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There’s nothing wrong with a card, maybe some chocolates, and flowers on Valentine’s Day, but if you haven’t been getting out much, this year it might be time for a romantic escape for two. Of course, it’s important to follow guidelines for safe travel these days, but you’ll have plenty of options near and far. Whether you’re looking for sunshine and idyllic beaches, or a winter wonderland escape, these travel ideas are sure to inspire you to book.
Key West, Florida
The Florida Keys offer a Caribbean-like destination without the need for a passport. The 110-mile-long island chain just south of Miami is renowned for its beaches, crystal-clear, warm blue waters, and outstanding snorkeling and diving. Plus, there are many ways to turn up the romance, including sunset sailing trips with champagne. Southernmost Beach Resort has its own private beach for sunset watching, and couples can enjoy its outdoor pools with poolside bars and private cabanas and beachside spa services.
Located in the North Atlantic, Bermuda is easy to reach from the east coast and it’s home to magnificent pink sand beaches that stretch for 21 miles that edge stunning robin egg blue waters. Horseshoe Bay Beach with its long, curved stretch of pale pink sands is the most legendary, attracting lovers with its secluded coves that offer plenty of privacy. Romantic toes-in-the-sand dining can be enjoyed at Coconuts, which has been called one of the best places to fall in love. There are a collection of luxury hotels for couples in Bermuda, but The Reefs Resort & Club is arguably the most romantic hotel to book, with its own private stretch of pink sands and special romance packages too.
A favorite island in Hawaii for romance, Kauai offers peace and tranquility as well as being the lushest of the bunch. It’s home to many beautiful gardens, secluded beaches, and more waterfalls than any other in the state. The North Shore is particularly appealing with places like Hanalei Bay and its surreal turquoise waters ideal for snorkeling, paddling, and other water sports. Along the South Shore, there are many luxe resorts like Koloa Landing Resort at Poipu with spacious villas and a 13,000-square-foot lagoon pool with a poolside bar.
Italy is practically synonymous with romance, and Lucca is one of the most beautiful villages in Tuscany. Known for the well-preserved Renaissance walls that encircle its historic city center with its winding cobbled streets lined with restaurants serving mouthwatering Lucchese food and wine. The nearly 40-foot-high ramparts serve as a tree-lined pedestrian and cycling path that surrounds the center, providing picturesque views over the city. If you stay at the Grand Universe Lucca, you can even have an Italian classical composer serenade your significant other with a customized prelude.
A more off-the-beaten-path place for lovers in Europe is Portugal’s Algarve Coast. The town of Lagoa is where you’ll find Praia da Marinha beach, home to the “Hidden Heart,” formed by natural rock arches and the ocean. What could be more romantic? And you’ll enjoy more affordable prices as compared to places like Paris. There is a wide range of accommodation options from budget-friendly to luxurious. Vila Alba Resort is a great choice, complete with a decadent spa, an infinity pool, and Atlantic Ocean views.
The capital of Alsace, Strasbourg has welcomed lovers from across the globe in February for years. It hosts the “Strasbourg mon amour” Festival which includes concerts and entire evenings dedicated to the dance of lovers, “slows.” Popular among foodies, there is a wide range of restaurants where you can enjoy romantic dinners too. Regent Petite France offers the chance to stay in the heart of it all, nestled in the historic quarter on the banks of the River Ill.
With the contrast of the turquoise sea and green mountains, grand mansions, and a picturesque waterfront promenade, Opatija is one of the most romantic destinations in all of Europe. It’s been attracting visitors with its elegance, beauty, and outstanding cuisine since the 19th-century. One of the best places to visit in Croatia, it also happens to be world-famous for its chocolate makers. For Valentine’s Day this year, consider beachfront Hotel Bevanda or Amadria Park Hotel Milenij, set in a historic Habsburg-era villa offering bay views.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Unlike the busy summer months, Cape Cod is wonderfully peaceful and quiet during the winter, ideal for bundling up and enjoying walks on the beach with few others or even no one else around. When there’s a dusting of snow on the sand, it’s even more magical. The award-winning Ocean Edge Resort & Golf Club offers old-world splendor and luxury accommodations in its mansion. Or, consider the Crowne Pointe Historic Inn with a luxe spa that features a mineral tub, steam room, and Himalayan salt sauna.
For adventurous couples, Valentine’s Day in Iceland is sure to be unforgettable, with the opportunity to watch the Northern Lights together. When you’re away from the city in remote areas like the South Coast, you’ll have a good chance of spotting the aurora this time of year. Plus, you can spend your days soaking in hot springs, strolling stunning black sand beaches, exploring ice caves, or heading out in a 4X4 through the snow. Hotel Ranga is located in this area and couples can marvel at the aurora from a hot tub or the benches specially made to lie on and gaze up at the sky. Hotel Budir, which sits among lava fields on the tip of the remote Snaefellsnes Peninsula, is another good option.
Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, Mexico
Home to famous Lovers Beach, Los Cabos is an obvious pick for a Valentine’s retreat. Hop on the water taxi and enjoy the pristine sands along with fantastic snorkeling and then take advantage of one of the many luxury resorts that are sure to set the perfect scene. The brand new Corazón Cabo Resort & Spa, which has one of the few true swimming beaches in Cabo. Garza Blanca along the tourist corridor is another good option with its resort pools that lead down to a white sand beach with crystalline waters.
Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston’s historic charm, complete with cobbled streets, grand mansions, horse-drawn carriage tours, moss-draped trees, and an incredible scenic waterfront, makes it one of the world’s most romantic cities. Take historic plantation tours and sunset sailing trips, and indulge in plenty of award-winning cuisines, with the city often named among the best for foodies. The French Quarter Inn in the Historic District is a truly pampering experience and an intimate boutique hotel.
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Quebec City is one of the most romantic destinations in Canada and the only walled city north of Mexico. There’s a lot to see and do here, as it boasts winding cobblestone streets, classic New France architecture, and a fabulous old-world ambiance practically guaranteed to spark the flames of romance. Enjoy tranquil strolls hand-in-hand, skating on the Place d’Youville rink, and intimate dinners at highly acclaimed eateries like Restaurant Beffroi Steak House. For romantic accommodation, it’s hard to beat the Fairmont Le Château Frontenac, while Hôtel Le Clos St-Louis is a great choice with its Victorian-era allure.
Curacao offers over 35 beaches and some of the world’s best diving spots for those who want to experience a dazzling underwater world with abundant marine life. It’s also known for its rich history, and Dutch and Colonial architecture in an array of bright colors, with the entire capital city of Willemstad a UNESCO-listed site. Wander the streets together capturing photos or go beach-hopping during the day and by night, look forward to romantic dinners. Curaçao Marriott Beach Resort is centrally located in Willemstad or you might choose a more secluded, remote beachfront property like Blue Bay Curaçao Golf & Beach Resort.
Estes Park, Colorado
The eastern gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, Estes Park is a beautiful mountain town with elegant cabins that feature lots of luxurious amenities like in-room Jacuzzis and fireplaces, as well as romantic hotels like the world-famous, historic Stanley Hotel. Look forward to breathtaking views around nearly every corner and abundant wildlife, with elk often roaming the streets of the town while bighorn sheep climb the hillsides. Plus, this time of year is perfect for snowshoeing, sleigh rides, and ice skating.
The Yucatan capital of Merida is a colonial city that oozes with romance, home to many well-preserved colonial buildings and a wide range of art galleries, museums, theaters, and restaurants. A stay at Hacienda Xcanatun by Angsana will put you right within the walls of an XVIII-century hacienda. Lovers can enjoy a candlelit dinner at the highly-acclaimed Casa de Piedra restaurant on-site, couples’ massage, cooking classes, and more.