You know the lists you see from travel experts in places like the NYTimes or Conde Nast Traveler? They lure you in with a headline like, “Top Ten Most Romantic Getaways,” and then you find out they are all in places like Udaipur, Rajasthan (India, in case you’re wondering). Yea right, like you and your honey are going to just take off early one Friday and shuttle over on your private jet for the weekend.
How about some ideas for romantic weekends that you could actually take advantage of?
Okay, here are a few ideas from our staff of well-traveled bohemian boomers. And none of them will break the bank, or require you to get inoculations before you go:
Silver Cloud Inn, Mukilteo, WA – A quaint and cozy little hotel overlooking Possession Sound and Whidbey Island. Mulkiteo is just 15 minutes south and east of Everett – in fact, you’ll notice lots of Boeing commuters coming off the ferry that docks each morning near the hotel. We recommend getting a waterfront room, and taking the ferry boat across the sound to spend a leisurely afternoon exploring Whidbey Island, especially Deception Pass State Park.
Castle Mountain Lodge, Estes Park, CO – Is there anything more romantic than snuggling in front of a fireplace in a cabin nestled among pine trees along a river in the Rocky Mountains? Okay, that’s a rhetorical question. Some of these cottages even have private indoor hot tubs. You can take long quiet walks in the woods, or just sit on your deck and enjoy the smell of pine after an afternoon rain shower. Castle Mountain borders Rocky Mountain National Park and you’re just a stone’s throw from shops and restaurants in Estes Park – a perfect spot for bohemians!
Red Lion Inn, Stockbridge, MA – An historic hotel in the Berkshires. But just because the inn has been welcoming guests for more than two centuries, don’t think you have to give up modern amenities; they even have a year-round heated pool and hot tub. But what really draws us to the Red Lion is the food, the steamed mussels with lime cilantro and sweet corn are to die for! And don’t even get us started on the desserts! Okay, we’ll mention just one dessert: you must try the warm brown sugar cake. Be even more romantic: feed the cake to each other in the privacy of your room.
Crescent Hotel & Spa, Eureka Springs, AR – You may notice a pattern here. We do think historic hotels are most conducive to romance. But this one has a special allure: it’s haunted! Granted, we’ve never seen anything remotely spooky while staying here, but they offer a ghost tour if you’re interested. What we love are the panoramic views of the Ozark Mountains from the top of the hotel, and exploring the eclectic shops and galleries in Eureka Springs.
Peaks of Otter Lodge, Bedford, VA – This wonderful lodge may be a bit more rustic than other hideaways on our list, but every bit as romantic. Consider this: no television or phones in the rooms…oh sure, you probably have your cell, but you can put it on mute – or vibrate (terrible joke, we apologize!). The lodge is located along the Blue Ridge Parkway; it overlooks Abbott Lake (you’ll often see deer at the water’s edge) and is nestled between two of three mountains that make up it’s namesake, Peaks of Otter. We love hiking up Sharp Top mountain. But if that’s a bit too strenuous for you, the lodge has a bus that will take you up to the top to enjoy the spectacular view.
So, there you have it! Romantic hideaways you can actually enjoy without having to go to the ends of the earth and spend a king’s ransom. And you still have time to make a reservation. Happy Valentine’s Day!