The Best Romantic Escapes (Sans Kids!)
Written by James Kicinski-McCoy
Photography by Photograph of Hotel Hafa in Sayulita via Las Bayadas
Even if the thought of leaving your kids for more than a few hours with your trusty sitter may seem like a tough pill to swallow, and if it may require some additional prep and planning before takeoff, it’s so important to keep the spark alive with your partner or spouse. Stress, work, and kids can challenge a relationship like no other and what better way to rekindle the fire than to make a great escape to somewhere new without the kids in tow. Take a look at some of the incredible hot-spots below, and get ready to drop the kids at Grandma’s and enjoy a long weekend of R, R, & R—rest, relaxation, and romance!
New Orleans, LA. When it comes to southern hospitality and slow, relaxed vibes, it doesn’t get much better than New Orleans. Here, you’ll fall in love with the city’s elegant hotels, live jazz music, delicious cajun food, and intimate gas lamp-lit streets. You might even learn a little bit about they city’s history with Voodoo. The French Quarter has a ton of romantic restaurants like Bayona for dinner and don’t miss Cafe Du Monde for the perfect morning cup of coffee and side of beignets. For lodging, try the beloved Roosevelt.
Venice, CA. Ocean lovers looking to vacation inside the US, look no further that Venice Beach. Beautiful, fun and funky, this west coast beachfront neighborhood is an ideal getaway for those who love sun, sand, and all things hippy. Venice offers a vibrant mix of activities and attractions, from its famous boardwalk to notable restaurants and unique boutiques. Grab a quick breakfast or morning coffee at the native’s favorite Cow’s End and catch a romantic Italian dinner by the pier at C&O Trattoria. When it comes to hotels, Hotel Erwin is a favorite.
Sayulita, Mexico. Sayulita is a charming little fishing village with some of the most scenic beaches, praised restaurants, and fun activities. Here, you can mingle with locals in a relaxed atmosphere, unlike the major touristy resorts, and try your hand at local interests like wave surfing. The town square that is walkable and many say Sayulita Fish Taco is the place to go for great tequila and tacos. For those seeking more nightlife, Puerto Vallarta is a mere 30 minutes away. Stay in a romantic hut at Playa Escondida or at the super cool Hotel Hafa.
Kauai, Hawaii. Nicknamed “The Garden Island”, Kauai is one of the most popular vacation destinations in the world for it luscious beaches, oxygen-rich greenery, scenic drives, brooding mountains, and cascading waterfalls. This is the perfect getaway for couples who love outdoor water and land activities. The Hanalei Dolphin Restaurant and Fish Market is highly-recommended, but if you’re lucky enough to win an invitation to a potluck, baby luau, or beach party—just accept. For lodging, it doesn’t get more beautiful than the Koa Kea Hotel & Resort.
St. Lucia. When it comes to romance in the Caribbean, there’s no better place than St. Lucia. Home to crystal-blue water beaches, mineral hot springs, friendly locals, and authentic culture, it’s truly paradise. Couples can spend time sunbathing, whale watching, scuba diving, or just soaking in a hot tub overlooking the ocean. Try some of Saint Lucia’s Creole heritage at The Rainforest Hideaway and get a personal tour of the islands cocoa crops at Boucan Restaurant by Hotel Chocolat. Jade Mountain is a famously-adored resort with breathtaking views.
Aspen, CO. Seeking an adventurous mountain getaway? Aspen is where it’s at. From skiing and snowshoeing across gorgeous mountains, to fly-fishing and even hot-air ballooning, this town offers something for everyone. Couples can spend the day being chasing adrenaline, doing some shopping, or hitting the spa before heading out for a romantic dinner at Pinions restaurant and grab a freshly-made beer at Aspen Brewing Company. When it comes to hotels, we suggest the 5-star rated The Little Nell. Pop a bottle of champagne, change into a robe, and relax.
Sedona, AZ. Nicknamed “Red Rock Country” for its incredibly jaw-dropping landscape, Sedona has long been a popular romantic getaway destination. All year long, couples vacate here to relax, seek adventure, and rejuvenate. Just a few of the romantic activities include horseback riding, hot air balloon rides, spa sessions, and simply taking in the scenery. The luxurious L’Auberge de Sedona is a perfect resort for couples with great dining, but we also suggest trying out the local’s favorite Prickly Pear margarita at Enchantment Resort.
Cape Cod, MA. Fans of the Northeast, look no further than Cape Cod. Picturesque harbors, pristine beaches, and fresh seafood—what more could you ask for? Couples can relax on the sand, sightsee lighthouses, take a ferry to Martha’s Vineyard, hit the country club, ride bikes, or simply wander the area’s main streets for shopping, food, treats and more. For the freshest catch and great cocktails, check out Falmouth Raw Bar and was it down with a brew from British Beer Company. Lodging is mostly inns, and we love the Chatham Bars Inn.
San Juan, PR. Tropical paradise seekers, this is your go-to. San Juan city has it all—luxury resorts, stunning shoreline, fine dining, fabulous shopping, championship golf, and nightlife. Couple can tour Old San Juan, the oldest city in the U.S., descend into a million year old cave at Riu Camuy Cave System Park, and walk through El Yunque Rainforest. Try local flavors at esteemed Jose Enrique restaurant and get the best-ever Pina Colada at the place it originated at, the Pina Colada Club. For a stunning stay with ocean views, book the Condado Vanderbilt.
Charleston, SC. Charleston is a gorgeous southern city that continues to retain its charm while also reinventing itself. This friendly getaway is packed plenty to do throughout its cobblestone streets, stately mansions, and slow pace. Couples can hit the beach, enjoy museums and art galleries, hit the golf courses, fish, boat, shop local boutiques and unusual antique stores, or take Revolutionary and Civil War tours. Taste southern cuisine at the beloved Circa 1886 restaurant and stay at the stunning Wentworth Mansion.
Las Vegas, NV. It’s no secret, if you want to have some wild fun, Vegas is the place to go. However, the city isn’t all hangovers and bachelorette parties, it has a very romantic, sophisticated side. From breath-taking hotels, casinos, and restaurants to dramatic live shows and concerts, this is a perfect escape for those seeking some entertainment with their beau. There are so many incredible restaurants and hotels in Vegas, but our personal favorites are dinner at Twist and lodging at The Villas at the Mirage.
Austin, TX. Austin is a great escape for lovers of live music, southern charm, nightlife, and country roots. Whether you’re looking to get a taste of authentic smokehouse BBQ and whiskey or take a cool dip in a local watering hole under the stars, this is your destination. Food trucks are huge here, if you’re into that kind of a thing, but we also love fine dining (and harry hour!) at Jeffrey’s. To lay your head, locals suggest Hotel Saint Cecilia (where you must home a robe)!
Venice, Italy. Known as one of the most romantic places in the world, this city is home to striking canals, bridges, and slim streets that wind throughout and around unique buildings, designer shops, and renowned churches, museums, and galleries. This is truly a city to just get lost in, but if the scenery wasn’t enough reason to flock, couples can also do wine tours, ride in a gondola, try authentic gelato, and dine at cult-followed Venetian restaurants like Antiche Carampane. Though it’s difficult to pick a favorite hotel, locals suggest the historical Luna Hotel Baglioni.
Paris, France. There might be no more perfect place in the world to play tourist than France’s most popular city. From a stroll through the Luxembourg Gardens to a night at the opera, Paris offers both simple pleasures and luxurious splurges. With over 20 districts to explore, couples can sightsee things like the Eiffel Tower and the ancient Notre Dame cathedral, explore The Louvre, pop into intimate wine bars, try authentic croissants and macaroons, shop local Parisian boutiques, hit sidewalk cafes, and much more. Locals rave about 3-Michelin-star restaurant Le Meurice. For hotels, the Le Roch Hotel and Spa is highly-recommended.
Anything to add about our romantic hot-spots above? Let us know in the comments below.
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