Romance is in the air. When you take off for a romantic escape, you want someplace where the two of you can feel the love. We looked at Travelocity’s 25 most popular destinations to find the most romantic cities by analyzing factors such as the number of French restaurants and florists, the likelihood of locals to book Valentines’ getaways, and even lovey-dovey street names. Here is a look at our top five most romantic cities in the USA, along with some ideas from travel blogger Susan Lanier-Graham of Wander With Wonder on what to do with your significant other once you are there.
#1: Finding Romance in Las Vegas
Las Vegas ranks as the number one most romantic city as determined by the Travelocity Romantic Cities Index. It also is one of my top cities for a romantic escape.
The first thing I suggest doing for any romantic escape is to select your hotel. One of my favorites is the ARIA Resort & Casino. For an over-the-top experience, book a corner suite where you two can toast the town from a corner tub high atop the Las Vegas Strip.
Las Vegas exudes romance—and one way to ensure you have a romantic escape is to wine and dine each other. Take a slow turn around the High Roller at The LINQ. As the world’s tallest observation wheel, it’s the perfect way to start your escape.
Nothing says romance like a French dinner for two. In fact, the number of French restaurants per capita is one factor that helped determine the top 25 most romantic cities. In Las Vegas, the best French restaurant is Restaurant Guy Savoy at Caesars Palace Las Vegas. Start with caviar and Krug Champagne before your dinner.
End your visit to this romantic city with a private gondola ride through the Grand Canal at The Venetian Las Vegas. Perfect for a romantic trip, book a night ride indoors and feel as if you’ve been transported straight to Venice. After the ride, head to Skyfall Lounge on the 64th floor atop the Delano Las Vegas. You can order creative cocktails and watch the lights twinkling below. Sit on the patio with the one you love, soaking in the essence of Las Vegas that makes this number one on the list of most romantic cities in the US.
#2: Romance in the City of Angels
Coming in at number two on the list of the top five most romantic cities in the USA, Los Angeles is a fun, vibrant city that offers something for every couple. With such a large geographical area, you can spend your LA romantic getaway at the beach, shopping in some of the country’s most chic boutiques, cuddled up in exclusive resorts and spas, sampling world-class cuisine, hitting fun and funky night spots, or checking out cultural icons.
There are great places to stay in downtown Los Angeles, an area once again coming alive with new concert venues, restaurants and markets. You can go for something chic and modern or more upscale and luxurious. Remember, with the Travelocity Customer First Guarantee, if the hotel you book doesn’t match the details, they’ll find a comparable hotel for you right away. Just contact Travelocity and they’ll find something at no additional cost so that your romantic escape stays romantic.
A must-see while in downtown Los Angeles is the Walt Disney Concert Hall. You and your partner will swoon over a performance at this spectacular concert hall, but even if you aren’t there during a performance, you can arrange to tour the facility. Better yet, why not arrange a deluxe tour of the City of Angels and really get to know the city?
One of the not-to-miss stops during a romantic escape to Los Angeles—and definitely one of the reasons why the city shows up as one of the top five most romantic cities—is Rodeo Drive. Head about 30 minutes northwest of downtown to Beverly Hills and indulge each other for your ultimate romantic escape. Take a stroll down Rodeo Drive, window shopping at Tiffany & Co. or gazing at the sparkles at Harry Winston!
If you prefer to stay in Beverly Hills, your choices vary from the boutique Luxe Rodeo Drive Hotel that offers some of the softest beds anywhere and a European inn feel to the luxurious 5-star Montage Beverly Hills or the classic The Beverly Hilton.
Dining and nightlife in Los Angeles is exceptional. The challenge is deciding how to fit all of the great options into one trip. For a classic dining experience where you’re sure to catch sight of a celebrity or two, head to The Polo Lounge at The Beverly Hills Hotel. If you’d prefer French dining, Petrossian West Hollywood Restaurant & Boutique serves up some of the most exquisite French dishes with caviar and Southern California flair. And, you can even purchase caviar in a tin to take home.
If you want an evening walk on the beach, I’d suggest booking dinner in Venice Beach and then wandering the small shops nearby as you make your way toward The Venice Beach Boardwalk. I recommend MTN on Abbot Kinney Boulevard in Venice. This little restaurant serves up some of the best Asian-inspired food I’ve eaten in a long time. Share some dishes, try some sake, and definitely order dessert!
#3: Romance Blooms in the Big Apple
Everyone has intense feelings about New York City. It’s one of those places where you simply must visit together, which is why it comes in at number three on the list of top five most romantic cities in the USA.
New York City truly is the city that never sleeps. There is always something fun and exciting happening here. I suggest planning a stay in a hotel near New York Times Square so you’ll be in the middle of everything. Then you can begin planning your romantic tryst in the Big Apple. If you want to experience the best French restaurant in the city, make a reservation at Eric Ripert’s Le Bernardin. This is as close to Paris as you’re going to find in NYC.
Stroll through Central Park and enjoy the solitude in the midst of the city. Want to really kick up the romance ratio? Book a horse-drawn carriage ride through the most iconic parts of this garden where history has been made over the centuries. Take the time to climb to the top of the Empire State Building for a glimpse over the city.
During the day, be sure to spend time relishing the treasures at MoMA, the Museum of Modern Art. You will definitely want to spend time shopping and exploring the treasures that can only be found in NYC. I often find a Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour to be a great way to orient myself in such a big city.
Of course, no romantic visit to NYC would be complete without taking in a Broadway show. Ask your hotel concierge for the best shows, because often the best prices are on last minute tickets. After a few days in the city, it is easy to see why New York City is number three on the list!
#4: Romancing the Big Easy
There’s something slow and easy, yet upbeat and fun about New Orleans. Things have a bit of magic here. Part of it is the food. Part of it is the music. Most of it is the people. Whatever the mix, visiting New Orleans for a romantic escape is so popular that it is number four on the list of the top five most romantic cities in the USA.
I suggest staying in the French Quarter, where there are a variety of accommodations. You can even select a private home or condo and create an oasis just steps from the beloved Café Du Monde. How romantic to wake up in your own little home on Bourbon Street and stroll down to Café Du Monde for coffee and beignets first thing in the morning.
New Orleans is romance waiting at every corner. Music is in the air as you stroll through the bars and restaurants in the French Quarter. It’s a part of the local Cajun and Creole culture. The best way to learn more about that culture is to take a culinary history and food tasting tour. These tours are limited to adults, include a lot of food, a whole lot of fun and often some imbibing along the way.
Mardi Gras is an integral part of New Orleans. Even if you’re not there during Mardi Gras—and it might not be especially romantic that time of year—you can get a feel for letting the good times roll and a bite of King Cake on a Behind-the-Scenes Mardi Gras Tour.
Walking through the French Quarter and nearby Garden District is delightful—and be sure you stop by some of the graveyards for a peek inside—but for a truly romantic way to see the area, book a carriage tour of the French Quarter with Royal Carriages. This is such a romantic way to see the area and your local guide can give you history and plenty of local lore.
Finally, you’ll want to end your visit to Nola with the perfect dinner. Two of my favorites are Antoine’s Restaurant, serving up classic French-Creole food in the French Quarter—think oysters Rockefeller, Boeuf en Brochette Marchand de Vin, and Chateaubriand—and Commander’s Palace serving Creole dishes in a beautiful old mansion in the Garden District.
#5: Finding Romance by the Bay
I love Southern California—particularly San Diego—because the weather is perfect. Having spent the past couple of decades in Arizona, we always laugh that every summer, there are more Arizonans in San Diego than Californians, because the weather is perfect and watching the sunset over the Pacific is about the most romantic thing in the world.
There are some amazing places to stay in San Diego that put you right on the water, so you can spend days sailing, playing on the beach, or walking arm-in-arm with the love of your life. I suggest Paradise Point Resort & Spa with its tropical feel, great restaurants and an amazing spa where the two of you can get an unforgettable couples’ massage. The other hotel that puts San Diego high on the list of the most romantic cities is Hotel del Coronado. This historic hotel on Coronado Island defines both Southern California romance and classic beach life. If you’re there for a weekend, Sunday brunch at Hotel Del is not even an option. It is one of the most memorable meals you will ever share.
Even though it’s a romantic escape, plan to spend some time at SeaWorld San Diego. The aquatic adventures bring out the child in each of us. The water is such a huge part of life in San Diego and adds to the Romance Ratio when you visit. There are many options for enjoying the water—from a harbor cruise to whale watching expeditions to sunset cruises or small group sailing experiences on San Diego Bay.
The Best of the Rest
While the top five most romantic cities definitely offer something special, the rest of the top ten each have something unique as well. Here are the other cities in order and my favorite thing to do in each one:
- Miami – Explore the beaches, restaurants and nightlife in South Beach
- San Francisco – Take a guided food tour of the Mission District
- Portland, OR – Visit the Portland Japanese Garden
- Dallas, TX – Wander the Dallas Arboretum & Botanical Gardens
- Houston, TX – Book a tour at NASA’s Space Center Houston
Who doesn’t need a little help planning the perfect romantic escape? Travelocity’s list of the Most Romantic Cities can help you narrow down the options. And, with Travelocity’s Customer First Guarantee, it means you don’t have to worry about what happens if something looks one way online and turns out to be something completely different when you arrive.
Let your romance shine through and find just the right way to show that special someone what love really means. Which one of these cities will become your trip to remember?
Susan Lanier-Graham of Wander With Wonder is an official Travelocity Gnational Gnomad. Gnational Gnomads is an exclusive group of high-profile travel and lifestyle experts who offer tips and inspiration on behalf of Travelocity.
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