Most Romantic U.S. Destinations As Voted By Travelzoo Deal Experts
We challenged our Travelzoo Deal Experts to pick the most romantic destinations in the United States, and the following six places topped their list.
What’s even better is that there’s something in here for all traveler types, whether your idea of romance involves being active together or doing absolutely nothing.
Hawaii is an overall crowd pleaser: Foodies can find top restaurants and buzzy bars on Oahu, and nature lovers can take their pick between volcanoes on the Big Island and the rainforest and waterfalls of Kauai. Maui falls somewhere in the middle with plenty of options for action and relaxation.
We recommend a stop in Lanai for those looking to truly escape — it’s one of the less-visited islands, with only 3,000 permanent residents … but two Four Seasons resorts, including one that just finished a renovation in 2016.
With countless beaches across the state’s 1,197 miles of coastline, there’s a strip of sand that’s right for everyone in Florida. There’s glitzy Palm Beach (with plenty of off-the-sand shopping to be done) and South Beach, where you can go from the sand straight to the bar.
There are several beaches on the Gulf Coast that we recommend, including Siesta Key, made up of more than 99% pure quartz for soft, nearly white sand. Our top choice for romance is to head to the aptly named Honeymoon Island State Park to take the ferry to Caladesi Island State Park, which can feel like your own private paradise.
New York City
New York City is the capital of it all with enough shows and events to see something nonstop every single day. Catch stars from TV and movies in a limited-run Broadway performance, hear jazz greats at Lincoln Center or even discover up-and-coming comics at the tiny Comedy Cellar. Then, when the rushing around feels like a performance in itself, head off on a cruise or helicopter ride around the city.
While Central Park is a can’t-miss, we especially love Brooklyn Bridge Park for sweeping Manhattan views and joyrides on the restored Jane’s Carousel. Beat the weekend rush and take a midweek walk (or row), and end with a candlelit dinner for two. Cheers to that.
Tony Bennett had the right idea as several Deal Experts have left (their) hearts in San Francisco. It earns top praise for cultural attractions like the stunning Legion of Honor, the de Young Museum and Conservatory of Flowers in Golden Gate Park and the newly reopened SFMOMA.
It’s also a great spot for active couples to take walks through different neighborhoods, like the former barracks of The Presidio and up the steps of Telegraph Hill to look for the wild parrots. While the crowds walking across the iconic Golden Gate can be decidedly unromantic, you can drive over to Battery Spencer (a former military outpost in the Marin Headlands) for the perfect place to snap the bridge shot that also graces your postcards.
Napa/Sonoma Wine Region
Wine lovers rejoice: 4% of all wine nationwide is produced in Napa, which is impressive considering there are more than 8,000 wineries in the U.S. It’s definitely the county with more name recognition, but it’s possible to pop between Napa and the more low-key Sonoma County in the same day. In addition to the downtown squares of the namesake cities, we’d also highlight Yountville for dining and Calistoga for mud baths and hot springs.
There are so many wineries to sample the throughout the region — if your wallet is more picnic in the park than prix-fixe French Laundry dinner, stop by Oxbow Market in Napa or the Shed in Healdsburg for food to go, and head to one of the many vineyards that let you eat outside food alongside their wines.
The drive to Big Sur along Highway One — with its rugged coastline and dramatic cliffs — is not a sight you forget. While the area is home to exclusive (and pricey) adults-only resorts like Post Ranch Inn and Ventana Inn, there’s also camping along the Big Sur River in Julia Pfeiffer State Park to get even closer to nature for budget-friendly romance.
It’s also a sweet spot for foodies, from the views and drinks at Nepenthe to treats baked hourly at Brown Butter Cookie Company. The most unique experience by far is to take a bath in the middle of the night — and in public! An advance $25 reservation earns entry for “night bathing” (from 1-3 a.m. daily) at the cliff side natural hot springs in The Esalen Institute retreat center.