16 Over-the-top Romantic Trips to Take for Your Wedding Anniversary
And for lovebirds approaching that milestone Ruby anniversary? A romantic getaway can infuse your marriage with much-needed excitement and surprise.
Unlike a honeymoon, where newlyweds are often just excited to relax (especially after months or years of wedding planning), a successful anniversary trip may require more strategic preparation.
After deciding on a destination, consider an itinerary well suited to your specific marital milestone. For example, a 45-year anniversary calls for something more leisurely—like canoeing in Santa Barbara wine country—while younger couples might try skiing in Colorado, or booking a bucket-list safari in Botswana.
Luckily, we’ve done most of that work for you. From daring expeditions to intimate one-on-one moments, these trips prove an anniversary is the perfect excuse to discover a new part of the world—and a new side of your relationship.
Try Your Luck in Monaco
At night, the famous Casino de Monte-Carlo gives couples a reason to get all dressed up: jackets for gents are “recommended after 8 p.m., while shorts and so-called sports shoes are prohibited entirely. But whether you come to sip martinis under the glow of golden chandeliers, or actually play poker, you’ll find the 1863 Beaux Art building a sophisticated, thrilling backdrop for your fancy anniversary spree.
Ski and Soak in Steamboat
Forget the Alps and the Pyrenees. For a one-of-a-kind ski trip that’s closer to home, drive three hours north of Denver to Steamboat Springs. This town’s legendary “champagne” powder has 7 percent moisture content, making for silky smooth downhill runs.
After you’ve had your fun on the slopes, you and your skiing (life) partner can warm up together in one of the geothermal pools at Strawberry Park: a collection of natural hot springs set outdoors on the side of a mountain. Really impress your spouse by taking him or her soaring over snow-capped Yampah Valley on a custom hot air balloon tour.
Sail Away in San Francisco
If the point of travel is to learn something new about the world, consider adding a useful skill to your repertoire. On your next visit to the Bay Area, test your sea legs at Club Nautique, Sausalito’s leading full-service sailing school. Newbies can try an 8-hour beginner class, and while you may not achieve full, unsupervised command of a 31-foot yacht, it’s a worthwhile start.
Nearby Casa Madrona, a 19th-century mansion-turned-hotel, makes a good landing spot. Suites here have real fireplaces and views of Richardson Bay, and the hotel sits across the street from Sausalito Yacht Harbor.
Dwell in a Dutch Canal House
Could there be anything more romantic for an anniversary than a trip to see Holland’s famous tulip display? Not much. Along the way, don’t forget to include a quick stop-off in the nation’s capital, where gorgeous 17th-century canal houses remain largely unchanged since Rembrandt’s time.
One example: Pulitzer Amsterdam, a string of 400-year-old waterfront warehouses and merchant homes that have been stylishly renovated into a seamless 225-room hotel. When you and your spouse are ready to explore, the hotel keeps an antique boat on hand for guided city tours.
Renew Your Vows at 9,500 Feet in Colorado
When it comes to planning an unforgettable vow-renewal ceremony, the sky is the limit. Literally.
In Beaver Creek, only 12 miles west of Vail, Colorado, a couple can reserve the Trappers Cabin (which normally sleeps 10) all for themselves. Surrounded by aspen and spruce trees and pretty much nothing else, the ski-lover’s hideout sits 9,500 feet above sea level, and has a Jacuzzi, unobstructed mountain views, and easy access to snowshoeing.
You really can’t ask for a more perfect place to be snowed in with your spouse. The best part? You won’t even need a witness or officiate—in Colorado, it’s legal for couples to solemnize their own marriage.
Be Wowed by Whales in Cabo
Whale watching is one of the experiences Cabo is best known for, and humpbacks start showing up along the Baja Peninsula between December and April. If your anniversary falls during their incredible migration, arrange for a private tour with one of the region's many whale watching tour companies.
Row Your Boat in the Santa Ynez Valley
With its rolling green hills and endless sunshine, Santa Barbara wine country is a perfect pastoral anniversary getaway. You might spend a day hopping between vineyards, or gliding silently across a spring-fed mountain lake in Santa Ynez Valley.
In fact, Alisal Guest Ranch Resort & Spa offers more than a few opportunities to deeply connect with nature. In addition to canoeing, the working cattle ranch (which sits on 10,500 acres) has 50 miles of horse riding trails, two 18-hole championship golf courses, and more than 70 telephone-free and TV-free suites, forcing visitors to really reconnect.
Get Wild in Botswana
Plenty of couples have celebrated their anniversary with a life-changing safari in Africa, so why not make yours even more special? Situated along the Khwai River on the eastern border of the Moremi Game Reserve, Khwai Private Reserve offers unparalleled access to the famous Okavango Delta. Guests can enjoy off-road safaris (typically forbidden in the main national parks and reserves) as well as night drives and guided walking tours, so you can tackle the vast grasslands and river banks on foot.
Even the accommodations are unconventional: equipped with lanterns and a flushing toilet, the so-called Skybeds put you front and center with wildlife. While falling asleep inside the three-story platform, you’ll be treated to the true sounds of the wild, like a herd of elephants making their way to a nearby watering hole.
Learn a Trade in Charleston
It’s easy to fall in love with Charleston’s stately homes, art galleries, and secret gardens. For your sixth-year anniversary trip, plan on immersing yourself in the city’s unique, decorative ironwork heritage.
During a three-hour class with a local blacksmith, couples will learn the basics of blacksmithing, and even put those skills to use by crafting a one-of-a-kind souvenir, like a fireplace poker or an ornamental rose. The craft has been practiced here since the 1730s, so if anyone has the expertise to help you celebrate your love with a piece of metal, it’s these guys.
Make a Documentary in Mexico
A wedding photographer captured the moment when you and your love first exchanged vows. But for your anniversary, it’s time to take matters into your own hands. No, we’re not talking about uploading selfies to Instagram.
At The Cape, a buzzy new Thompson Hotel, guests can use their smartphones to record their Cabo San Lucas getaway, and then have the footage professionally edited into a “love video,” thanks to a new partnership between the hotel and UrLife Media. Think of it as a memento of your anniversary that you can watch again and again. And again.
Dine Under the Stars Aboard a Ship in Asia
If it’s a real voyage you’re after, consider heading to Indonesia. While on board the Alila Purnama (a 150-foot-long, double-masted Indonesian phinisi vessel), guests sail past Komodo National Park and visit the world-renowned diving site at Raja Ampat.
While Buginese seafarers used these remarkable ships to transport spices and other goods, the Purnama’s three decks, five cabins, and spa facility are exclusively dedicated to recreational purposes.
The best part of vacationing in a remote part of the Indian Ocean? A candlelit dinner out on the ship’s deck, with nothing but you, your partner, and an unforgettable star display.
Live Like Royalty in Munich
At Munich’s grand-dame The Charles, A Rocco Forte Hotel, guests of the top-floor Monforte Royal Suite enjoy the good life: views of the Old Botanical Gardens from the private terrace, a personal butler, and a rather indulgent en-suite breakfast featuring Ruinart champagne, dishes of caviar, and smoked salmon with horseradish.
For the modest rate of €35,000, travelers can book this room as part of the hotel’s new anniversary package, which includes a two-night stay for two, a 24-carat gold leaf spa treatment, a 10-course candlelit dinner, and even a horse-drawn carriage ride through Munich’s English Garden.
Discover a Secret Beach in Maui
More than 20 miles of west Maui’s beaches are accessible by bicycle, making it easy for adventurous lovebirds to explore the coast at their own speed.
Since this is your anniversary, why not make it a truly collaborative effort and rent a tandem beach cruiser from West Maui Cycles? The shiny red two-seaters will show up great in photographs (not to mention your masked frustration as you attempt to synchronize your leg movements). As they say, the couple who pedals together stays together.
Swim in an Enormous Saltwater Pool in Chile
If unwinding next to an oversized, sparkling blue pool all day is your idea of a vacation, consider flying to Chile for a stay at the famous San Alfonso del Mar. Until recently, the coastal resort held the Guinness record for the world’s largest man-made lagoon. It was upstaged by Egypt’s Citystars pool at the end of 2012, but the 3,324-foot-long pool is still massive, containing 66 million gallons of seawater. Guests will find it sandwiched between the resort’s towers and the Pacific Ocean. Spend the morning walking along the pool’s lengthy promenade—after all, you can always dive in and cool off at any point along the way.
Hear Church Bells in Santa Fe
With its art galleries, 360-degree mountain views, and Native American cuisine, New Mexico’s capital is an easy pick for culture-seeking couples. You’ll both fall for the town’s ancient, earthy mystique just strolling around Santa Fe Plaza.
But nowhere is Santa Fe’s rich history more evident than in its churches—at the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis Assisi, bells ring out over the town every 15 minutes. Meanwhile, Loretto Chapel contains a mysterious hanging staircase (just don’t ask to climb it). And in San Miguel Chapel—officially the oldest Catholic church in the country—visitors can ring the church’s original bell, which may date back to the 14th century.
See a Quieter Side of Key West
If you think margaritas in to-go cups and Jimmy Buffet singalongs are the opposite of romance, skip Duval Street and head to Key West’s calmer neighbor to the east.
Stock Island, a 10-minute drive from Key West International Airport, just opened up to travelers with the island’s first-ever hotel, Oceans Edge Key West Hotel & Marina. Built on 20 acres, every guest room comes with a water view. When you’re not relaxing next to the resort’s six pools, you can fill your time jetskiing, kayaking, snorkeling, or paddleboarding around one of the nearby sandbars.
By nightfall, you’ll be miles away from the ruckus in Key West. Take a quiet stroll along the hotel’s marina, or retire early to your suite—after a full day out on the water, you’ll need the rest.