May Romantic Travel Guide

Big Sur
AQUATIC ROMANTICISM: California’s Big Sur, site of the Post Ranch Inn (PhotoDisc)

Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur, CA
If you only splurge once this lifetime….this sanctuary is unparalleled. It’s your own private slice of mystical Big Sur. With towering redwoods growing next to cacti. With architecture that melds into the surrounding landscape and shuts out the world. With an infinity hot tub, made of brushed stainless, that blends into the Pacific. With an all-glass dining room cantilevered over the ocean. With every detail attended to… The memory alone is worth the price.
(; 800.527.2200)

Paris, France
Springtime in Paris is the stuff of songs, daydreams, and romance novels. But there is a heavy dose of truth in it. It’s never too late to cruise the Seine, promenade along the Champs-Elysees, take in a dinner show at The Moulin Rouge, stroll Giverny and Versailles, gallery hop, grab a picnic of fresh bread and cheese in a park, and then top your day by watching the sun set on the City of Light from atop the Eiffel Tower.

Magnolia Trees Blossom in Boston’s Back Bay, MA
Commonwealth Avenue, in Boston’s patrician Back Bay neighborhood, loosens up in early May with a dazzling display of white and pink petals. Eight blocks of magnolia and dogwoods trees rival D.C.’s Tidal Basin cherry blossoms. Wander the neighborhood (thick with brick sidewalks, gas lanterns, and brownstones) at twilight before ducking into a sidewalk café.

Rancho de San Juan Near Santa Fe, NM
The feel of this Spanish-style hacienda—which defines sophisticated graciousness with an underlying, casual elegance—blends Old and New World. It’s surrounded by emptiness yet remains close enough to Santa Fe for a quick fix of civilization. Come for quietude within a nearby sandstone shrine, dine at arguably the state’s best restaurant, or wile away the hours wile walk in the shadows of New Mexico’s foothills.
(; 505.753.6818)

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on the Big Island
Let the heat from the Big Island’s Kilauea fire up your passion. Few places on earth are more elemental. At Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, lava courses through the earth’s crust, roiling and oozing towards the sea as the sun slips into the Pacific. Stand on the rim of a crater (or hike down into it) as its heart steams. And listen to yours.

Roosevelt Island Tramway in New York City
You don’t have to have the bank account of "the Donald" to be special in NYC. As dusk settles over the Big Apple, hop aboard this tramway (more than a mere commuter shuttle) and let the day’s din fade to a velvety black. Drink in the panorama of the Upper East Side and the adjacent Queensboro Bridge as millions of kilowatts of electricity start twinkling around the city.

Sorrel River Ranch in Moab, UT
Rent a firey-red convertible and drive through red rock canyon country towards the ultimate in luxe southwest isolation: the Sorrel River Ranch. But be warned: you’ll soon be playing tug of war with your body and heart, deciding between action (hiking, white water rafting, and mountain biking) and inaction (yoga, hot tubbing, and spa treatments). Of course, one can always lead to the other.
(; 435.259.4642, 877.359.2715)

Feast on Oysters in Wellfleet, MA
Wellfleet, on the tip of Cape Cod, has been renowned for oysters since Queen Victoria served them at her state dinners. Rumor has it nothing else would do. Long appreciated as an aphrodisiac (Casanova supposedly slurped 50 a day), oysters are proven to increase testosterone. They’re also tasty. Try them at the great Winslow’s Tavern
(; 508.348.6450) or the Wicked Oyster (508.349.3455).

Florence, Italy
The Renaissance began here for a reason. Wander Italy’s best museum, the Uffizi, and gaze at works by Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and Donatello. Find David at the Galleria dell’Academia. Climb to the top of the Duomo, Firenze’s glorious Cathedral, and sip unparalleled views of the city from the Campanile. Unleash your passions alongside the Ponte Vecchio, and then find yourself your soon-to-be-favorite Italian café and indulge in the country’s other sensual treasures before retreating to your hotel room.

Auberge du Soleil in California'’s Napa County
For sublime wine and food pairing, Auberge du Soleil has few rivals in California. It defines destination dining. Tucked into the hillside above the village of Rutherford, the restaurant has Napa’s most extensive wine list. The head sommelier (along with a brilliant staff) will convert you into a wine baron with aplomb. Let the weather dictate whether you dine by the fire or on the terrace.
(; 707.963.1211, 800.348.5406)

Published: 22 Feb 2007 | Last Updated: 7 Aug 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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