What comes to mind when you think “Paris”? If you're like most people, unparalleled luxury, twinkling lights, sensual food, and above all else, romance. It’s a city rich with history, cozy cafes, and warm hearts. Famed for its unique ability to pull people together and tingle the senses, the “city of love” has the uncanny ability to ignite the passion in a relationship. But it's not the only place that'll get your heart beating just a little bit faster. Here are a few other cities around the world perfect for your next couple's retreat.
There's just something about walking along the Arno river at sunset as the light hits the lazy water just right peeking through the trees. Postcard-perfect cobblestone streets wind through the city, rich with Tuscan architecture and tradition. A gentle warm breeze carries the scent of pasta and fresh baked bread through the air. Without a doubt, Florence is a cozy getaway meant for two. The city is absolutely dripping in art and history, but there's nothing quite like marveling at Botticelli’s “Venus” or Michelangelo’s “David.”
A Sultry Florence Trip Includes:
- Breakfast at Ditta Artigianale, a sublime riverside café renowned for it’s fabulous coffee.
- An afternoon trip to the Uffizi Gallery, home to works by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael, and Botticelli. Make sure you also plan a stop at the Academia Gallery to see the famous “David.”
- Pre-dinner drinks at Florian, a quiet bar with excellent cocktails.
- Dinner at Osteria Santo Spirito, which has a rustic feel and incredible service. It’s hard not for sparks to fly.
There are few places more ravishing than Carmel, California. Just south of San Jose on the Monterey Peninsula, it’s a quiet coastal town that has a “fairytale meets tropical” vibe. Fortified by its long history of literary and performance art, poets like George Sterling and Jack London have called Carmel home, inspired by the scenery. Carmel is the best of everything with transcendent views of the Pacific Ocean, Spanish detailing, and woodsy architecture.
A Perfect Romantic Day in Carmel-by-the-Sea Includes:
- Brunch at Katy’s Place, which is just a short walk from the beach. It's best known for its selection of over 20 variations of eggs benedicts and fresh seafood dishes.
- Hiking and scuba diving in the whimsical blue grotto, Point Lobos State Reserve. Prepare to see tons of wildlife and some of the best views in all of California.
- Wine tasting at De Tierra Vineyards, a rustic specialty vineyard that uses grapes exclusively from the Monterey area.
- Tapas and live music at Mundaka, the best Spanish small plates joint in the area. Be prepared to dance the night away!
With clear turquoise water contrasted with pale buildings topped with terracotta roofs, Hvar is about as close to paradise as you can get. One of Croatia’s biggest travel destinations, thousands of visitors come to see the sparkling Dalmatian Coast each year, a good number of them couples. It’s one of the most glamorous cities in Europe, yet affordable with a relaxed, old world vibe. It's easy to imagine falling in love surrounded by stone streets, palm trees swaying in the breeze and strands of lights strung above your head.
A Quiet Getaway to Hvar Might Include:
- Have breakfast at Fig, a contemporary Mediterranean restaurant close to the water that specializes in tasty flatbreads.
- Spend the day taking a relaxing boat tour to the white sand beaches of the Pakleni Islands. Just off the coast of mainland Croatia, it's an unbeatable hidden tropical gem just waiting to be explored.
- Enjoy dinner and drinks at Dalmatino, a small Mediterranean/Italian fusion spot. Cranking out the best food on the island at totally reasonable prices, this place is an absolute find!
Nestled in the south of Spain, Seville is a combination of Northern African tradition and conventional Spanish flair, perfect for couples looking to heat things up. Full of dramatic, awe-inspiring architecture at every turn, a walk through the city is like a walk through a painting -- too pretty to be real.
A Perfect Couple's Getaway to Seville Would Include:
- A mid-morning stroll in Parque de Maria Luisa that runs along the Guadalquivir River. It was made famous by the magnificent “Fountain of Lions” and Plaza de Espana, which was initially a technology exhibit.
- Brunch at La Cacharreria, a traditional Spanish café that serves cheap (and tasty) drinks and breakfast very popular among the locals.
- An afternoon adventure to Metropol Parasol, the world’s largest wooden structure that also doubles as a lookout point. Follow that up with a visit to Seville Cathedral, the world’s largest Gothic Cathedral. It actually looks more like an intricately designed castle.
- Dinner at La Bartola, a quirky restaurant and bar serving uniquely scrumptious Mediterranean cuisine and killer cocktails.
Charleston, South Carolina
Everything about Charleston screams colonial romance. Pulsing with southern charm, Charleston has a way of whisking you out of reality and back to an era where love flourished. From the seemingly ancient plantation houses lining the streets to the quaint, hidden beaches, the city has all the makings of a top destination for lovebirds.
A Weekend Trip to Charleston Must Include:
- Breakfast at the Park Café, a cute little nook that makes the most insane baked goods from hearty and savory to light and sweet.
- An afternoon visit to Magnolia Plantation and Gardens. Treat yourself to a romantic walk through endless aisles of blooming flowers and mossy trees and be sure to pack yourself a picnic.
- Stop by Drayton Hall, a splendidly preserved 18th century plantation house that’s survived hundreds of years and two wars. When you’re done, head up the street to Billy’s Burger Joint for some down home BBQ and burgers.