Romance means a lot of things to different people. For me, it is all about the senses – a gorgeous view, a bottle of wine (or two… or three… who’s counting?), the sweet scent of fresh flowers, a perfectly prepared picnic, and of course, sharing it all with someone special. If you’ve got the time to set that up, any place can be romantic! If you don’t, however, consider planning a trip to one of these five destinations – they are so primed for romance, all you need to do is book a nice hotel and you’re set!
1. Napa Valley
I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for a couple of years now and I’ve yet to talk about Napa Valley! This is one of my absolute favorite places on earth – so much so that Mr. T and I often dream about quitting our day jobs, buying a vineyard, and retiring amidst the valley’s rolling hills and luscious vines. We love Napa not only because it’s one of the premier wine destinations around the world (there are over 400 wineries there), but it has an assortment of hotels, B&B’s, and boutiques to fit every budget, hot springs and award winning spas, and most importantly, the most concentrated area of some of the best restaurants in the U.S. (hello, The French Laundry)! If you can’t get romantic in Napa Valley, well… you’re not going to get it anywhere then.
Let me stick to the wine theme a little longer here… and add Tuscany to this list, too. All those views of the classic Tuscan countryside aren’t photoshopped. The tall cypress trees and olive groves do exist among those lone rustic Tuscan farmhouses. You could drive for miles and miles and be the only car on the road so blessed get that view to yourself. Plus, there are plenty of little towns you could check out to fill your tummy with lots and lots of happiness (think: truffled dishes, chianti, cheeses, salami, prosciutto – hmm… I’m drooling already) before you round out a post dinner stroll with an espresso.
3. Bora Bora
This is the most expensive destination on the list but if you can afford to go to Bora Bora, you have to go. Your own overwater bungalow, soft sand between your toes, a private motu picnic, snorkeling among colorful sea life, and sunsets that paint the sky in soft oranges, pinks, and purples. I’d say more but I think the overwater bungalows are enough to elicit romantic fantasies. Bora Bora is, in short, paradise.
I guess it wouldn’t be fair to mention a really expensive destination without balancing it out with a more economical option. Bali is that option. I love that in Bali you can book top notch resorts at a fraction of the cost they would be in the states. Not only that, there are options to suit all budgets and styles – from the chic to the upscale to those that mirror the classic “zen” balinese traditional architecture. Spas are also dirt cheap as are the food there, but the cheap prices did not mean cheap quality (just get some recommendations). The absolute best part of Bali, however, are the people who are so warm and friendly. If you’re that relaxed, how can romance not ensue afterwards?
Whitewashed cubical houses staggered along the slopes of the island, chic cave hotels, meandering alleyways that lead to boutique shops and restaurants with views of the caldera – Santorini is one of the only places I’ve visited where my first thought, “this place is magical“. As if that’s not enough, Santorini also has some delicious wines (selling for half the cost of what they’d go for in the U.S.) and amazingly delicious Greek yogurt. I’m not even kidding – the yogurt is way better there than at home. Yogurt aside, there are also plenty of fresh seafood options and delicious greek food (this is coming from someone who wasn’t even a fan of Greek cuisine until going to Greece). Santorini supplies the killer views, good food, and great wines – all you need to bring is the company!
Happy Valentine’s Day!