The 22 Most Romantic Getaways for a Love-Filled Vacation
Get ready to fall in love all over again! These romantic getaways will sweep you off your feet—and remind you both why you’re perfect together.
Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.
Romantic getaways you’ll swoon over
Maybe you’re still in the honeymoon phase of your relationship, or maybe you’ve been sitting across the kitchen table from each other for decades and could use a refresher course on how to be romantic. Whatever the age or stage of your love affair, a romantic trip for two is never a bad idea. Romantic getaways offer a chance for you and your boo to relax, have fun, refocus on each other and strengthen your bond.
But assuming you can’t take a vacation anytime you’d like, you need to choose your destination wisely. And that, of course, is what we’re here for. Whether you’re looking into a luxurious weeklong trip or a quickie romantic weekend getaway, you’re sure to find the perfect spot for romance on this list. We’ve also included suggestions for romantic hotels and resorts, near and far—some of which are so swanky, you might not ever want to leave your hotel room!
How we chose the best romantic getaways
When compiling this list, we cast a wide net geographically and considered old standbys as well as more off-the-beaten-path destinations. We also thought in terms of what type of traveler you and your partner might be and what kind of activities you might want to pursue. So if sunrise hot-air balloon rides and challenging hikes to waterfalls sound like too much exertion, don’t worry—we’ve also included options where the most difficult thing you’ll do all day is pick a spa treatment and decide which restaurant to choose at your all-inclusive, adults-only resort. We also asked travel professionals to chime in and share their picks.
Note that we left couples cruises off this (unranked) list, not because they’re not romantic—they are!—but because we focused on single destinations, rather than multiple ports of call. So, with that in mind, get ready to swoon over these romantic destinations and book your most amazing trip ever.
Get Reader’s Digest’s Read Up newsletter for more travel, tech, humor, cleaning and fun facts all week long.
New York City
The Big Apple has gotten a bad rap as of late, but it’s still one of the best romantic getaways in the United States for a quick couples weekend. It boasts a huge range of hotel options, amazing restaurants at every price point, some of the world’s greatest museums and performing arts venues … we could go on. And sure, you can spend a fortune here, but you don’t have to: There are also plenty of affordable hidden gems in NYC that many New Yorkers don’t even know about—but you will soon!
What to do: Make it a cultural weekend by spending a day at an art museum, like the Metropolitan Museum of Art or MOMA, taking in a Broadway show or seeing a performance at The Met. And don’t forget to make it a romantic date night by booking a pre-theater dinner.
Where to stay: Splurge on a park-view suite at the Ritz-Carlton New York, Central Park, which is as swoon-worthy as you think. Not quite your vibe—or your budget? Be dazzled by the energy of Times Square at the Knickerbocker Hotel, or hang out with the cool kids at the Hoxton in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
Winter Park, Florida
For great weather, ample cultural offerings and small-town charm, Winter Park, Florida, is an easy pick for a couples getaway. Its abundant green spaces, cobblestone streets and sidewalk cafes may make you forget that the buzz of Orlando and Kissimmee’s theme parks, including Disney World, is just a half-hour away.
What to do: Stroll through lush Central Park, shaded by mighty live oak trees, visit one of the city’s botanical gardens or take a scenic boat ride among lakes and canals. You can also enjoy fine art on an intimate scale at the Rollins Museum of Art, Polasek Museum and Morse Museum of American Art.
Where to stay: The award-winning Alfond Inn is a luxury boutique option in the heart of town that boasts a stunning rooftop pool and delectable restaurant. Or stay in downtown Orlando at the sexy Grand Bohemian, an Autograph Collection property, and enjoy a jazz brunch on Sunday before heading back home.
Niki Harry/Getty Images
St. Kitts & Nevis
If you’re looking for under-the-radar Caribbean gems, the twin-island nation of St. Kitts & Nevis is a world away from its better-known neighbors—which makes the islands perfect for romantic getaways, in our opinion. Part of the Lesser Antilles, the islands are lapped on one side by the Atlantic Ocean and on the other by the Caribbean Sea. The result is a true tropical paradise that’s not (yet) been overrun with mega resorts and cruise-ship crowds.
What to do: Ascend Timothy Hill on St. Kitts for an incredible view. Stop and smell the flowers at Nevis Botanical Garden. Or for something a little faster-paced, zipline through the lush tropical rainforest. Take your pick between white- and black-sand beaches, or ride the last train in the Caribbean.
Where to stay: Book an ocean-view cottage at charming, affordable Oualie Beach Resort on Nevis, or splurge on one of seven private villas at Sunset Reef. A couples treatment at the Emerald Mist Spa at St. Kitts Marriott Resort & The Royal Beach Casino will help smooth over any losses in the casino.
U.S. Virgin Islands
When it comes to romantic island destinations, few are as effortless as the U.S. Virgin Islands, where no passport is required and daily connections from the mainland are plentiful. Tiny St. John has an exclusive air about it; regional capital St. Thomas is all about shopping, casinos and nightlife; and rugged St. Croix, the largest of the islands, is known for golf, hiking and other outdoor pursuits. And all the islands are known for being LGBTQ-friendly.
What to do: Snorkel on one of the islands’ many colorful coral reefs, earn your scuba certification and definitely frolic on a sugar-sand beach on St. Thomas. Then, learn about the historic sugar mills of St. Croix, and sample authentic Caribbean fare on St. John.
Where to stay: On St. Croix, the sprawling Buccaneer Beach and Golf Resort is the elder statesman, with a spa, a tennis center and three private beaches. On St. Thomas, laid-back Emerald Beach Resort pours on the tropical charm. Lovango Resort + Beach Club is on its own private island, just a few minutes’ boat ride from St. John. And truly, you can’t go wrong with any of them.
As one of the most exclusive tropical island destinations in the world, the Maldives are absolutely dizzy with romance. Overwater villas with private plunge pools, torch-lit, toes-in-the-sand dining, amazing snorkeling and diving, and stunning scenery at every turn make these Indian Ocean islands an absolute bucket-list destination for couples—or anyone else.
What to do: Get stranded in style on a desert island, with a picnic lunch (and a boat on call), charter a sunset sailboat cruise and dive, snorkel or at least take a glass-bottom boat tour of the island group’s incredible reefs. If you both like to cast a line, deep-sea fishing charters are popular excursions.
Where to stay: Just minutes from Male airport via private boat, you’ll find Oblu Select Lobigili, an adults-only retreat on its own island. The overwater villas at the Standard, Huruvalhi Maldives, reached by seaplane from Male, all come with private plunge pools, as do those at Como Cocoa Island. Or dream away in a tented jungle villa at Fairmont Maldives for a truly unique experience.
sarote pruksachat/Getty Images
Once a suburb of Phoenix, Scottsdale is now a destination in its own right, especially for spa junkies—it has more spas per capita than anywhere else in the United States. If that’s not enough to keep the two of you occupied, it’s also a great destination for outdoor sports, golf, fine art and Native American culture.
What to do: In between couples spa treatments, book a romantic sunrise hot-air balloon ride over the desert. Architecture buffs won’t want to miss Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And those curious about Native American history and culture should visit the Pueblo Grande Museum Archaeological Park and the Saturday Native Art Market.
Where to stay: Legendary Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, a Gurney’s Resort & Spa, put Scottsdale on the spa-and-wellness map and still sets the bar. The sprawling Fairmont Scottsdale Princess has five restaurants and six pools, including one with a sandy beach. Or you can snuggle under the stars at Adero Scottsdale Resort, set in a certified Dark Sky Community 2,500 feet above the Sonoran Desert. Talk about dreamy!
Jonathan Ross/Getty Images
Whether you’re an avid skier or prefer to admire the slopes while sipping hot cocoa in the lodge, or whether your idea of adventure is a rigorous hike or a relaxed wine tasting, you’ll adore Aspen. Its combination of Old West heritage, stunning mountain backdrops and modern comforts make it one of the best romantic getaways for a twosome.
What to do: Depending on the season, you can ski, golf, hike or go fly fishing, mountain biking or whitewater rafting. Romantic excursions include hot-air balloon rides over the Rockies and evening snowcat rides up to a mountaintop dining venue. Or just enjoy the town’s upscale shopping, dining and nightlife scene.
Where to stay: Fireside cocktails, wine-cellar dinners and stargazing outings spark romance at The Little Nell, Aspen’s only five-star hotel; it also happens to be located at the base of the Silver Queen Gondola and two minutes away from the Aspen Art Museum. Annabelle Inn, a B&B in the center of town, oozes cozy charm, while rooms at the contemporary, Bauhaus-inspired Aspen Meadows Resort offer mountain views from floor-to-ceiling windows.
Patrik Kondic/Getty Images
You’ll always have Paris. And a romantic getaway to the City of Lights will be enough to remind you why one of Europe’s most iconic cities remains a top destination for romance. Enjoy long afternoons in art museums, lazy lunches at sidewalk cafes and boat rides or long strolls along the lamp-lit Seine. Oh, and champagne—don’t forget the champagne!
What to do: Celebrate a special anniversary with a Seine River dinner cruise, or kiss (while snapping a selfie, of course!) at the top of the Eiffel Tower. Salute dead poets, artists and lovers at eerily romantic Père Lachaise Cemetery, or walk through the atmospheric streets of Île Saint-Louis at night. And make sure to shop for art and cafe-hop over in boho Montemarte to round out your romantic trip.
Where to stay: Hotel Rochechouart is a recently renovated Pigalle hotel with an Art Deco facade and a colorful history. Elegant, intimate Castille Paris is within walking distance of the Louvre, the Paris Opera and the Tuileries Garden. And Au Manoir Saint Germain des Prés is an authentic, historic hideaway on tony Boulevard Saint Germain. These hotels will inspire you to whisper sweet nothings to your love all day long.
Robert Holmes/Getty Images
Yakima Valley, Washington
If your idea of a romantic getaway is to stay active in a gorgeous natural environment while enjoying locally crafted food and wine, consider this verdant valley, which is about a three-hour drive from Seattle. This is the heart of Washington wine country, as well as a center for craft beer production and produce growing. The Columbia and Snake rivers and the mighty Cascade Mountains are a short drive away.
What to do: Combine a horseback ride with wine tasting for an unforgettable experience. (And don’t worry—the horse knows the way back home!) Other activities include watching for wildlife on a hike through mountain canyons and passes, picking your own produce and learning about beer-making through one of many guided experiences.
Where to stay: Cozy up in a rustic cabin at Elk Ridge Campground, or try fly-fishing at woodsy Whistlin’ Jack’s Outpost and Lodge. In the heart of Yakima, the Hotel Maison Yakima Tapestry Collection by Hilton is a modern lodging in a vintage 1911 building, just a five-minute walk to restaurants, breweries and the Capitol Theatre.
Stephen Frink/Getty Images
Los Cabos, Mexico
Lovers looking to kick back, relax and enjoy a nearly effortless romantic getaway—a second honeymoon, maybe?—need to get themselves to Los Cabos, on the tip of the Baja California peninsula. Resort amenities and nightlife combine with ample opportunities to enjoy the unique natural ecosystems of the Gulf of California and the peninsula’s rugged interior. And did we mention the stunning setting?
Things to do: Snorkel, dive and watch for whale sharks, the gentle giants of the Baja. Time your visit just right to help tiny sea-turtle hatchlings swim to safety from their protected nests just before sunset on selected days. Take a Dhow boat or sunset sail just for two, or have a night on the town in buzzy Cabo San Lucas or San Jose Del Cabo.
Where to stay: How does an oceanfront, adults-only, all-inclusive resort sound? If it sounds as good to you as it does to us, check out the Pueblo Bonito Pacifica Golf & Spa Resort, widely considered to be one of the world’s most romantic resorts. Or book an ocean-view Rock Suite with swim-up access at the party-centric Hard Rock Hotel Los Cabos. In the heart of Cabo San Lucas, Marina Fiesta Resort & Spa is an affordable all-inclusive with 10 restaurants and bars.
The Florida Keys
For some sexy time under the sun, head south to the Florida Keys, where gorgeous scenery, balmy weather and a bit of an anything-goes vibe make this island chain a top choice for couples. Embrace nature and Old Florida charm in Islamorada and Marathon, and the one-of-a-kind party—plus a big dose of history—in Key West. Also noteworthy: Key West proudly waves the rainbow flag and has a huge range of accommodations, bars and events that cater to LGBTQ travelers.
Things to do: Make it a road trip from Miami along the Florida Keys Overseas Highway, which connects the islands via 42 bridges. Snorkel or take a glass-bottom boat at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, an undersea park. And be sure to catch the nightly sunset celebration on Key West’s Mallory Square, where musicians, jugglers, acrobats and fortune-tellers regale the crowds.
Where to stay: Sleep with the fishes—in a good way!—at Jules Undersea Lodge in Key Largo, the only underwater hotel in the United States. Exclusive Cheeca Lodge & Spa has recreation options galore, as does Hawks Cay Resort on Duck Key. You can also find paradise at Sunset Key Cottages, located on a private island that’s just a short boat ride from downtown Key West.
Sean Pavone/Getty Images
San Antonio, Texas
Rich in Spanish colonial history, regional gastronomy, arts and culture, San Antonio is a great choice for couples looking for a romantic getaway in the American West. A full calendar of festivals, important historic sites, art museums and pretty urban parks offer options for a vacation that’s as relaxed or action-packed as your hearts desire.
What to do: Stroll and dine on the romantically lit River Walk, a 15-mile-long promenade on the San Antonio River that’s lined with open-air restaurants. Visit the Alamo and learn the poignant story behind this iconic mission, fort and battleground. Head to nearby Texas Hill Country for a tour of small towns and a surprisingly robust wine-growing area.
Where to stay: A 19th-century brew house is the setting for the romantic Hotel Emma at Pearl, located right on the river. Also on the riverfront, Hotel Valencia offers colonial-era charm and a Mediterranean vibe, while the posh St. Anthony drips with chandeliers and Gilded Age glamour.
Jacobs Stock Photography/Getty Images
Jekyll Island, Georgia
This unspoiled barrier island off Georgia’s southeastern coast hosts hundreds of weddings and honeymoons each year and is a perfect spot for couples looking to rekindle a spark. Remote and tucked away, the island offers a combination of windswept beaches, Spanish moss–draped live oak groves and salt marshes teeming with life, all while not shirking on creative comforts.
What to do: On this romantic East Coast vacation, take a horseback ride on the beach, or a romantic carriage ride for two through the Historic District. Tee up at one of the island’s celebrated golf courses, or enjoy afternoon tea in the Grand Dining Room of the Jekyll Island Club Resort. For low-key couple time, walk hand-in-hand on secluded Driftwood Beach.
Where to stay: The Jekyll Island Club Resort dates to the 1800s and is the social center of the island. Watch the sun rise from a poolside chair at oceanfront Beachview Club, or put your toes in the sand at the Courtyard by Marriott, which is just steps from the beach.
Victoria, British Columbia
This western Canadian city with a European feel may be one of the prettiest urban settings in North America. This waterfront regional capital boasts stunning Victorian architecture, tree-lined streets, horse-drawn carriages, bike lanes and a maritime lifestyle. At night, the landmark Legislative House positively sparkles with lights.
What to do: The sea of blooms at sprawling Butchart Gardens almost overwhelms with its beauty, and the Victorian Tea Room is a fancy treat. Rent a tandem bike for a ride along the waterfront, and bundle up for a thrilling whale-watching trip into the massive Salish Sea, the waterway that separates Vancouver Island from the mainland United States.
Where to stay: From your balcony room at the contemporary waterfront Inn at Laurel Point, you can watch float planes take off and land. Looking for something with old-world charm? The luxury Fairmont Empress is a historic site with a long list of esteemed guests, including Queen Elizabeth. There’s also the highly rated Abigail’s Hotel, which occupies a 1930s Tudor mansion on a quiet cul-de-sac.
Matteo Colombo/Getty Images
Cook Islands, South Pacific
If you and your boo really want to get away from it all, you can’t get much farther than the Cook Islands, which may just be the ultimate tropical island getaway. Located between Hawaii and New Zealand, this small cluster of islands offers Polynesian culture, a warm welcome and a low-key atmosphere. Everything is independently owned and managed, and local ordinance states that no hotel can be higher than a coconut tree. Paradise found.
What to do: Snorkel or swim in the spellbinding Aitutaki Lagoon, or explore the lush island interiors by bike, hiking, quad bikes or 4-wheel-drive. Take a boat trip to uninhabited islands or a tour to learn about local culture and traditions. Keep things intimate by dining on the beach, or make new friends on a party-bus bar crawl.
Where to stay: Wake up to lagoon views from your luxury bungalow at award-winning Pacific Resort Aitutaki. Kick back at the casual, beachfront and adults-only Castaway Resort. Or splash in your private pool and waterfall at Rumors Luxury Villas and Spa. The only problem? You’ll never want to leave.
Andrea Comi/Getty Images
Sure, Tuscany has more name recognition, but its neighbor to the south, Umbria, has an earthy beauty all its own and certainly ticks the boxes for the perfect romantic vacation. Rolling hills, gorgeous vineyards and sunflower fields? Check. Evocative hill towns rich in history? Check. Fabulous regional wine and cuisine, including porcini mushrooms and white truffles? Check and check!
What to do: Spend your days exploring historic hill towns like Orvieto, Spoleto or Todi. Visit Assisi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site famous for its association with St. Francis. Sample Orvieto Classico, a crisp white and hearty red Sagrantino from Montefalco along the Etruscan Roman wine trail, or if you time it right, participate in a summer or fall sagra (food festival) focused on seasonal game and foraged foods.
Where to stay: In hilltop Citta della Pieve, Hotel Vannucci is an elegant four-star hotel with a top-notch cellar offering tastings. In Orvieto, Palazzo Piccolomini is steps from all the sights of the ancient city, while Villa La Serena brings rustic country coziness near Perugia.
joe daniel price/Getty Images
The Lake District, England
There’s a reason poets and artists have long sought to capture in words and on canvas the magic of England’s Lake District: It’s quite simply one of the most serene and lovely rural places in all of Britain, if not the world. Quiet walking paths wend along these idyllic lakes and climb up into the gentle hills. What’s more romantic than a walk hand-in-hand through green fields, with rain gently falling? It’s truly like something out of a romantic movie.
What to do: Walk into the nearest town for lunch, dinner or a pint in a cozy pub. Follow marked trails along babbling brooks, ancient stone walls and past crumbling castles, take a boat ride across pristine, calm waters, or stargaze under some of England’s darkest skies.
Where to stay: Book a lakeside suite at Storrs Hall at Windermere, and take in the views from your private cedar hot tub. Or try a spa suite at the Brimstone, dubbed the sexiest hotel in the Lake District, and enjoy complimentary beer, wine and snacks all day. Cozy comforts also abound at stone-built Ravenstone Manor, just a short walk from Bassenthwaite Lake.
Klaus Vedfelt/Getty Images
Many travelers say that going on their first African safari is a life-changing experience. You can also combine a safari with exciting, cosmopolitan cities, world-class wines and cuisine, rich history and terrific beaches if you head to South Africa. It’s an all-around sure bet for adventurous couples looking for an epic romantic getaway.
What to do: Take in soaring views over Cape Town from the Table Mountain Aerial Cableway, then head down to the Victoria & Albert Waterfront for a romantic dinner for two. Book Big 5 safari experiences in Kruger National Park, Sabi Sands or one of more than a dozen other national game reserves. And if you’re a vino lover, head to the Winelands to discover firsthand what the fuss over South African wines is all about.
Where to stay: With its rugged landscape and ocean-view rooms, the luxe Twelve Apostles Hotel and Spa feels remote but is just a short distance from Cape Town. Stay in the heart of the Winelands at iconic Le Quartier Francais, set amid lovely gardens, or go on daily game drives and return to posh pampering at Madikwe Safari Lodge.
Nick Brundle Photography/Getty Images
Costa Navarino, Greece
Located in Greece’s Southwest Peloponnese, Costa Navarino is an up-and-coming yet still under-the-radar destination that offers the sexiness and romance of the Greek islands without the ferry ride. Beautiful beaches, gin-clear seawater, fascinating archaeological sites and a new spate of luxury spa hotels make this a sure bet for couples. Personally, we don’t think we’re exaggerating when we say this picture-perfect destination is heaven on earth.
What to do: Explore the ancient Greek coastal city of Pylos, or head a couple of hours north to Olympia—yes, that Olympia—to see where the legendary games were born. Hike to hidden waterfalls and evocative ruins. And book a sunset sail or, better yet, private dinner on a yacht.
Where to stay: The Romanos, the Westin Resort and the recently opened W Escape, all luxury properties, are all part of the Costa Navarino development project and are, for now, the only games in town. The W Escape has a no-kids policy, plus an infinity pool and a state-of-the-art spa. Romanos is a bit more subdued than the Westin.
Ayhan Altun/Getty Images
Spice up your romance in Istanbul, where centuries of history, culture, faith and tradition mesh in this enthralling, unforgettable city that has a foot in two continents. With its labyrinthine streets, dazzling souks, glittering mosques, delicious food and welcoming vibe, it’s no surprise Istanbul leaves its mark on the hearts of those who visit.
What to do: Take a cruise on the Bosphorus, the legendary waterway that divides Europe and Asia. Enjoy a couples hammam experience—a few bathhouses in the city permit them. Visit the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the cavernous Basilica Cistern, and wander the souks for spices, textiles and other wares.
Where to stay: Based in the trendy Nisantasi areas, the Stay Boulevard Nisantasi has a newly opened spa offering hammams for couples. The Mandarin Oriental Bosphorus is a luxury waterfront palace north of the city, and it will organize tours and excursions for you and your beloved. To be in the center of it all, try the ornate White House Hotel Istanbul; it puts you in walking distance of the city’s most important sights.
Chase Dekker Wild-Life Images/Getty Images
Among our favorite romantic small towns, storybook Carmel-by-the-Sea occupies a piece of the stunning Monterey Peninsula. It’s big on small-town charm and has long been a center for artists, writers and other creative types. This is a place to slow down and spend quiet days strolling, shopping and dining in the town’s excellent restaurants.
What to do: Purchase a Wine Passport and sip your way from one wine tasting room to another, sampling Monterey County’s finest vintages. Hike through magnificent Point Lobos State Natural Reserve and watch for sea otters, sea lions and migrating humpback whales, or take a sunset walk on gorgeous Carmel Beach.
Where to stay: L’Auberge Carmel has fairy-tale rooms and a Michelin-starred restaurant. The Carmel Valley Ranch offers luxury suites with fireplaces and private decks; plus, it has golf courses and stables. On a budget? Flower-filled Normandy Inn is a more affordable choice in an expensive destination.
Enrique Bosquet/Getty Images
No list of romantic getaways would be complete without at least one entry from Hawaii, right? Among all these gorgeous islands, Kauai tops our list for its beautiful vistas, perfect beaches, crashing waterfalls and exhilarating hikes. Its smaller population relative to the other major islands helps this tropical paradise retain an intimate feel, which couples are sure to notice.
What to do: Book a half-day catamaran and snorkel trip to the wild Na Pali Coast, or see it from a helicopter. Walk, swim and snorkel the beach at Hanalei Bay, one of Hawaii’s most postcard-perfect settings. Kayak the Wailua River, and then hike to a hidden waterfall you can swim under for movie-level romance.
Where to stay: The Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa is a high-end, tropical-dreams-come-true retreat. Lushly landscaped Hanalei Bay Resort has a gorgeous lagoon-style pool, while modest Kauai Palms Hotel is a (relatively) budget-friendly choice in Lihui. Interested in a package deal? Check out these all-inclusive Hawaiian resorts.