Travelers know that romance is best celebrated all year long, not just one day in February. In fact, in 2016, “Couples & Romance” ranked among the top 10 travel interest searches on TravelLeaders.com:
Given the popularity of interests focused on couples-related vacations, here are Travel Leaders’ top recommended beach and island destinations for planning a romantic getaway.
Hawaii. “Hawaii is a beautiful destination with so many opportunities to experience romance, no matter what that means to you,” said Debbie Isom, a Travel Leaders travel agent in Bloomington, Indiana. “This tropical location, accessible without the need of a passport, is a wonderful getaway for those who appreciate ecotourism and natural beauty. A particular romantic spot is the Na Pali coast – one of the most spectacular coastlines in the world.
Mexico. From Cabo San Lucas to the Riviera Maya, add some romance with a trip to Mexico. “Visit one of 10 Secrets Resorts throughout Mexico for the ultimate spicy getaway with authentic award-winning Mexican foods and the ultimate in romantic vibes throughout the all-inclusive, adult-only properties,” advised Alex Trettin of Travel Leaders in Tacoma, Washington. “Secrets Cabo is a romantic weekend getaway accessible within just a few hours from any southern or western state. For something a little off the beaten path, visit Huatulco or Secrets Aura Cozumel.
St. Lucia. “Everything from the dramatic Piton Mountains in the west to the quintessentially Caribbean white sand beaches by luxury resorts makes the island of St. Lucia scream romance,” said Fort Worth, Texas-based Travel Leaders travel agent Sandy Duvall. “If you’d like a more secluded getaway, there are fabulous resorts all over St. Lucia’s eastern coast. Nothing beats a tropical getaway.”
Costa Rica. “If you want an intimate setting for just you and your sweetheart, a sparkling champagne toast and a candlelight dinner for two under the stars on a white, soft sandy beach in Costa Rica, with a gentle breeze will create a wonderful memory,” said Jaime Buss, Travel Leaders, Woodbury, Minnesota.
New Zealand. “Head to New Zealand and drive across the famous Ninety Mile Beach, or go yachting along any one of New Zealand’s picturesque coastlines,” advised Debbie Sebastian, a Kiwi Specialist from Travel Leaders in Danville, Kentucky. “The scenery is picture perfect no matter where you are and what you do on the island, because in New Zealand, from sunrise to sunset, you create your own love story.”
French Polynesia. “You will fall in love all over again as you fall in love with Tahiti and these other awe-inspiring little islands, atolls and motus,” exclaimed Teresa Scannell, a Travel Leaders agent in Mesa, Arizona. “Bora Bora is breathtaking, but if you want to disconnect from the world and focus on each other, then try a hidden gem like Le Tahaa or Vahine Island.”
What do you do when the weather starts to turn cold and all of your friends are going to a conference in Negril, Jamaica? You join them, of course!
For a second year in a row, I was fortunate to be invited to the 2017 Social Media on the Sand Conference that was hosted at Beaches Resorts in Negril. It's a wonderful opportunity to connect with some of the best bloggers and brands from across the country -- all while enjoying the paradise that Beaches Resorts offer!
Beaches Resort in Negril is a family-friendly all inclusive resort located about an hour from Montego Bay. The resort boasts 9 restaurants and 6 bars... including 2 swim up! There's also a water park, spa, night club, kids club, and diving center. It was perfectly situated in Negril -- which known for it's 7 miles of beaches and picturesque views.
During one of our conference sessions, we had an opportunity to participate in a day of philanthropy with the local schools. Through the Sandals Foundation, we took part in a campaign called "Pack with a Purpose." While still in the US, all of the bloggers were sent empty backpacks and were asked to fill them with school supplies to support the local children in Negril.
We took our donations directly to the locals and spent the day one-on-one with students reading and engaging in their daily activities. I was partnered with a sweet little boy named Jayden. We were doing an activity where he was sharing what he wanted to be when he grew up --- he told me he wanted to be a drummer. I thought it was super cute because my son used to always say he wanted to be a drummer in a band when he grew up. But, jayden said, "no, I'm going to play the drums for you!" and later, after our projects were done, his class sang a few songs and Jayden lead the beat with the drums. So precious!
The folks at Sandals Foundation give back to many islands in the Caribbean -- and since Hurricane Matthew hit (just before our arrival), they are doing fundraising for schools in The Bahamas. If you'd like to participate, you can go to this Go Fund Me link: www.gofundme.com/beachesmoms. You can leave a note in your comment that you are donating on behalf of Housewives in the City! All of the bloggers are coming together to raise funds! One of the brands that was at the conference, School Specialty, will match the donations dollar for dollar up to $10,000!
Later in the week, we ended up leaving the resort with a group of 10 other folks from the conference to visit the "world famous" Rick's Cafe for some sunset cliff diving. If you're in Negril, you have to check it out. The drinks were good, the crowd was a full of energy -- but to top it off, the sunset and view is absolutely gorgeous.
I totally surprised myself by jumping! BUT... when it's SUPER HOT and SUPER HUMID... getting over the fear of that jump was a necessity!
Looking for a great beach getaway in New Jersey? Check out Allie's recent trip to Sea Isle City and her top highlights after visiting for a third year in a row.
- A new appreciation for the bay. We wound up taking walks each morning the rest of the week to a cute little spot we found off of 79th St. (bay-side) that had benches that overlooked the water. I'm already missing watching the boats breeze by on the water. So peaceful!
- Adventure to Stone Harbor. This was my first time driving through Avalon and seeing Stone Harbor... so beautiful! I was surprised at how residential these areas looked, but loved the small-town shore vibe. In Stone Harbor, we walked around the town a bit and popped into some of the local shops. Stopped into Paisley Christmas Shoppe and I found an adorable ornament to remember the trip by.
- We went to Carmen's Seafood Restaurant where every seat is al fresco dining on their covered porch that overlooks the bay/docks. It was the epitome of a beach restaurant, and I loved it.
- Live Music at Kix McNutley's. After we grabbed our drinks from Doc's, we walked over to one of five bars that Kix McNutley's offers. We joined the crowd in singing along to "Sweet Caroline", and when Whitney Houston's "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" came on Dan kindly escorted me to the dance floor (it's my jam).
I was invited to visit Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for a family vacation last week -- and I absolutely couldn't pass up the opportunity. We made the trip down 95 South without hitting traffic and 400 miles later, we checked into SeaWatch Resort, a Vacation Myrtle Beach property.
SeaWatch was AMAZING! The condos (up to 3 bedrooms) are privately owned and include a full kitchen - which was so nice to have for late night snacks and my super early breakfasts. The property is lined with palm trees and has six oceanfront pools - including 2 lazy rivers and 2 covered pools - that are heated seasonally.
My mom and dad invited us to the beach for a few days and we couldn't pass up the opportunity. We only went for the weekend, but I think two days at the beach is just enough time. We were played out by the end of day 2. I have to say that Virginia Beach is not the most "family friendly" beach when it comes to the night life. However, in the day time - it's nothing but kids and families running around.
Looking for a new destination for a girls getaway, couples retreat, or family vacation?
Check out where we've been!