There are simply some places, some kinds of adventures, that make us want to fall in love.
Almost everyone agrees, for example, that there’s a certain romance to being near the ocean. And there are plenty of places to make those magical sunset beach strolls happen—like the South Pacific island of Bora Bora, where resorts have thatch-roofed bungalows set on stilts over crystal-blue lagoons, and where the powdery sand stretches for miles. Even for couples who worry about sunburn or who hate the feel of sand between their toes, smelling the salt air and watching seabirds dive from the deck of a tiny ferryboat—like on the ride across Puget Sound to Whidbey Island, just off the coast of Washington state—can be pretty dreamy.
It’s also hard not to feel starry-eyed among the rolling hills and fragrant vines of wine country. California’s Napa Valley, for instance, is a honeymoon favorite for some very real reasons—intimate boutique hotels, superb French restaurants, and world-class Cabernets among them. Oenophiles who prefer to get a little more off the beaten track can find just as much charm in Chile’s Colchagua Valley, where wineries that turn out robust Merlot, Carmenère, and Malbec abut blossom-covered haciendas.
Even big cities, where we take our vacations surrounded by thousands of other people, can offer some surprisingly romantic retreats. Sharing a Cognac in a historic, wood-paneled New York City bar while gazing over Central Park, for instance, or strolling through the snowy streets of St. Petersburg, past the imperial Russian Winter Palace, has inspired amorous thoughts in plenty of couples (and just as many movie directors).
So, take your pick: metropolis or sleepy mountain village? Sun or snow? Desert sand or beach sand? Onward for romantic getaway ideas.