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Are you looking ideas to plan a romantic getaway for you and your love? We love couples travel with a twist. We’re not the type to stay in the room all weekend and order room service. We want to get out and have some fun. Of course, we dig unique hotels and delicious eats, but we feel you have to ‘earn’ them. With that said, here are our eleven favorite adventurous and romantic vacation ideas for couples.

Romantic Road Trips to Panama City Beach

 Jenn and Ed walking hand in hand at Panama City Beach
sunset at Panama City Beach

What’s not to love about Panama City Beach? White sand beaches, world-class seafood, and the blue waters of St Andrew’s Bay welcome visitors. What makes Panama City Beach special? It’s driving distance from almost anywhere in the Southeast. You can be checking hotel prices on Booking.com in the morning over coffee and be sitting on the beach for sunset. It’s perfect for a romantic weekend or even a drive-and-dive weekend if that’s the way your relationship rumbles. You might even score a condo on the beach with a sunset view.

While you’re in PCB, make sure you take a boat trip to Shell Island. You’ll probably see a dolphin or two on the short ride out since St. Andrew’s Bay has the world’s largest population of Bottlenose Dolphins. Once you’re there, walk hand in hand along the pristine, snow-white beaches. Maybe you’ll find the perfect shell or simply the perfect place to say ‘I Love You.’

Flying and Flirting in Fort Lauderdale

Hollywood Beach Boardwalk
Airboat Tour in the Everglades

While PCB might be known as the ‘Southern Riviera’, Fort Lauderdale is known as the ‘Venice of America’ because it has over 300 miles of canals running through the city. There’s plenty of ways to enjoy the channels from water taxis to the Jungle Queen Riverboat. What we love about Ft Lauderdale is the airfare. It’s one of the cheapest cities to fly to in America, especially if you’re traveling for two.

Once you’re there, you’ll find everything from airboat tours, turtle treks, or incredible wreck diving (there are over 100 commercial dove shipwrecks in Ft Lauderdale). There’s even the only burlesque mermaid show in the world. 

The fun doesn’t end when the sun goes down. Las Olas Boulevard features over 60 restaurants and twice as many things to do. You’ll be tapping your feet to a Latin beat in the tropical heat. It’s the perfect prescription for a romantic getaway to chase away the winter blues. 

America’s Finest Romantic Weekend

Point Loma Lighthouse
La Jolla Tide Pools

One would expect America’s Finest City to have some of America’s finest romantic weekends. From our time in Arizona and So-Cal, we know that a weekend in San Diego says ‘I Love You’ so much better than a box of chocolates and a dozen roses.

Everything feels a little different and chill down there, no matter what time of year it is. In the spring, the jacaranda flowers blanket the city in a purple cloak. The summers let you enjoy beaches and brews. The fall is a perfect time for community festivals with the oceans warm and the crowds down while winter brings whale watching, tide pools, and some big surf days. From the sea lions of La Jolla to the streets of Gaslamp, you’ll be smitten with San Diego.

I Heart Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz Boardwalk
Ed hiking in the redwoods at Berry Creek Falls

Some people might have left their heart in San Francisco, but we have a crush on Santa Cruz. It’s the perfect microcosm of everything California. Part beach resort, part mountain town, and entirely beautiful. Where else can a 10-mile train ride take you from a beach boardwalk to a redwood forest?

There are dozens of cool things to do in Santa Cruz, from the hip and trendy Pacific Garden Mall to the picture-perfect boardwalk and pier. Outside of town, you’ll find hiking in the redwoods, the magnificence of Monterey, road trips on the Big Sur Coast, and more wineries than cupid could shoot in all of February. If you love peace, nature, and the spirit of exploration, Santa Cruz is a perfect escape for couples in love.

Wistful for Whitefish

 Hidden Lake at Glacier National Park
Brian-Schott's photo of downtown-Whitefish

For those of you who don’t know us yet, Jenn is a chronic non-repeater. She lives by the mantra ‘big world-short life.’ So far, the only city she yearns to return to is Whitefish Montana, and who can blame her. It’s the perfect union of city and mountain. You can play all day on Whitefish Mountain and still make it back to the quaint downtown for dinner. Oh, and let’s not forget that it’s the gateway to Glacier National Park too!

Whitefish isn’t just for skiing either. There are plenty of things to do in Whitefish for every season and every person. Summers feature wildflowers, hiking, and all kinds of mountain sports, from alpine slides to mountain biking. Whitefish celebrates the season’s bounty with art walks and farmer’s markets. Winters bring the perfect snow where the moist Pacific air hits the Rockies. Everyone will enjoy the winter beauty and Nordic-themed festivals, even if you’re not a skier. You’ll never know what you’ll get in the spring and fall. You might have winter and summer on the same trip. The flexible traveler can find outstanding travel bargains this time of year and a lot fewer crowds. You might find yourself hunkered down in a ski condo on Big Mountain in front of a roaring fire, which sounds kind-of romantic come to think of it.

Cuddling in the Catskills

Glen Falls House
Glen Falls Hiking

The Catskills is the newest edition to our lover’s list. We went to New York City last winter, and it was nice enough, but not our idea of romance. There was way too much concrete for our tastes. This year, Jenn had an opportunity to travel from NYC to the Catskills, and all weekend long, she kept wishing Ed was there to keep her company.

A romantic weekend in the Catskills starts with super cute accommodations, like the Glen Falls House. It was so intimate and cozy with a retro feel and the perfect base to explore the surrounding nature. Waterfalls, hiking, biking, skiing, and outdoor adventures are waiting for you right outside your door. Of course, it’s so adorable you might choose to stay in by the fire and sip a cup of tea or a hot toddy. Hopefully, you can build up an appetite because the Catskills are a foodie mecca. Everywhere you look, you’ll find farm-to-table fare; it’s where the NYC food scene meets the local boutique farms. We can’t wait to return as a couple.

Honeymoons at Niagara Falls

mistrider zipline at Niagara Falls
Heading into Horseshoe Falls

Did you know that Niagara Falls was once considered the honeymoon capital of the world? In a world before air travel, couples across the northeast celebrated tying the knot in Niagara.

Now, it’s no longer your grandparents’ Niagara. It’s a new world of adventure and exploration. You can still explore the falls by boat or trail, but there’s so many more things to do at Niagara Falls for couples. From ziplining in the mist to aerial adventures above the whirlpool to bike trails that run the length of the Niagara Gorge, your days will be filled with excitement. The evenings are filled with magic between the light show, fireworks, and views from the Skylon Tower. You can only imagine how the nights will be when you couple exciting days and magical evenings.

Recipe for Romance in Quebec City

 horse drawn carriage in Quebec City, a perfect romantic getaway for couples

We’ve written before that Quebec City has the perfect recipe for romance. We’d love for you to read more, but here are the Cliff Notes. Everything starts with an idyllic setting with castles on the hill overlooking charming cobblestone streets. Mix in incredible food and the sounds of French echoing in the corners, and you’ll find a European fairy tale in North America.

Known as the most European city outside of Europe, Quebec City delivers on that promise. Whether you’re riding the funicular, biking to Montmorency Falls, or eating your way through the city’s twists and turns, you’ll feel like you’ve crossed the pond. Of course, you know how every fairy tale ends? The prince and the princess live happily ever after.

Romantic Rendezvous in Riviera Maya

Sunrise-in-Chichen-Itza
 fine dining in a Cenote

If you think Riviera Maya is all cruise ships, bus tours, and all-inclusive hotels, think again. We put together our authentic travel guide to the Riviera Maya that puts an end to that myth. We show you how to see Chichen Itza at dawn, explore snow-white caves and deep blue cenotes, and so much more. You’ll be wanting to book those cheap flights to Cancun right now, but we hope you make it a trip for two. There’s too much romance in the air to go by yourself.

Sure, your days will be filled with all the adventures you want from diving with sharks to climbing Mayan ruins, but the nights come alive with love. From sunsets on Isla Mujeres to white-glove dining in a cenote in Playa del Carmen, curious couples will find plenty of places to say ‘I love you.’

Amorous Adventures in the Cradle of Civilization

Temple-of-Queen-Hatshepsut
River-cruise-ship-Sonesta-St.-George

Egypt is home to one of the greatest love stories in history. Imagine the scene when Cleopatra first met Mark Antony. Her gilded boat sailed upriver powered by purple sails and silver oars. Dressed as Aphrodite, she reclined under a golden canopy served by young men and women dressed as Eros and sea nymphs. The scene was so magical that Mark Anthony fell instantly in love and challenged the most powerful empire in the world.

That magic and mystery live of today in luxurious Nile River cruises. By day you explore the most magnificent outdoor museum known to man. By night, you retreat to decadent meals and lavish estate rooms. It’s still an adventure of a lifetime, reasonably safe, and an experience you’ll treasure together.

Smitten with Snow in Norway

The-Northern-Lights-Cathedral-Alta-Church
Alice-in-Wonderland-room at Sorrisniva ice hotel

Norwegian summers are brief and intensely beautiful, but what about winters north of the Arctic Circle? Let me paint the scene for you, the midday sun never rises, but glows below the horizon as cotton candy clouds paint the sky above a snow-covered field. Your breath escapes in a cloud of fog as you weave your way through the land of ice and shadows. From dog sledding to snowmobiling, you’ll find ways to explore during the fleeting daylight, but the night is for lovers.

On every clear night in Alta Norway, the northern lights sparkle and dance above the freshly fallen snow. Alta is also home to the world’s most northern ice hotel – Sorrisniva. Enveloped in luxurious furs, you and your love can snuggle through the long nights.

We can’t think of a better way to end our romantic vacation ideas than images of cuddling through the Norwegian nights. We hope that we have inspired you to plan a trip with somebody you love this year. You don’t have to travel across the world to find romance. We find that every trip we take together, we remember why we fell in love in the first place. Couples who travel well together, live well together, and it’s our sincere hope that the happiness you find on vacation stays with you through every day of the year.

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Romantic beach meal

Couple hand and hand in the snow

Couples looking at the ocean

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