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Romantic Weekend Getaway

Discover your options for a romantic weekend getaway.

A romantic vacation is a great way to spend time with your significant other. [©Jupiter Images, 2009]
©Jupiter Images, 2009
A romantic vacation is a great way to spend time with your significant other.

A romantic weekend getaway is a rare occurrence for most people, especially parents of young children. A romantic weekend is often planned around a special event, such as an anniversary, birthday or Valentine's Day. Other times, it is a spontaneous decision that might leave couples scrambling for what to do. A romantic weekend getaway can help a couple reconnect with each other and spend some time away from the hectic pace of work and family obligations. Above all, it is a time to leave tensions at home and enjoy each other's company. Romance does not have to include champagne or chocolate-covered strawberries; it can be as simple as doing something that the couple enjoys.

Where to Go When Time is Short

For parents, a romantic weekend getaway can simply mean time away from the kids at a local hotel, resort or bed-and-breakfast. Couples may choose a meaningful destination that connects the past to the present. Another way to make the weekend memorable is to select a location that neither person has visited.

The length of stay is one factor that helps narrow down the choices considerably. For a one-night getaway, driving is the only option. For a two-night stay, the train or flying are also possibilities. For three nights or more, flying to cities that are further away or taking a cruise both become viable options. When planning a flight during snowy weather or holiday weekends, there is a greater risk of delays that could cut into the weekend plan.

Another constraint is the time of year. Warm weather options vary considerably from cool weather activities. A weekend during the summer opens up outdoor possibilities, including camping, the beach or a golf resort. Skiing is an obvious choice for a winter weekend getaway. For those looking to stay indoors, heading to a nearby metropolitan area offers plenty of shopping, museums and fine dining.

Romantic Weekend Accommodations

When looking at lodging options, couples should consider privacy and amenities along with the cost. From roughing it outdoors to booking a room in a lavish resort, couples should weigh the pros and cons and choose accommodations that fit their budget and weekend plans.

Camping is a low-cost option that guarantees closeness. However, cooking over a campfire and questionable bathroom conditions may not equate to romance. According to the National Park Service, campground reservations may be made online for some of the 391 areas in the system, but many sites are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Nearby cabins or lodges are another opportunity to enjoy nature and outdoor activities with more amenities.

A country inn or bed-and-breakfast epitomizes romance for many people. This can be an opportunity to stay in a historic landmark complete with antique furnishings. Although breakfast is often included in a bed-and-breakfast, eating with strangers may lack the intimacy couples are looking for. Bed & Breakfast Inns Online provides a searchable database of over 5,000 locations in the United States that helps couples find the perfect weekend retreat.

Motel and hotels are readily available at most destinations. Saving money with a bare-bones motel might be a smart choice for the active couple. Hotels and resorts are pricier but offer several dining options on the property as well as room service. Hotel and resort amenities include pools, hot tubs and spa services. Resort guests can often participate in tennis, golf, boating, snorkeling and other activities. Plus, the concierge service can be handy for couples looking for dining or event tickets in an unfamiliar city.

Beach and ski destinations typically offer condos as an alternative to staying in a hotel. Staying in a condo that has a kitchen can save money on eating out, but cooking is not everyone's idea of romance. It may be worthwhile to spend the extra on a room that faces the ocean if the couple plans to spend considerable time relaxing in the room. Ski-in/ski-out condos are right on the hill, so no time is wasted hitting the slopes during a short weekend getaway. Many of these properties have outdoor hot tubs for relaxing after a strenuous day of skiing or snowboarding.

Weekend Train or Cruise Packages

Taking the train to Chicago, New York, San Francisco or other select U.S. cities is an opportunity to enjoy the scenery without the arduous task of driving or the worry of adverse driving conditions. Amtrak offers packages such as a two-night stay in a downtown Chicago hotel. Trains depart from Detroit, Indianapolis and a number of other cities that are several hours away. Rail tours like those along the California coast offer stunning views, with drop-off points at wineries and tourist spots. However, the onboard bunk bed accommodations may not appeal to many couples.

Taking a weekend cruise is an option for couples lucky enough to live in close proximity to a port of departure. Two-day cruises may just head out to sea and then back, without stopping at another port along the way. Three-day and four-day trips usually have a single port of call. A cruise package deal includes accommodations, meals, entertainment and activities. Alcoholic drinks, shore excursions and tips are typically extra out-of-pocket expenses.

Making the Most of Togetherness

It is perfectly fine to plan a weekend of pure relaxation. Keeping it simple with plenty of time to talk may be just the ticket for busy couples. Other couples may seize the moment and plan a full-fledged adventure excursion into the wilderness, up a mountain or diving into the ocean depths. A romantic weekend can be a perfect time to visit a theme park, hike, snorkel, play tennis or do other activities both people enjoy doing together. Activities can be intermingled with lounging on the beach, getting side-by-side massages or other relaxing options.

Not every minute of a romantic weekend has to be spent together. Two solid days or more of togetherness can be too much quality time for many people. Recognizing this in advance and planning some time apart may be essential for a successful weekend getaway. Some ways to sneak in some private time include reading poolside, playing a quick nine holes of golf, heading for the spa, shopping, taking a half-day ski lesson or jogging on the beach.

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