Valentine’s Day is nearly here, and many of you may be sick of the chocolate, flowers, and bland dinner dates that have come to represent this holiday. It may be time to jazz things up with a trip that strays from the ordinary and expected. Whether you live in one of these locations or want to make a romantic weekend getaway, here are some of the most promising destinations for couples in the U.S.
1. San Juan
Halfway between Seattle and Vancouver, San Juan Island is a Washington hotspot for fun and romantic activities. Go whale-watching in the bay, stay at a charming bed & breakfast, or get rejuvenated at one of the local spas. San Juan Island Vineyards offer sophisticated wine tastings, and the town even has a special Valentine’s Day listing full of timely activities and discounts.
2. San Diego
With its glorious weather and scenic attractions, San Diego is a no-brainer choice for a romantic weekend. Couples can check out Little Italy, see a movie at one of San Diego’s drive-in theaters, take a paddle boat out to sea, or roam the luxurious Prado – full of beautiful architecture, restaurants, and hidden gardens. The perfect balance of beach and city life, it’s no wonder we call it “America’s Finest City.”
Chicago may not be the first city that pops into your mind for a romantic weekend, but it does feature several great locations you may not have heard of. Millennium Park is packed with fun couples activities, like winter ice skating. No romantic getaway is complete without a trip to the Signature Room, a five-star restaurant with a stunning view from the top of the John Hancock Observatory. If you visit in the summer, top off the evening with a trip to the Navy Pier Ferris Wheel overlooking the city.
Everyone’s favorite ski town, Boulder offers more than juts cozy ski trips with your sweetheart. Chautauqua Park is the perfect destination for athletic couples, featuring hiking trails, rock climbing, and dazzling views of the Flatirons. Boulder Falls also offers a scenic adventure for couples. City folks may be more comfortable sauntering down Pearl Street to check out the bars, eateries, street performances, and fountains.
Check in at the Fountainebleau or the Hyatt Centric in South Beach for an especially luxurious hotel stay. Miami offers a myriad of romantic activities that won’t break the bank – like a stroll down Lincoln Road, which hosts a movie theater at one end and the Fillmore at the other. Visit Coral Gables or Bal Harbour Shops to get your shopping fix, and stop by Sunset Lounge to grab a drink and watch the sun set over the bay.
6. Bar Harbor
A lesser-known town in Maine, Bar Harbor is an adorable spot where couples can stay in cottages, eat the tastiest seafood, and enjoy relaxing views of the bay. Take a scenic drive around Park Loop Road and reach the lofty heights of Cadillac Mountain. Acadia National Park hosts trails for the more adventurous, while various cafes like Cafe This Way offers the perfect touch of small town charm. If you love to browse bookstores and boutiques, Bar Harbor is just the place.
If you’re way out in the midwest and can’t make it to any of these coastal destinations, humble Omaha, Nesbraska features tons of off-the-beaten-path attractions for couples. Walk or cycle down the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge or take a tour of one of Omaha’s delicious breweries, like Lucky Bucket Brewing Co. You can even spend a weekend on the museums alone — Omaha is a hub for magnificent sites like the Durham Museum and the Joslyn Art Museum.
The list wouldn’t be complete without a fancy southern destination like Louisville, Kentucky. Couples can go antiquing at the quaint Crazy Daisy and browse beautiful old Victorian homes in town. Take a romantic ride in a horse-drawn carriage downtown and stop in at one of Louisville’s restaurants, like Saffron’s Persian Restaurant. Couples can take a cruise on the Belle of Louisville for a calming view of the Ohio river and the city skyline.
Featured photo credit: robert bejil photography via imcreator.com