Valentine's Day Getaways Active Couples Will Love
Less than 30 minutes away from six renowned ski resorts, Frisco is known as the "Main Street of the Rockies." It's also bordered by public land on three sides, meaning it's pretty much the perfect base camp for any fan of winter activities. If you're not into skiing or snowboarding all day, check out Nordic Ski Colorado (for cross-country options), the lift-assisted tubing hill (for those who don't want to drag a heavy snow tube up a mountain), or the trailheads that are ideal for snowshoeing adventures. (Our top pick? The Full Moon Snowshoe Tour—for $50 you get shoe rentals, a headlamp, and your choice of wine, beer, or a nonalcoholic drink from Outer Range Brewing Co.) When your muscles need a break, opt for a romantic Two Below Zero dinner sleigh ride. You'll ride to their lodge while sipping on hot chocolate and peppermint schnapps before enjoying a three-course meal. Then cozy up for bed at the Frisco Inn on Galena, a 15-bedroom boutique hotel that serves up afternoon wine, cheese, and appetizers along with a complimentary breakfast.
Everyone knows the skiing in Salt Lake City is top-notch, but you don't have to be a ski bunny to find plenty of active romance here—all in one spot. At Cliff Lodge at Snowbird (just 25 miles from downtown SLC), couples can hold hands while ice skating, get their hearts racing on the snowmobile trails, swim in the outdoor heated pools (which conveniently have heated decks and firepits, too), or enjoy one of the 30 spa and salon treatments. And if you still want to get in some mountain time, you totally can: Those staying at Cliff Lodge can nab a complimentary night skiing lift ticket (which is still less than $20 for non-guests, not including equipment rental), and advanced athletes can book a private or small-group heli-skiing tour.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
If you're looking for a super-private, intimate getaway, then a stay at Spring Creek Ranch is ideal. It's located on a 1,000-acre wildlife sanctuary that overlooks the town of Jackson (keep an eye out for twinkly lights at night), and is surrounded by the breathtaking Teton Mountain Range. There are bucket-list activities to sign up for, too: Dog sledding through Iditarod and Continental Divide Dogsledding, fat tire biking through the National Elk Refuge with Teton Mountain Bike Tours, and winter wildlife walks and safari tours into Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Of course, vacation isn't vacation without a little pampering—try a couples' massage in an authentic Native American tepee through the Wilderness Adventure Spa, or soak in the outdoor saltwater hot tub so you can soothe sore muscles while enjoying those mountain views.
Finger Lakes Region, New York
The Finger Lakes are a hot-spot wine destination, but when you're not sipping away, couples can try fun winter activities like snowga—that's snowshoeing yoga—at Finger Lakes Yogascapes, winter zip lining at Greek Peak, and fat tire biking. To amp up the romance, book a Nights of Wine and Roses package at Belhurst Castle (you'll get a four-course dinner for two), the Ultimate Romance package at Argos Inn (which comes with a dozen red roses and a chilled bottle of champagne), or a Romantic Honeymoon package at Geneva on the Lake (which includes a three-course candlelit dinner, a one-hour couples' massage, and two embroidered shawl robes to take home).
If you and your beau are more into sun and sand (and less into snow), a trip to southwest Florida could be a better fit for you. Nicknamed the "happiest, healthiest city in the U.S." by the Gallup-Healthways Community Well-Being Rankings, Naples has miles of mangroves, wetlands, and white sandy beaches just waiting to be explored. If you stay at Naples Grande Beach Resort (which just reopened after being impacted by Hurricane Irma), you'll be surrounded by 200 acres of protected mangrove estuaries that intertwine with elevated running paths and lead to 3 miles of beach. Or you could stand-up paddleboard and kayak through the mangroves and waterways, play tennis on the 15 award-winning courts, or unwind in the Meditation Lounge at The Spa at Naples Grande.
Combining active adventure with cultural appreciation is one of the best ways to vacation. Book a stay at the Art, a Hotel for their Falling for February Valentine's Day package, which includes all the romantic touches you'd expect: a fragrant rose petal turndown service, chocolate-covered strawberries and champagne, and a couples' cocktail class so you can learn to make each other's favorite sips. But the real kicker is the property's art infusion: It has an in-house collection of over 50 pieces of contemporary art, and they host an urban ART Run, where runners receive a curated map of running routes that take you through the artistic hot spots of downtown Denver. Prefer to pedal? ART also has custom-designed bikes (which were painted by local student artists) that are free for guests to borrow and go explore.
Eau Claire, Wisconsin
Midwesterners will love a stay in this under-the-radar town that's been dubbed a "mini Portland" for its off-the-beaten-path vibes. Stay at the boutique Oxbow Hotel and you'll be right on the Chippewa River Trail that offers up snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and ice skating. If you want even more outdoor adventure, head off property to Beaver Creek Reserve, where there are nine miles of hiking trails spread over 400 acres. Don't want to spend all your time outside? Try a partner acrobatics circus class at Moonrise Aerials, explore the Banbury Art Crawl (there are over 100 artists' studios and pop-ups appearing on Valentine's weekend), or dance the night away at The Plus concert venue.
San Diego, California
Whale watching season is in full swing come February, so now's the time go west for a visit to San Diego. Book a kayaking tour with Everyday California and it's likely you'll see the giant creatures up close and personal. (You'll probably spot turtles and sea lions, too.) When you're done, head over to La Jolla, where you can watch the seals and sea lions sunbathing on the cliffside rocks, or to Del Mar, where you can hike through Torrey Pines State Natural Reserve. Stay in Ocean Beach (these Airbnb options are top-notch) and you'll have easy access to running routes along the pier, or you could take an evening stroll up to Sunset Cliffs Natural Park, which boasts one of the best sunset views of the Pacific. (Related: Healthy Travel Guide: San Diego)
Daufuskie Island, South Carolina
This island is truly secluded. Cars aren't allowed, and there's no bridge to the island, so you'll need to take a ferry over, then get around by bike. Want even more privacy? Book your stay at the 1873 Lighthouse, and you'll have the place all to yourself. The views overlooking the dolphin-filled Calibogue Sound (a 13-mile stretch of curving waterway that connects the Atlantic Ocean to the Port Royal Sound) are to die for. As for activities, when you're not biking between the rum distillery, winery, and art galleries, you can go horseback riding on the beach with The Equestrian Center at Haig Point, go kayaking in the Sound, or go for a round of golf at the Signature Rees Jones Golf Course. A quick water taxi over to Hilton Head Island means you can sign up for parasailing at Broad Creek Marina, too.