Top 10 Romantic Retreats
These offshore vacations make falling in love even more fun.
Bermuda has long been a choice vacation spot for lovers.Topping their list: Elbow Beach on the south shore, which was named"Best Place for Falling in Love" by The Bermudian magazine. For a secluded retreat, visitAstwood Cove in Warwick Parish or Somerset Long Bay in SandysParish; 800/237-6832 or bermudatourism.com.
Manhattan, New York
Hopeless romantics will always find inspiration in the BigApple. Restaurants are everywhere, but couples flock to the WestVillage's One if by Land, Two if by Sea (considered one of the bestplaces in the city to pop the question). For skyline views, head toTop of the Rock, the observation deck crowning the GE Building atRockefeller Center; rockefellercenter.com.For a different view of the island, try a Manhattan Harbor BrunchCruise for two aboard a 1920s-style yacht; 866/973-7436, xperiencedays.com, or iloveny.com.
Big Island, Hawaii
The Mauna Lani Resort, on the Big Island's Kohala coast,indulges romantic guests with its Lava Love getaway package. For atleast three nights, health-conscious couples may stay in a deluxeoceanfront suite and enjoy sunrise workouts on the beach; aprivate, lava-rock sauna; spa treatments; and even a hula lesson;800/367-2323 or maunalani.com.
Whidbey Island, Washington
Stress starts to melt away as you step off the ferry ontothis Washington island, just one hour north of Seattle. Rich innatural beauty, Whidbey Island is also home to picturesque townsand romantic B&Bs. Spend the day in Langley (for a specialtreat, pick up a picnic for two from the Chef's Pantry). Journeyingnorth, drop by Greenbank Farms for wine and cheese before climbingthe Admiralty Head Lighthouse for a gorgeous view of the Strait ofJuan de Fuca. Toast to your travels at the new Frasers GourmetHideaway in Oak Harbor; whidbeycamanoislands.com.
Lovers Key, Florida
This Gulf Coast island is popular, but it still offerssecluded nooks and stretches of beach where Valentines can get awayfrom it all. Rent a canoe or tandem kayak at Lovers Key State Park,and paddle the canals among manatees and other wildlife. Later,snuggle at sunset on a beach that, at least for the evening, isyours alone; floridastateparks.org/loverskeyor fortmyerssanibel.com.
Cumberland Island, Georgia
This hidden gem gained national attention in 1996 when JohnF. Kennedy Jr. married Carolyn Bessette inside the island's FirstAfrican Baptist Church. Renowned for its privacy and serene beauty,Cumberland has more than 17 miles of white-sand beaches to explore,and numerous wild horses to admire. We recommend an overnight stayat the Greyfield Inn, a 1900-era mansion on more than 200 acres ofprotected shore; greyfieldinn.com or cumberlandisland.org.
Princess Royal Island, British Columbia
Journey off British Columbia's north coast to find wild andbeautiful Princess Royal Island. The two of you can get a taste ofthis remote island when the King Pacific Lodge docks (yes, docks!)at its shores each year. Combining the best of wilderness andluxury, the floating lodge offers couples fly-fishing and kayakingadventures, combined with spa treatments and ocean-view orwilderness-view suites (the Romance and Waterfall suites aretop-notch); 888/592-5464 or kingpacificlodge.com.
The Grove Isle Hotel & Spa, Miami, Florida
Secluded on a 20-acre island in Biscayne Bay, The Grove IsleHotel & Spa provides a relaxing escape from the big citynearby. A pool and jogging path overlook the bay, as do 49 bayviewrooms. Dine at the acclaimed oceanfront Baleen restaurant, andspice things up with the Tantra Lovers Island Escape package;800/884-7683 or groveisle.com.
Naples, Long Beach, California
Naples, near Belmont Shores in Alamitos Bay, is actually aseries of islands divided by waterways. In classic Italian style,gondoliers take lovebirds on a tour of the canals―no doubt,the best way to explore this watery village. Surprise yoursweetheart with a bottle of vino, then take a Venetian-stylemoonlit ride. (Don't forget to smooch under every bridge for goodluck!) For more information, call The Gondola Getaway, 562/433-9595or gondolagetawayinc.com;or visit beachcalifornia.com/naples2.html.Also, look for our feature on the gondolas in an upcoming issue of Coastal Living.
With 33 white-sand beaches, this small island is apicture-perfect hideaway. Escape for the afternoon to Long Pond Bayor Katouche Bay (if you're lucky, you'll have the beach toyourself). Couples on the go will love the CuisinArt Resort &Spa (800/943-3210 or cuisinartresort.com), on popular Rendevous Bay(Anguilla's longest beach). The resort offers activities everyonecan enjoy, including catamaran cruises and hands-on cookingclasses; anguilla-vacation.com.