingly, the valley that Lovelock lies in was once covered by a prehistoric glacial lake called Lake Lahontan. As the water levels dropped, wave action created Lovelock Cave and many other caves nearby. During this same time, Northern Paiutes called the region home and were terrified of “redheaded giants” who essentially terrorized their people with unfriendly cannibalistic behavior. And what was their lair you ask? LOVELOCK CAVE. Legend has it that the “redheaded giants” eventually lost a battle with the Paiutes that led to their demise. Legend or not? The sky is the limit on this one, but in 1912 a guano miner rediscovered this captivating cave, uncovering a staggering 10,000 ancient specimens of human skeletal remains. Aside from that whopper, perhaps the most fascinating of the mind-boggling amount of artifacts retracted from the cave were tule duck decoys, what the Smithsonian says are the oldest duck decoys found anywhere on Earth. Active imagination or not, the facts prove that this place is certainly worth a spelunk with your sweetheart.
7. GET STEAMY AT A HOT SPRING
The good views around this place aren’t just limited to the meadows when taking a sultry dip at Buena Vista Valley. Experience Nevada in all the best ways and swoon at a natural hot spring with your sweetcheeks. Even if they can’t manage to warm your cockles, any time spent with Kyle is sure to kick up the heat a notch or two.
8. BACK ROAD TOURING THAT WILL PUT YOU IN A TIZZY
Got your heart set on some backcountry touring? Drop off grid with your honeybuns on some pretty spectacularly beautiful stretches of road…the kind you can’t find in your guidebook. While Nevada is most certainly land rich and has enough hidden hotspots to spend a lifetime exploring, one worth checking out is the back road to Unionville. Dropping off I-80 on exit 119, visitors can admire ruins from the ghost towns of Oreana and Rochester before being carried up and over Gold Mountain, and into Buena Vista Valley. While a modern day cinnabar mining operation is buried in these hills, travelers will take delight exploring a well maintained dirt road with a landscape sure to put you in a lover’s trance.
9. FIND ROMANCE IN ROCHESTER
Your lovebug’s a shutterbug? Consider it a date for the win with a trip to the alluring Rochester ghost town, less than an hour from the heart of Lovelock. While the average passerby may not suspect the legendary history that went down in this canyon, you can bet your bottom dollar it certainly did. At one time, a hard-to-imagine 1,500 people called Rochester home, as they scavenged the hills for silver rich ore. Complete with several saloons, hotels, and even a railway designed to specially accommodate the mining production that went down here, it wasn’t long until the mine dried up and people moved on to the next booming town. Let the shutter rip at photo gems like the former mill site, miner cabins, and the original wooden towers the tramway first operated on. It’s easy to swoon over all the photo ops to capture in Romantic Rochester. Now that’s amore.
10. COZY UP TO MARK TWAIN'S CABIN
Considering a love affair is what sparked the construction of this sweet shanty, we’d say a visit to the place would mean you’re off to a good start at a Valentine’s Day escape in Unionville. But, instead lusting after another person, it was Mark Twain who found himself in this hard-to-forget landscape, deeply desiring gold and silver. Very intimately detailing his experiences in Nevada in his novel Roughing It, Mark Twain set up shop in Unionville to cater to his infatuation with hitting it big. Drink in some unmatched American history in this endearing living ghost town, where you can lock eyes with his former residence in the flesh.
11. OBSESS OVER A HEARTFELT HISTORY LESSON AT THIS B&B
Whether you want to be the big or little spoon, anytime canoodling in this slice of off-grid paradise will be an experience you wont soon forget. With a population that’s swelled to 19, this fiercely satisfying remote B&B [which was constructed in 1861, mind you] will be the perfect place for your and your honey bear to reignite the flame. If that’s not enough to drop the love hammer, proprietors Mitzi and David will assuredly yank at those heartstrings by presenting you with an affectionate historical rundown of Unionville. Talk about a breakfast you won’t soon forget.
12. HIT THAT SOFT SPOT WITH A SUNSET OR STARGAZE
Aside from some killer scenery, Nevada is home to an indescribably gorgeous range of western light…the kind photographers lust after. Stir up some romance by devouring a rosy sunset picnic for two at Rye Patch. Or, if you’re looking to kick up the heat with some solid adventure, pack up the snowshoes, astronomy chart, and hot chocolate and take your date on a memorable stargaze stroll to Star Peak, Pershing County’s tallest at 9,840 feet.
13. LOCK DOWN THAT LOVE
Germany? Check. South Korea? Check. Russia? Check. Lovelock? YOU KNOW IT! This alluring tradition stems from ancient Chinese custom of locking one’s love on a never-ending chain and Nevada too, is one of the places in the world where you can lock your love with your companion. Pick up a heart-shaped lock at one of many businesses that sell them throughout town, and add your lock to thousands of others who have also symbolized their love for each other. And hey, if you officially want to lock down those lovely lady lumps, you can even get married here too.
14. ...AND THROW AWAY THE KEY
Let’s be real here for a sec: what’s the point of locking your love if you aren’t going to throw away the key?? Get serious by following the tradition of tossing the key out, Nevada-style, into the mighty Humboldt River. Sprawling over 300 miles makes it the longest river in the state and the fifth longest in the nation. Chucking your key in this beauty proves that your love too, runs deep.
Take Me There
Lover's Aloft Balloon Race
Lovelock Cave & Scenic Byway
Kyle Hot Springs
Old Pioneer Garden B&B and Guest Ranch
Rye Patch State Recreation Area
Lock Your Love