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Top 10 Romantic Destinations 2004


Little Palm Island, a secluded treasure only accessible by boat or seaplane, has one of the few natural sand beaches in the Florida Keys. Hide away à deux behind palm trees in a
thatched-roof bungalow suite at the ocean's edge.



Kauai is perfect for lovebirds, whether you're about to tie the knot, want to renew your vows or simply are in the mood for romance. Kauai makes sense: It's less visited than the other islands and offers idyllic surroundings second to none...



During Victorian times Mackinac Island was a summer vacation mecca. Not much has changed since. This historic island admits no cars; instead, you'll be greeted by horse and buggy, friendly pedestrians and stunning natural beauty. Install yourself at The Grand Hotel, which has been able to keep up its 19th century charm.



The Big Easy is a bit raunchy and that's not the only reason it's perfect for lovers. Stay in an intimate B&B, explore the French Quarter, feed each other beignets and fall in love all over again.



Spend some time on the Olympic Peninsula. A carpet of dark green conifers covers the mighty mountains like a velvety blanket, crowned by sparkling, snow-capped peaks. You will never get fresher seafood than what they serve in local restaurants in Quilcene or Brinnon. And, Port Townsend, the City of Dreams, has kept the look and even the ambience of the late 19th century.


It may be the ninth largest city in the U.S., but size doesn't impede charm in this case. Stay at the romantic Spanish Colonial-style La Mansión del Rio, bargain-hunt on the lively "El Mercado" Market Square (the largest Mexican marketplace outside of Mexico) and enjoy a scenic cruise of the San Antonio River Walk, past towering ancient cypress trees, shady banks and nice architecture. And, there's always the Alamo…




The "American Riviera" has it all: sun, surf, fine dining, great wineries and a rich dose of Spanish heritage history. Besides, it boasts a perfect climate year-round! Downtown Santa Barbara is perfect for lazy strolls with a loved one. Nearby, Los Olivos, Santa Ynez and Solvang beckon. You'll enjoy marvelous beaches, first-rate golf, top restaurants, spa visits and, this may sound a little New Agey, Santa Barbara is said to be a vortex of beautiful energy. You'll feel it buzzing everywhere!



Taos is said to be the soul of New Mexico. It prompted romancer D. H. Lawrence to pen: "You cannot come to Taos without feeling that here is one of the chosen spots on Earth." Besides writers, Taos has drawn artists from all over the world with the beauty of the high desert, the majesty of the Sangre de Cristo mountains, the interplay of earth, light and turquoise sky that make you never want to leave again.



In this fast food world, there are still a few tried and true, gourmet recipes for an unhurried, romantic retreat. Take one leisurely drive on a rural back road between Dorset and Manchester, add a dash of cycling along the waterfront pathway in Burlington, stir in a day of snow shoeing through pristine woods and top with a cruise on Lake Champlain. With its quiet, historic villages, forested river valleys and majestic Green Mountains, Vermont satisfies the appetite for romance.



For best outdoor drama, Yosemite National Park should take the Oscar. Sheer rock walls soaring more than 3,000 feet, thundering waterfalls, meadows carpeted in colorful wildflowers, giant sequoia trees. And silence-the quiet of a vast wilderness.


Current Top 10 Romantic Destinations

(Updated: 10/24/12 JLD)

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