With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we’ve put together the procrastinator’s guide to planning the perfect vacation for your sweetheart. This is the ultimate guide on where to play and where to stay this Valentine’s Day. We’ve rounded up 7 romantic destinations across the country that offer not only beautiful views, but fun things to do, to help you plan an unforgettable Valentine’s Weekend Getaway.
1. Mohonk Preserve, NY
First up, Mohonk Preserve is just 90 miles north of New York City near the Catskill Mountains. Featuring 8,000 acres of protected mountain ridges, forests, fields, streams and more, Mohonk Preserve offers backwoods serenity and breathtaking views. It’s the perfect Valentine’s destination for the couple that loves the great outdoors, no matter the weather.
Mohonk is pretty cold and snowy mid-February, but that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of much of what it has to offer. Witness unbeatable views while taking advantage of a number of amazing trails open to downhill skiers, cross-country skiers and snowshoers alike.
After a long day of exploring the mountains, wind down in a National Historic Landmark, the Mohonk Mountain House. Settled along the banks of Lake Mohonk in the Hudson Valley, the resort boasts “an accessible getaway for families, couples, or anyone seeking to ‘unplug.’” This beautiful Victorian castle sits above Lake Mohonk, offering unparalleled views of carefully landscaped gardens and pristine wilderness. Inside, enjoy décor “reminiscent of a bygone era – extensive woodwork, fireplaces constructed from Shawangunk stone, period accents and expansive windows that frame the breathtaking scenery.”
2. Hot Springs & Asheville, NC
Hot Springs and Asheville are separated by a short and scenic 45-minute drive. While both have notable qualities worthy of individual visits, we’ve combined them for the ultimate play & stay vacation getaway.
They say that the couple that hikes together stays together. If that’s you and your boo, consider a weekend hiking trip in North Carolina. The Lovers Leap Trail starts in downtown Hot Springs and follows the white blazes of the Appalachian Trail eastbound along Bridge Street. The trail then crosses over the French Broad River offering beautiful upstream views, with the towering shadow of the summit of Lovers Leap directly ahead. Pack some water and a light picnic to enjoy at the summit after the moderately strenuous 1.6-mile hike (you can follow other trails if you’d like a longer hike). Once you return to town, warm up and unwind with a hot soak in one of the mineral springs, for which the town is named.
After spending the day in Hot Springs, it’s worth the 45 minute drive to Asheville, NC, home of The Omni Grove Park Inn. With over a century of experience in serving Southern Hospitality, the Omni Grove Park welcomes you with open arms. Relax in the “award-winning subterranean Spa”, “dine in one of four locally-sourced restaurants” or check out the winter concert series. Want to explore a little more? Pop into downtown Asheville to visit beautiful art galleries, award-winning local craft breweries or any of the number of venues featuring performing arts. It will be a weekend your sweetheart will thank you for.
3. Kiawah Island, SC
For a slightly warmer Valentine’s destination, consider the barrier island of Kiawah, just a few miles from historic Charleston. Kiawah boasts an oasis of untouched natural beauty. For the couple that wants to enjoy gorgeous and serene coastal views, surrounded by protected wildlife and nature, this is the spot. The land features preserved maritime forests, sand dunes, and marshes where turtles, whitetail deer and birds abound.
Kiawah Island is best-known for its golf and tennis courts amid a scene of natural coastal beauty. The Kiawah Island Golf & Tennis Resort is the go-to recreation spot. Featuring five golf courses, two complete tennis courts and a spa, both partners are sure to love this sunny Valentine’s destination. After a round on the links, check out one of the many restaurants on the island, or take a little drive to historic Charleston for even more variety.
Lauded for capturing the spirit, history, and charm of the south, this incredible mansion by the sea is Kiawah’s #1 hotel. The four-story marvel was designed to feel as if it has existed on Kiawah for centuries, though it only opened in 2004. 20 feet above sea-level, the site allows unobstructed views of the ocean, even from the first floor. The Sanctuary offers a range of recreational activities, from fishing, boat and paddling tours, to bike rentals, you’re sure to find a great activity to share with your Valentine.
4. Park City, UT
Moving west quite a bit, we explore Park City, Utah. Located just 35 minutes from Salt Lake City International Airport, Park City offers a range of fun winter activities for your Valentine’s getaway. It’s also the home of the famed Sundance Film Festival. While world-class skiing and snowboarding top the list of best activities, the city also offers museums and historical tours, galleries, spas, live theatre and concerts. Whatever your style, they’re there to suit.
Though Park City is home to two ski resorts, Park City (undoubtedly confusing nomenclature) and Deer Valley, we have a preference for the latter. Maybe it’s just because we can separate the name from the town! Deer Valley is nestled in Utah’s Wasatch Mountains and is ‘consistently ranked #1 among ski resorts in North America,’ according to SKI magazine. Ski like an Olympian with your sweetheart this Valentine’s Day; Deer Valley’s trails are the very ones competed upon in the 2002 Winter Olympics.
Though the lodge self-proclaims to be the best ski hotel in the world, we’re not inclined to disagree. Stein Eriksen Lodge is everything you would expect of an amazing mountain lodge. Featuring roaring fires, classic dark wood and cozy furnishings, you’re guaranteed a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Be sure to make reservations at the Glitretind Restaurant for their famed brunch, too. It’s an endless array of delectable options you won’t want to miss!
5. Portland, OR
Traveling further west and looking for a more funky vibe, we settle on Portland, OR, also known as the City of Roses. While Portland may not be the first city that comes to mind when planning a romantic valentine’s getaway, it offers plenty of opportunities to make a memorable vacation.
Play: Cruise and Bike
In Portland, the annual Worst Day of the Year Ride is one of the most Portlandish activities you can partake in on Valentine’s Day. It’s an annual bike ride, which you might think is named out of anti-Valentine sentiments. However it was originally held to coincide with the worst weather day of the year to demonstrate Portlanders’ commitment to cycling. If that’s not your cup of tea, Portland also offers river cruises aboard the Portland Spirit. For $99 per person, you may enjoy a 2.5 hour cruise down the Willamette River, complete with a four-course dinner and live music.
After a romantic day or night on the town, settle into your room at Portland’s only riverfront hotel. River Place Hotel is a waterside haven that has carefully curated a warm and inviting Portland-style welcome. Chat with their friendly and knowledgeable staff about how to get the most out of your Portland Valentine’s Getaway.
6. Sedona, AZ
For many people, Sedona conjures images of a “landscape built for adventure. Angular formations, high mesas, and rocky cliffs define the multi-terraced skyline.” Whatever activity you and your partner want to enjoy this Valentine’s Day, Sedona has it all.
Outdoor adventures in Sedona are exciting and varied. Endless wild country trails offer all levels of hikers the opportunity to appreciate the Sedona landscape. Likewise, the mountain biking is unlike many others. Prefer a bit of elevation? Hot air balloons take off each morning, to greet the rising dawn. If you’re looking for something a little more low key, spread out a blanket and have a picnic among the historic orchards of Slide Rock State Park. Whatever your pleasure, Sedona is sure to impress.
For breathtaking views and unparalleled comfort, visit Sedona’s Enchantment Resort. “Set on 70 acres of panoramic natural terrain, Enchantment Resort stands at the doorway of secluded Boynton Canyon…surrounded by red rock formations known for inspiring the mind, body, and spirit.” We can’t imagine a better vibe for the perfect Valentine’s Getaway.
7. Florida Keys, FL
For a truly extravagant and fun Valentine’s Getaway consider renting a private island in the Florida Keys. East Sister Rock Island is less than a mile offshore of Marathon in the Florida Keys. Surrounded by sun, sand and sparkling clear water, what better way to spend a Valentine’s than an island getaway?
This private island in the Florida Keys is an ocean lover’s paradise. Whether you want to dive, snorkel, kayak or just fish off the dock, everything you need is right there. There’s also a boat for cruising around or to travel up to the mainland. Whatever your ocean passion, this place has it all.
Enjoy 5,000 square feet of private living space, including a 2,700 square foot veranda, boat dock, helicopter pad and more. With 3 bedrooms, 2 living rooms, and a bar, we can’t imagine a more indulgent couple’s getaway for Valentine’s Day.
Too late to plan a Valentine's Getaway? Prefer a lowkey night in? Check out our ideas for a tasty homecooked Valentine's Day dinner.