Valentine’s Day 2022 is coming up and while we all thought we’d be traveling the world by now, Omicron is rearing its head.
Here are 10 Romantic Getaways near and far for you to consider for Valentine’s Day. And, if travel is up in the air for you right now, here are some tips for you to recreate that special getaway at home!
Verona is naturally one of the most famous cities of romance, ever. Immortalized by Shakespeare as the setting of Romeo & Juliet, the city really leans into its reputation, even once partnering with Air Bnb on a romantic stay. I love the city of Verona, with it’s beautiful old town and romantic side streets. Check out my guide for a perfect stay in the city.
Can’t make it to Italy? Open a bottle of Amarone wine, a rich dry Italian red from Veneto. Pour a glass and roll up your sleeves because you’re making a Verona specialty, risotto all’amarone. Here’s an easy to follow recipe from Food & Wine. Cue up Baz Luhrmann’s 1996 William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet on Disney+ and finish that bottle of wine. Sounds like my kind of night!
This is a no brainer. As you know, Paris is one of my favorite cities in the world and I cherish the time I’ve been able to spend there. It’s a world renowned city for romance and amour.
One thing I love about NYC is how many cute French-style bistros that we have. They still are the perfect place to pop in for a glass of wine and a delicious roast chicken. While I was up at Amherst studying it was Chez Albert. One of my favorites at home in NYC? French-Senegalese Cafe Rue Dix on Bedford Ave. in Crown Heights. What’s the French spot in your town?
With its 22 historic squares, Italianate mansions, cobblestone alleyways, and stately oak trees dripping with Spanish moss, Savannah is a romantic must. It’s always been on my bucket list. Spend a leisurely afternoon in Forsyth Park. Be sure to take a picture in front of the park’s grand, ninth-century cast-iron fountain, which was modeled after the fountains at the Place de la Concorde in Paris. Holding hands while taking a carriage ride or joining a historic walking tour are two more ways to soak up the charm of this beautiful Southern gem.
To visit Cartagena, Colombia is to be immersed in the magical realism of Gabriel García Márquez’s prose. The Spanish colonial style balconies dripping with bougainvilleas often appear in my dreams. I had an incredible trip to Cartagena with someone who will love me always and forever — my mom and this Caribbean city is relatively close to New York (a shorter flight than Europe) making it such a great option for Valentine’s Day.
That spicy opening scene of Mr. and Mrs. Smith is set in Cartagena. Looking for a more classic romance? Throw on a glamorous Hill House Nap dress, cue up Love in the Time of Cholera and fill up on limonada de coco. Winter what? We’re in Colombia!
St. Augustine, Florida
Want the Spanish Colonial vibe but on US soil? Located on Florida’s Historic Coast, St. Augustine was founded by the Spanish in 1565 and is known as the oldest city in the U.S. Due to Henry Flager’s, a founder of Standard Oil vision of creating a new American Riviera, the city’s Historic District is steeped with Gilded Age romance. Think cobblestone streets, centuries-old Spanish-influenced buildings, hidden courtyards, ornate fountains, and grand monuments. Visit the Lightner Museum, an architectural masterpiece built in 1888 as the Alcazar Hotel with exquisite Victorian art glass and stained glass works of Louis Comfort Tiffany. A couples’ carriage ride through the streets or a self-guided tour of the town’s collection of magnificent churches add to the European allure of St. Augustine.
Let’s head state side. Naturally, we have the city of Brotherly Love on the list. A visit to Philadelphia is not complete without a stop at the famous LOVE Park, located in the heart of the city. Formally known as John F. Kennedy Plaza, the park is now affectionately referred to as LOVE Park thanks to Robert Indiana’s LOVE statue, where couples flock to get an iconic selfie since 1976! It’s like the Love Lock Bridge in Paris! While you’re there, have a meal at Philadelphia’s The Love restaurant. Just steps away from beautiful Rittenhouse Square, this bilevel sanctuary features an exciting drinks menu inspired by personal travels to vineyards, breweries and cideries in the region, and the creative cuisine is equally as enticing. I want a burger with a heart seared in the bun. Burgers are Michele’s love language.
Having just had a wonderful trip to Sedona, I think the energy in this town could be a different way of experiencing romance on the metaphysical plane. Road trip through the Red Rock Scenic Byway and keep an eye out for romantic stops along the way like Cathedral Rock Vortex. The vortex energy is said to be feminine and delivers feelings of softness, receptiveness, and compassion.
This charming town located on a bluff overlooking the Pacific Ocean is an enchanted, unspoiled gem. Imagine Victorian homes, saltbox cottages, well-kept gardens, and artsy shops. Stop for an artisanal indulgence at the Mendocino Chocolate Company or enjoy dinner at Cafe Beaujolais, a laid-back white-tablecloth French restaurant located inside an 1893 Victorian farmhouse.
Just down the road in Fort Bragg, visit Glass Beach, one of the most romantic places in the area. Stroll a beach pebbled with smooth sea glass treasures of all shapes, colors, and sizes just waiting to be discovered.
Views and Cobblestones in New York City
New York City is one of the most romantic cities in the world that has inspired countless love stories. Start the night at one of the most gorgeous restaurants in the city dripping in history, One If By Land, Two If By Sea in The Village. It is in a 1700s former carriage house that was once owned by Aaron Burr. Stunning fire places, exposed brick interior, breathtaking candelabras and chandeliers. One If By Land, Two If By Sea was actually voted the number 5 most romantic restaurant in the world by Arch Digest.
After a delicious dinner, catch a cab for a romantic ride over the bridge and head to Cecconi’s Dumbo for desert and a glass of wine with a view of the Manhattan Bridge. The bridge, the cobblestone streets, a romantic night in old New York. Get a taste of that classic New York at home with a New York love story movie night pizza and red wine. My favorites? Love Story, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Sylvie’s Love and Serendipity. Maybe by Valentine’s Day this year you’ll be able to catch Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story on Disney+
Beck’s, Limpopo Province, South Africa
If 2020 taught us anything for 2021 it’s, “do that bucket list.” These last few years, once in a lifetime have properly converted to YOLO. The most romantic bucket list experience I’ve ever had that made me really wish Michele was on the trip — and you guys know I don’t mind solo-dolo — was safari in the Limpopo province of South Africa. Beck’s safari was extremely romantic. Sunrise and sunset safari runs, luxury tent life, 5 star dinners around a fire and being in the midst of nature with the best lighting. Wow. Surprise that special someone or treat yourself with a trip to South Africa. Trust me, they are doing well after that Omicron slander. Trevor Noah was just there living his best life!
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