Romantic Things to Do: Harry P. Leu Gardens is a horticulturist's haven. Resplendent with botanical beauty it is peaceful and relaxing, colorful and fragrant. It could easily be considered romantic any day of the week, but only the first Friday of each month is its designated "Date Night." Dress comfortably, bring a blanket or chairs and a picnic basket (don't skimp; spring for great bread, cheese, wine and/or chocolate!) and enjoy a movie under the stars with your sweetie. Selections range from romantic classics to modern blockbusters -- check the Leu Gardens website to see what's playing. Cost is $6 for adults; $3 for children.
Free Things to Do: No, Harry P. Leu Gardens isn't free all the time, but plan your visit just so and you'll enjoy gratis admission, available on the first Monday of every month from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm with last admittance at 4:00 pm. Fans of phenomenal flora delight in Leu Gardens, where cycads and azaleas, philodendrons and bromeliads and other exotic offerings -- some with harder-to-pronounce names than others -- grow and flourish and pose colorfully for photographers' cameras. The Leu House Museum, a beautifully restored 19th Century home, is open for guided tours on the hour and half-hour. Fine art fans will find a multitude of sculptures dotted among the horticultural offerings, as well.
Best Things to Do: Leu Gardens offer a peaceful, relaxing spot in which to enjoy the beauty of nature. Guests can tread shaded paths and view large oak and camphor trees, as well as roses, camellias, and azaleas. The property also includes the Leu House Museum, a restored farmhouse. Be sure to visit the floral clock before saying goodbye to these lovely gardens. The first Monday of each month is free admission all day.
Local Expert A.D. Thompson Says:
Romantic Things to Do: "Drinking out of actual glasses might be nice, but consider the implication of breakage in a garden. Bring plastic instead."
Free Things to Do: "Check the Leu Gardens website while planning. They offer other random free-admission days throughout the year."
Best for Romantic Things to Do Because: Al fresco cinema bumps the typical movie night up a few notches; Leu Gardens' fragrant "theater" is a winner for romance.
Best for Free Things to Do Because: I'm no doctor, but I suspect Leu Gardens' 50-acres of botanical splendor may drop your blood pressure a few points on arrival.