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10 Romantic Getaways for This Year

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    En español | Pack your bags; leave the children and grandkids behind. Reignite some sparks at one of these destinations.

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    Lake Maggiore, Italy

    Few do passion in the fashion of the Italians. On sinuous Lake Maggiore, soak up the vintage vibe at the magnificently preserved Grand Hotel des Iles Borromees & Spa in Stresa. After ferrying to nearby Isola Bella and touring its 17th-century palazzo, set the stage for amore amid opulent artwork, gilded mirrors and belle epoque furnishings. Lounge on a love seat overlooking the lake before descending for a perfect martini shaken by a barman in a starched white jacket.

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    Hocking Hills, Ohio

    Lovers of log cabins are spoiled for choice in this secluded former mining and moonshine center in southeast Ohio. Settle into a cozy cottage with a hot tub, fireplace and private deck on the grounds at Glenlaurel, a Scottish inn. Its eight-hole links course with sandy greens is a hit with golfing duos. Not a golfer? Go hiking in Hocking Hills State Park among the waterfalls, caves and picturesque overlooks. Or sightsee on a scenic byway that’s considered one of the best foliage drives in the U.S. Local craft malls showcase the work of the area’s many artisans. 

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    Highclere Castle, Hampshire, England

    What romantic doesn’t adore a castle? Two-centuries-old Highclere, the filming site for Downton Abbey, lies in Hampshire, about 70 miles southwest of London. The imposing, turreted beauty is privately owned but open to the public on select dates. You might stay in the recently restored London Lodge near the front gates. Otherwise, the area offers lodging ranging from five-star hotels to charming B&Bs.

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    Cajun Country, Louisiana

    Foodies and music lovers find jambalaya, crawfish pie, filé gumbo and grownup fun on the bayou. Ever danced to a zydeco band at 8:30 a.m. after downing a super spicy Bloody Mary, beignets and an omelet with boudin (blood sausage)? You can do all that on Saturdays at Café des Amis in tiny Breaux Bridge, near Lafayette. Later, glide through a swamp that’s overhung with Spanish moss during a tour by a guide versed in local lore. You’ll spot sunning gators and preening herons. Before bedding down at a B&B, fork up steaming étouffée while listening to live music at the Blue Dog Café in Lafayette. 

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    St. Michaels, Maryland

    Tucked away on the Chesapeake Bay, about two hours from Washington, D.C., and Philadelphia, St. Michaels melds small-town charm with sophisticated shopping and dining. Enjoy a bayfront stay at the elegant, white-pillared Inn at Perry Cabin or at an inviting B&B. Join locals for a nightcap or a hearty breakfast at Carpenter Street Saloon, and dine on duck breast at Bistro St. Michaels. Browse the boutiques in historic brick-and-frame buildings that line Talbot Street. Sip chocolate zinfandel at St. Michaels Winery, locally made rum at Lyon Distilling Co. and award-winning craft beer at the Eastern Shore Brewing Co. 

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    Canoe Bay, Chetek, Wisconsin

    One of the more secluded resorts anywhere, Canoe Bay — in rural Wisconsin, about two hours from Minneapolis — is set on 300 acres with three lakes and is designed with lovebirds in mind. The adults-only retreat features elegant, rustic rooms or cabins with king-size beds, whirlpool tubs for two and fireplaces; some have saunas and steam showers. Breakfast is delivered silently to your door, and dinners can be, too. Get out for some hiking, fishing or kayaking, and even borrow snowshoes in winter. Then book an in-room massage for two.

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    Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

    Favored for years by lovers, artists, golfers and Hollywood royalty (Clint Eastwood and Doris Day chose to make their homes in the area), Carmel remains an enchanting enclave. Walk on its white-sand beaches past windswept cypress trees, take the 17-mile drive past golf courses along Pebble Beach and explore tempting shops and art galleries. Quaint British-style country cottages serve as boutiques and restaurants. The Tuck Box has been serving afternoon tea with scones for more than 70 years, and more than a dozen wine-tasting rooms also offer diversions for duos. 

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    South Beach, Miami, Florida

    Famed as a playground for the young, South Beach also is a great grownup getaway. Stay in an art deco boutique hotel; sun on the wide beach; and dine at the intimate Osteria del Teatro (known for its tiramisu). Afterward, amble to Ocean Drive to savor the Latin American carnival flavor of Mango’s Tropical Cafe, where servers dance on the bar and customers are attempting a salsa or freestyle. When you wake up late, snag a seat at the oceanfront News Cafe, and watch the South Beach parade pass by. 

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    Mendoza, Argentina

    Escape to Argentina’s wine province in the shadow of the Andes. Walk-in tastings and tours abound, so lovers of the grape are sure to discover the perfect malbec or tempranillo. Dine by candlelight in the area’s “closed-door” restaurants in private homes. Twosomes can slip away to Cavas Wine Lodge, a boutique resort with adobe bungalows snuggled into a 55-acre vineyard. Visit the spa for a treatment featuring anti-aging grape seed extract.

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    Sundance Mountain Resort, Utah

    In 1969, Robert Redford bought undeveloped land near Provo, Utah, that’s noted for its tranquility and natural beauty. There he founded Sundance Mountain Resort, which he named after his character in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid. Hike 5,000 acres among birches and beside streams that are prime for fly-fishing. In winter, ski on the 12,000-foot-high Mount Timpanogos. Lovers of the arts will enjoy performances in the resort theater or a class in ceramics or photography. Wellness classes are complimentary. Or you can just snuggle by the fire in one of the resort’s cottage-style accommodations; many have fireplaces.

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