- 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. 4 New Orleans
America's Most Romantic Cities
No. 4 New Orleans
Couples new or old will be hard-pressed to resist New Orleans’ sensual charms, starting with its food. The city took top honors in the poll for notable restaurants, from Galatoire’s (for Louisiana Creole) to relative newcomers like Domenica (for sophisticated Italian). Choose the rhythm that suits you two: a leisurely walk through Jackson Square; listening to live jazz on Frenchmen Street; falling into the “second line” in a Sunday-afternoon brass-band parade in the Tremé; or diving into the mile-long nighttime party on Bourbon Street.
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.