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By Jacqueline Cucco | January 31, 2017 | Lifestyle
Here’s a little known secret that needs to be spread far and wide—yes, you can still sweep someone off their feet while skipping all the corny clichés. Forget the typical chocolates and roses this Valentine's Day, and book it on the next flight out of town for a romantic escape.
This one’s for the beach lovers everywhere—brave the Bermuda Triangle for their famed turquoise waters and pink sand beaches. Lay out in the sun, enjoy an afternoon tea session, browse an art museum, or get your adventure fix with diving, cave exploring, sailing, shipwrecks, and historical forts. There’s luxury to spare with plenty of elegant resorts and mansions. The best part? You don’t have to travel far—it’s right off the coast of North Carolina.
Consider the charming city of Charleston for beautiful mansions, historic plantations, and tons of cutting-edge eateries from a recent restaurant boom. Browse City Market for local crafts, art, and bites to eat, snap pics of the pastel townhouses on Rainbow Row for an Instagram dream, and snag a spot at a rooftop bar for views of the harbor as the sun goes down. The city has earned its share of romance cred, serving as the scenery for a little film called The Notebook. Visit Boone Hall Plantation to see Allie’s home (also, Blake Lively and Ryan Reynolds got married here IRL), or rent a boat in Cypress Gardens, where Noah and Allie take that famous canoe ride past all the swans (if you’re a bird, I’m a bird, remember?).
Don’t shy away from the cold – instead let it be the winter wonderland backdrop to a cozy weekend away. Even better with a setting of snowy white mountains, covered bridges, and a day of snowshoeing and sledding. Hit up the ski slopes, relive The Sound of Music at the Trapp Family Lodge, see where chunky monkey dreams come to life at Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream Factory, and end on a warm note with hot chocolate or a glass of wine fireside.
These rugged seaside cliffs are begging for a road trip along the coastline of California’s Highway 1. It’s remote enough that you may even lose cell service (gasp) so stash your phone and treasure your time off the grid. Don’t rush it—there are endless sites to discover, from beach towns and waterfalls to hot springs. Make sure to take in the views at Pfeiffer Beach, McWay Falls, Bixby Bridge, and Point Lobos, before ending up at Carmel-by-the-Sea.
Check out this up and coming Central American hideaway for a tropical vacay without the crowds. Complete with tons of islands, jungles, and national parks, it’s a steamy paradise waiting to be discovered. Hit the beach, check out Barú volcano, look for wildlife in the rainforest, get historical with a tour of the Panama Canal, go back in time with the splendor of the old city, and cool off from the heat with a shaved ice or frozen cocktail.
Instead of arguing about what you want to eat, visit booth after booth at Pike Place Market and sample it all, along with checking out the local jewelry and clothing stalls. Forgo the touristy Space Needle for the postcard views from Kerry Park or Smith Tower. Then, rent a dreamy wooden sailboat to take out on the water, and explore the boutiques and nightlife of quirky Pioneer Square. As the home of the original Starbucks, Seattle is famous for its coffee culture, so be sure to get your caffeine fix at Café Allegro, Stumptown, or Cherry Street Coffee House.
photography via facebook.com/princessbermuda; facebook.com/boonehallplantation; facebook.com/stowemountainresort; Photo by Kodiak Greenwood via facebook.com/postranchinn; facebook.com/livetrumppanama; facebook.com/alexishotel