What's a better way to show that special someone that you want them to be your Valentine than to whisk them away from everything for a romantic weekend? Time spent doing something (or nothing) together, combining good food with good company... That's just about the best way to say, "I want to spend all my days with you."
Whether it's hitting the slopes, hanging out in a cabin in the woods, lounging on the beach, or exploring a quaint little village, nothing prepares you for being together forever like traveling together.
We've compiled a list of our favorite places to relax, unwind and let the romance between you two blossom. Here are 11 of the most romantic U.S. cities for a Valentine's Day getaway.
1. New Orleans, LA
New Orleans draws you effortlessly into its mystery, romance, and history. From the jazz clubs to the gourmet restaurants to the home of voodoo queens and murderous mavens, something is sure to spark the slow-burning embers of romance, or even the white hot passions of desire, when you visit NOLA.
Take a harbor jazz cruise to get in the mood, then hop off to sip café au lait and have a beignet at Café Du Monde. Make sure to grab dinner at one of the city's French Quarter courtyard restaurants before strolling down Bourbon Street. Veering off the path to get your fortune told in Jackson Square, and take a tour of the city from one of the walking tour companies -- whether it's a history tour, a ghost tour, or a New Orleans After Dark tour, you're sure to find an excuse to hold your lover's hand.
2. Laguna Beach, CA
What could be more romantic than a trip to the state where dreams come true? Laguna Beach, located between Los Angeles and San Diego, is known for its picturesque beaches and relaxing ambiance. After checking into one of the city's historic inns, take in a morning yoga session on the beach, visit some renowned art galleries, and grab lunch for two at a bistro near the shore. For your afternoon, there are museums to wander through, and plenty of shops to visit. And your evening wouldn't be complete without a candlelit dinner and a play at the nearly century-old Laguna Playhouse. And make sure to add surging and whale watching to your agenda before you leave.
3. Lanai, Hawaii
One of the most secluded spots in the Hawaii islands, visiting Lanai can feel like you've got an entire island to yourself. According to local lore, Pehe, the wife of a great warrior, died near Lanai. Her heartbroken husband buried her near on one of the mountains and then jumped to his death in the surf below, unable to face life without her.
Romance is sure to take hold with such spirits of love floating around. Whether you stay at the Four Seasons Lanai or any number of other resorts, you'll feel like you're living in a tropical wonderland if you take a trip with your sweetheart to Lanai. You can enjoy horseback rides through Cook pines or a picnic on the beach before sailing away for the day and returning for a dinner under the stars on a secluded stretch of oceanfront. Later, you and your lover can fantasize about returning to the island for your honeymoon -- or to renew your vows!
4. Sedona, AZ
Sedona's breathtaking scenery alone is enough to make it one of the most romantic spots to visit for Valentine's Day, but its wide variety of activities for couples put it over the top. At L'Auberge du Sedona, couples can relax together during a spa date before dining at a four-star restaurant in the resort and later enjoying a rose petal turn-down service complete with champagne and strawberries awaiting you when you return from dinner. Have breakfast Creekside at L'Auberge on Oak Creek before heading out for a Jeep adventure on the red rocks, or visiting a local winery.
5. Charleston, SC
One of the oldest cities in the U.S., Charleston feels like walking back in time. Cobblestone streets, historic churches, and harbor views couple with gourmet dining, one-of-a-kind hotels, and Caribbean-themed architecture all lend to the unique charm of the town. Charleston is known for its amazing restaurants, as well as its boutique hotels, and has plenty of spaces where you can stroll and take in the sites.
From the harbor side, you can walk past pastel southern mansions facing the ocean, or catch a glimpse of Fort Sumter and the place where Blackbeard and his men held the city hostage in the late 1700s. After dinner, you can enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride through the old part of the city before stopping at Kaminsky's to indulge in one of their house-made desserts, coffees, or spirited cocktails.
Check out A Traveler's Guide To Charleston, SC.
6. Jackson Hole, WY
If outdoor adventure is your kind of romance, you'll love some of the ski-in, ski-out resorts at Jackson Hole. Whether it's swishing down the slopes or enjoying an après-ski hot chocolate in front of a fire, there's a plethora of ways to spend some quiet -- or not-so-quiet -- time together.
At Spring Creek Ranch, you can lounge in luxurious surroundings in your hotel room, or indulge in hot tub time outdoors surrounded by snow. Their Valentine's Day packages include a room with a fireplace, breakfast, dinner, a couple's massage, and a strawberry and champagne welcome package. Stunning views, snow saucers, or sled and evening turn-down service are included free.
7. New York, NY
What could be more fun than spending a weekend together in the city that never sleeps? You can take a trip to the Hayden Planetarium, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, the Diamond District, or Central Park and still have a million things left to do to round out your weekend together. Indulging in a show on Broadway and dinner at one of the city's stunning gourmet restaurants is a must.
If you're looking for a restaurant recommendation... Travel experts say Zenkichi, with its private dining booths and mysterious air, rivals One if by Land, Two if By Sea, an eatery located in an 18th century carriage house and known for its 7-course tasting menu, as the most romantic restaurant in the city.
Check out How To Spend 48 Hours In New York City for more tips.
8. Kennebunkport, ME
Can there be anything more thrilling than staying in the city used as a resort by the most powerful men in the world? Okay, outside of bungee jumping over the Grand Canyon, that is. Kennebunkport has been long known as a vacation spot for presidents. But you can turn it into a winter wonderland escape for you and your lover. A draft-horse sleigh ride through the snow followed by hot chocolate or some time on the slopes starts off your snuggly adventure, followed by a chance to design your own piece of jewelry for your love, featuring Maine's own watermelon tourmaline. Staying at the 150-year-old White Barn Inn not only means luxury accommodation, but also gourmet dining in the area's only 5-star restaurant. If you're up for the adventure and feel sure-footed, climb the rocks on the jetty to reach where countless lovers have popped the question that altered their futures forever.
9. Bald Head Island, NC
Located off the coast of southern North Carolina, Bald Head Island is home to fewer than 200 residents and even fewer cars. Residents get around in golf carts and are careful not to disturb the delicate natural balance of the island, which is known for birding and sea turtle nests. At VRBO, you can rent out complete homes, like Bald Head Island Jewel, completely renovated in 2013 and ready for your weekend getaway. Complete with the use of a new golf cart, you can tool around the island, view the scenery, or stay in and just relax in your little island escape.
10. Gatlinburg, TN
While Gatlinburg is probably best known for its family-friendly atmosphere, it's a great place for couples to get away from it all too. Cabins in the mountains overlooking vast spans of wooded views, many with deckside hot tubs, offer a unique way to escape the hustle and bustle of real life. Make sure to check out whether or not your cabin gets cell phone reception though. If you're depending on your Spotify playlist to set the mood, you'll want to be able to ensure you get a signal. Conversely, if you're planning a vacation away from office e-mail, social media posts, and annoying phone calls, you can book a spot that's a little more off the grid.
Read 9 Things Everyone Should Do In Gatlinburg to learn more.
11. Savannah, GA
There's an air about Savannah that just makes it feel special. Serving as the backdrop of the best-selling book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, Savannah is steeped in history and mystery. Walk along the Spanish moss draped trains in Forsyth Park with a picnic lunch (courtesy of Smith Brother Butcher Shop) before taking in a meal at one of the restaurants overlooking the park. After a spa date together, you can relax at one of the city's rooftop bars and watch the lights and stars sparkle on the water while you sip craft cocktails. And in the morning, get up to watch the sunrise on Tybee Island, just a short drive away from the city.