While it’s impressive to surprise your sweetheart with a romantic getaway to Paris, you needn’t jet halfway around the world to woo and reconnect. A plethora of places exist right here in the continental United States, each fostering romance in their own unique way. Here are a few diverse locales, a little closer to home, from big cities to small hamlets, that may inspire a gift of travel to your beloved.
CENTRAL COAST WINE COUNTRY, CALIFORNIA
Everyone knows about Napa and Sonoma. But further south down California’s Pacific Coast Highway you’ll find Central Coast Wine Country. It’s a beautiful—and beautifully less crowded and commercialized—destination for those seeking romance amidst the vineyards. Encompassing towns such as Paso Robles, San Louis Obispo, Solvang and Santa Barbara, the region boasts hundreds of wineries set amidst rolling hills and historic ranch lands. Its relaxing wine trails, the historic Hearst Castle and cute B&Bs such as SummerWood Inn, which is set within a vineyard and offers farm-fresh breakfasts each morning, make it a great wine region escape.
Couple enjoying sunset in Key West
THE FLORIDA KEYS
Seek out a secluded spot amidst the more than 800 islands, or “keys,” that reside within this sun-soaked island chain 160 miles south of Miami. Instead of opting for the popular Key West or Key Largo, however, consider some of the lesser-traveled keys such as Little Palm Island or Islamorada for an escape that offers even more privacy. The Little Palm Island Resort describes itself as “a magical location with captivating views in every direction, no telephones, no televisions, and no guests under the age of 18,” It features 30 suites in thatched bungalows spread throughout the island’s six acres.
ORCAS ISLAND, WASHINGTON
Located in the Puget Sound off the coast of Seattle, Orcas Island is a laid-back island only accessible by ferry or seaplane—so there’s minimal traffic and crowds to spoil a romantic rendezvous. Its 57-square miles provide a wonderfully woodsy enclave in which to reconnect with your loved one. Indulge in intimate hikes, whale watching excursions or spend a lazy day at one of the island’s charming B&Bs or its premier hotel, Rosario Resort & Spa.
Ice skating outside in Central Park, NYC
NEW YORK CITY
There’s a reason that classic romantic movies such as When Harry Met Sally and Breakfast at Tiffany’s take place in New York City: Romance can be found across the city, especially when you meander it by foot. From strolling the trails of Central Park to window shopping the dynamic streets of SoHo, it’s easy to allow it all to be a backdrop to your own romantic escapades. A stay at The Plaza Hotel, an iconic hotel that commands the southern edge of Central Park, is a brag-worthy Big Apple splurge that puts you in the heart of the Midtown Manhattan magic.
Beaver Creek Colorado Village
BEAVER CREEK, COLORADO
Cozy up in one of Colorado’s mountain towns, where options abound to either “rough it” in a rustic cabin or luxuriate in a five-star ski resort—take your pick. In Beaver Creek, opt for luxury at the Ritz-Carlton Bachelor Gulch, where a roaring fireplace and slope-side s’mores can help to set the mood. Depending on the season, hot air balloon rides and sleigh-ride dinners are attractive—and memorable—activities for adventurous couples.
Mackinac Island West Bluff Victorian Cottage
MACKINAC ISLAND, MICHIGAN
This island retreat invites you to slooooow down. Situated in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and only accessible by ferry, Mackinac offers a simpler pace of life. The car-free island invites couples to put away the phones—and focus on each other. Tech distractions are traded for horse-drawn carriage rides; picnics that include the island’s famous handmade fudge; and lazy bicycle rides around the island. While the island is sprinkled with charming B&B options, a stay at The Grand Hotel places you at Mackinac’s most celebrated hotel. Among other things, it features the world’s largest porch, at 660 feet and lined with rocking chairs. It’s the perfect place to kick back, hand-in-hand with your sweetheart, and do absolutely nothing.
Goat Island Lighthouse in Newport
NEWPORT, RHODE ISLAND
The smallest state in the U.S. boasts a bouquet of cute New England hamlets ideal for a romantic rendezvous. Among them is Newport, renowned for its gorgeous Cliff Walk along the Atlantic Ocean. It remains a perennial favorite known to inspire cuddles, kisses and marriage proposals. The Chanler at Cliff Walk is an elegant hotel situated on the historic 3.5-mile walk. Located within a beautifully restored Gilded Age mansion, the boutique hotel offers 20 luxurious rooms with ocean views.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO
The Land of Enchantment lives up to its name with a visit to Santa Fe. Couples can find magic in the laid-back approach to “dates” in this Southwestern town, where lacing up the boots for a hike in the Sangre de Cristo mountains can happen the same day as sporting stilettos for a performance at the open-air Santa Fe Opera. Duck into buildings featuring beautiful Spanish Colonial- and Pueblo-style architecture for some shopping and fresh meals made with green hatch chile. A stay in Santa Fe’s historic downtown, at a luxurious property such as The Inn of Five Graces, will position you to it all while pampering you with Southwestern hospitality.
LAS VEGAS, NEVADA
Las Vegas is a getaway that every couple needs to make at least once in their relationship. The destination is full of exciting experiences that can wow and woo amidst glitzy neon lights and dancing fountains. The celebrity chef-owned restaurants. The opulent spas that offer every treatment you’ve never heard of before. The over-the-top resorts that line The Strip and can transport you to romantic international destinations without leaving your hotel, such as The Venetian Resort and Paris Las Vegas. The list goes on. Just be sure to pace yourself.
Kunkletown, Poconos, Pennsylvania
THE POCONOS, PENNSYLVANIA
Finally, what’s an assortment of romantic getaway options without mentioning a heart-shaped hot tub? Or a seven-foot-tall champagne glass whirlpool bath-for-two? This is the sort of cheeky kitsch you can find in guest suites at Cove Haven Resort, a hotel that’s been a fixture in the Poconos Mountains for more than 60 years. The resorts, hotels, cottages and cabins sprinkled across this region of eastern Pennsylvania have been synonymous with honeymoons and romance for generations, with many of the properties still evoking a vintage 1960s and 1970s romantic vibe.