April Romantic Travel Guide

Nivis Tropical Romance
PICTURE PERFECT: Nevis personifies tropical romance (PhotoDisc)

Cocktails at House Without a Key in Honolulu, HI
Oceanside, sunset cocktails under the stars and moonlit shadow of a century-old kiawe tree—epitomize any layover in Honolulu. No one does it better than the Halekulani,“a house befitting heaven." Stop in at dusk for a signature drink at House Without a Key, the property's casual indoor/outdoor dining establishment immortalized in a 1925 Charlie Chan novel, listen to emblematic Hawaiian music, watch the former Miss Hawaii perform graceful hula, and know the spirit of Aloha is alive.

The Inn at Rancho Santa Fe near San Diego, CA
Searching for Old World California? Kill your cell phone and call off the search party. Four miles from the pounding Pacific and close to downtown San Diego, this Spanish- and hacienda-style boutique property offers a taste of rural life, with refinement and contemporary class. Base yourself here to watch Del Mar horseracing, visit La Jolla, or tour Temecula's wine county.

Eco-rambling, hikes to waterfalls through tropical rainforests, carriage rides in historic plantation towns, killer snorkeling, horseback riding on the beach, and all sorts of charter boats. You can experience all this from arguably the most glorious resort in the entire Caribbean—the Four Seasons or one of the region's most charming, Old World resorts, the Nisbet Plantation. But even from a beachside grass hut, you'll easily imbibe on the isle’s endless tropical romance. Consider it an aphrodisiac for the soul…

Dinner at BED in Miami, FL
Breakfast in bed is so yesterday, especially when there's dinner at BED. Take your leisurely romanticism to limit by lying down in the heart of Miami's South Beach club scene, harkening back to the days of the Roman Empire. Start with some Caribbean lobster for dinner, and then tack on some sexy desserts, drinks, and dancing (if you can get up from that bed). And then head home to yours. The cuisine (as if that matters) is contemporary French-American; the vibe is neon cool but hot.

Hotelito Desconocido near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
Calling all sybarites and professional escapists: luxury and nature peacefully co-exist at the eco-friendly Hotelito Desconocido, which is situated on a desolate stretch of coastline 60 miles south of Puerto Vallarta. Thatched bungalows are perched on stilts at the water's edge; some are only accessible by rowboat; some have private terraces with hammocks dedicated to appealing to your laziest inclinations. Visit the sweat lodge, hide away at the pool, or stroll the deserted beach—whichever your passion, the spot accommodates.

Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington, D.C.
You can't set your watch by it, but one of nature’s most magical offerings occurs in early springtime: an explosion of powder-white and carnation-pink pedals across the nation's capitol as Washington, D.C.'s cheery blossoms start to bloom. The majority of the trees—a gift from the Japanese government—are situated around the Tidal Basin, which also gets the expected crowds. Instead, head for Hayes Point with a picnic lunch and wile away a spring afternoon. The tree's delicacy in the face of our contemporary world is inspirational. And yet with one good wind or rainstorm, they flutter to the ground.

Natchez, MS
Natchez, with antebellum house tours, carriage rides, riverboat casinos, and antique hunting—exudes southern charm. And it's all distilled to its essence at Monmouth Plantation, where gentility and hospitality reign supreme. Wrap yourself around this supposedly bygone era and wile away a romantic afternoon surrounded by draped wisteria, rolling green pastures, and cotton plantations.

Dinner at Daniel in New York City
Gastronomic lust: there's no way around it but through it. The rarified dining room at Daniel defines neoclassical elegance; service is sublime; and the pairing of wine with cuisine is almost unparalleled. Boulud’s seasonal French cuisine is executed with precision and ambition. Splurge with a six-course tasting menu. Or dine a la carte at the bar if you can't get a reservation.

Watch the Northern Lights in Victoria, Canada
Combine your inner animal magnetism with the magnetic energy emanating from the aurora borealis and watch what happens. The night sky really lights up when overnighting at the Wickaninnish Inn, an oceanside getaway on the rugged edge of the old-growth rainforest known as the Pacific Rim National Park. March and April are the perfect time to turn your attention skyward, and then inward.

Intracoastal Cruising from The Pillars at New River Sound in Fort Lauderdale, FL
Forget about the college kids partying in Fort Lauderdale during spring break. This intimate, plantation-style getaway sits waterside, far away from all that post-adolescent hedonism. And after an elegant late breakfast on the deck, you’ll be hooked on another Fort Lauderdale. Let the concierge arrange a yacht charter so you can cruise the cushy Intracoastal waterway, feasting your vision on tropical mansions.

Published: 22 Feb 2007 | Last Updated: 22 Aug 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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