From obvious romantic destinations littered with proposals to those you may not have considered for spending time with your beloved, be inspired by these top Valentine’s Day destinations to visit.
Chocolates, petal-strewn suites, and sandy beaches? Your love is unique, so avoid the cliches with a Valentine’s Day getaway that caters to your coupledom’s quirks.
Krabi, Thailand, will appeal to thrill seekers
If the thought of a candlelit meal or spa treatment has you tapping your feet in boredom, join forces for a Valentine’s Day challenge. Krabi, on Thailand’s west coast, has adventure running through its limestone cliffs. In a few days, you can climb caves, zip line through forests, go canoeing, trek through jungles, and try quad biking. Begin by climbing the karst for views of Railay beach (for those brave enough to look down) or exploring the forest trail towards Tiger Cave Temple. After all that activity, you can always flop onto a beach at the end of the day, and Krabi’s Hat Tham Phra Nang is the ideal location.
View the stars from Mauna Kea in Hawaii, one of Best Valentine’s Day destinations
The universe is vast, but you found each other somehow. Whether you’re a dreamer or a devoted astronomer, Hawaii‘s clear skies are ideal for gazing up at a sky blanketed in stars and contemplating your place in the cosmos. Head to Mauna Kea, a sacred hill whose summit is so high, dry, and dark that you can gaze deep into the universe and enjoy some of the world’s most inspired starry skies.
Carcassonne, France, has medieval romance
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Would you and your lover have been better off if you were born in a different era, when corsets were tight, armor was polished, and the risk of death from bubonic plague was… But never mind. Cross a drawbridge and travel back in time to the fairy-tale town of Carcassonne in southern France. In the summer, armies of tourists descend on this fortified city, but mid-February is well out of season, so let your imagination run wild as you and your loved one explore its medieval turrets. Carcassonne stretches far beyond the old town, so pick your hotel carefully – the luxurious Hôtel du Château is right at the entrance to the medieval city, and is sure to meet the expectations of Valentine’s lovers and it is one of Best Valentine’s Day destinations.
Portland, Oregon, will satisfy craft beer enthusiasts
If roses and red wine leave you cold, head to Portland, the amber nectar capital of the world. Portland has been a craft-brew capital for decades, and with the highest concentration of breweries in the world, you won’t be disappointed. If you want to drink a lot, go on a brewery tour. If boozy bus rides ruin your romantic getaway, Portland’s hotspots are easily accessible on foot.
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Escape to Tasmania’s Cradle Mountain
Many of us would gladly put on our hiking boots to avoid the Valentine’s Day nonsense. Isolationists should visit Cradle Mountain National Park in Tasmania, Australia’s island state. Even a half-day hike provides a glimpse of Tasmania’s remote beauty; however, if you’re an experienced hiker, take on the difficult Overland Track. You’ll feel like the only two people on the planet as you stand against Cradle Mountain’s foreboding silhouette, surrounded by miles of brushland and mirror lakes.
A masked ball in Venice, Italy, adds mystery
Nothing beats the thrill of a masked ball for lovers who like to shake things up. Every February, the world’s most decadent carnival takes place among Venice‘s gilded domes, palaces, and canal-lined piazzas. Don a Venetian mask, dress to the nines, and surrender to the hedonistic atmosphere: gondola processions, elegant period costumes, and outdoor theater, including the traditional Flight of the Angel – a zip wire performance above Piazza San Marco – all in preparation for the unmissable Grand Masked Ball (Gran Ballo delle Maschere).
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Keep the conversation going in Cambridge, England
If your love blossomed over torrid prose and pub philosophy, you need an intellectually stimulating vacation. So, what better place to start than one of England’s most historic university towns? Over its 800-year history, Cambridge has fostered intellectuals and major talents such as Isaac Newton, Stephen Hawking, Emma Thompson, and Naomie Harris, and scholarly debates continue to reverberate off the walls of every pub. Snuggle up in a punt for a guided boat tour past university landmarks such as King’s College chapel and under the Bridge of Sighs, with commentary from one of Cambridge’s modern thinkers (many of the guides are current students).