- Trip Ideas
- Romantic Getaways
With the right travel companion, big cities can feel wonderfully intimate—and these stole the hearts of T+L readers.
No. 2 Honolulu
America's Most Romantic Cities
No. 2 Honolulu
Taken together, sun, sand, and surf are powerful aphrodisiacs and helped earn Honolulu the silver medal for romance. Relaxing is what island life is all about, so put your towel down on fabled Waikiki Beach and dig your toes in while watching the surfers and outrigger canoes—or engage your partner in some healthy competition on the water. For a classic Hawaiiana experience, order a round of mai tais while musicians play at House Without a Key and the sun sets over Diamond Head and another day in paradise.
Consider yourself warned: Charleston, SC, is hard to shake.
“If you come to Charleston and experience it like us locals do, it will forever take place in your soul,” says David Szlam, a co-creator of Virgil Kaine ginger-infused bourbon. “Dining at Bowens Island Restaurant is especially romantic, watching the sun set over tidal creeks while enjoying some fresh steamed oysters—the list goes on and on.”
The Travel + Leisure community doesn’t need convincing. Charleston, with its cobblestoned streets, genteel mansions, and dynamic food scene, took top honors as the best city for a romantic escape in the America’s Favorite Places survey. Readers ranked cities in up to 67 categories, including wine bars, parks and gardens, live music, and brunch—the kinds of offerings that often attract couples.
Related: 50 Best Romantic Getaways
And don’t underestimate the allure of a warm climate: San Diego, voted No. 1 for its weather, came in fifth among the best cities for romance. “The days aren’t only filled with sunshine, but there’s the warmth from people who are almost giddy to live here,” says Gina Stark, owner of a fashionable downtown women’s boutique. “You can sail, and within minutes of docking be enjoying an outdoor concert at Humphreys by the Bay or sipping happy-hour drinks in the heart of downtown.”
Whether you’re looking to steal away for a weekend with your longtime honey or spark a new relationship, these cities will set the mood for love.