Take an amorous adventure aboard the classic vessel of romance from vintage Superman comics. For $35, today’s Groupon lets you and your sweetheart experience la dolce vita sans passport con conejos with an hour-long cruise for two to see the Huntington Harbour architecture with Sunset Gondola, an $80 value. Bring your Italian-fairytale fantasies to life without enduring the cost and chaos of the international flight.
From your gondolier (decked out in the requisite striped shirt and ribbon-trimmed hat ensemble) to the Italian-made gondolas, every detail is designed to simulate the boot-shaped country’s most romantic tradition outside of feeding your partner nibbles of turkey meatloaf. It'll be like a postcard come to life, but without the frightening metaphysical implications. You’ll also enjoy complimentary blankets, ice, cups, and bottle opener. Bring a camera, and your gondolier will be happy to take a photograph of you and your gondola-mate snuggling under the stars. Gondola rides are limited to six people per cruise.
Sunset Gondola is open year-round, and the boats stay out until midnight for romantic, late-night cruises. It also offers romance packages, full moon cruises once a month, and holiday light cruises after Thanksgiving; the staff will also make special accommodations should you be planning that marriage proposal you’ve been putting off (you will have to pay the difference for certain special events; call ahead).
If your relationship mainly consists of Facebook pokes and sweet tweets, now’s your chance to redeem yourself by surprising your significant other with a taste of old-fashioned courtship. Take a cue from the cinematic formula for romance so beautifully exemplified by The Notebook, Boat Trip, and Jaws: being at sea makes people fall madly in love. Get this Groupon to celebrate an anniversary, re-spark a flame, or as an inventive date-night alternative to dinner and a movie.
Note: This Groupon is not valid December 18–26 and on Valentine's Day.
- The gondoliers really earn their keep in Huntington Harbour. While it features one or two bridges the tour passes under (for kissing), there's a lot more open water as the channels are wider than Naples. – BeachCalifornia.com
Most Romantic Marriage Proposals
Is there a more romantic marriage proposal than one made on a gondola ride? Yes. Here are the most romantic proposal situations to make sure she says, “Okay”:
- During a skydiving free-fall, point east, where a skywriter has slightly misinterpreted your instructions and sky-written “Marriage Question Mark.”
- She’s a hostage in a high-stakes bank robbery; you are a hostage negotiator. Put aside your cool exterior and pop that question.
- Who cares if it’s the biggest match of your career? Take off your luchador mask and ask all the women in the audience to marry you.
- If she’s a night owl, finance and film a 30-minute infomercial. If she calls with an answer in the next 10 minutes, throw in a free grater.
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For centuries, lovebirds have toured Venice's picturesque canals on gondola rides. And since 2006, couples have headed out onto the calm waters of Huntington Harbor aboard the same iconic Venetian boats, courtesy of Sunset Gondolas. To recreate the Italian experience as thoroughly as possible, the company's fleet is made up entirely of gondolas imported from Italy—and is the only company in Southern California with that distinction. Moreover, their gondoliers sport traditional striped shirt, and serenade passengers upon request. What's more, they're experts at their craft. Two of the boatswains have won the US Gondola Nationals for their skill in the authentic, 37-foot boats—Bepi, who won in 2012, and Stefano, who won in 2013.
Despite their prowess, however, the gondoliers often blend into the background during rides, letting the California scenery take center stage. From their seats, couples or convivial groups drink in views of the area's Venetian-style islands, canals, and bridges, all while snacking on picnic spreads and wine they brought along, or the chocolate-dipped strawberries provided in some packages. The gondoliers can tailor the rides to special occasions, too, including proposals and wedding ceremonies.