You’ve been working like a dog, and coping with day-to-day living with your family – school, sports, extracurricular activities, and all the madness thereof. You hardly have time to speak to your significant other, and you fall in bed, exhausted, every night. This is a perfect time to plan a romantic getaway with just you and your special someone. Leave the kids with Grandma and Grandpa for a week and go somewhere to rekindle your romance and get to know each other all over again.
Where to Go?
Where you go for your getaway depends on what you and your significant other like to do. If you are snow bunnies, head for the north or west and winter sports during the day, with blazing fires, hot chocolate, and snuggling on the sofa at night. In case you blanche at the thought of cold, head south or southwest, and enjoy the beach without the teeming hordes of summer. If you’re a dazzling urbanite who gets the chills at the thought of no internet, TV, or telephones, there are many big cities you can run away to and enjoy the night life.
Bearing your individual preferences in mind, here are ten spots you can choose from for your winter getaway:
Big Sur, California
Big Sur gives you the best of both worlds; it sits among some of the most spectacular scenery around, on California’s Pacific coast. It offers climbing, biking, hiking, snowmobiling, and skiing. It’s also close enough to large urban areas to offer extensive night life opportunities, as well as fine dining. You can choose from cabins on Big Sur river or the lodge in Pfeiffer State Park, or you can choose from a variety of other lodging options.
Bear Valley, California
Everyone knows about skiing at Lake Tahoe; Bear Valley is the lesser-known place to go for a more intimate, less crowded experience. Located in the central Sierra Mountains, Bear Valley offers winter activities during the day such as skiing, cross-country skiing, sledding, snowboarding – you get the idea. At night, curl up in the living room at the Lodge, or in your room, for a romantic evening.
Yellowstone National Park
97% of Yellowstone’s visitors come during the summer, so it may seem like you have the entire 2.2 million-acre park to yourselves. Stay at Old Faithful Lodge and spend your days hiking and wildlife spotting. Enjoy the nights curled up with a hot drink in front of the fire, talking with your special someone.
Located at the base of the Grand Teton Mountains, Jackson offers winter sports at its finest – skiing, sledding, snowboarding – you name it, you can do it here. Wyoming is famous for its snowfalls, so you can spend the days outdoors, and spend your nights cuddled up watching the snowfall. Jackson has a variety of choices when it comes to lodging, and restaurants for dining. Enjoy a less-crowded, snow-filled adventure with your special someone.
Bar Harbor, Maine
Bar Harbor is an historic village on Maine’s Mount Desert Island. There are tours of the harbor, cruise ship spotting, and museums galore, as well as a host of restaurants for your dining pleasure. Bike or hike in the Acadia National Park, and climb Cadillac Mountain for a challenge. Drive Maine’s picturesque coast, and return for a cozy evening at your lodgings. Bar Harbor has a multitude of places both to stay and to dine, and the shopping is part of the fun.
Lower Waterford, Vermont
Lower Waterford is a picture-perfect winter village; you will find historic old churches and a main street decked out for the holidays. You can hike in the White Mountains National Forest, snowshoe along the Connecticut River, or ski the 100-mile Kingdom Trails. Stay at the historic Rabbit Hill Inn, for the perfect romantic getaway.
Pigeon Forge and Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Yes, really. Great Smoky Mountains is one of the oldest of our national parks, and it has many sites worthy of visiting. Ski at Ober Gatlinburg, or ice skate at the lodge. Visit Dollywood, decked out with a dazzling array of winter lights. There are many chains for familiar eating, but don’t blow the local spots off; Applewood Farmhouse Restaurant is a great place to take your significant other for a really great meal. For the crafty, there is an 8-mile craft loop around Gatlinburg, populated by craftsmen in their own shops. Cabins abound, as well as other lodging, so spend your days outside, evenings enjoying the winter lights, and nights snuggled up with your someone.
La Jolla, California
Winter is a great time to visit La Jolla. The crowds are much lighter than during the summer crush and the shores are open for walking and feeding the gulls. If boating is your thing, kayak the blue water off the coast. For the urbanite, stroll the shops; there is a quirky mix of stores available for your purchasing pleasure. At night, stay in your room and watch the water, or go over to San Diego, and find a restaurant or club to suit your fancy, for dinner and drinks. Lodging is available in La Jolla, or halfway between La Jolla and Torry Pines Golf Club.
Amelia Island, Florida
Amelia Island is one of the Florida barrier islands. Located off the northeast Florida coast, Amelia Island is on the Atlantic side of the state. Winter is a great time to visit the island; summer crowds are gone, and the 13 miles of beach are available for walking. You can kayak, bike ride, or horseback, and finish off the day with a horse-drawn carriage ride. You can shop for fresh-from-the-cow seafood, find fresh fudge, or shop in unique boutiques.
Historic Savannah, located on the Savannah River, is full of things to do on a winter getaway. There are architectural tours, music festivals, Civil War re-enactments, art exhibits and tours of ghosts to delight your special someone. Savannah is also home to fine dining; Paula Deen’s restaurant, the Lady and Sons, is doing brisk business there, as well as a myriad of other fine restaurants. Lodging is available, from B&Bs in old historic homes to modern luxury chains.
These ten cities are all wonderful places to make a winter getaway with your special someone. They’re romantic, and offer a variety of choices to suit everyone – the outdoors snow bunny, the beach baby, the shopaholic, and the urbanite night life aficionado. Choose one of these, or find one on your own but take the time to reconnect and enjoy each other.