With fall on its way, there's no better time to start planning a romantic long weekend with your significant other. Take in the blush of the forest, taste the cool mist of the sea, curl up with someone special next to a roaring fire -- the possibilities are endless.
Here are 5 of America's most romantic getaway destinations.
1. Napa Valley, California
You might think of Napa as a summer-only destination, but you would be mistaken. In some ways, it's better to go in spring or fall. The crowds tend to clear out, and you won't have to fight as hard to reserve that table at the bistro or to win the ear of that viticulturist.
There's more time and space in the autumn, and you'll have a better opportunity to chat one-on-one with your wine tour experts. You'll have your choice of hotels or home rentals. Plus nothing beats seeing the grape leaves change color on their vines.
Just make sure you don't skip out on a hot air balloon ride!
2. Kauai, Hawaii
Alright, I know. Unless you live in Hawaii (in which case... congratulations!), taking a little jaunt to Kauai probably isn't in the fall travel budget. But Kauai is so beautiful it's worth fantasizing about.
Kauai is the fourth-largest member of the archipelago, only 560 square miles, with fewer than 70,000 inhabitants. Her nickname is "the garden isle" and that's for good reason. Kauai is the most ancient of the Hawaiian islands, characterized by it's sharp moss-covered rock formations, dense jungle, and laid back attitude.
If your idea of a romantic escape includes zip-lining, kayaking, or taking your picture under a waterfall, you won't be disappointed. There's also no dearth of hiking -- particularly in Kokee State Park.
Of course, if you're an indoor cat, you can also lounge beneath coconut palms on the East Shore, or explore the island's string of cute seaside towns. Visitors particularly rave about Kauai's sunsets, so make your way to Waimea Town on the west coast.
3. Charleston, South Carolina
Charleston isn't just one of the most romantic American getaways; it's truly one of the best cities to visit in the entire country.
To begin with, it's a historical gem, complete with cobblestones, preserved historic estates, and all manner of antebellum charm. Charleston is the oldest settlement in South Carolina, and has played a noteworthy role throughout American history. The Civil War did start in Charleston, after all, at Fort Sumter, which you can still tour today.
The history of the Civil War and of slavery is impressed on Charleston in many ways. You can tour former plantations and explore the distinctive culture of the Gullah Geechee -- former slaves of West African descent who to preserve their own traditions, which remain influential in the area. It's important to remember who actually built Charleston.
Perhaps the best way to see the town itself is from a carriage. Yes, you can take a romantic horse-drawn tour! You'll be amazed by the colorful antique architecture. And if you're hungry after your ride, you can sample some of the region's signature Lowcountry cuisine. It's sort of like cajun food and sort of like traditional Southern food, but really it's a genre of its own, offering many seafood dishes infused with African flare.
There are plenty of quaint inns in which to hang your hats -- a crucial ingredient for any couple's weekend escape.
Want to learn more about this amazing city? Read Charleston, SC: America's Tourist Mecca.
4. Sedona, Arizona
Sedona is famous for its sunrises and sunsets, and also for its wine. Yes, wine.
The nearby Verde Valley actually produces some delicious vintages, and they're very much worth sampling as you watch the sun go down over the endless Sonoran Desert. If you like what's in your glass, you can definitely indulge in a wine tour.
Sedona itself is a small town with a population of 10,000 or so. But for that, it has plenty of character and culture. Visit Tlaquepaque Arts and Crafts village, an artist's haven with a European vibe where many artists ply their trades. Sedona attracts surprising number of extremely creative people for a small Arizona town.
But the real draw is the great outdoors, particularly Red Rock State Park.
Intrigued by the Sonoran Desert? Check out 5 Things To Do In Sedona, AZ.
5. Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
Last but certainly not least, Martha's Vineyard is one of the most famous retreats in America, popular with presidents and paupers alike. Located just off the coast of Massachusetts, the island is only a 45-minute boat ride from Cape Cod, and was virtually designed for weekend getaways.
Visitors can tour the island's many iconic lighthouses, lounge on spectacular beaches, or hike to the unforgettable Aquinnah Cliffs.
Get the full story on America's favourite little island by reading Boston Road Trip: Martha's Vineyard.
Whatever you're up to this autumn, we hope you get the chance to escape from it all for a few days with someone you love. Happy trails!