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If your idea of the perfect romantic vacation includes cuddling in front of a roaring fire while snowflakes gently fall across a landscape of pristine, white snow, then this list might be for you. These winter wonderland destinations conjure up images of crashing waves onto a wild, scenic coastline, offering an unforgettable getaway that is practically guaranteed to reignite the spark of love. Couples looking for a winter retreat should consider these top romantic getaways in the United States.
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Estes Park, Colorado
Estes Park sits at the eastern edge of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, a charming town filled with romantic hotels and elegant mountain-style cabins with upscale amenities like claw-footed tubs or in-room Jacuzzis, a cozy fireplace and even private hot tubs on a deck overlooking a tranquil river or the park. Here you’ll find practically endless stretches of pristine nature and incredible opportunities for wildlife viewing – elk even roam the streets of the town while bighorn sheep can be spotted on hillsides. Outdoor enthusiasts can go snowshoeing, sleigh riding or ice skating.
Yellowstone National Park
As many as 97 percent of Yellowstone’s more than three million annual visitors arrive during the summer months, which means during the winter, couples have the opportunity for peace and seclusion in this 2.2-million+ acre park. Here, discover some of the most unique and spectacular scenery on the planet with more wildlife than people. Cuddle up at the historic Old Faithful Snow Lodge in a bed blanketed with thick quilts in the evening, and during the day spend time together enjoying active pursuits like snowshoeing or cross-country skiing on the miles and miles of trails found throughout the park – passing brilliantly colored mineral pools, frozen waterfalls and erupting geysers. Or, you can always strap on a pair of ice skates and glide across Yellowstone Lake holding hands.
Watching the Northern Lights together can make for an especially romantic, unforgettable experience. At Chena Hot Springs Resort in Fairbanks, Alaska, guests can watch the dazzling light show from the soothing hot springs. As the region’s cold weather produces unusually clear skies, the Aurora Borealis is frequently seen from August through May. Other activities here include dog sled rides, massage and flight-seeing, with guests flying north over the Arctic wilderness across the Arctic Circle.
The Berkshires offer a quintessential dream-like New England wintry romance with its open roads, small towns and classic red barns blanketed with sparkling snow. Couples will find plenty of opportunities for alone time while cross-country or snowshoeing over mountain trails, exploring the landscape that looks like a Norman Rockwell painting. At the Blantyre Hotel, you’ll find a beautifully decorated 110-foot Christmas tree, rooms with four-poster beds and fireplaces as well as the chance to enjoy a sleigh ride, ice skating and even winter picnics complete with homemade hot chocolate.
Surrounded by the majestic Grand Teton Mountain Range, Jackson offers the chance for all types of snow-filled activities, amazing wildlife viewing and the Western spirit of romance combined with some of the most breathtaking scenery on earth. Enjoy a stay at one of the many luxury resorts found here and indulge in steamy spas, ski the snow-covered peaks or take off on snowmobiles together in this remote wilderness area where you’ll feel as if you’re the only two people in a two-million-acre park. At the National Elk Refuge, you can even take an inspiring sleigh ride through a herd of thousands of elk.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
Cannon Beach, set on Oregon’s breathtaking northern coast, is generally easy to access with fairly mild temperatures and only rarely snowfall, but it can bring spectacular winter storms that allow visitors to enjoy the roaring sounds of the waves as they crash against the rocky shore. Watch for gray whales that pass just offshore between mid-December and mid-January, or just enjoy experiencing dramatic weather from the inside of a luxurious room with a glass of fine wine. Indulge in a couple’s massage, slip into a steamy hot tub and romantic candlelit dinners along the water. When the weather calms, it’s a perfect time for a stroll across the sand as beachcombers are often rewarded with some of the best finds of the year. High tides and storms can bring natural and manmade surprises, including the occasional vintage blown-glass fishing net floats.
While you’re unlikely to find deep snow here, this desert oasis is especially picturesque during the winter months when the fiery-red mountain tops are often dusted with white powder. Days are mild, skies frequently bright blue and crowds are few, which means couples seeking solitude can enjoy the delights of Sedona practically to themselves. During the day, take a scenic drive through beautiful canyons, explore the hiking trails, or even embark on a sunrise hot-air balloon ride. After dark, Sedona’s skies provide one of the best light shows on earth, with the haze-free and often cloud free-skies making stargazing a top-rated activity.
Taos, New Mexico
In Taos, visitors can enjoy the magic of the Southwest along with great skiing. The local ski area offers high altitude trails and stunning panoramic vistas with fantastic mountain restaurants. The city offers a wide range of accommodation options, including unique upscale inns and romantic B&Bs. Taos is an artists’ haven, with an abundance of art galleries including traditional art as well as contemporary fine art. You’ll also find a number of day spas, world-class dining opportunities and the chance to take a romantic hot air balloon ride over the picturesque landscape.
Lake Placid, New York
This romantic town sits on the banks of the pristine lake and offers a number of enchanting lodges for lovers. As the host of two Winter Olympic Games, outdoor adventurers can enjoy a wide range of winter activities, including everything from gentle pursuits like ice-skating to skiing and even heart-pounding sports like luging, bobsledding, skeleton and ice climbing. You can even try the Lake Placid Bobsled Experience and rocket down the same course used by Olympians. Afterward, enjoy a stay at the Mirror Lake Inn with romantic escape packages that include a candlelit dinner, flower arrangements and spa services like a soothing massage, Reiki, facials, body wraps and more.
This town in the beautiful Cascade Mountains of Central Oregon is an idyllic winter playground as well as a perfect destination for romance and seclusion. The budget-minded will find a great bargain at Clear Lake Resort featuring cozy, rustic cabins just minutes away from skiing and snowboarding, sledding, snowmobiling and snowshoeing. Five Pine Lodge offers the ultimate indulgence romance package that includes three nights in a private cabin waking up to breakfast in bed each morning, couples massage, champagne, bubble bath and more.
Woodstock provides the quintessential charming New England experience with its white-steepled churches as well as cozy cabins complete with a fireplace where you can make a winter escape that includes sipping red wine, great skiing and lots of cuddling with the one you love. The Jackson House Inn offers the “Winter Wonderland” maze, sparkling with snow and lights, as the ideal place to get lost and enjoy a secret tryst.
Lake George, New York
The Adirondacks of New York are well known for summer mountain getaways, but winter provides the perfect opportunity for couples who want to take time to reconnect and enjoy a slower pace of life. It becomes a spectacular winter wonderland, and also offers an array of fabulously romantic lodging options along with the opportunity for a wealth of outdoor activities. At Allyn’s Butterfly Inn, couples can enjoy the ultimate romantic Adirondack getaway with guided snowmobile tours offered from the property as well as skiing and snowmobiling located nearby. In the evening retreat to comfy rooms with Jacuzzi tubs and fireplaces while enjoying a full gourmet breakfast in the morning.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Steamboat Springs is transformed into a picture-postcard winter wonderland with some of the most stunning mountain scenery on earth. Take a horse-drawn sleigh ride, getting cozy together under the blankets while gliding through the fresh powder on an especially memorable journey. Many sleigh ride tours include hot cocoa and some even feature a candlelit teepee dinner. Afterward, head to Strawberry Park Hot Springs where you can soak in the soothing hot springs surrounded by the frozen landscape. You can even choose to stay in the establishment’s most unique accommodations, a renovated train caboose that features a gas fireplace.
Spearfish Canyon, South Dakota
Few visit the Black Hills of South Dakota in the winter, which makes it an ideal place for a secluded, romantic getaway. Spearfish Canyon Lodge offers private cabins where you can spend your time relaxing in front of the fire or enjoy activities like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. Just minutes away, skiing is available at Mystic Miner or Terry Peak ski resorts, while the famous town of Deadwood is less than 30 minutes away. Here, you can view beautifully decorated Victorian-era homes, do a little gambling and explore museums.
Bear Valley, California
Hordes of tourists and ski enthusiasts head to places like Lake Tahoe for a snowy California escape, but lesser known Bear Valley is the place to go for a more tranquil, secluded winter escape where the snow is often piled as high as ten feet or more. Mountain cabins are decorated with icicles and surrounded by soaring redwood trees covered in a blanket of white powder while often featuring a fireplace and sometimes a hot tub. Enjoy affordable skiing or tubing at Bear Valley Ski Resort and then come back and enjoy each other’s company near the warmth of a crackling fire.
During the winter, Maine’s scenic southern coast offers the chance to walk deserted beaches along misty shores, with only plucky seagulls for company. The historic Cape Neddick lighthouse is particularly photogenic when shrouded in snow, and at Kennebunkport, you can watch Santa Claus arrive by lobster boat during the annual Christmas Prelude which takes place during the first half of December each year. You can enjoy plenty of other activities during the festivities, including a seashore trolley holiday ride, wine tasting and lobster bakes. At the White Barn Inn, you’ll find especially romantic digs with Arts & Crafts-style Wharf Cottages featuring flagstone fireplaces.
Methow Valley, Washington
Tucked into the beautiful upper end of Washington State’s Methow Valley where the loudest sound comes from the swish of cross-country skis, Rolling Huts offer the ideal romantic winter escape. They come complete with wood-burning fireplaces, platform beds and kitchenettes. Step out your door and ski to get your morning espresso, and after dark take in the magnificent show featuring billions of glowing stars, and perhaps even the aurora borealis.