ST. PAUL, MInn. -- It may be hard to imagine, but St. Paul has earned the distinction of most romantic getaway in all of North America.
We aren't kidding.
After nearly a month of online voting, the saintly city was given the honor by 10best, a division of USA Today Travel. To do so, the city had to beat out the likes of Naples, FL, Savannah, GA and Santa Fe, NM.
Is the city's mayor surprised by the recognition?
"Not at all," said Mayor Chris Coleman, acknowledging also that he gets "paid to be biased."
Still -- Coleman said the weather, architecture and culture all combined to make St. Paul an obvious choice.
"Whether you're walking down Summit Avenue, or along the river, or Rice Park, it really is such a charming city," he said, adding, "what is more romantic than sitting in front of a nice warm fire on a cold winter night?"
But for a true testimony of how romantic the city really is, KARE 11 turned to Shirley and Frank Windisch. The couple has been married for nearly 60 years and has lived in St. Paul for more than 80 years.
"We found each other in this town, and we've been together as long as we have been, so, what more can you ask for?" Frank said.
Of course, it doesn't hurt that the couple continues "date night," which on Wednesday included touring the ice sculptures in Rice Park and dinner at the Saint Paul Hotel.
"I think Rice Park is one of the most beautiful settings in the world, with the Ordway across the street and the Saint Paul Hotel across the street, the park itself is beautiful," Frank said.
"Now maybe we can go a few more years," added Shirley about their future in the romantic city.
Described by 10best as "the smaller, quieter and, many say, the more sophisticated of the Twin Cities," the publication notes couples "love it for its diverse romantic offerings, like leisurely paddle- wheeler rides along the Mississippi, beer tastings, ice skating and a thriving performance arts scene."
"We are thrilled to claim this award as Best Romantic N. American Getaway," said Adam Johnson, Vice President of Marketing for Visit Saint Paul. "While we have always promoted Saint Paul's romantic side, it is great to have the third party validation of 10best and USA Today."
To celebrate winning the award, Visit Saint Paul is running an online giveaway for a romantic getaway for two to Saint Paul including airfare for two on Delta Air Lines, two nights at The Saint Paul Hotel and gift certificates to some of the city's most romantic restaurants including Pazzaluna, The Downtowner Woodfire Grill, The Liffey, Mickey's Diner and others.
People can enter at www.visitsaintpaul.com/romance. The winner will be announced on Valentine's Day.