Years after your post-nuptial trip at one the best honeymoon destinations in the U.S., you and your significant other might want to escape for a weekend to rekindle your romance in fresh surroundings. Or, you might be enjoying a new relationship and looking to get to know each other better. Either way, you'll want to head to the most romantic getaways in America for a Michelin-starred meal, a burlesque show or a city stroll. Load up your iPod with the best love songs, book a suite at one of the most romantic hotels in America, pack your bags and get ready to explore your love in a beautiful setting.
Most romantic getaways in America
It’s easy to swoon over Sonoma. The farms, the wine, the ubiquitous loveliness. Vineyard hop to indulge in some local juice and fun (the pool at Francis Ford Coppola, horse-drawn carriage rides at Landmark, acres of spring tulips at Ferrari-Carano), then book a cedar bath for two at Osmosis day spa. Complete your stay at the posh Farmhouse Inn, where Michelin-starred dinners end with s’mores around the fire pit.
There’s no wrong time to book a trip to this Rocky Mountain town, where romantic enticements beckon, from luxury hotels and sophisticated dining to hot air ballooning and hitting the slopes. Whether you carve with your partner, take on some rapids or just settle into a couple’s massage and the nightly Champagne sabering at the extravagant St. Regis, you’ll leave Aspen more in love than ever.
Martha’s Vineyard, MA
The Obamas go-to summer getaway has always charmed visitors with its windswept beaches and sweet towns. Rent a home or base yourself at Hob Knob in Edgartown, where you can borrow bikes or charter a sunset cruise aboard the hotel's 27-foot boat. Hit the beach, browse local shops, marvel over the sunset and stuff yourself with fresh seafood. It’s not a Vineyard visit without lobster from Larsen’s Fish Market.Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/David Berkowitz
If your version of paradise includes rugged cliffs and sunny sand, emerald hills and epic hikes, fire up your laptop and book a trip to Kauai. The "Garden Isle" is a verdant wonderland where you can take a helicopter ride past the Jurassic Park waterfall, kayak Hawaii's only navigable river or walk the wild Na Pali Coast—though no one will blame you for kicking back with a cocktail on the beach.
This picturesque Southern city doesn’t just feel like a movie set; Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook was actually filmed around Charleston. Turn it into the background of your own love story as you roam the historic district, explore the vibrant dining scene and wander through the gardens at the Boone Hall Plantation.
Romantic outings are scattered throughout this walkable East Coast hub. Stroll historic Beacon Hill to the touristy-yet-delightful Swan Boats, or hold your beloved’s hand for a winter skate on Frog Pond. Go for a paddle ride on the Charles River, then head to the Cambridge side for Ana Sortun’s masterful Mediterranean at Oleana followed by cannolis and cappuccinos in the North End. If you happen to be in town on a Wednesday, stop by Coit Observatory to stargaze after sunset.
Big Sur, CA
With rolling redwood forests and cliffs jutting over turquoise water, this stretch of California coast is idyllic in the extreme. Splurge at the Post Ranch Inn, where your luxury bungalow is TV- and telephone-free, or snuggle up inside a yurt at Treebones. Come during the summer when you can kayak with sea otters, take a moonlit tour of the Point Sur lighthouse or stay up late for a dip in the Esalen Hot Springs.
Glacier National Park, MT
With mountain lakes surrounded by rocky peaks, 600-foot waterfalls and glaciers (expected to melt in the next 30 years), this park deserves a place on your to-do list. Hike, horseback ride, hop a boat and spot a grizzly bear or mountain goat, then cozy up over a fire or hearty meal. Given the range of accommodations offered—from lodges to campsites to backcountry chalets well worth the walk—this is the ideal destination to combine adventure and affection.
Photograph: Donnie Sexton
New York, NY
With its relentless bustle, New York romance is all about connecting with your partner amid the chaos. Go classic: Rent a rowboat in Central Park and get gussied up for dinner at Le Grenouille, which has been serving foie gras for more than 50 years. Or throw tradition to the wind: Engage in interactive theater at Sleep No More or get riled up with a burlesque show at Duane Park.
San Juan Island, WA
This Puget Sound escape—where the most populated town is just one square mile—is about getting away from it all. Island life means lighthouse strolls, coastal kayaking, visits to alpaca or lavender farms and fresh seafood. Book a summer whale watch session to spot one of three local orca pods then bed down at the Bird Rock Hotel, where loaner bikes let you explore at just the right pace.
Photograph: Jim Maya/Visit San Juans
Savannah wears its charms in the open: classic homes, historic squares and impossibly photogenic moss-covered trees. But there's more to this Southern belle than gawking at her sights. Go for a stroll on Tybee Island, then dig into expertly crafted Cajun and low-country cooking at Alligator Soul (where, yes, there's gator on the menu). Finish things off at Lulu's Chocolate Bar with a Rapture Sundae or fondue for two.Photograph: Courtesy CC/Flickr/Jeff Gunn
Free your spiritual side at this desert enclave where natural vortexes emit a mystical energy. Even if communing with the Earth isn't your thing, it's worth visiting for the spectacular slot-canyon hiking and world-class accommodations. Spoil yourself in a L'Auberge de Sedona cottage complete with outdoor shower or stay at Enchantment Resort and book a couple’s treatment at the acclaimed Mii Amo spa.
Block Island, RI
Dubbed "Island of the Little God" by the Narragansett tribe, this petite isle 12 miles off the coast of Rhode Island is a world apart from the mainland. Rent a bike or moped, grab a sandwich from Three Sisters and set about the business of discovering your favorite beach or scenic trail.
San Diego, CA
With 322 days of annual sunshine, San Diego begs you to get outside and explore. Hit the waves at Pacific Beach, ride bikes along the boardwalk, charter a boat or just grab a patch of sand and snuggle up with your partner. The zoo is rightfully renowned, and when you've worked up an appetite, head to the Marine Room for high-tide dinner when the Pacific crashes against the windows.
Amelia Island, FL
Barely inside the Florida border, this Atlantic Coast barrier island hits the spot for a luxury weekend or low-key retreat. Book a room at a historic B&B or bed down overlooking the beach at the Ritz-Carlton. Then spend your days soaking up sun, riding horses along the shoreline or out on the water on a fishing charter or sightseeing tour. Keep the camera ready for sea turtles, manatees and dolphins.