Ahh, sandy, pristine beaches, warm waters and tropical cocktails for two, right?
...Unless you're on a budget. Then, suddenly, your dreams for a steamy, exotic destination vacation get a little deflated. If you're dreaming of a tropical paradise as much as we are this time of year, you're overdo for a romantic getaway. But you don't have to jet off to the Bahamas. Cuddling up in an isolated cabin in the midst of a brisk, snowy landscape can be just as relaxing. Whisk yourselves away to one of these destinations for some well-deserved R&R and just consider it a winter wonderland for two.
1. Play King And Queen Of An Ice Palace in Quebec City
Quebec City, believe it or not is one of the most underrated romantic hotspots in North America. Don't believe us? Book a stay at the Hôtel de Glace just outside of Quebec City. With its huge snow vaults and its crystalline ice sculptures, is a dazzling, snow-speckled work of art made up of 44 rooms aglow with firelight. (And it's definitely an upgrade from those cheesy themed hotels, am I right?) When you feel like leaving your room (which, trust us, won't be often), you can enjoy Quebec by strolling through the 18th-century city walls, endless trails for cross country skiing, hiking and riding dogsleds. So get mushing!
2. Get Wild At Yellowstone National Park
Who says you have to trek it through Africa's rough terrain to go on safari? Grab a backpack and a flight ticket to Yellowstone National Park instead! Most of the 3 million annual visitors go in the summer, making the off-season prime time for couples who are looking to be alone. (The crowds hardly make for romance!) Head out on safari and across miles, you'll see hundreds to thousands of bison and elk, packs of coyotes and wolves, as well as eagles circling overhead. When you’re ready to escape the cold, retreat back to the Mammoth Hot Springs for some cuddling, hot cocoa and unwinding. Ask about their Nordic Heaven Getaway Package — sounds heavenly to us!
3. Catch Some Air In Jackson Hole, Wyoming
If you're both avid skiers craving to get out into the fresh powder, forget fighting off the crowds in Colorado for a change. Some of the best action is at Jackson Hole Mountain ski resort. Why these slopes? Forbes ranked it as the best for the past three years and just recently, Ski Magazine listed this resort as the Best Overall Resort in North America for the new year. At 4,139 feet high, Jackson Hole has some of the most intense slopes in the country. Talk about getting your heart pumping!
4. Cozy Up By The Sea in Maine
The scent of ocean air. The crashing waves. The call of gulls. The ruggedly beautiful seascape of Maine is the reason why the state was dubbed "Vacationland" after all. There are hundreds of quaint little cottages dotting the coast, but the Berry Manor Inn in Rockland has an ultimate Valentine's Day package for two which includes an overnight stay, a private luxury bath with whirlpool tub, a box of handcrafted candies from a local chocolatier, roses, a bottle of sparkling beverage and more! Best of all, it's available any time for the month of February. (Who said Valentine's Day is only one day of the year, anyway?) Outside of your rental, you can embark on a schooner cruise, shop around town and dig into some fresh-from-the-sea oysters (a classic aphrodisiac).
5. Cuddle Under the Northern Lights in Alaska
Can you imagine anything more romantic than curling up with the one you love under breathtaking shimmering lights as they streak across the night sky? We can't. If you're looking for utter magic, you can admire the glowing colors of the aurora borealis in Fairbanks. Check into the Chena Hot Springs Resort and ask about their Aurora Odyssey package. The resort in the tiny village of Manley Hot Springs went bust but you can watch the lights for a small fee from spring-fed hot tubs provided by a local couple. Just remember to check the forecast.