Plan a Romantic Getaway

Deciding on a location for a romantic rendezvous? Start your search with one of these locations, each offering couples something special to celebrate.

Romance can be found almost anywhere: in the mountains, by the ocean and on the road. With a little planning and on-the-scene spontaneity, you and your valentine can escape for a romantic and unforgettable weekend getaway. Whether you prefer warm weather or soaking in the beauty of snow-topped mountains, each of these four destinations offers couples something special to celebrate.

Hill Country, Texas

Located west of Austin and north of San Antonio is the Texas Hill Country. In February and March, temperatures in this part of Texas average in the upper 50s to mid 60s, making the area’s limestone hills a romantic and warm winter retreat. Book the flowers and chocolates package at the Magnolia House in Fredericksburg, a town known for its German traditions and Southern hospitality. Buy a sweet Danish pastry for your sweetheart at Old German Bakery and Restaurant and then browse some of the more than 150 art galleries and boutiques.

On day two, drive to one of the Hill Country’s many award-winning vineyards like Grape Creek Vineyards, which is only a 15-minute drive from Fredericksburg. If you both love wine, sign up for the Wine Lovers Trail from Feb. 5 to 21. Couples can sample wines and chocolates from 48 Hill Country wineries while enjoying the picturesque backdrop of the Old West.

Pack in Extra Romance: Pack a blanket, a bottle of wine and two glasses and drive about 20 minutes north of Fredericksburg to Enchanted Rock, the second largest granite dome in the U.S. Climb to the top of the pink rock just before sunset, pour your vino and get ready for an enchanting experience as the sun goes down.

Hill Country

Aspen, Colorado

Embrace the romance of the season in the mountains of Aspen. After flying into Grand Junction, Colorado, drive about two hours east, or drive about an hour and a half south after flying into Eagle County Airport, to reach Aspen. Named after the abundance of aspen trees around it, this small mountain town is the perfect place to enjoy quality time together skiing, hiking and soaking in the views.

Visitors can ride the Elk Camp Gondola to the top of a 11,300 foot summit. After your gondola ride, dine on the mountain at the Elk Camp Café. On Fridays, spark your romance at a bonfire while roasting marshmallows for s'mores, sipping hot chocolate and listening to live music at Snowmass’ Ullr Nights.

On day two, get cozy in a carriage or snuggle up in a sleigh. Make reservations at Aspen Carriage and Sleigh for a sleigh ride through the fields of Stillwater Ranch for $35 per adult or a carriage ride town tour for $20 per adult.

Pack in Extra Romance: Pack candles. Then, after a full day in the great outdoors, enjoy the mountains from indoors. Plan a private candlelight dinner inside your room at one of the many Aspen lodges, like The Little Nell, a contemporary hotel where all accommodations come with a fireplace and many feature a private balcony. Order room service for two. As you wait for your Champagne cocktails and caviar, pull your candles out from your suitcase and light them to create a romantic ambiance.


New Orleans, Louisiana

Couples looking for a getaway down South may fall in love with the idea of strolling past pastel-colored French cottages in New Orleans. Discover your own jazz tunes as you meander around town, or stop in to hear the city’s favorite genre of music at Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse in the French Quarter. After the show, enjoy beignets — a sweet NOLA specialty similar to a doughnut — and coffee and chicory from the city’s landmark coffee spot, Café Du Monde.

On day two, explore the Garden District by foot or carriage. When you get hungry, head to La Crêpe Nanou for sweet and/or savory crêpes. Later in the afternoon, book a private gondola boat tour for two at Nola Gondola Rides and steal a kiss as you are gliding Venetian-style with romantic Italian music playing in the background.

Pack in Extra Romance: Pack a bottle of wine to make your private Nola Gondola Ride even more romantic. The touring company will provide you with complimentary cheese and crackers as well as an ice bucket and glasses.

New Orleans

Portland, Maine

Fly into Portland, Maine, and drive straight to the city’s historic Old Port neighborhood. Stay in The Press Hotel, once home to the Portland Press Herald and now a luxury hotel that pays homage to its past with vintage-style design pieces and newsroom references throughout its rooms. Once you drop off your bags, stroll the neighborhood’s cobblestone streets, stopping in as many galleries, shops and microbreweries as you and your date desire. In the evening, savor oysters or lobster and sip on cocktails together during a romantic dinner at Eventide Oyster Co. Conclude your evening with a Portland Symphony Orchestra concert at Merrill Auditorium.

After a good night’s rest, hit the road to see Maine’s oldest lighthouse in Cape Elizabeth, located about 15 minutes southeast of Portland. Take a photo with the iconic Portland Head Light before driving another 45 minutes south along the coast to the village of Ogunquit. The village’s name means “beautiful place by the sea” in the Algonquin language. Park the car on Cottage Street, grab your loved one's hand and stroll the 1.5-mile, seaside footpath known as the Marginal Way. After your walk, relax with a meal and music at The Front Porch piano bar and restaurant.

Pack in Extra Romance: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born in Portland, so it would be fitting to bring a book of his poetry, dog-ear the page with “An Evening Star” and hide it under your significant other’s pillow for him or her to find.

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About the Author

Lisa Zimmermann, a writer and editor based in Washington, D.C., has a passion for travel and adventure. She’s backpacked extensively through Europe and traveled through the Caribbean Islands, Middle East and North America. Lisa has already been to nearly every state in the United States, and now she plans to discover, explore and share the variety of experiences the USA offers. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.