Do you communicate exclusively with conversation hearts? Are you on a first name basis with every florist in town? Have you recently uttered the phrase “I like long walks on the beach” without being ironic? If so, consider moving your heart (and the rest of your body) to a place where it’s Valentine’s Day every day.
Romantic destinations don’t have to require a passport. Any true hopeless romantic knows that it’s possible to find a lovestruck city right here in the good old USA. Here are five of the best ones to get you started on your quest for love.
San Francisco, CA
Picture this: A sun-dappled park with a view of the fog-shrouded Golden Gate Bridge. You’re on a picnic blanket with your soulmate, sharing a bottle of wine from a nearby California vineyard and chatting about what you’re going to do over the weekend. Maybe you’ll take a hot air balloon ride over Napa, perhaps you’ll stroll hand-in-hand along Fisherman’s Wharf, maybe you’ll rent kayaks and paddle the Bay. If your heart takes you to San Francisco, you can take comfort in knowing that you’ll be in the company of romantics. The beautiful California city—often referred to as the Paris of the West—spends more money on Valentine’s Day than any other city. In other words, if you move to San Francisco, plan on splurging on the good chocolates this year.
Hawaii is practically synonymous with the word “honeymoon.” If you want to be on a permanent one, move to Honolulu. From walking barefoot on the beach, enjoying a sunset dinner on the beach to getting couples massages on—yep, you guessed it—the beach, Honolulu is a veritable lovers’ paradise. The rainbow-filled sky, friendly faces and endless luaus make Honolulu the perfect place to slow down a little and enjoy romance. And if you’re single and looking for love, the constant parade of bathing suit clad surfers doesn’t hurt either.
Few things are more couple-y than the concept of a fall foliage weekend trip at a quaint bed and breakfast. If your idea of romance involves cozy sweaters, Sunday drives and browsing for antiques, it doesn’t get much better than Woodstock, Vermont. The town of approximately 3,500 is a romantic destination any time of year. In the summer, you can peruse the weekly Market on the Green for fresh produce. In the fall, you can take in the breathtaking foliage. In the winter, you can get whisked away on a romantic sleigh ride. In the spring you can head to Sugarbush Farm to see how maple syrup is made. And as dreamy as Woodstock itself is, it’s only two and half hours away from Boston, so you can still have access to the city while living in a pastoral wonderland.
Las Vegas, NV
Hear us out on this one. You might picture slot machines, public intoxication and strippers before you picture romance in Las Vegas, but you’re missing out on one major Sin City institution: Marriage. In 2016, one in 25 US marriages occurred in Las Vegas. In fact, holy matrimony is so popular in the Nevada city that the airport is actually installing a marriage license kiosk. From black tie affairs at the Bellagio to drive-through weddings downtown, Las Vegas knows how to say "I do” better than any place in the world. The city also offers opportunities to ride to the top of the Eiffel Tower, float through the canals of Venice with a singing gondolier or if all else fails, try to at least get lucky at the blackjack table.
Oklahoma City, OK
Yep, that’s right. Oklahoma City. In 2017, OpenTable did a study of the most romantic cities in the country based on the percentage of people who reserved tables for two and reserved tables on Valentine’s Day, and the results surprised them. Oklahoma City came out on top. A representative from OpenTable credits the ranking to “the warmth of the people.” In addition to all of those romantic dinners, if you move to Oklahoma City you can also spend date night at rodeos, Oklahoma City Thunder games and browsing the Paseo Arts District, where you’ll find work from 70 artists as well as restaurants, bars and shops. The unassuming city just might surprise you—and make you fall in love.