Ain’t love grand—from the all-consuming, heart-skips-a-beat, embracing in the rain kind of love to the deep-rooted, life-long love affair? Yes, cloud nine will put a spring in your step, and, as it turns out, it’s good for you too. Kissing lowers stress, prevents tooth decay, and reduces allergies, according to a 2006 study. Spooning can keep your heart ticking. Hand holding can squash pain and stress. And writing an old-fashioned love letter can cut your cholesterol. So, whether you’re planning your honeymoon, anniversary celebration, here are seven romantic weekend getaways in the U.S., dreamscapes that’ll send your love into the stratosphere.
Virginia Beach, Virginia
Whether you’re sunning on sandy beaches, tucking into a stack of Blue Seafood & Spirits’ lump crab cakes, or strolling hand-in-hand under the star-studded sky, Virginia Beach is for lovers. Dive deep and explore the graveyard of the Atlantic, where the 19th century steam schooner, Eureka, sunk, leaving behind china dolls, miniature tea sets, and snuff bottles.
Take a ride on the Rudee Rocket, a banana yellow boat with 2,000 horsepower, and watch bottlenose dolphins jump, flip, and surf. Or, tip the romance needle—downtown-style. Book a couples’ massage at the Green Leaf and Pebble Spa. Then sip mai tais at Lunasea while listening to Reggae-bands like SoPoz. Don’t forget to immortalize your romance. Snap an usie in front of Neptune, the 34-foot, trident-toting Roman sea-god, or one of the nearby LOVEworks.
Napa Valley, California
Raise a glass to love. Napa Valley reigns as the land of vine-laden, villa-style estates, quaint cottages, and candlelit courtyards. Roughly an hour’s drive north of the City by the Bay, this wine connoisseur’s paradise boasts over 36 different grape varieties. So, Cupid, arm your bow with a personalized wine blend from Judd’s Hill Bottle Blending Day Camp. And if it creates romantic sparks, purchase four finished bottles for life-changing events, from vow renewals to your golden anniversary.
Pamper each other at Spa Solage. Roll in its specialty mud, a mixture of spring water and volcanic ash, or relax in its lavender-infused sauna. Then watch the sun burst over the horizon together on a private hot-air balloon ride, complete with coffee, pastries, and—you guessed it—champagne.
With Spanish moss casting romantic shadows on cobblestone streets, Savannah, Georgia’s oldest city, is the place to hit your relationship’s refresh button. Book a room at the Planter’s Inn. Then spoon in your plush, terrycloth bathrobes, and watch Amelie on Netflix. Or, slip into a little black dress, and get your social on at its complimentary wine and cheese tasting. Stretch your legs on a Historic Walking Tour, where radio-personality T.C. Michael unravels Savannah’s secrets, from influential historic figures to ghost stomping grounds. Is your relationship in need of a little green therapy? Head out to Tybee Island and steal a kiss in the shadows before the first sunbeams awaken a fiery sky.
Then get your heart pumping in a kayak for two. Paddle downriver for a chance to spot endangered wood storks, white ibises, or bald eagles. And don’t forget to pack your significant other a romantic, seaside picnic. Earn brownie points: slip in a bag of River Sweet’s Salt Water Taffy.
Sleepless in Seattle, Singles, 10 Things I Hate About You: Seattle goes to the hopeless romantics, according to Amazon’s annual list of the 20 most romantic cities in the U.S. Seattleites scrambled to buy Harlequin Romances— First Comes Love, Me Before You, and The Rosie Project —using Prime Same-Day Delivery, climbing to 14th place. Is it a Valentine’s Day coincidence? We don’t think so. The rainy city has plenty of places to plant one on the love of your life.
The Space Needle is a hunka hunka burning love. After all, it’s the place where Elvis Presley stole the heart of Joan Blackman in Kid Galahad. And it’s easy to see why. At 520 feet, you can’t help but ‘ooh and ah’ over its panoramic view of the Olympic and Cascade Mountains, as well as downtown’s indigo skyline and neon signs. At the Pink Door, wrap your fork around some Pappardelle Bolognese and enjoy off-the-beaten-path entertainment, from trapeze artists to tarot card readers. Then pick up a box of assorted truffles from Fran’s Chocolates and marinate in a rose-petal bath at Edgewater.
Tucson isn’t just for cactus wrens— it’s for lovebirds, too. Golfers, grab your drivers and conquer the The Sonoran Course: a championship-caliber green featuring nine-holes that trudge up and down the desert hillside. Foodies, let Gourmet Aire sweep you off your feet with a 45-minute aerial tour of the Tucson Vistas. Once you land, a limousine will whisk you away to Kingfisher, where you can savor a plate of fish and chips.
Have a single lady in your life? Put a ring on it: ride horseback. That’s right. Saddle up and take your lady love on an evening trek through Saguaro National Park. You can also add a little inner-city magic to your relationship at Sarlot and Eye’s Carnival of Illusion. This Old-World magic show has a 35-member audience. The result? Everyone gets a front-row seat. That means these magicians and illusionists have got to be good. Bonus: the show will give you and your partner something to chat about long after your date has disappeared!
New York, New York
Here’s another reason to heart New York: Gothamites streamed the most love songs last year. In this city that never sleeps, romance is just like Jane’s Carousel, a carnival ride from the 20s located in : it keeps on spinning. Luckily, you can relive that ‘butterflies in your stomach, first-love feeling’ at the Museum of Natural History’s Butterfly Conservatory, where temperatures flirt with the 80s. You can surround yourself with blue morphos, zebra longwings, and monarchs. Or, you can walk into a real-life fairytale: The Cranford Rose Garden. It’s a perfumed landscape where tens of thousands of roses peek over the pavilions, cascade down arches, and pose in beds.
After you’ve been nurtured through nature, grab some fresh oysters with lemon pepper granita and a cup of sparkling namesake at The River Cafe. Then wrap up your romantic rendezvous with a trip to the Empire State Building’s Top Deck, where you can see up to 80 miles away. As Frank Sinatra, “the Patron Saint of New Jersey”, croons you and your sweetheart can “make a brand new start of it, in old New York, [as] king [and Queen] of the hill, top of the heap.”
Surrounded by the swoon-worthy Smoky Mountains, Knoxville is a steamy Southern jewel. Ignite a spark in your love life at Wine & Canvas’ “Paint Who You Love”. It’s like the sexy and iconic scene from Ghost—except there’s acrylics, a paint by numbers canvas, and a glass of pink champagne. You can also get cheek-to-cheek with your flame at one of Absolute Ballroom’s Group Classes. Exciting, flirtatious, and downright erotic, Absolute Ballroom’s weekend social dance parties will transport you back to Jane Austen’s 18th century, where balls were the ultimate occasion for an electrifying kind of courtship.
Competitive? Participate in The Cutting Edge’s Cake Wars. Flour, frosting, aprons: need we say more? And don’t forget to visit the Sunsphere. Built for the 1982 World’s Fair, its 24-carat gold panels are an iconic part of K-Town’s skyline. Good eats alert: its Primo Ristorante Italiano serves a filet and lobster entree with garlic mashed potatoes and fagiolini verdi that’ll send your heart aflutter.