Welcome to February, when love is in the air – or is that panic? Maybe you didn’t realize Valentine’s Day even mattered, until a certain someone dropped that third hint. Maybe you had the best intentions, but got caught up at work. Chocolate won’t cut it, fuzzy slippers feel too impersonal. So what do you do now?
We’ve put together our top five last-minute U.S. destinations for romance that are just a short flight or drive away on the West Coast: Napa, Palm Springs, Carmel, Malibu and Kona. Take a walk in the sand, and marvel over the sunset. Toast to a perfect afternoon in wine country over another taste of Cabernet. Wherever you choose to create the romance, it’s as if you had the perfect Valentine’s Day planned all along. When you feel that balmy evening breeze, then you’ll know: love is definitely in the air.
Wine at lunch, wine at dinner, wine at dusk. It’s time for you two to connect over tastings and an endless knowledge of the gorgeous vineyards. End the night with a meal you won’t forget at a Michelin-starred gourmet restaurant. And if you need a break from the wineries, there are horseback rides, hot air balloon rides, spas and a tee time for two on the golf course.
2. Palm Springs
Harken back to some Rat Pack-era glamour with martinis by the pool, or at the piano bar. There are plenty of activities for two: spa days, desert hikes, golf courses. Palm Springs is resort living at its finest with hot days and cooler nights, mid-century modern architecture, old-time Hollywood haunts, and a strong LGBTQ-friendly community.
Take a long, winding drive along the cliffs. (Convertible top recommended.) Sea breezes, arresting sunsets, million dollar cottages, and even more million dollar shops. Check out Ocean Avenue, high end art galleries, Tor House and Hawk Tower. You’ll feel like you’re living together in a postcard.
Put on your best pair of paparazzi-proof sunglasses and channel your inner Hollywood couple as you stroll together through the stretches of beaches. There’s surf, sand, Paradise Cove, The Getty Villa, and mansions for miles. You may even see a celebrity or two. After all, stars are just like us: completely in love with the ocean.
Because what’s more romantic than Hawaii? Unstoppable sunshine, unrivaled sunsets, Royal Hawaiian residents, waterfalls, jungles, the Hualalai volcano, coffee plantations, sea turtles, snorkeling and sport fishing. Should we go on? Because we can: Frozen drinks with tiny umbrellas that make the “real world” feel so far away.