This winter, why not give your sweetheart the best gift of all: a long weekend away, just the two of you. Whether you don’t have kids in tow this holiday season and just want to spend time in a romantic setting, or you’re determined to take advantage of this year’s four-day Christmas and New Year’s weekends (or both), a couples getaway can be just what you need to relax and reconnect.
These seven destinations are easy to reach from various points in the U.S. for a four-day weekend with your other half.
Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
If your idea of romance includes soaking up the sun by the pool, digging your toes into warm sand and enjoying the luxuries of an all-inclusive resort, sweep your sweetie away to the Mexican resort town of Puerto Vallarta. The all-inclusive Casa Velas is an adults-only boutique resort designed for ultimate rest and relaxation. Dining and drinks are included in your room rate, and you can also arrange for his and hers activities like golf and spa services.
If you’re getting away for Christmas, don’t worry about losing the holiday spirit amid all the sand and sun: Casa Velas offers a Christmas tree service that keeps your suite cheery with a decorated tree, complete with gifts delivered on Christmas Eve, if you choose. New Year’s Eve and winter packages are also available.
The snow-covered slopes of Aspen are meant for romance. After all, what’s not romantic about sharing cups of hot cocoa while snuggled in front of a fireplace inside a rustic lodge? If you and your better half are the adventurous, outdoorsy types, you can spend your four-day weekend skiing, snowboarding and snowmobiling your way across this winter wonderland. Hot air balloon rides over the peaks of Aspen add an unforgettable memory to your time away together, while sleigh rides are a whimsical way to enjoy each other’s company without leaving the ground. Don’t miss Snowmass Mall and Base Village, the center for holiday activities in Aspen.
Couples on the West Coast can easily turn a four-day weekend into a Hawaiian getaway this holiday season, and rest assured: A holiday weekend in Hawaii is not one you’ll soon forget. Warm weather, ocean breezes, incredible views and island hospitality set the tone for romance, no matter which island you choose to visit. Kauai is particularly known for its romantic atmosphere, and adults-only resorts like the Koa Kea Hotel and Resort make it easy for couples to unwind over the holidays with a quiet, stress-free stay. During your Hawaiian getaway, hike into the stunning Waimea Canyon, enjoy the breathtaking sights of Poipu Beach and take a boat ride along the Na Pali Coast for the ultimate romantic travel experience.
San Diego, California
Just a couple of hours south of Los Angeles, the coastal city of San Diego welcomes couples all winter long to play in its sunny seaside community. Couples can explore the quaint boutiques of the Seaport Village shopping district with the waves of the Pacific Ocean right at their feet. Nearby, the Gaslamp Quarter offers some of the city’s best dining and nightlife options for a romantic night on the town. Top it off by ice skating under the stars right on the shores of Coronado Island at the historic Hotel del Coronado, which hosts an outdoor skating rink right next to the beach. And since this is an adults-only trip, don’t miss a chance to check out some of the country’s top craft breweries that call San Diego home.
New York, New York
Don’t let the cold weather scare you: New York City in the winter offers plenty of ways to find romance. Go ice skating at Rockefeller Center in front of one of the country’s most famous Christmas trees. Make it a new year to remember by spending New Year’s Eve in Times Square. Dine your way across town during New York’s Winter Restaurant Week. With holiday decorations and maybe even snow (!) throughout the city, the Big Apple is sure to fill your couples getaway with holiday cheer. If you’re looking for a particularly fun hotel package for your vacation, consider the Z Hotel NYC’s Naughty or Nice package, complete with champagne and breakfast in bed, plus your choice of naughty or nice amenities.
Newport, Rhode Island
The historic New England town of Newport, R.I., is best known for its grand mansions, quaint cobblestone streets and the views from the coastal Cliff Walk – and it only gets more romantic come winter. As the weather turns crisp and light dustings of snow fall on this regal town, couples will find plenty to fill a long weekend in this city by the sea. Mansion tours are a must, as are cruises along the Ocean Drive Historic District. In February, winter takes a festive turn during the Newport Winter Festival, an annual 10-day celebration filled with cook-offs, entertainment and even an outdoor pillow fight. Couples looking to take a trip a little sooner should consider the Romance by the Sea package at The Newport Harbor Hotel, which includes champagne, chocolates, a waterfront dinner and breakfast.
Door County, Wisconsin
If you’re looking for a low-key weekend where you and your partner can enjoy a slower pace of life, and more importantly, each other’s company, plan on heading to the Midwest locale of Door County in Wisconsin this winter. Wander through this quiet town to scope out art galleries and locally owned shops; then, hop in the car to visit the area’s famed lighthouses, parks and shoreline. Be sure to spend an afternoon sipping your way through the local wineries, too. Plus, the Door County Visitor Bureau is running a special winter promotion for couples looking to get away this season: Nature of Romance, which features special lodging packages and a $25 gift certificate that can be used at hundreds of local locations.
(Main image: tmarsee530)