Top Ten Romantic Hideaways

Exotic Zanzibar & New England escape

Zanzibar, Tanzania
"Zan–zi–bar"—let the sounds sting you with their self-indulgent and sexy resonance. An Indian Ocean archipelago just off the Tanzanian coast, Zanzibar's principle port is Stone Town on Unguja Island, two hours by ferry from Dar-es-Salaam. While Stone Town will certainly tantalize the senses aplenty with its whitewashed, coral-rock houses, bazaars, mosques, and palaces, also inhale the sprawling spice plantations, remote beaches, and protected wildlife forests spread elsewhere throughout this tropical Eden. But dressing down and getting wet is the real romantic temptation here. Nungwi, the island's far-removed, northernmost settlement, is at the heart of the diving community. However, don't get drawn in by Nungwi's newly trendified center; head to the eastern cape, southwest (to Kendwa village), or southeast (to Matemwe village) for more secluded bungalows nestled between surf and coconut palms. Intersperse your amorous onshore dalliances with visits to some of the Azanian Sea's best undersea displays, particularly around Mnemba Island and the Levan Bank, or farther afield at the Murogo Reef, Pemba Island, and east of Jambiani.

Baxter State Park, Maine
At the extreme northern end of the U.S. Appalachian Trail (which ends atop Mount Katahdin, Maine's natural crown jewel and the first place in the U.S. upon which the sun shines), Baxter State Park and its surrounding Wildland are some of best and most remote lands the Northeast has to offer, conceived for "those who love nature and are willing to walk to get close to nature." Temperate summers, colorful autumns, and wicked winters, much like the seasons of a relationship, have molded a varied and beautiful landscape, an alluringly fitting backdrop for a rough-and-tumble escape with your partner. Almost two hundred miles of trails, wreathing 46 mountain peaks and numerous flows of frigid clear water, attract people looking to reach and enjoy true solitude by foot or canoe—fortuitously, for those seeking a lungful of clear, crisp air, this park is not designed for cars. Keep your eyes out for moose and other antlered wildlife. Overnight camping permits for the park's ten campgrounds go quickly so a little planning is required before you spring that surprise weekend getaway on your beloved.

Ethan Gelber, a freelance travel writer based in New York City, most appreciates the world from the saddle of his bicycle.

Published: 15 Jan 2003 | Last Updated: 14 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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