With Valentine's Day just around the corner, what better way to get in the mood than with some completely gratuitous house porn? You might not be in the neighborhood (or tax bracket) for many of these open houses, but there's plenty to love in these big, beautiful homes -- even from the comfort of your swivel chair.
From a regal Tudor-style mansion in Tinseltown, to a Greek-inspired palace fit for a demigod, we lay down the welcome mat at some of the most enticing open houses in the nation. So wipe your feet at the door and scroll right on through.
Open Houses for Feb. 10-12
Open house: Sun., Feb. 12 Location: Los Angeles Price: $7.750 million Property details: Just like your true love, this spectacular property is one of a kind. We're talking unobstructed views over the legendary Wilshire Country Club and golf course, multiple outdoor terraces and patios, serene fountains and gardens. It also features six spacious bedrooms, six full bathrooms, a gourmet kitchen and a roomy wine cellar that would make any oenophile proud. This resort-style residence is so luxuriously romantic with its breathtaking panoramas and graceful, wood-carved fireplaces that you and your sweetheart will feel like it's Valentine's Day every day. See inside this property.
Open house: Sat., Feb. 11 - Sun., Feb. 12 Location: Lago Vista, Texas Price: $3.350 million Property details: This stunning home is for the romantic in all of us -- just look at the view from that stunning infinity pool. No doubt, with incredible panoramic views over Lake Travis, its prime location by a deep-water cove and its beautiful koi pond, this home will make you feel like you're on a lover's getaway every day. The 9,240 square foot beauty also features five spacious bedrooms, eight bathrooms, a media room and a wet bar. Though we suspect you and your sweetheart will spend most of your time snuggling by the wood-burning fireplace.
Open house: Sun., Feb. 12 Location: Coral Gables, Fla. Price: $8.495 million Property details: With fireplaces, a wine cellar and stunning views, this home is Valentine's Day-ready all year-round. This beautiful, seven-bedroom, eight-bathroom home boasts over $1 million in electronics, including surround sound, security cameras, and Creston lighting. Not a tech fiend? No worries. The sprawling, 8,735-square-foot home also boasts double-volume ceilings, marble and wood floors, stunning chandeliers throughout and a spectacular pool and patio area, where you can soak up some of that blissful Florida sun.
Open house: Sun., Feb. 12 Location: Greenwood, Minn. Price: $1.849 million Property details: We love this fairy-tale cottage in Greenwood, perfect for beach picnics, romantic boat rides and seashore snuggles. The charming, two-story cottage-style love nest boasts 280-plus-feet of remarkable sandy-beach shoreline overlooking St. Alban's Bay, in addition to an incredible boathouse. If you're more of an indoor person, that's OK, too -- the 4,477-square-foot, four-bedroom home has gorgeous views over the water from almost every angle. See inside this property.
Open house: Sun., Feb. 12 Location: Atlanta Price: $1.250 million Property description: This stately home is right out of a romance novel. With classic antique decor, beautiful hanging chandeliers, stunning wooden staircases and fireplaces, it's truly something special. The five-bedroom, six-bathroom home is also located on a quiet, leafy cul-de-sac for the utmost privacy.
Open House: Sun., Feb. 12 Location: Los Angeles Price: $10.75 million Property description: This photogenic home in the West Hollywood Hills is for all the Brangelinas and the Tomkats out there. Set high on its own secluded promontory with panoramic views of the Hollywood Hills, canyons, city, and also the San Fernando Valley, this 13,100-square-foot home -- named Castillo del Angels (or "Castle for Angels") is strictly for the A-List's lovers. The home features eight bedrooms, 10 bathrooms and a stunning swimming pool.
Open house: Sun., Feb. 12 Location: Little Neck, N.Y. Price: $999,000 Property description: This beautiful Colonial-style home on wonderfully leafy 57th Avenue has love written all over it. From its cozy fireplaces to its stunning tree-fringed views and spas, it's a two-story lover's paradise. It's also a spacious 5,368 square feet, featuring four bedrooms, three bathrooms and generous living areas. A perfect home for entertaining many -- or just two. Whatever tickles your fancy.
Open house: Sat., Feb. 11 Location: Boise Price: $989,000 Property description: This beautiful Boise corner apartment is perfect for impressing that special someone. With stunning foothill views and a spacious, east-facing balcony (perfect for enjoying an al fresco, home-cooked meal) you're sure to win over that special lady (or man!). Inside, you can enjoy radiant floor heating, and nearby is a beautiful park and cafe. No doubt, this cozy two-bedroom, two-bathroom beauty makes the perfect love nest.
The Boston-Cambridge-Quincy metropolitan area’s greatest strength for those without an automobile is the prevalence of dense, easily manageable communities. This makes it exceptionally easy for residents to reach amenities such as groceries, restaurants, shopping and schools. The metropolitan area’s primary city, Boston, has the third-highest walk score in the country. The area’s public transit also has a relatively high service frequency rate, making its use that much more convenient for the city’s residents.
> Transit coverage: 96 percent (second highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 6.2 (second lowest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 25.6 percent (69th highest)
> Walk score: 65.9 (14th highest)
> Commuters who bike: 0.87 percent (14th highest)
Los Angeles is the second largest city by population in the United States, and its metropolitan area is fairly spread out. Due to its extensive public transit system the area has avoided a complete automobile-based culture. The metro area’s 19 transit systems have more than 500 bus routes. As a result, 96 percent of neighborhoods are within 0.75 miles to a transit stop -- the second highest rate in the country. Better still, commuters can catch a form of public transportation from their nearest stop every 6.2 minutes.
> Transit coverage: 89 percent (eighth highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 8.5 (11th lowest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 58.9 percent (2nd highest)
> Walk score: 57.6 (29th highest)
> Commuters who bike: 0.78 percent (17th highest)
Utah’s population is expected to grow from 2010’s approximately 3 million to 4.4 million in 2030. Salt Lake County accounts for more than one-third of the state’s population. To accommodate this growth, the Utah Transit Authority has plans to add four more lines to its light rail system, TRAX, up from its current three lines. This investment is meant to improve transportation for the suburban and exurban population to the city. In the winter, the UTA runs ski transit lines in addition to its rail and bus services.
> Transit coverage: 83.7 percent (12th highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 8.1 (10th lowest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 47.5 percent (10th highest)
> Walk score: 60.4 (23rd highest)
> Commuters who bike: 0.79 percent (16th highest)
Denver has bus service, light rail lines and an airport shuttle service. The city is currently undergoing a multibillion dollar expansion of its transit system, called the FasTracks Expansion. This plan is meant to increase light rail, commuter rail and bus rapid-transit lines. The project, which is expected to be completed in 2019, currently faces a $2 billion shortfall.
> Transit coverage: 95.6 percent (third highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 6.9 (fifth lowest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 58.4 percent (third highest)
> Walk score: 54.5 (34th highest)
> Commuters who bike: 1.56 percent (seventh highest)
The San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara metropolitan area’s public transportation is overseen by the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. Like Los Angeles, the area relies heavily on buses, running about 100 routes. Public transit covers 95.6 percent of neighborhoods, the third greatest in the country. Public vehicles also run under seven minutes apart, the fifth smallest frequency. The metro area also has the seventh highest rate of commuters who travel to work by bicycle.
> Transit coverage: 85.3 percent (11th highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 8.8 (15th lowest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 33.4 percent (35th highest)
> Walk score: 73.6 (sixth highest)
> Commuters who bike: 1.07 percent (ninth highest)
Seattle’s public transportation system not only includes bus and rail transit, but a monorail in the city center, as well as ferries. The city also has the sixth highest walk score in the country, due to its high number of easily accessible amenities. According to Bicycling magazine, Seattle is one of the most bike-friendly cities in the country and “has a 10-year, $240-million bike master plan that seeks to triple the number of journeys made by bike and add 450 miles of bike paths.”
> Transit coverage: 97 percent (the highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 9 (18th highest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 59.8 percent (the highest)
> Walk score: 63 (19th highest)
> Commuters who bike: 0.95 percent (12th highest)
Honolulu currently does not have an urban rail system, but its bus system helps cover 97 percent of neighborhoods — the highest rate in the country. Additionally, almost 60 percent of jobs are accessible within 90 minutes to those who live in neighborhoods covered by transit. This is also the highest rate in the country. Nevertheless, the city is planning a $5.5 billion rail project called the Honolulu Rail Transit Project. This will include 20 miles of track, connecting East Kapolei with the Honolulu International Airport and downtown Honolulu and will end at Ala Moana Center.
> Transit coverage: 89.6 percent (seventh highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 4.5 (the highest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 36.6 percent (25th highest)
> Walk score: 85.3 (the highest)
> Commuters who bike: 0.52 percent (32nd highest)
New York City and its surroundings rank first in the nation for total number of passenger trips and government spending per capita on public transit, according to U.S. News. It also has the highest rate of service frequency. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s 2010 operating budget was $13.4 billion. The average weekday ridership for the city is estimated to be over 8.4 million trips. The city also has the highest walk score on this list, thanks to the ability of city dwellers to reach just about any amenity on foot.
> Transit coverage: 83.5 percent (13th highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 7.4 (eighth lowest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 39.9 percent (16th highest)
> Walk score: 66.3 (13th highest)
> Commuters who bike: 2.23 percent (second highest)
Portland is such a good place for people to live without a car due to both its public transit system and the ease of walking and biking around the city. The metropolitan area is served by TriMet, which in addition to other services offers a Free Rail Zone — a region that includes most of downtown Portland and where light rail and streetcar rides are always free. The city has a number of benefits for bike riders, including designated bike-only areas at traffic signals and free bike lights. It has the second highest rate of commuters who ride bikes to work in the country.
> Transit coverage: 91.7 percent (fifth highest)
> Service frequency (minutes): 8.5 (12th highest)
> Jobs reachable in 90 minutes: 34.8 (30th highest)
> Walk score: 84.9 (second highest)
> Commuters who bike: 1.65 percent (sixth highest)
San Francisco is held in high regard for its many successful transit systems, including the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority and the Bay Area Rapid Transit district. These systems cover nearly 92 percent of neighborhoods -- the fifth highest rate in the country. San Francisco also has the second highest walk score and is excellent for bicyclists. Commuter rails within the city allow bicyclists to mount with their bicycles, and there is a bike shuttle across the Bay Bridge to help cyclists during rush hour.