Best Romantic Vacations has put together some great ideas for romantic getaways. Whether you are looking a romantic weekend getaway or you have three or four days to kick back and relax, here are some trip ideas of places to go and enjoy together as a couple.
Romantic Getaways to Santa Barbara, California – For Relaxation
From the mission to the beach, the easy rhythm of this coastal jewel will lull you into vacation mode.
Resting between the green Santa Ynez Mountains and the blue Pacific Ocean, Santa Barbara exudes a happy, laid-back vibe notorious for putting workaholics out of commission. Forget the clock and stroll down State Street, Santa Barbara’s vibrant main drag lined with potted flowers, antique shops, restaurants and galleries.
Turn off your cell phone and head into the mountains for a visit to Santa Barbara’s Old Mission, where the Spanish heritage of this beach community is remembered in detail. Or explore five miles of paths through Santa Barbara’s Botanical Garden overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Channel Islands.
Feel the breeze off the ocean as you browse the stalls of fruits and flowers at The Farmer’s Market, then ease into your starry evening with some shrimp cocktail and an ice-cold beer by the water.
Romantic Getaways to Niagara Falls, New York – For Inspiration
Whether it’s eco-tourism, history, or romance you’re looking for, Niagara Falls has it all. The thunderous display and spectacular splash of Niagara Falls have inspired poets and painters to create masterworks and daredevils to traverse the gorge on a tightrope.
Perhaps the craziest thing the Falls have inspired is true love. In fact, many believe that the negative ions generated by the falling water of the cataract are a strong aphrodisiac.
Lovers: savor a meal at Red Coach Inn, then take a guided moonlight walk to Luna Island, or picnic on Goat Island.
Knowledge seekers: head to the Schoellkopf Geological Museum, and delve into how and when the Falls were formed or join flora and rock exploring expeditions into the gorge. Just steer clear of falling barrels.
Romantic Getaways to Boca Raton, Florida – For Glamour
From champagne wishes to caviar dreams, Palm Beach’s cousin city offers only the finest of what life has in store–but, of course.
It’s what dreams are made of, caviar dreams that is–a place where palm-lined drives lead to mansion-lined marinas, which lead to yacht-lined docks.
Developed in the 1920s as a beach getaway for American royalty, Boca Raton maintains the glamour of a grand era, when grandiose Spanish-style mansions were in fashion, and Scott and Zelda Fitzgerald appeared on the scene as regulars.
Today, Boca welcomes an equally jet-set crowd. Join the crowd this weekend to indulge in haute cuisine, upscale boutique browsing, and lounging on the beach. Linger through Old Floresta, a 1920s neighborhood of Mediterranean-style homes with grand open balconies, decorative wrought-iron gates and impeccable landscaping.
Surrounded by such beauty, one might think that Boca’s striking aesthetic is only skin-deep–not so! Break from the afternoon heat with a retreat to dazzling collections at The Boca Raton Museum of Art, featuring a fine selection of late 19th and 20th-century paintings and sculptures, and the Norton Gallery, with an extraordinary Old Master’s collection including Bosch, Matisse and Renoir.
Romantic Getaways to Banff/Lake Louise, Canada – For a Winter Getaway
Take in the snowy splendor of Lake Louise Ski Resort, ranked #2 for scenery in North America by Ski Magazine. Ride up the Top of the World Super Chair to carve your way down five miles of fresh powder towards Lake Louise’s still, turquoise waters.
When the sun dips, unbuckle your boots and uncork a bottle of cabernet fireside at the rustic Post Hotel Dining Room. Next day, salute the sun in a crisp winter sky before descending full speed down one of 28 runs at British Columbia’s best-kept secret: Banff’s Norquay ski area.
Stick to beginner terrain or join the daredevils on black diamond-rated Upper Lone Pine or Gun Run. To soothe ski muscles, trade in your long underwear for a bathing suit and soak in Banff National Park’s hot mineral spring pools.
With your face in the frosty air, look upon snow-capped mountains, winding roads, and town spires while you turn to butter in water that’s always naturally heated to 105 degrees.
Romantic Getaways to Los Cabos, Mexico – For Mexican Fun
At the end of the Baja California Peninsula, dos Cabos–San Jose del Cabo and Cabo San Lucas–unite for a singular seaside adventure.
Connected by the 20-mile El Corridor–an oceanside highway that flaunts smashing waves to one side and arid mountains to the other–San Jose del Cabo is the sleepy sister village to the rowdy Cabo San Lucas. Meander San Jose’s old town square and bargain with the vendors before everyone reclines for siesta.
Hit Cabo San Lucas next and kayak along the rugged coastline to El Archo, a natural rocky formation that bolts upward where the Pacific Ocean meets the Sea of Cortez. Those seeking more adventure can wrap a bandana across their face, bandito-style, and hop an ATV for an exhilarating zip across local sand dunes at sunset.
After, set yourself up at The Office on Playa Medano, where umbrella tables replace cubicles and folks gather around buckets of Corona instead of a water cooler. Come dark, do a couple shots at El Squid Roe, where lively servers serenade as they pour sweet libations directly into patrons’ mouths.
Romantic Getaways to Seattle, Washington – For A Romantic Interlude
Ferry to a tranquil world of solace among Japanese bonsai pines. Stimulate your senses wandering through pungent herb and alpine gardens, and encounter unique aquatic plants.
Sample the vintage at Bainbridge Island Winery’s tasting room, select the perfect wine and spread out a picnic on their lush lawns.
Catch a ferry home as the sun sinks in the sky, and golden hues caress waves like bright ripples on a sea-green fabric.
Cap off your day at Chez Shea: dine on delectable treats by candlelight and views of Puget Sound, before slipping off to your luxurious room.
Romantic Getaways to Zurich, Switzerland – For a Swiss Thermal Mineral Spring Break
Fly to Zurich, sample its nightlife in Niederdorf, then day-trip it to Baden, and sink into soothing Swiss mineral baths.
Lollygag around the banks of the Limmat River in the heart of Zurich, and flirt with the shops along the Hauptbahnhofstrasse. After sun down, sample the nightlife in Niederdorf’s bars, but don’t stay out too late–you’re catching a morning train to Baden, a nearby oasis where a million litres of water gush daily from 19 thermal springs 4,000 feet below the earth’s surface.
The Romans called the springs Aquae Helveticae, and the naturally warm, healing waters of Baden have the highest mineral content in Switzerland. Laze away a full day relaxing in the thermal pools and sauna of Hotel Verenahof, and experience their restorative powers for yourself.
Romantic Getaways to Runaway Bay, Jamaica – For No Worries Mon
Run away with your loved-one for a relaxing romp in one of the most relaxing environments–an all-inclusive resort on Jamaica’s northern coast.
Sidle up to your sweetie on sun-soaked sand and sip rum runner cocktails at a reggae beach barbecue. After, wind down to the lulling rhythms of live Calypso music while you feed each other tender pieces of jerk chicken.
Worried about running up a tab? No problem, mon–drinks and meals are all included! When the sun rises over northern Jamaica, take a bicycle tour in tandem, share a lovers’ kayak, or paddleboat out from the shore to sit back and drift on the Caribbean blue.
Pair up with a dive instructor to visit The Ganja Planes or The Reggae Queen, colorful coral reefs where exotic marine creatures delight and mesmerize.
Romantic Getaways to Madrid, Spain – For Gourmet Feasts
Ramble through the Spanish capital on a taste bud-tour of the Iberian valleys, fuelled by festive wine and savory aromas.
Spoil your gastronomic self where meals are never hurried. Dip into a wood-fired pot of cocida a la Madrileno, a multi-course Castillian stew of meat and beans traditionally served for the hearty midday meal, La Comida.
Post-siesta, march in a parade of tapas. Munch mild specialties like tortilla espagnola de patatas (potato and onion omelet), calamares fritos (fried squid or cuttlefish) and gambas al ajillo (shrimp cooked in parsley, oil and garlic). Then ignite your tasters with chistorra (fried, spicey sausage) and pimentos de Padron (peppers from Galicia).
End by dunking a churro (deep fried battered twist) into a cup of thick, hot chocolate. Provecho!
Romantic Getaways to Barbados – For Fun in the Sun
Barbados may have booted the Brits, but they can’t kick cricket. It’s a public passion, so take in a match and then catch a wave–windsurfing the Atlantic Ocean or Caribbean Sea.
Wash ashore at Accra Beach, slather on sunscreen and settle into the soft sand with an umbrella cocktail. Trek to the trawler’s town of Oistins and feast on flying fish, an island favorite.
Taste the local flavor of a lime–not a drink garnish, but local lingo for a social gathering, and toast good times with local rum. Bajans (bay-jins) have been sifting sugar into rum for over 300 years and there are almost as many rum bars blanketing the island today.
Romantic Getaways to Golden Isles, Georgia – For Southern Comfort
Escape to Georgia’s enchanting Southern islands to sail, golf–or do nothing at all.
The Rockefellers and DuPonts did it; now it’s our turn to unwind on the regal islands off the coast of Georgia, where lush groves of live oaks draped with airy Spanish moss sit inland from vast stretches of pristine beach.
Stroll the beachfront where wealthy entrepreneurs discovered the beauty of the Southern outdoors at the turn of the century. These entrepreneurs’ behemoth hunting cabins still dot the islands, and serve as a reminder of a time when men were gents and tea was a ritual.
Indulge in the isles’ timeless lifestyle. Charter a sailboat between islands. Hit a round of golf on a pristine course, or bike ride through old hunting trails to discover river inlets and unique wildlife. Of course, you can always just recline along the shore, ring for tea, and do nothing else.