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Roadmap to Romance: 10 Top Destinations


Love-struck travelers: Know which places in America lovers love most?

Romantic destinations can be defined by many different criteria: a city or town’s lover-friendly features (How many brunch spots, wineries, or other romantic offerings?); ambiance, privacy, and access to couples-only activities;  the number of “romantic” restaurants the area hosts; and even the popularity of romantic products such as romance novels and music, rom-com movies, etc. With these “yardsticks” in mind, here are the top 10 stops in your roadmap to romance (in no particular order):

Romancing the snow – Aspen, CO

This tony ski town and a-list winter wonderland is unbeatable for its plush hotels, picturesque mountain chalets, legendary brews, romantic restaurants overlooking spectacular views and, of course, premier ski slopes. Add to that the city’s high-end art, shopping, and festivals scene – plus its spectacular natural wonders – and you may find the high cost of a getaway to be well worth it!

Romance by the Bay – San Francisco, CA

Picture the most romantic postcards come to life – cable cars, the Golden Gate Bridge, Twin Peaks, and even the touristy Fisherman’s Wharf. Embrace the jumble of cultures, the mishmash of cuisines, the patchwork of colorful city streets, cafes, and jazz clubs. You may or may not leave your heart – but its vibrant charm will stay with you!

Antebellum romance – Savannah, GE

Draped in Spanish moss and cloaked in history, dotted with magnolias and antebellum homes, and fragrant with jasmine, Savannah reeks of romance. But the city’s genteel behavior often masks her exciting and sometimes eccentric side: ghost hunters hang out in graveyards, southern fried chicken mixes happily with Starbucks, and past meets present in beautifully restored B&Bs.

Historical romance – Charleston, SC

Is this your idea of romance – gas lamp-lit strolls on cobblestone streets? Horse-drawn carriages? Streets steeped in history? Centuries-old mansions and authentic Southern  ambiance? Charleston, South Carolina is an exciting mélange of old and new. Travel back in time, but be very much in the present as you shop, sun, and enjoy the café, restaurant, and gallery scenes.

Texas-sized romance – San Antonio, TX

You wouldn’t think so but, yes, romance sizzles in this warm weather mix of mariachis and margaritas, riverboat cruises and rodeo rides, fiestas and floating restaurants. Be dazzled by the River Walk, San Antonio’s number one tourist attraction. Enjoy the cuisines and cultural offerings – a melting pot of Spanish, French, Greek, German, and Native American traditions. Romance is alive and well in cowboy country.

Island romance – Honolulu, HI

Too glitzy and commercial, you say? Perhaps. But Honolulu is also your springboard to some of the most romantic settings in the world – from volcanic cliffs and lush valleys to picturesque drives and soaring views of the Pacific. Take a night stroll on Sunset Beach. Feel your inner Hawaiian at Diamond Head.  And who needs Hollywood romance? Make your own romantic scene at Halona Cove. Like a nightcap? Sure – right after your sunset dinner cruise and couple’s spa treatments.

Romance, Southern style – St. Simons, GE

Secluded, yet accessible. Unhurried but fun. If that’s your kind of getaway, then head out to this southern-style beach town. Find a laid-back beach lifestyle, 19th-century lighthouse, and charming inns. If you’re a more active couple, enjoy the golf, charter fishing, wine tasting, seafood dining, historical landmarks, farmer’s market, antique shops, biking rentals, and other offerings.

Picture-perfect romance – Amelia Island, FL

Whether you’re pursuing a new romance or rekindling an old one, there’s no better backdrop than Amelia Island. Picture these: horseback riding on the beach…Victorian-era inns complete with fireplaces and four-poster beds…river cruises that sail off into the sunset…horse-drawn carriage rides on historic streets with mossy oaks and centuries-old architecture…sandy dunes and splendid sunrises.

Seaside romance – Cape Cod, MA

Explore the Cape’s 15 towns, as well as the two Islands of Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket. Each has its unique flavor, but all are oozing with charm. The Cape boasts of wall-to-wall attractions for the romantic traveler: picnics, romantic hikes, seafood and other gastronomical treats, remote dunes, sunset strolls, and activity-filled summer evenings. All with that matchless Cape Cod ambiance.

Unexpected romance – St Paul, MN

Cynics may snicker and scoff at including this Twin City in a “most romantic getaways” list. But with its diverse romantic offerings – from languid paddle-wheeler rides on the Mississippi to a floating bed-and-breakfast houseboat; from beautiful architecture to world class restaurants – St Paul loyalists may just have the last laugh.

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