It’s no coincidence the season associated with seasonal affective disorder is winter. Once the buzz from the holidays dies down, the glumness of cold, gray weather sets in. These generally blah feelings don’t do much to help out your romantic relationship. Instead of letting your love life suffer, take your sweetie somewhere special.
Even if you can’t swing a full week away from work, a weekend trip will give you plenty of time to relax and reconnect. Research shows the process of planning a trip is actually more beneficial for your mood than the vacation itself, so it doesn’t matter much that you’ll only be away for a few days. And because there are no major holidays in sight, you won’t get slammed with insanely expensive flights.
Now it’s just a matter of figuring out where to go. Whether you choose to embrace some snow or want to leave it as far behind as possible, one of these six vacations will be your perfect romantic spot.
1. Whidbey Island, Washington
Tucked into the northwest corner of Washington, Whidbey Island feels like a completely different world. You’ll find options for lodging in six of the island’s communities, most of them bed and breakfasts. Those who like to feel a little bit pampered will want to book a stay at the Eagles Nest Inn. The octagonal structure sits on top of a private hill just outside Langley and offers fantastic views. You’ll also have access to the hot tub and as many freshly baked chocolate chip cookies as you can eat.
If you like things a little more secluded, go for the Guest House Log Cottages. These two-person cabins each include a Jacuzzi, fireplace, and kitchen. There’s even a fitness center.
Though most people visit Whidbey Island during the warmer months to enjoy outdoor activities, there’s plenty to do when it’s chillier. WhidbeyIsland.us recommended looking into the theater scene, checking out some live music, and taking advantage of the locally made wine.
2. Newport, Rhode Island
Anyone who’s ever had dreams of living in a lavish mansion needs to take a trip to Newport immediately. Though seeing the structures from the outside is pretty impressive, you should really schedule a tour or two. Once you have your vacation date nailed down, check out The Preservation Society of Newport County’s operating schedule to find out which locations are available.
Hotels are just as lavish as the famed mansions here. You can’t go wrong with any of the charming cottages, bed and breakfasts, or traditional hotels, but our pick is The Chanler at Cliff Walk. This stay boasts over-the-top rooms, a gourmet restaurant perfect for date night, and a house car. This is no bargain hotel, but it will definitely be a memorable trip.
3. Yountville, California
The food is fantastic anywhere in Napa Valley, but Yountville easily wins the competition for best dining in the area. It’s home to The French Laundry, Thomas Keller’s world-famous establishment, where you’ll feast on a nine-course tasting menu. Be warned, though, reservations are incredibly difficult to come by. The restaurant accepts reservations exactly one month in advance, no earlier. Of course, there are plenty of other fantastic dining options. Check out Sunset’s favorite places to eat.
Since you’ll be in the heart of wine country, be sure to head to some tastings at a few of the many wineries. As for accommodations, it’s hard to beat Bardessono. All of the suites are spacious and designed for relaxation. And be sure to unwind with the weekly yoga session on Saturday morning.
4. Savannah, Georgia
Savannah exudes charm like no other city in the south. Though it’s admittedly a bit colder here during the winter months, you’re still unlikely to experience anything much colder than about 60 degrees Fahrenheit. That’s good news since this city is best enjoyed by foot. You can even opt for a free, 90-minute walking tour. Whatever you do, make sure to stop at Leopold’s Ice Cream. Established in 1919, getting a cone here is pretty much a must.
Stay in the middle of it all at Hamilton-Turner Inn, a boutique bed and breakfast where rooms feature four-poster beds and claw-foot baths. You’ll enjoy a freshly prepared breakfast every morning and can unwind with a glass of port before bed.
5. Kohler, Wisconsin
You’ve probably never heard of Kohler before, but it might become your new favorite getaway if you snag a room at The American Club. The hotel itself was first constructed to serve as housing for immigrants who came to work at Kohler Company. After a bit of work, the building reopened in 1981 as a hotel, and it’s been a fixture among folks looking for a little Midwestern luxury ever since. They’re known for the luxe spa, so book a specialty couples’ treatment.
Though the fantastic golf courses aren’t accessible during the winter, there’s a surprising amount to do. You can ice skate, cross-country ski, ice fish, or go hunting. Coming during February? Don’t miss In Celebration of Chocolate.
6. Telluride, Colorado
You can ski in locations all over Colorado, but Telluride is probably the most romantic. Yes, there’s a resort that provides access to the stunning slopes, but Telluride manages to hold on to its small-town feel. In addition to the usual winter activities, make sure to visit downtown to check out the local shops where you’ll find everything from kitchenware to art to ski gear.
Hotels don’t get much more lavish than Lumière Telluride, where you can choose between standard suites and over-the-top penthouses. You can also book your own cabin with Mountain Lodge Telluride if you prefer a bit more privacy.