The United States is full of gorgeous places to be in love, but these top ten stand out for the sort of ambiance and attitude that excite the passions and warm the heart…
#10 Woodstock, VT
Quaint, lovely Woodstock with its white steeple churches, covered bridges and lush green rolling hills is a classic New England getaway and the perfect place for pitching woo. In autumn you can walk hand-in-hand through woodlands drenched in stunning reds and golds.
In winter you’ll feel like you’ve stepped into a painting by Currier and Ives when you take a horse-drawn sleigh ride before stopping to dine at one of the village’s many fine restaurants. Woodstock has a nice selection of historic B&B’s to choose from and provides a serene setting for hushed conversation over a candlelit table as a horse-drawn carriage goes clopping by. Historic small town charm of the very best kind.
#9 Santa Fe, NM
When night descends on Santa Fe and the desert moon hangs over the Sangre de Cristo mountains, romance is in the air. Everywhere is the dream-like glow of warmly lit adobe. Shop windows reveal a profusion of silver and turquoise, the color and symmetry of Navajo blankets, the red poppies and purple sunsets of Georgia O’Keefe. The aroma of desert sage mingles with the scent of a crackling fire. Somewhere in the distance someone is singing an old cowboy song.
On the Plaza at the head of the old Santa Fe Trail, hotels and restaurants abound, some in the Spanish Colonial style. Here you will find nouvelle cuisine heavily influenced by Mexican cooking, rich red wines, peerless rib eye steaks, elk tenderloin and plenty of green and red chiles. Enjoy a spa experience during the day or go for a hike along the Chamisa Trail. For romance with a western flare, nothing beats Santa Fe.
#8 Charleston, SC
Once upon a time, in the romantic antebellum past, southern gentlemen wearing swords and cravats bowed to perfumed ladies on the pillared porches of Charleston. Today, Charleston retains much of the flavor of its romantic past. Stroll along cobblestone streets past restored antebellum homes, stop to whisper sweet endearments beneath ancient oaks dripping in Spanish moss, steal a kiss before handsome wrought iron gates and rustling palms.
Down at Waterfront Park, amidst the gardens and fountains, find the porch swings and sit together, enjoying each other’s company, as you look out at the harbor, waiting for the sun to set, waiting for a sky awash in stars. Afterwards, dine at one of Charleston’s many fine restaurants. Daytime activities can include shopping at the famous King Street shopping district or a side trip to the beach. At night you can stay at a restored antebellum hotel or a romantic B&B. Charleston exudes romance, just as it did a hundred years ago.
#7 Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA
Carmel’s cobblestone streets and whimsical old world charm make for a lovely idyll by the sea. Just 26 miles up the coast from Big Sur via scenic Route 1, this small town with something more is all about romance, California-style. Those wanting to immerse themselves in the vibe will want to start with a stroll through Carmel village with its art galleries, boutiques and specialty shops before picking up a picnic basket at one of the local restaurants and heading down to the white sand beach where plenty of secluded picnic spots await. Here a couple can wile away the time on a blanket with a bottle of wine and some gourmet cheese as the waves crash and crawl on the sand.
Later, the happy couple can take in a film under the stars at the Forest Theatre, the oldest outdoor theatre west of the Rockies, or enjoy cocktails on the patio at Mission Ranch overlooking Carmel River Beach while listening to live jazz. Five star dining is right around the corner and first rate accommodations are nearby. Carmel-by-the-Sea is California’s small town song to romantic couples seeking a scenic seaside retreat.
#6 Miami Beach, FL
For those in love, Miami Beach can certainly get the blood moving. Start by joining the poolside scene early at The Clevelander Hotel amidst the art deco gems on Ocean Drive. Then slip away to enjoy one of the most unique and sensual dining experiences in the country at B.E.D. This restaurant replaces tables with king-size beds so you and your significant other can cozy up as you dine. Want some seclusion? Just pull the drapes closed. But be sure to let the waitress in to deliver the outstanding French/Brazilian cuisine. You may be tempted to stay for the dancing but drag yourself away to enjoy a stroll down Ocean Drive where the sexy neon and art deco details lend a delicious flare to the Latin beats spilling out of hotel after hotel.
The next morning relax at the News’ Café. Enjoy a café Cubano at a sidewalk table as you watch the models and celebrities stroll by. Later you can rent a cabana and recline in privacy on lounge beds as you relax seaside. Don’t forget to work in some time for shopping at dazzling Lincoln Road or historic Espanola Way with its Mediterranean Revival architecture hearkening back to the 1920’s. Miami Beach is rich with ambiance and sensuality, a perfect getaway for those with passion in their hearts.
#5 Aspen, CO
For lovers in Aspen, world class skiing and shopping are just part of what’s on offer. Start the day with a champagne brunch complete with chocolate-covered strawberries and flowers courtesy of Unicorn Balloon Company followed by a magical balloon ride across the snow-capped peaks. Follow up with a gondola ride to Aspen summit and spend some time relaxing on the spacious Sundeck watching the beautiful people mix and mingle. Return to Aspen village for a couples’ yoga class at O2 Aspen Spa, and follow it up with a couples massage at the Remède Spa at the St. Regis Hotel.
Your evening might include a horse-drawn sleigh ride to a rustic cabin where you can enjoy venison and caribou courtesy of Pine Creek Cookhouse before returning to your lodgings for a soak in a steaming outdoor hot tub. Late night cocktails and dancing take place at Mezzaluna, and you can end the night with a quiet nightcap at the genteel Hotel Jerome Library Bar. Oh, and did I mention, there is also world class skiing and shopping?
#4 New Orleans, LA
After dark under the palms, as you stroll past Creole cottages and the sound of jazz lilts in the air, you may stop to kiss beneath a flickering gaslight on a secluded street that feels for all the world as if it’s unchanged from a hundred years before. You are in love in New Orleans and there are few better places to be. In the morning it’s beignets and chicory coffee at Café du Monde before taking a stroll along the Mississippi river, gazing out at paddleboat steamers and watercraft of all kinds. Back in Jackson Square before the resplendent white St. Louis Cathedral jugglers, street artists and fortune tellers gather to entertain you.
The warmth and authenticity of the people can’t help but mellow you and awaken a warm spot in your heart. Take your lover to one of the world class antique dealers on Royal Street or stop by an art gallery. Enjoy the culinary delights of Cajun and Creole cuisine, immerse yourself in the history and ethnicity of America’s only true Caribbean city, listen to a wonderful variety of music in the narrow warren of 18th century streets. Enjoy a glass of absinthe, take a streetcar past the antebellum mansions of the garden district, retire to a quaint B&B with French doors that open to sultry streets, and kiss again beneath the flickering gaslights. Romance in New Orleans is hard to beat.
#3 Honolulu, HI
A thousand miles away in the middle of the Pacific lies America’s own tropical island chain, home to luaus and leis, ukuleles and tiki. Hawaii’s charms seem made for those in love. Friendly natives bow and slip a garland of blossoms over your head to welcome you to their domain, a place of white sand beaches, green peaks and fragrant flowers. On a crystal clear Honolulu morning you can awaken to breakfast in bed at a luxury Waikiki resort, or take a stroll down the beach as crescents of surf spread out at your feet.
The Waimea Arboretum is an ideal place to wile away the time, home to a lush variety of tropical flowers spread out over 150 acres. The scent of hibiscus will be in the air as you repair to the Na Hoola oceanfront spa for a couple’s massage In the evening enjoy open air-dining in the formal dining room at La Mer with its picturesque views of Diamond Head. The next day go scuba diving or learn to surf. Take a sunset dinner cruise or hike to the silken waterfalls in Akaka Falls State Park. Don’t forget to attend a luau and enjoy a fruity drink as you watch the hula dancers. Honolulu has so much to offer couples in love. This American city is truly an island paradise.
#2 New York, NY
New York’s status as one of the nation’s most romantic cities is legendary. Depicted in dozens of films and books, penned by writers as diverse as Neil Simon and Henry James, New York’s ambitious energy, flavored with just the right amounts of elegance and danger, create a heady mixture that seems bound to spark romance.
Everywhere you go you are reminded of other lovers who have been there before you. Standing outside the windows at Tiffany’s you are reminded of Holly Golightly and Paul Varjak. On the observation deck of the Empire State Building you recall Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr in An Affair to Remember. At the ice skating rink in Rockefeller Center you think of Kate Beckinsale and John Cusack in Serendipity. Under the Brooklyn Bridge at the River Café you are reminded of Woody Allen and Diane Keaton in Manhattan. And the carriage ride in Central Park? Well, suffice it to say that the romantic places to eat, drink or recreate in New York City are almost too numerous to mention. Suffice it to say, that New York’s wonderful electric atmosphere, unmatched anywhere in the world, make it one of the top romantic destinations in the US.
#1 San Francisco, CA
Being in love in San Francisco is an experience that everyone should have at least once in a lifetime. The matchless charm and beauty of the City by the Bay are a powerful tonic for romance. Everywhere is grace and sensuality, from the iconic span of the Golden Gate Bridge to the cable cars pulling gently up the hills overlooking the bay. Whether you are flying a kite on the lawn before the Marina or watching a wedding in the columed rotunda of the Palace of Fine Arts you can’t help but be struck by the romantic savor of the place.
Luxuriate in the Edwardian ambiance at the Hotel Majestic where you will have your own fireplace, claw-footed bath tub and Turkish robes. Enjoy coffee at the Café Trieste with its historic Italian ambiance. Dine in the middle of the bay at Forbe’s Island, the only man-made floating island in the world. Sail out past barking sea lions and wheeling gulls and watch the sunset from the lighthouse. From the narrow streets of Chinatown to the bowling greens and Japanese gardens of Golden Gate Park, San Francisco offers a wide range of experiences to excite and entice lovers. When Tony Bennett sang about leaving his heart in San Francisco he didn’t mean that he’d left his lover there, he meant he would not be in love again as he had been in love in San Francisco. Romance in San Francisco is love on another scale. So San Francisco is our top romantic city in the USA. ♦
Author and Client: This article was written by Malcolm Logan for My American Odyssey.com
Woodstock, VT, wallpaperweb.org; Santa Fe, NM, santafenm.gov; Charleston, SC, theothersideofme-tl.blogspot.com; Carmel, CA, public domain; Miami Beach, FL, socapa.org; Aspen, CO, public domain; New Orleans, LA, Sami Cetinkaya; Honolulu, HI, Cumulus Clouds; New York, NY, public domain; San Francisco, CA, Franco Folini.