August Romantic Travel Guide
|HEARTS A-FIRE: Arizona's Lake Powell, a refreshingly unlikely place for your next romantic sojourn (PhotoDisc)|
French Cooking Lessonsin France
If food is the way to your partner's heart, then you owe it to both of you to learn how to prepare the most seductive meals imaginable. And while you don't have to go Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, you really should. Pick your desired location (Aix-en-Provence, the Loire Valley, or Bordeaux, for instance) and start boning up on your knife skills. One thing to keep in mind: Unless you are completely fluent, be sure to choose a program with instruction in English.
Brunch in Madrid, Spain
Late-night dining has always been a staple of Spain, whether it's on full-blown traditional Castillian paella or tiptoeing around tapas. But more recently, the concept of Sunday brunch has come to Madrid. After sleeping in, head to the avant-garde Hotel Urban (+34.91.787.7770; www.designhotels.com) for a cold buffet and warm dishes off the menu. Or try Teatriz (+34.91.577.5379), an elegant and artsy space designed by Phillipe Starck.
Houseboating on Lake Powell, AZ
Motoring a houseboat is like driving a carexcept you can get places on a boat that no pavement will take you. Cruise through narrow canyons sculpted eons ago by wind and water. Watch a sunrise transform rust-colored rock cliffs into a paler shade of copper. Let the lake's glassy smooth surface ease the ripples of modern life. Amenities range from luxurious (with fireplace and hot tub) to basic (with a raft to get ashore to a secluded spot where you can make a campfire).
Drive the Costswold District's "Romantic Road" in England
They don't call it romantic for nothing. This enchanting circular route traverses country roads in the Cotswolds. Rent a classic Morgan 4/4 (from the nearby factory) and tool around in sporty style. Centuries-old villages made of honey-colored stone, lush river valleys, ancient cathedrals, and traditional pubs will make you feel like you've time traveled back to a simpler life.
Brentwood Bay Lodge & Spa on Victoria Island in British Columbia, Canada
If the great outdoors coupled with the lure of luxe digs turns you on, Brentwood Bay Lodge & Spa is right up your tree-hugging alley. Private patios overlooking the water and a contemporary aesthetic may have you feeling like you're visiting a friend's place for the weekend, but how many friends do you have who can offer snorkeling trips with seals, kayaking in fjords, the chance to watch Orca whales breaching, and eco-trips in search of eagles?
Bodega Bay, Sonoma County, CA
Some names conjure California dreamin' better than others. Bodega Bay is one of thosefor plenty of good reasons. With the Bodega Bay Lodge &Spa (888.875.3525; www.bodegabaylodge.com) as your fine perch, you can explore coastal Sonoma County, the lower Russian River, and artisanal cheesemakers. Then kayak around the bay with harbor seals, go horseback riding on the beach, hike in canyons and redwood forests, and whatever else your new love affair with the Golden State calls for.
Much like Thoreau did on the East Coast, you can put "all the world behind you" while standing on Polihale Beach, though this time it's perhaps most fitting; this beach is the westernmost shore on the westernmost island of the Hawaiian archipelago. You will have little company, except the one you're with. Or you can watch the sunset from the more gentle shores of Poipu Beach within arms reach of a tropical libation at the Sheraton Kauai Resort. It's your call.
Bar Harbor & Mount Desert Island, ME
Watch the sun rise across Frenchman's Bay from the summit of Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park. Rent a mountain bike, pack a late-morning picnic, and find a secluded spot along Carriage Roads that crisscross Mount Desert Island. Relax with afternoon tea and popovers at the Jordon Pond House. Sip late afternoon waterside cocktails from the Claremont in Southwest Harbor. Head to Thurston's Lobster Pound in Bernard and watch the sunset over Bass Harbor Light. Perfection.
Arizona Snow Bowl Scenic Skyride in Flagstaff
On a clear day you can see 70 miles to the Grand Canyon from this mountain chairliftother then that, there's just you and the person by your side during the 25-minute ride. That, and the awe of traveling from 9,000 feet to 11,500 feet with ponderosa and aspens filling your purview.
Canoeing & Camping the Upper Peninsula, MI
Almost anyone can find romance with the help of 600-thread-count linens and room service. But how about with canoe portaging and mosquito netting? There's no better test for outdoorsy types than the wide-open spaces of the mythical UP, Michigan's Upper Peninsula. You can travel for days without seeing another soul but the one reflected in your sunglasses. And you can talk for hours about things that really matter around a blazing campfire. For outfitter assistance, contact Northland
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
Best Hotels in Flagstaff