The tradition of heart-shaped chocolate boxes can be traced to the Aztecs, who coated enemy tickers in cocoa before sacrificing them to the gods of fertility, war, and coconut-cream filling. Appease epicurean spirits with today's Groupon: for $21, you get two tickets to the 2011 Chocolate March from Inns of the Valley (normally $21 each in advance, $25 at the door, including tax). Choose from four dates; available locations change depending on date:
- Sunday, March 6
- Sunday, March 13
- Sunday, March 20
- Sunday, March 27
Hosted by an eclectically elegant collection of inns and museums peppered throughout the St. Croix River Valley, the 2011 Chocolate March launches guests on self-guided, cocoa-centric excursions. Guests munch on chocolate delicacies and take in architectural desserts with chocolate-dipped innkeepers at five separate stops, one of which will feature a wine pairing, on the Sunday jaunts (different destinations are featured each weekend). Depending on their chosen date, chocolate hunters can relax under the mannered, leaf-shaded porticos of Rosewood's Queen Anne mansion, take in the brick-draped Gilded Age grandeur of the Water Street Inn, or plot a sweet rustic retreat or candy-coated coup d'état by Wissahickon Farms' general store façade and peppermint-stick split-rail fence.
MidwestWeekends featured the 2010 Chocolate March:
- Not only are they waiting for you, they're waiting with plates full of chocolate. – Beth Gauper