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7 Romantic U.S. Cities to Visit This Valentine's Day
Celebrate the holiday with an unforgettable getaway for two.
Ditch the flowers, chocolates and Champagne for a romantic escape to remember. (Getty Images)
Exploring a new city filled with history, art, culture and natural beauty with your favorite travel companion can be a great way to rekindle your romance. From charming southern locales filled with storied architecture, decadent meals and Spanish moss-lined parks to low-key beach retreats with striking sunsets, cool island breezes and secluded sands, there are plenty of alluring places to explore with your better half that offer the right balance of intimacy and activity. Whether you want a cozy winter escape or a warm-weather getaway, here are seven mood-setting places to go for an unforgettable holiday with the person you love.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
Best for: Sun and splendor
For a convenient and care-free beach break, pack your bags for Puerto Rico. When you and your one and only aren't lounging along sugary sands, take romantic strolls in Old San Juan and enjoy picturesque backdrops, old forts and amazing food. For a little more activity, take a hike in El Yunque, explore the bioluminescent Mosquito Bay or visit the storied El Morro fort. Best of all, the island is just over a two-hour flight from the continental U.S., making it easy, accessible and affordable for a spur-of-the-moment retreat.
Charleston, South Carolina
Best for: Southern charm
For a winning mix of history, storied colonial streets, haunting ghost tours and world-class museums, Charleston is an ideal destination for lovebirds. If you and your better half are history buffs, the low-key city is best for a leisurely trip filled with wooing and wandering. Try local fare at the Charleston Grill, complete with lively jazz and cozy seating, or up the romance factor with a horse-drawn carriage ride. Afterward, take in the city's natural beauty. Make your way to Magnolia Plantation & Gardens or stroll through the Battery to explore Civil War memorials and enjoy picturesque photo ops.
Albany, New York
Best for: The cosmopolitan couple
For a rejuvenating cold-weather retreat in upstate New York, head to Albany. Here, you can enjoy skiing or snowboarding on the slopes, along with fireside dining at the Lark + Lily Wine Bar & Kitchen, where the cheeseboards are crafted especially for two. And after dark, you can soak in Albany's vibrant nightlife. Here, you'll find trendy wine bars and jazz clubs, lively music performances and a top-notch art scene.
Best for: History and culture
Filled with beautiful historic homes, striking natural scenery, a dynamic music scene and a flourishing food scene, the Crescent City appeals to lovebirds of all kinds. For your first visit, don't miss exploring City Park or the Garden District. And you can't skip touring the iconic French Quarter to explore storied attractions such as the Cabildo and the Faulkner House, and of course, Bourbon Street. For a romantic meal to remember, wine and dine your sweetheart at the wine bar Bacchanal. And in the morning, don't skip grabbing a pick-me-up and a tasty treat at Morning Call or a signature beignet at Café Du Monde.
Napa Valley, California
Best for: Food and wine enthusiasts
For a wine-themed adventure to remember, take the person you love to California wine country. Sip refreshing and crisp whites and smoky and sweet reds as you take in the area's colorful vineyards and sophisticated properties. Pair regional and Mediterranean-inspired flavors with the perfect vintages. What's more, you and your honey can choose from hundreds of vineyards and varieties, from full-body cabernets to crisp chardonnays. Plus, there are a wealth of popular caverns along with intimate properties for for leisurely tastings.
Best for: Riverboats and romance
Enjoy your fill of water activities with your better half with fishing, ferry rides and riverboat cruises along the banks of historic Savannah. After a scenic cruise, enjoy a memorable stroll and picnic under the grand oaks of Forsyth Park. Breaks from admiring treasured sites and the iconic Forsyth Fountain can include partaking in a riveting ghost tour and unwinding with cocktails at one of the lively pubs or bars along River Street.
Best for: Small-town charm
Visit this picturesque spot along the shores of Lake Michigan for a healthy dose of sand, sun and small-town romance. Watch the sun drift down with your sweetie after a fun day of dune rides at the Saugatuck Dunes State Park. And for a bit of culture, enjoy a leisurely stroll to admire the area's dynamic art scene, eclectic galleries and shops on foot. Cap off your stay with a secluded candlelit meal and a memorable stay at a quaint inn to take your romance up a notch.
About En Route
Practical advice on the art of traveling smarter with tips, tricks and intel from En Route's panel of experts.
Contributors have experience in areas ranging from family travel, adventure travel, experiential travel and budget travel to hotels, cruises and travel rewards and include Amy Whitley, Claire Volkman, Holly Johnson, Marsha Dubrow, Lyn Mettler, Sery Kim, Kyle McCarthy, Erica Lamberg, Jess Moss, Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sherry Laskin, Katie Jackson, Erin Gifford, Roger Sands, Steve Larese, Gwen Pratesi, Erin Block, Dave Parfitt, Kacey Mya, Kimberly Wilson, Susan Portnoy, Donna Tabbert Long and Kitty Bean Yancey.
Edited by Liz Weiss.
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