Published by Travel + Leisure
Travel might be complicated right now, but these inspirational trip ideas will help you plan for your next bucket list adventure.
Want to spice things up in your relationship? Get out of town.
Nothing keeps the sparks flying quite like traveling together. Navigating new places with your significant other while spending quality one-on-one time is a great way to deepen your bond and create lasting memories.
And every couple deserves a special getaway to enjoy to their hearts’ content — whether your idea of a good time is cozying up in a rustic lodge, lazing on a tropical beach, hitting the slopes, or sipping wine in the countryside. Whether for Valentine’s Day or a long weekend like President’s Day, there’s no better time to book a weekend escape with your partner.
Whatever pace you prefer in an ideal couple's trip, these are some of the best weekend getaways for couples — get ready for starry-eyed bliss. Also, be sure to research current travel restrictions, as some of these destinations are limiting tourism due to the coronavirus pandemic.
If you’re seeking a European-esque destination without the transatlantic flight, head to Montreal. This sophisticated Canadian metropolis is rich with history, centuries-old architecture, and bustling French bistros.
Most tourists shy away from Montreal until spring, so those who enjoy a winter wonderland vibe can delight in a quieter visit full of cold-weather charms: ice skating at Parc La Fontaine, dogsledding through Mont Tremblant, and guided nighttime snowshoeing on Mont Royal complete with breathtaking views of the city lights. Travelers can then warm up with hot chocolate by a roaring fire at one of Old Montreal’s cushy hotels.
After exploring the vibrant downtown scene, couples can treat themselves to an indulgent treatment at the luxurious Spa St. James in the Ritz Carlton Montreal, or to a classic 1940s bar experience at Bartizen in the W Montreal. The sexy, dimly lit space, which specializes in Canadian gin, will set the mood for romance.
Palm Springs, California
Glamorized as Old Hollywood’s vacation destination of choice, Palm Springs is still as hip as it was in Frank Sinatra's day. The desert oasis allures with stylish resorts, world-class restaurants, and majestic desert views.
There’s a little something for everyone. It’s a haven for golfers (with more than 100 area courses), hikers, and adventure seekers. Try a backcountry Jeep tour through San Jacinto Mountain trails, or trek to Joshua Tree National Park (less than an hour away). Looking to unwind? Soak in the natural healing waters at Desert Hot Springs or head to one of the many day spas for a hot stone couples massage. Palm Springs also has a foodie scene and many of the finest establishments offer patio dining under the stars.
For a relaxing staycation, book a suite at the Ritz-Carlton Rancho Mirage. With everything from clifftop dining to a luxe spa surrounded by the beautiful Santa Rosa Mountains, you won’t have to leave the grounds to have an unforgettable weekend. Plus, there’s postcard-worthy scenery in every direction. We recommend taking it all in from a cabana at the pool while sipping an Arnold Palmer. The golf legend debuted the now-famous iced tea-lemonade drink in Palm Springs in the late ’60s.
Watch Hill, Rhode Island
Just a short drive from many locations in the northeast, Watch Hill is an idyllic place to visit year-round.
For an intimate stay, hightail it to Ocean House — a grand 1868 Victorian oceanfront beauty that’s the crown jewel of the New England town. Couples can enjoy long walks on the private white-sand beach and canoodling in front of the stately stone fireplace, cocktail in hand. There’s a farm-to-table restaurant on site, and a prestigious cooking school offers guests gourmet classes and intimate tastings.
Turks & Caicos
Turks & Caicos is one of the Caribbean’s best destinations for a romantic retreat. These easy-to-access islands — flights are under two hours from Miami and under four from New York — will have couples in paradise in no time.
For a dreamy place to call home for a few days, settle in at the Shore Club. The first resort on beautiful Long Bay Beach — the most private stretch on the island of Providenciales — offers seclusion and modern amenities. Start your day on a paddle board over dazzling turquoise waters, lap up some much-needed R&R at three cabana-lined pools, and cap off your night with fresh seafood at the resort’s Japanese-Peruvian restaurant.
In between lounging, couples can embark on a lovely horseback ride along the white-sand beach or a stress-relieving spa treatment. And don’t miss downtown Grace Bay, a hub for eateries, bars, shopping, and nightlife. There’s so much on offer at Turks and Caicos to refuel the spark in any relationship.
Take your love of adventure to new heights with a luxurious mountain retreat. The award-winning team behind gastronomic powerhouse Blackberry Farm recently unveiled their lavish sister property: Blackberry Mountain, a new Relais & Châteaux resort nestled among 5,200 wondrous Smoky Mountain acres.
This rustic sanctuary balances a peaceful environment with active and wellness-minded offerings. Outdoorsy couples can revel in everything from hiking, mountain biking, and candlelight yoga to relaxing forest baths, treetop meditation, and restorative spa treatments. After nourishing your mind and body, you can feed your soul at two one-of-a-kind restaurants that showcase Blackberry Farm’s celebrated hospitality and culinary program.
Charleston, South Carolina
The Holy City is a beloved destination of many travelers due to its historic landmarks, cobblestoned streets, booming food scene, and southern charm for days.
Foodie couples will be in heaven: the culinary capital of the South boasts a myriad of standout spots and immersive experiences. Don’t miss oysters at Upper King Street’s seafood stunner, The Ordinary, spicy fried chicken at Leon’s Oyster Shop, and Texas-style brisket at Lewis Barbecue (to name a few). For a post-dinner classic cocktail, belly up to The Bar at Husk. Fancy some bubbly? Check out the Champagne bar Camellias at Hotel Bennett.
Opt for a stay at the French Quarter Inn, a boutique gem in the heart of the historic district. At the end of a jam-packed (and no doubt delicious) day, the hotel’s top-notch turndown service with pillow menu — featuring seven different comfy options — will ensure the sweetest dreams.
Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands
The largest of the three Cayman Islands is the ultimate sanctuary for couples looking for a Caribbean beach oasis — at any pace. With warm, dry weather and fewer crowds than during the height of winter, early spring is an ideal time to visit Grand Cayman and its world-renowned Seven Mile Beach.
A range of water sports invites epic adventures surrounded by the island’s sparkling turquoise waters. You can kayak through lush, tropical mangroves or charter a catamaran to must-see Rum Point on the north coast. Want to completely shut it down? Sun-drenched afternoons spent lounging on pink-sand beaches or entwined in a hammock will do the trick.
Grand Cayman’s spectacular sunsets are a quintessential backdrop for passionate evenings. Catch magical views of the fiery spectacle at Kimpton Seafire, followed by an exceptional dinner experience at Avecita with a custom chefs’ counter tasting of seasonal, wood-fired fare that’s unique to the Caribbean. Pro tip: snag two of the only ten seats in advance — there’s only one seating per night.
Paso Robles, California
Uncork that lovin’ feeling with a jaunt to California’s third-largest wine region (following more famous territories, Napa and Sonoma). Nestled halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, along the state’s central coast, lies a vast rolling countryside speckled with vineyards, olive groves, farms, and ranches.
With its natural beauty and laid-back vibe, Paso Robles is a perfect stop for a relaxing long weekend. Wine is the main attraction here: sip your way through Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, Merlot, and more at over 200 wineries. Many tastings take place on sun-drenched outdoor spaces with breathtaking vistas, creating a next-level experience. Visitors tend to fall in love with Paso’s chill ambiance, and lodging is typically more affordable than in northern Cali wine regions.
If you get wined out (is that even a thing?), you can switch it up: sample local olive oils, tour a craft brewery, or take a dip in a hot spring. Downtown, you’ll find interesting boutiques and great eateries. Stop by the general store for honey, olive oil, soaps and handmade goods from area producers to bring home.
Park City, Utah
What’s dreamier than cozying up by a fireplace in a snowy mountain lodge? Having local whiskey and chocolates in hand. Park City is a winter wonderland, rich with small town charms, quickly accessible from Salt Lake City International Airport.
Hit the slopes at two world-class resorts — Park City Mountain and Deer Valley — which offer some of the world’s greatest ski conditions. In between runs on fresh powder, savor magnificent snow-capped landscapes and gourmet fare at several on-mountain pit stops. For a stellar après-ski situation, make your way to the ski-in/ski-out St. Regis Deer Valley resort for decadent hot chocolate, fireside s’mores, and craft cocktails.
Beyond mountain sports, Utah’s historic mining town is like a holiday postcard come to life, with a flurry of perfect date activities: sleigh rides, ice skating, hot air balloon rides, dog sledding, and shopping along historic Main Street where the facades of many acclaimed restaurants and saloons are preserved from the 1880s. Get sweet with handmade confections at Ritual Chocolate and unwind with a whiskey fight at Park City’s own High West Distillery. For an excellent candlelit dinner featuring local live music, head to Riverhorse on Main, then saddle up to popular dive bar No Name Saloon for a nightcap. There’s so much for couples to see and do in “Winter’s Favorite Town.”
Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
Just a short drive south from the Cancun airport, Playa del Carmen is situated along the Yucatán's palm-lined Caribbean coastline. With its unspoiled natural setting and upscale hotels, Mexico’s Riviera Maya is a first-rate vacation destination — and an ideal escape for lovebirds seeking warm weather.
If privacy and luxury is your speed, say ‘hola' to the area’s most secluded resort: the five-star Rosewood Mayakobá. Set along the edges of a freshwater lagoon (a river boat will take you to your private suite!), the property features refined accommodations with over-the-top amenities, heated plunge pools, and in-room mezcal to spice things up. There are also three infinity pools sunken in the sand, an open kitchen for interactive culinary experiences, and a beachfront fire pit to curl up next to in the moonlight.
New Paltz, New York
Looking for someplace that’s a short drive from New York City, but feels worlds away? Reserve a room at Mohonk Mountain House. Family-owned and operated since 1869, this Victorian resort is perched on the banks of crystal blue Lake Mohonk.
The grand, castle-like property offers couples an award-winning spa, farm-to-table cuisine, and a range of daily outdoor activities. In winter, you can go snowshoeing or cross-country skiing on groomed trails and ice skating on the private pavilion. Warmer months bring horseback riding, canoeing, and hiking in the surrounding Shawangunk Ridge.
Leisurely, romantic days are also welcomed: sip hot chocolate and snuggle up by one of the stone fireplaces, soak in the outdoor heated mineral pool, or watch the sunset from rocking chairs on the porch. Just being with your sweetheart, surrounded by pristine mountain wilderness, is enough to rekindle the flame.