Spring break may evoke visions of beer bongs and college kids, but it doesn’t have to be that way. A spring escape for you and your partner can be relaxing, rejuvenating and most of all, romantic! Here are the top TPG picks for a romantic getaway this spring.
Sipping a glass of port wine with your loved one while overlooking the Douro River will seem miles away from the daily grind. One of the more budget-friendly destinations on this list, Porto is known not only for its wine, but also for its famous architecture — especially the bridges. The Dom Luís I Bridge’s iron arches are reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower, and walking across the top is an exhilarating experience (not recommended for those with vertigo, though). Afterward, take the cable car down to the wineries in Vila Nova de Gaia, the town on the other side of the bridge, where you can spend the afternoon learning about and tasting tawny and ruby port wines.
Cherry blossoms often peak in Kyoto the last two weeks in March and the first two weeks of April. There’s nothing more idyllic than meandering around, admiring the beautiful, blooming pink blossoms. Staying in a Ryokan (a traditional Japanese inn) can be exceptionally romantic, especially the ones that feature onsens, which are Japanese hot springs. Once you’ve seen the cherry blossoms, you can spend your days exploring Buddhist temples, ancient Japanese palaces and Shinto shrines, such as the famous red-columned Fushimi Inari-Taisha.
Lake Atitlán, Guatemala
This peaceful body of water rests in the crater of a volcano, surrounded by traditional Mayan villages where you can enjoy a cultural and re-energizing break. Think sunset drinks on the edge of the lake, daily hikes, cliff jumping and canoe rides, shopping for traditional weaved goods and yoga/massage. The most romantic way to stay is in a cozy eco-cabin with views of the lake — the ultimate luxury glamping experience. Combine your lake visit with a few nights in the colorful, colonial city of Antigua, where you can soak up some of Guatemala’s rich cultural history.
One of the most picturesque cities in Spain, you and your partner will be totally immersed in the Andalusian lifestyle: lazy mornings with cafe con leche, hand-in-hand strolls through the cobblestone streets of the old Jewish quarter, sunset boat rides up the Guadalquivir River and evenings filled with flamenco, tapas and wine. A visit to the gardens of the Alcázar palace is a must. Couples can delight in fountains, colorful flowers, blooming orange trees and traditional Mudéjar architecture. Checking out Seville’s Plaza España at sunset is the perfect photo op.
Turks and Caicos
One of the more luxurious beach destinations on this list, Turks and Caicos is all about sand, sun and romance. With more than 100 islands as part of Turks and Caicos, the chances you’ll be able to have a peaceful, intimate afternoon on a deserted beach are high. TPG stayed at the Amanyara a few years back and loved the property, which is perfect for couples thanks to its private bungalows and relaxing spa. If you’re a couple that loves to dive, expect to see shipwrecks, coral reefs and an abundance of sea life like fish, turtles and manta rays.
TPG readers love Hawaii and with good reason — it’s part of the US! Although there are several different islands to choose from, a getaway with your significant other is best spent in Maui or Kauai. Maui is known as a honeymoon destination, with many luxurious, romantic resorts that are also available using points. Just plan to stay far away from the Hana Highway — often called the ‘Divorce’ highway — as its hairpin curves and switchbacks have the potential to cause extreme stress to the couples that drive it. Kauai has many beautiful hikes and isolated beaches, and more adventurous couples can hike or take a helicopter ride over the Waimea Canyon and Na Pali Coast. Or, sail past the Na Pali Coast, champagne in hand, during a colorful sunset.
One of the easiest spots to get to on this list, Savannah, Georgia, is the epitome of Southern charm. Declared a National Historic Landmark District, the city’s best activity is simply to walk around, checking out the 18th-19th century architecture and beautiful parks and green spaces, covered in hanging Spanish moss and lined with towering oak trees. Spend the morning exploring some of the historic houses and landmarks, and spend the afternoon relaxing on the beach — weather permitting.