Phil Fowler has the restaurants and shops of Coeur d'Alene to thank for his engagement with Nicole Chichenoff, he said.
The two had their first date at Angelo's Ristorante Italiano, where the owner showed them special attention.
"Angelo's earned me some major points," Fowler said.
The Coeur d'Alene couple has spent hours talking at Calypso's Coffee, too, he said. At Bonsai Bistro, he changed Chichenoff's mind about sushi.
Often, they have simply strolled by Lake Coeur d'Alene and shopped downtown.
"If it wasn't for Coeur d'Alene, we wouldn't have gotten to know each other as we did," said Fowler, who said Chichenoff brings out the best in him.
The two are expecting to have their first child, Delilah Fowler, today.
"If it was a different city, I don't think it would've been the same," Fowler said.
Don't bother visiting anywhere else to pamper your significant other this Valentine's Day.
When it comes to Cupid-friendly venues, Coeur d'Alene visitors and residents agree that ours hits all the marks as a romantic city.
Even Paris doesn't have the French word for heart in its name, after all.
"Beautiful lake, great sunsets. I don't know where you could find a more romantic place," said Steve Wilson, president and CEO of the Coeur d'Alene Chamber of Commerce.
As far as intimate spots for couples to swap sweet nothings, we've got it all covered, Wilson said.
He noted the floating boardwalk, the multitude of restaurants downtown.
"I always like a drive along the lake. You can't beat the sunset," he added.
Folks strolling around Coeur d'Alene on Wednesday said they have finessed their dates wine tasting downtown, having picnics by the water, walking along the beach.
"Downtown is beautiful," said Carmen Murphy, a North Idaho College student, of why the city is conducive to coupling. "The lake, the view."
Her best dates have involved cozying up in the string of coffee shops downtown, she said.
"Like Java. It's just enough to be public, but you're still in a private setting," Murphy said.
Holding hands as they moseyed through the NIC campus, Sara Martinez and Andrew Steiner said their first date was strolling the floating boardwalk.
In the following five months of dating, they've bonded hiking on Tubbs Hill, enjoying the beach, swimming.
Being surrounded by forest and lake has brought them closer together, Martinez said.
"When you're surrounded by beautiful things, you appreciate more beauty in things," she said.
It's common for couples to perch in a quiet corner at downtown's Fire Artisan Pizza with a bottle of wine, said owner Doug Johnson.
The restaurant's blazing oven fire will stoke romantic feelings, he said, as well as the lengthy wine list.
"We don't have a TV always going in the restaurant. Girls don't have to compete with sports," he added. "We generally have some old movies playing, so that's a lot more romantic than a sporting event."
Some couples have met, dated and held their weddings at the Greenbriar Inn, said co-owner Kris McIlvenna.
"It's not a bar scene. A lot of women that come here for a drink or appetizer after work don't feel like they're being preyed upon," she said of the inn's restaurant, 315 Martinis and Tapas.
The Greenbriar has hosted thousands of weddings and receptions, she added.
"Coeur d'Alene has served Washington as a marriage destination," McIlvenna said. "It's got so many nice restaurants, the beach and the lake, and art galleries. Just generally speaking, it has the certain amount of intimacy you don't find in a big city."
Aaron and Brooke Nicholson, in the process of settling in Coeur d'Alene, have already enjoyed romantic excursions in Coeur d'Alene.
Those include a one-year anniversary dinner at Beverly's, they said, and boating on the river.
"We love being outdoors, and we're trying to incorporate that here," Brooke said as the couple strolled by City Park with their newborn daughter.
They plan to give couples here more to do, too. Brooke, a ballerina, and Aaron, an opera singer, say they're hoping to expand Opera of Coeur d'Alene.
Brooke envisions couples bringing wine to the new McEuen Park to hear outdoor opera, she said.
"We're trying to make it more romantic," she said with a smile.
Community website Lovecda.com also offers a list of 10 best date ideas in Coeur d'Alene.
They include dinner and a movie, playing disc golf, garage sale hopping.
"You can learn a lot about someone by the things that catch their interest at a garage sale," insisted site administrator Stan Drennan.
One aspect where Coeur d'Alene could use a leg up, he admitted, is venues to meet someone.
"Meeting someone new is probably the hardest thing to do in Coeur d'Alene," Drennan conceded.
He recommended joining some of the city's activity clubs. Even if there aren't appealing singles there, he said, a person might learn something about trail building or screenwriting.
"You have the tried and true method of heading down to one of the local bars to meet someone new, but I'm not sure how many lasting relationships have been built on that approach," Drennan stated. "Certainly a few."