Featured image: Waikiki Beach, Hawaii. Jeff Whyte/Shutterstock
There are some places in the world which can be even more spectacular when experienced as a couple. Traveling with your special someone is a bonding experience as you share once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
In a survey of 1,000 adults, 63% claimed traveling has helped them stay together, according to Lifehack.
If you’re looking to travel for the first time with your significant other, these are the top spots you should consider.
As Audrey Hepburn once said, “Paris is always a good idea.”
Imagine watching the Eiffel Tower sparkling against a pitch-black sky or sharing a bottle of champagne at a quaint corner bistro. Yes, Paris is the epitome of romance no matter how you look at it, so it’s no wonder Travel + Leisure readers voted it the number one romantic destination last year.
There are endless things to do in Paris including visiting the Eiffel Tower, walking along the Seine, feasting on cheese, baguettes, and wine. For more Parisian culture, couples can visit the Louvre and Musee d’Orsay, as well as Montmartre and Notre Dame.
Hawaii is perfect for beach lovers.
Hawaii is a popular destination for tourists, welcoming over 9 million visitors in 2017.
Not sure which Hawaiian island to visit? From the lush green island of Kauai to the resort-heavy island of Maui, the decision can be tough. Thankfully, Hawaii’s tourism website has extensive information on all of them, although don’t be surprised if you’re tempted to visit more than one with your partner.
Depending on what island you chose for your vacation there is so much you can do. Visit volcanos, snorkel, explore the natural beauty, and enjoy time on the beach.
The United Arab Emirates offers once-in-a-lifetime luxury experiences to enjoy together.
Whether it’s desert safaris or shopping in the famed Dubai Mall, there’s a lot to do in this unique country in the Middle East.
“A ‘Sands of Arabia’ journey is a unique and memorable experience for couples. Couples can enjoy some of the finest luxury accommodations while touring amazing sights, adventuring in the desert, and dining on spectacular international cuisine.
“The turquoise waters off of the country’s coastline are incredible, and the white sand beaches are not to be missed. Diving and snorkeling off the country’s eastern coast are also popular activities. Desert safaris and mountain visits reward the adventurous with dramatic vistas,” the travel designers at Ker & Downey told INSIDER.
Escape to St. Barts and travel in style.
St. Barts in the Caribbean is the epitome of luxury.
The island, known as a party destination for the rich and famous, also offers hiking, swimming, and some of the best water activities around. Hotels like Le Barthélemy Hotel & Spa offer outstanding service and spa treatments. Set on a bay, the hotel is the perfect place to rent stand up paddle board or kayak with your significant other.
Why not check out Laucala Island, a private island in Fiji?
Laucala Island is an ultimate island escape — you’ll find total privacy at one of the islands 25 villas which are widely spread apart on the northern tip of the island. Other than taking in the scenery and relaxing, you can also play golf, ride bikes around the island, surf, sail, and get pampered in the spa.
Krakow, Poland is a place you can indulge on a budget.
Couples massages, extravagant hotels, and fine dining Krakow, Poland has it all. The city is as beautiful as some of the more popular European destinations, without the high price tag.
The Savvy Backpacker found the average cost of a day in the city to be $21 for frugal travelers and $32 for budget travelers.
Plus, Travel + Leisure readers voted it one of the top 15 cities in Europe in the annual World’s Best Awards survey.
Bowling Green, Kentucky is an unexpected yet thrilling destination.
There are so many romantic and adventurous things to do in Bowling Green.
Whether you choose to zip-line through the trees at Lost River Cave or visit Mammoth Cave National Park — this small Kentucky city, just an hour away from Nashville, offers plenty of unique ways to explore the region. Mammoth Cave National Park alone has a plethora of trails, some of which go over 300 feet underground, and above ground, couples will find hiking, biking, and equestrian trails.
The city is full of southern hospitality, too, and couples will love cozying up at the luxe Kentucky Grand Hotel and getting a couple’s massage after a long day of adventuring.
Another activity-filled destination is Wisconsin’s Northwoods.
With counties like Forest and Lincoln, Wisconsin offers tons of outdoor activities, both in the winter and summer. From skiing and fat-tire biking in the snow each winter to freshwater fishing and kayaking in the summer, it’s a great destination for adventure-seeking couples.
The Northwoods, in particular, is a special place for many Wisconsinites and is an area well-known for its exquisite landscape.
Water lovers should take a dip in the Red Sea in Egypt.
“It’s easy to see why divers love the Red Sea. With varied wildlife, world-class wrecks, and remote coral reefs, this is a destination seemingly built for liveaboard diving,” a representative from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) told INSIDER.
PADI Travel named the Red Sea as a trending destination for divers in 2019.
Torres del Paine National Park in Chile is a nature lover’s dream.
For hikers, Torres del Paine National Park is about as amazing as it can get. The park’s soaring mountains, azure icebergs, and serene lakes must be experienced in person.
“If you and your partner enjoy being active when on holiday, this destination allows you to take in some truly unique scenery, but will also make you both work for it. You will be seeing mountains, green forests, deep blue icebergs, and flowing rivers all in one breathtaking view,” Isuru Fonseka told INSIDER.
“Things to do here include lodge the night at the famous Tierra Patagonia, visit the glaciers by boat with one of the many day trip tour options, and take a private tour with National Geographic,” said Fonseka.
Another undiscovered spot for adventurous couples? Wadi Rum, Jordan.
“Wadi Rum is often known as ‘Mars on Earth.’ It offers an unforgettable way of stripping back to the basics [and] enjoying the company of your partner under the stars in some of the [most] unique accommodation options in the world,” Fonseka told INSIDER.
You can try sandboarding and take in the historical nearby city of Petra. The highlight, though, will likely be camping in the desert and seeing countless stars twinkling in the sky.
Las Vegas, Nevada offers unforgettable nightlife.
Vegas has a little bit of everything for everyone, from gambling to activities like thrill rides on top of The Stratosphere.
If the bright lights of the city get exhausting, visitors can get some outdoors time hiking in Red Rock Canyon or kayaking below the Hoover Dam. Food, adventure, history, and casinos — Las Vegas has it all.
Dana Point, California is a romantic destination that can’t be missed.
In between Los Angeles and San Diego is Dana Point, a small spot with extraordinary ocean views. The small town is home to Monarch Beach Resort which was named a top US hotel luxury property in the 2018 Gay Travel Awards.
It’s a perfect place for couples because you can enjoy sunset cruises together, spa treatments, and even go whale watching.
Cyprus is a beautiful Mediterranean island.
History, wine, and beaches — Cyprus has plenty for travelers looking for an alternative destination. Briana and Kyle, the couple behind the travel blog Married with Maps told INSIDER there’s heaps of history (including ancient ruins) and wonderful wines to drink.
“This oft-forgotten island in the eastern Mediterranean packs a punch for couples. Those looking for a bit of sun and fun can enjoy themselves at any number of beaches and cliff diving spots — perhaps Aphrodite’s Rock, the purported birthplace of the Greek Goddess of Love,” Briana and Kyle told INSIDER.
Northern India is home to Kota, where couples can revel in a city surrounded by unspoiled nature.
Although you have an endless amount of options when it comes to traveling to India, Kota should definitely be on every couple’s list. Not only is northern India a foodie’s paradise, but it gives travelers a fast-paced city setting and easy access to nature all in one.
“The city is a hidden gem for couples looking for a less crowded and off-beat destination. The city and its surroundings are great for couples looking for solitude, wildlife, bird-spotting, and natural heritage found nowhere else in India. For instance, you can do an adventure-filled river safari on the Chambal River with views such as those found in the Grand Canyon,” Kunal Jain of To Travel With told INSIDER.
Padar, Indonesia offers an island escape with few tourists.
Clear waters and clear views — that’s exactly what you’ll find on this Indonesian island. If you want an experience in Indonesia that doesn’t feel crowded and offers outstanding views, then this is the spot to go.
“This island dreamscape has incredible white, pink, and black sand beaches. Padar is still quite remote, which makes it the perfect location if you are looking for a paradise island just for yourself. There are only a few tourists visiting the island every day, making it an incredible place for a romantic adventure,” blogger Sara at Gathering Dreams told INSIDER.
For breathtaking scenery, take a road trip in Iceland.
While road tripping through Iceland, you’ll be treated to otherworldly lava fields, black sand beaches, and a countless number of waterfalls.
The Ring Road is a popular choice for a road trip itinerary, and it’s typically drive-able year-round. It’s advised, however, to rent a four-wheel-drive vehicle for trips between October and May.
Iceland has gained plenty of popularity, but one place that’s less visited is the Westfjords. It’s possible to spend a week alone road tripping with a campervan in this part of the country. You can also check into a bed and breakfast like Heydalur guesthouse which has pretty much everything you could want at your fingertips — kayaking, horseback riding, and thermal springs to soak in.
In Tel Aviv, couples can shop and enjoy beaches.
“The best time to be in Tel Aviv is during the Pride. It feels like the whole city is down on the streets reveling, dancing, partying, and in short, just living the spirit of togetherness,” Aparna Pathak of the GLYD travel app told INSIDER
Sardinia, Italy is best seen by car.
Trains only cover a portion of Sardinia, and public transit requires you to stick to a timetable, so getting around by rental car is the best way to experience this Italian island.
For a truly memorable experience, take your partner to one of the many beautiful beaches on the island such as Cala Gonone, Li Coggi beach, or the touristic Costa Smeralda. You’ll both be treated to crystal-clear waters.
Take a tour of the California coast on Highway 1.
A classic road trip is driving from San Diego to San Francisco or vice versa. It will not only take you into some of California’s larger cities like Los Angeles, but you’ll drive through small, adorable towns with plenty of character like Santa Cruz.
Another standout spot is Carmel-by-the-Sea, a place packed with wine tasting rooms, fine-dining restaurants, and art galleries. It looks like it’s straight out of a fairytale, and the fact that it has no street addresses or chain restaurants makes it all the more charming.
Ljubljana, Slovenia is a beautiful place with an outstanding Pride parade and queer film festival.
Escape to central Europe in charming Slovenia, a country full of natural beauty complete with snow-capped mountains and crystal lakes.
Ljubljana, in particular, is a must-visit for couples. The city’s old town boasts unique Medieval and Baroque-style buildings and plenty of places to grab a cocktail.
“Ljubljana is a city that is full of energy and revels in the spirit of love with its Pride Parade in June and one of Europe’s oldest queer film festival: the Ljubljana Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in December. It has picturesque settings for all those romantic evenings, scrumptious food, and rich culture for anyone to fall in love,” Pathak told INSIDER.
If you have the time, plan a road trip on Japan’s most-romantic highways.
Japan may be known for its speedy bullet trains, but there are a few select parts of the country which are only accessible by car. Places like the mountains and forests of the Nagano Prefecture and the relaxing hot springs of Gunma Prefecture are best visited by car.
Keep in mind that if you’re not from Japan, you are required to have an International Driver’s Permit, or IDP, to drive in Japan. If you’re unfamiliar with Japan and feel a little wary driving in a new country, places like Inside Japan offer self-guided driving tours.
Escape the chaos of New York City in the Catskills mountains.
When bustling city life has taken its toll on you, grab your partner and head to the Catskills. Filled with awe-inspiring nature at every turn, it’s an amazing place to disconnect from daily life and connect more closely with the person you love.
Diehard nature lovers should look into camping and those looking for a cozy experience should consider renting a cabin. Hiking, farm-to-table restaurants, and stargazing make it a perfect spot for couples.
Food in San Francisco never disappoints.
You’ll find a bit of every type of cuisine here. PRAIRIE is a perfect date night spot serving new-school Italian food, omakase restaurant Robin marries local fruit and fish, and you’ll stumble upon amazing tacos in the Presidio at Arguello. Wherever you go in San Francisco, you’ll be treated to fantastic fare.
Barcelona, Spain is a vibrant city and a must-visit for couples.
Named as one of the most diverse food scenes in the world by Bott and Co, the city is certainly a foodie’s paradise.
Read more: 33 mouthwatering foods to try in Spain
From winding streets in the quaint old quarters to magnificent city views dotted with Gaudí structures, the charm of Barcelona is undeniable.
Stunning views of the Mediterranean are even possible from many hotels, including the Hotel Arts Barcelona which is right by the water. Consider also taking a stroll through Citadel Park which has a fountain and the Arc de Triomf.
Wine drinkers will enjoy the Finger Lakes Region of New York.
The Finger Lakes Region is an underrated US location for wine lovers.
The area boasts over 130 wineries and many of them are on lodging properties so you don’t even have to go anywhere to enjoy a delicious glass of vino. Experience French chateau vibes at Mirbeau Inn & Spa or opt for something different like the upscale tents at Firelight Camps.
Head to Champagne, France for bubbly right from its source.
There’s no need to save the bubbly strictly for special occasions if you’re in Champagne, France.
For a truly memorable experience, stay in a hotel like Royal Champagne Hotel & Spa where you can get exclusive visits to champagne cellars for tastings which aren’t open to the public. Alternatively, if you want to get outside and see the scenery, explore the region on a bike tour like one with DuVine.
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