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For all the happily partnered folks out there, each new year calls for an opportunity to celebrate your anniversary. And, while some years can skirt by with a card, some flowers, and a box of chocolates, why not make this year the one to spice things up? Below, we’ve compiled a list of some of the best places in the U.S for an anniversary trip. Think Rocky Mountain getaways, Southern-style antebellum romance, and the good old faithful white-sand beach resort. Whether you’re coming up on the five-year or the 50-year mark, here are 6 places in the U.S for the best anniversary trips.
Napa Valley, California
There are few places in the United States that truly live up to their romantic reputation. With majestic, lush vineyards, perfect weather, world-class wine, and resorts that redefine the couples experience, Napa Valley sets the bar pretty high. Whether you and your significant other are burgeoning sommeliers or avid loyalists to the two-buck-chuck, a visit to Napa will definitely be worth your while. Explore the area on a scenic bike ride, relax in a five-star spa, go horseback riding, and see how descriptive your adjectives can get on a wine-tasting tour.
Where to Stay: Calistoga Ranch is the ultimate romantic retreat for couples who enjoy sharing a bottle of wine together. The whole establishment has a very rustic feel with wooden lodges and amenities including heated pools, a eucalyptus steam room, lavish oversized bathtubs, and complimentary bottles of rosé.
Where to Dine: The Restaurant at Auberge du Soleil offers panoramic views of the countryside and a Michelin-starred kitchen with a delicious brunch menu.
Couples who love an active day on the slopes, breathtaking mountain views, and cuddling up by the fire with a hot toddy should definitely consider Aspen for their anniversary getaway. When it comes to mountains, nowhere really comes close to Colorado, and Aspen is the best of the bunch.
Where to Stay: The Residences at Little Nell are luxurious little private guest houses at the base of Aspen mountain with ski-in/ski-out access. Bask in your private balcony, make use of the rooftop pool, and enjoy the fully-equipped kitchen, living room, and dining room.
Where to Dine: Ajax Tavern, located at the base of the Silver Queen Gondola, is a great indoor/outdoor spot for burgers, delicious drinks, and excellent views.
Nowhere screams Southern-style romance like Georgia’s coastal city of Savannah. Think horse-drawn carriages, cobblestone streets, Spanish moss, and old antebellum architecture. If an anniversary trip is a celebration of the past, what better way than to visit one of the most historic spots in the country? Walk along the riverfront for plenty of activities by way of shopping, art galleries, nightlife, dining, and head to one of the nearby islands for a secluded respite from mainland hustle.
Where to Stay: The Ballastone Inn was recently rated as the most romantic accommodation in Savannah. The 19th-century building is located in the heart of the city’s historic district and donned with old school paintings and tons of Victorian decor.
Where to Dine: Elizabeth on 37th is an old 19th-century mansion that has been renovated into a chic new dining space. Surrounding the tables are other-wordly antiques, marble fireplaces, and historic paintings. Chow down on southern classics like double cut pork chops with five cheese macaroni and apple-slaw cabbage.
New Orleans, Louisiana
Speaking of the South, New Orleans takes the cake as the best anniversary vacation for culture junkies. Stroll through the historic French Quarter, listen to live jazz and funk music, dive into the mouth-watering cuisines, or take a cruise on the Mississippi River. Even the little things about this town — the dim lighting, the tasteful interior decorating, the lush foliage — make New Orleans easily one of the most romantic destinations in the country.
Where to Stay: Hotel Monteleone is a family-owned hotel in the heart of the town with a classy feel. The Monteleone is chic and sophisticated enough for young lovers, but also has the antique vibes that seasoned vets will certainly appreciate.
Where to Dine: Upperline Restaurant is a funky bistro with good drinks and a delicious Cajun menu. If you’re looking for authentic New Orleans that pulls a really diverse crowd, head over to Upperline.
Alas, the most exotic and tropical destination in the United States certainly deserves a spot on this list for best anniversary trips. While most commonly thought of as a honeymoon retreat, Kauai is a good option for any kind of romantic getaway. Secluded beaches, lush jungles, rugged cliffs, and volcanoes, Hawaii boasts some of the most beautiful ecosystems in the world. And, the resorts here have perfected the romantic experience down to a science, so feel free to bask in all the plush amenities on deck.
Where to Stay: The Grand Hyatt Kauai is the biggest and most well-known beach resort on the island for a reason. Swim in the adults-only, clothing-optional pool, get massages in the thatched-roof cabanas, and wander through secret gardens and koi ponds.
Where to Dine: Oasis wins as the most romantic place to eat on the island. The ambiance is cool and relaxed with stunning views, and the menu is almost completely comprised of locally-sourced products. Meats and seafood are specialties but don’t skimp on desserts.
Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
This one goes out to all the nature-lovers. Who says a national park can’t be the set of your romantic vacation? As long as your partner is keen on getting a little dirty, head to Mount Rainier in Washington state. There’s nothing quite like the climate of the Pacific Northwest. In the winter, visit to see the volcano blanketed in soft white snow and cozy up in a rustic cabin, or visit during the warmer months for green fields, wildflowers, and Alpine lakes and waterfalls at every corner.
Where to Stay: Camping! Some of the best campsites in the area include White River Campground, Mowich Lake Campground, Ohanapecosh Campground, and Cougar Rock Campground.
Where to Dine: Think beyond mac n’ cheese. Check out the best lightweight backpacking food to whip up an exquisitely romantic meal on the go — even if you’re deep in the backcountry.