It’s always a good time of year to go on a romantic vacation with your partner, and autumn is no exception. From fruit-picking in Michigan to soaking up the warmth of Key West, these places are perfect to rekindle the spark of your romance.
The Sunday River Ski Resort is the perfect place to take in not only the beauty of New England, but the height of maple syrup season. The sap is gathered onsite from 950 taps and nearly 3 miles of tubing, where it is then made into syrup in the resort sugar house. The sugar house is accessible by skis or within walking distance of the South Ridge Lodge. It features daily tours, demonstrations, free maple candy, and syrup samples for visitors of the resort. After a day full of learning about (and eating) maple syrup, you’ll be eager to have dinner at Quartino, which uses local ingredients to make its lobster ravioli and beet soup. Then head to the Grand Ballroom at 7pm for the Black Diamond Entertainment Series, which features fire dancers, a master hypnotist, or an interactive reptile exhibit.
At Fruit Acre Farms, you can take home as much fruit as you can pick (and pay for). Autumn is a great time for sweet cherries, sour pie cherries, sweet juicy freestone peaches, crisp juicy apples, and pumpkins. Fruit Acre Farm also features a free picnic area to sit and munch on the days pickings, as well as free wagon rides! Some fruit, like Honeycrisp apples, are done being picked for the season, but you can buy them at the Fruit Acres Farm Market at $22.99 per half bushel, as well as jams, homemade candles, and pickles. Once you’ve worked up an appetite after a long day of harvesting, go to The Friendly Tavern for a prime rib dinner – and if you’re hungry enough, order the Tator Tot Mountain.
People once flocked to Napa during the gold rush, but now they come for the wine. With over 391 wineries and over 20 wine bars, Napa is one of the world’s Great Wine Capitals. But it’s not all going out and drinking. You can absorb some wine-related history at The Hess Collection Winery & Art Museum. The museum does of course offer wine tastings and tours daily, and is known for its impressive barrel room. Napa is also home to the famous French Laundry, which Anthony Bourdain proclaimed “the best restaurant in the world, period.” But if you’re looking for great inexpensive food, the owner also opened a moderately priced bistro called Bouchon down the street. Bouchon features a wonderful Terrine de Foie de Volaille (chicken liver mousse), which you can enjoy before seeing a musical performance at The Uptown Theater.
Sedona is the perfect place to visit with your partner. The red rocks are a unique and near-magical part of nature that are perfect for hiking. If you stay at the Enchantment Resort, you can walk from the hotel property straight onto the rocks, or take off-road jeep tours! After hiking, take advantage of the resort’s award-winning Mii Amo spa before grabbing a happy hour Prickly Pear margarita. With Sunday brunch including salmon with spinach and artichoke cream, you’re sure to bond over your love for the cuisine.
Dunton Hot Springs is the best place to spend alone time with your loved one. With renovated cabins that once formed a ghost town and no cell service, it can be like you’re the only two people in the world. The resort does have free Wifi and landline calls, so you’ll be accessible but secluded. But seclusion doesn’t mean boredom. You can try heli-skiing, which is like regular skiing except you have to take a helicopter to the top instead of a ski lift. And don’t forget to check out the signature hot springs – you can rent a cabin with your own private hot spring, or enjoy the public springs in town. Eating is a social event where guests eat at a communal fireside table; as you eat Applewood smoked pheasant breast you might meet guests who come to enjoy the resort from as far away as Amsterdam and Germany.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
A trip to Santa Fe is so full of history and culture, it’s like visiting Europe without ever getting on a plane. Chosen as Travel & Leisure’s #1 Cultural Getaway, one of Santa Fe’s prime attractions is its Opera House. The Santa Fe Opera House excels in modern interpretations of classic opera, which makes it a great date destination even for couples who aren’t opera aficionados. If you want to grab dinner before the opera stop by the Elevation Bistro for Roasted Coconut Milk Mussels and lavender shakes. If you’re looking to try something new, visit Liquid Light Glass. A contemporary glass studio and gallery, Liquid Light Glass also offers demonstrations and classes where you can make your own glass paperweight over 4 days.
Key West, Florida
Key West is the perfect vacation destination to relax and enjoy a few carefree days. The Orchid Key Hotel offers complimentary drinks, Wifi, and continental breakfast, while happy hour features half-priced drinks. If you decide to break away from the hotel, check out The Rum Bar. This local bar features more types of rums than you’ll know what to do with, so choose a craft cocktail like the Painkiller. The Painkiller the signature drink of Pusser’s Rum, and is made with pineapple juice, cream of coconut, orange juice, and served over the rocks with fresh nutmeg on top. For dinner, hunt down Garbo’s Grill, a food truck that features the best shrimp tacos in Key West. If you’d rather dine in, have a date night eating Caribbean roasted corn at Paseo Restaurant. Before you leave, buy matching t-shirts from The Key West Butterfly and Nature Conservatory. After walking through the hundreds of butterflies in the conservatory, you can buy one preserved in a frame from the gift shop. It will be the perfect keepsake to remember your vacation.