So much romance, so close.
Summer is finally here and with it, we’re itching for escapes and long weekends — but when you’re on a budget, jetting off to Mexico or the South Pacific isn’t really in the cards. So what romantic getaways can we take that feel indulgent, but are closer to home? If you get creative (and think positive!) you and your S.O. have plenty of options.
East Coast romantic getaways
If you’re hunkering down on the East Coast, consider adding romance to a weekend excursion by taking a creative route to your final destination—in this case, a boat. For example, as you head to nearby romantic beach towns like Cape May, NJ or Rehobeth, DE for a quiet winter weekend, a romantic way to get to your destination can be to take the Cape May-Lewes Ferry, one of the oldest operating Ferries in the U.S.
With multiple locations across North America, with a new village north of Boston opening this spring, but for winter purposes check out the Leavenworth Tiny House Village—the beautiful Cascade Mountains provide the perfect backdrop to relax or enjoy numerous recreational activities in the alpine setting of the hidden Bavarian town of Leavenworth.
Or go for a log cabin getaway gone luxe: Tucked into the woodlands above Lake Placid, New York, the Whiteface Lodge is a natural for romance, with in-suite cast-iron fireplaces creating a cozy retreat from the snow-blanketed winter wonderland outside.
Just a short train ride from Manhattan’s epicenter awaits New York City’s Beachfront Backyard, Long Island. Or travel through the famed Hamptons with an intellectual jaunt at the Parrish Art Museum, followed by a spa driven getaway at the luxe Gurney’s Montauk. Spend your days lounging at the Seawater Spa, take a dip in the indoor/outdoor pool and dine at renowned Scarpetta Beach.
Visit the Crosspatch Horse in upstate NY for a romantic horse drawn wagon ride. They even have a special marriage proposal ride. They provide Guided Trail Rides and Wagon Rides throughout the mountainous areas of Western New York within thousands of acres of state land and parks. You will be riding in dense forests, through streams and seeing abundant wildlife.
If you are craving just a touch more sunlight, in the southeastern US, the Don CeSar hotel, known as Florida’s “Pink Palace,” is the perfect romantic yet semi- affordable Florida option on your romantic getaways in Florida list.
With prime access to St. Pete Beach’s sugar sand beaches and tons of amenities, there’s no need to leave the U.S. to get that tropical feeling.
West Coast romantic getaways
It’s also fun to visit somewhere fabulous in your own backyard. For example, for people who live in Salt Lake City, Boise, Laramie or the like during the winter months, it really can change the mood to drive to a resort town like Park City, which is at its height during the winter. The Main Street is decorated throughout the winter months (not just during Christmas week) and the historic Main Street district has an anti-chain ordinance, so even window shoppers will be looking at items they don’t normally see in their own town. Also, Park City offers a completely free city-wide public transit system that connects from Main Street to most visitor destinations including Kimball Junction and the Utah Olympic Park (whose museum is completely free as well – a great way to extend the spirit of the Olympics if you are still mourning that this year’s events have ended).
Quintessential California engages with romantic Tuscany at Pebble Beach Resorts’ Casa Palmero – a secluded, all-suite, oasis-like villa just steps from the world-renowned resort’s luxury spa.
Or go to the mountains of the west: From its mountain perch above the Sonoran Desert, Sanctuary on Camelback Mountain Resort & Spa elevates a weekend getaway with everything from spa time to mountain hikes to wine and fare that is locally sourced.
For a weekend of secluded luxury and southern charm in the heart of West Texas, Hotel Settles is your best bet. Fondly referred to as “The Gem of West Texas,” the historic 1930s-era hotel was recently restored to its original elegance, boasting stylish details that evoke the charm and romance of an earlier era.
When you can’t get away… bring your destination to you! The best part of traveling is the food … So, why not Skype a chef from Singapore, Turkey, Japan, Italy, or Spain into your kitchen?! Hang up the keys, open a bottle of Rioja and Skype a chef into your kitchen for a private 1:1 cooking class. Each class is private to just you and the chef. You’ll make 3+ dishes together, you get to ask all the questions you want, and voila! At the end of your class, you’ve learned about the chef’s culture, plus you have an entire authentic meal from that region to enjoy! The flavors of Paella, Singaporean Chicken Rice, Kebabs or Jambalaya will transport you to another place in the world without leaving your kitchen.
(www.TheChefandTheDish.com, $299 for 2 people, or make it more affordable and make it a double date! Each person is only $50 more. )
As for that tropical vacation? There’s always next year.
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