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10 of the best romantic getaways in the US

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You don’t need a national holiday about love to justify taking a vacation with the one you love. All you need is a destination conducive to romance.

Just like there are beaches that are great for families and national parks, theme parks and more which you’ll want to experience while the kids are still young, certain places are ideal for reigniting any lost sparks. From rural wine regions to subtropical islands and even the City of Brotherly Love, here are 10 unforgettable romantic getaways that don’t require passports.

Greenville is the more pastoral, less posh version of Charleston. It has southern charm, but it also has the Blue Ridge Mountains. With Falls Park on the Reedy, Downtown Greenville also boasts its own outdoor oasis. Falls Park consists of 32 acres of river, waterfalls, gardens and public art. Pack a picnic or grab a bite at nearby Passerelle Bistro, one of only two U.S. restaurants included on CNN’s list of most romantic restaurants in the world. In the summer, the park hosts Moonlight Movies at dusk. On Main Street, you can enjoy free salsa dancing and free concerts every Thursday and Friday. Finally, if you dream of a staying in a luxurious French Chateau without the transatlantic flight, stay at Hotel Domestique in Travelers Rest. The inspiration behind this one-of-a-kind boutique hotel comes from one of its owners, 17-time Tour de France racer George Hincapie.

Visit Colorado

Grand Junction is to Colorado what Napa is to California. This underrated region where two impressive rivers collide (the Colorado River and the Gunnison River) is home to more than 20 wineries and vineyards. The scenery is also unrivaled. Grand Junction is bordered by Colorado National Monument — a national park with more than 20,000 acres of canyons and rock formations — and Grand Mesa — the largest flat top mountain in the world. In the winter, you can snowshoe and even downhill ski on Grand Mesa. If you’re lucky, your visit will coincide with the Colorado Lavender Festival or Palisade Peach Festival. (If grapes can grow here, why not peaches?) Perhaps the most romantic accommodations in the region are at Two Rivers Winery and Chateau. At the very least you won’t have to worry about finding a ride home after tasting too many Chardonnays.

Visit Fort Worth

This former frontier town, famous for its historic stockyards, is where you’ll find Lockheart Gables, a B&B with heart-shaped jacuzzis in every suite. Now, one of the fastest growing cities in the country, Fort Worth is perfect for the couple who likes to feel young. For starters, there’s Six Flags Over Texas, the first Six Flags and the inspiration behind today’s theme park chain. Then there’s the Fort Worth Zoo. Not only is it the only zoo in the country to have all four great ape species, it also specializes in weddings. Martha Stewart Weddings even featured a Fort Worth wedding reception including appearances by the zoo’s more amicable reptilian and avian residents.

Sheraton Maui Resort

More than 100 years ago, Niagara Falls claimed to be the “honeymoon capital of the world.” Today, that designation probably belongs to a place like Maui. It is to couples what Oahu is to families. In fact, in its list of the best honeymoon destinations in the world, The Knot calls Hawaii’s second-largest island a “no-brainer” when it comes to romantic vacations. Not only is the tropical weather welcoming, but Maui offers some of the world’s most epic, yet accessible, date ideas. Wake up early to catch a crater-top sunrise at nearly 10,000 feet in Haleakala National Park. End the day at sea level while toasting to the sunset after spending the day snorkeling along a world-class beach. Thanks to Hotel Wailea, Maui also now boasts Hawaii’s No. 1 resort, according to Conde Nast Traveler readers in 2018. An adults-only property, it has a spectacular five-day “Romance Under the Stars” package.

Bespoke Inn/Virtu Honest Craft

When you’re long overdue for a couples massage, head here. This enchanting Sonoran Desert oasis has more destination spas per capita than any other American city. With nearly 70 resort and day spas, wellness is available at most price points. For example, at Scottsdale’s No. 1 spa, according to TripAdvisor reviews, a classic one-hour couples massage costs less than $100 per person. Of course Scottsdale is also a great base for experiencing nature together. Take a day trip to Grand Canyon National Park or make a wish on a shooting star while stargazing on an after-hours desert tour. To be within walking distance of Old Town’s lively scene, stay at Bespoke Inn Scottsdale. It’s the city’s highest-rated B&B, or better put, B&B&B — guests can take advantage of complimentary bicycles for exploring the area during their stay.

Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

The City of Brotherly Love celebrates all kinds of love. With its iconic LOVE statues, and even an AMOR statue, throughout the city, Philadelphia has plenty of unforgettable places to pop the question. Or at the very least, they make for great photo opps. It’s also home to LOVE Park which hosts a charming, German-themed Christmas village during the holidays. Another reason Philadelphia is so great for romance? It’s the country’s 5th most walkable city, according to Walkscore.com, so there are plenty of opportunities to stroll hand in hand. And where else can mouths meet while sharing a world famous cheesesteak? Book a room at The Independent Hotel, a boutique property with rates starting at $139/night. The property’s Out and About Package includes a donation to a local LGBT organization and a 1-hour walking tour of Philly’s “Gayborhood.”

Goodstone Inn & Restaurant

Even if you’ve never been to Virginia, you know its slogan. In 2019, the tourism board is celebrating 50 years of “Virginia is for Lovers” which was even inducted into the Madison Avenue Advertising Hall of Fame. Starting in June, take advantage of 50 consecutive days of promotions and special events statewide. Visiting the historic, riverfront city of Alexandria is a must. (It’s consistently at the top of Amazon’s list of most romantic cities based on sales data for romance novels, relationship books and movies.) Book a room in an oceanfront resort in Virginia Beach, the third-largest beach in the U.S. Or, stay in a quaint inn in the heart of Virginia’s wine country. Goodstone Inn & Restaurant in Middleburg made USA Today’s 2015 list of most romantic inns in the country. The property’s award-winning French restaurant offers a selection of more than 820 wines.

Parrot Key Hotel & Villas

The Florida Keys may be the southernmost point of the continental U.S. but they’re also one of the most romantic. Nearly 20% of visitors participate in a wedding or vow renewal while visiting this remote archipelago comprised of more than 1,000 islands. With so much demand, prices aren’t outrageous either. Conch Concierge’s “Key West Barefoot” wedding package on the beach is only $195 and includes officiant and photos. Of course, you can also just come here for a regular weekend escape. A two-night package at Parrot Key Hotel & Villas — which just underwent a $25 million renovation and made Travel + Leisure’s 2019 list of Best New Hotels in the World — includes a “sip and sail sunset cruise” or tropical reef snorkel excursion.

Courtesy Everett

One of film’s greatest love stories — power couple Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez are fans — takes place in this idyllic region just 100 miles north of New York City. While the resort that inspired “Dirty Dancing” (and where Elizabeth Taylor got married) is now closed, this is the perfect place to hole up in a historic inn. The renovated and well-appointed inn, The Arnold House, originally built in 1851, includes rooms in the town’s former library and post office. It even has a vintage two-lane bowling alley. While autumn is when the Catskills come alive with color, a summer visit can be just as memorable. In August, Sullivan Catskills hosts the Woodstock Music Festival, celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. Another perk of escaping here? Cell service in the Catskills can be limited. There’s no better place to be forced to disconnect and enjoy each other’s company.

Dan Ham

With its racetrack and mineral baths, Saratoga Springs, New York makes for an exciting and relaxing time. But if your idea of getting away together involves more open space and less people, consider Saratoga, Wyoming. Saratoga, pop. 1,605, also has natural hot springs, but theirs are open 24/7. And they’re free. After a relaxing soak, catch a sunset from your cabin while glamping at The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch. For years this 30,000-acre ranch refuge has been the top-ranked resort, according to Conde Nast Traveler. And although you’re in the least populated state — which is featured on The New York Times list of 52 places to visit in 2019 — your chance of running into a celebrity is quite high. This is where Reba McIntyre celebrated her wedding anniversary, and more recently, Allison WIlliams got married in front of her famous friends including Katy Perry.

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List of the Most Beautiful Castles in the US

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The United States of America cannot lay claim to ancient castles from the Middle Ages or from the medieval times, since the country was colonized by European civilizations only in in the 1600s. However, a number of castles were built by the English, French and the Scot immigrants after the country was colonized. The USA is, surprisingly, home to several lovely old palaces, castles and chateaus. We’ve curated 10 of the USA’s most enchanting castles for you. Check them out soon!

Lyndhurst Mansion, New York

Lyndhurst Mansion, New York

The Lyndhurst Mansion is one of the one of the finest Gothic Revival mansions in the US built by the acclaimed architect Alexander Jackson Davis in 1838. The castle is located on the edge of the Hudson River in Tarrytown, New York. Several notables have stayed here since it was built, such as New York City mayor William Paulding and railroad tycoon Jay Gould.

Castello di Amorosa, Calistoga, California

Castello di Amorosa, Calistoga, California

This 13th-century Tuscan castle took 14 years to build. There’s a very authentic drawbridge, moat and dungeon with, believe it or not, a still functioning Renaissance-era iron maiden. The bricks are from the Hapsburg-era, the nails are hand-forged, and the chandeliers and 500-year-old fireplace are all Europe imports. There are hand-painted frescoes in the Knights’ Chamber and the Great Hall, which have been constructed out of 8,000 tons of hand-chiseled Napa Valley stone. The Castello di Amorosa is one of the top USA attractions, one of the top castles to visit.

Fonthill Castle, Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Fonthill Castle, Doylestown, Pennsylvania

Fonthill Castle was built in 1912 by Henry Chapman Mercer who was an archaeologist, anthropologist, scholar, antiquarian and ceramist. The castle features 32 stairwells, 21 chimneys, 18 fireplaces, 44 rooms, all made of hand-mixed reinforced concrete in Gothic, Byzantine and medieval styles. Even during his lifetime, the castle was the personal museum for thousands of handcrafted Spanish, Chinese, Dutch ceramic tiles (including Mercer’s own Moravian-style tiles). There’s a Mercer Museum next door which displays a number of artifacts from the original castle, including a whale boat and a Conestoga wagon. This castle is one of the top places to visit in the USA.

Bannerman Castle, Pollepel Island, New York

Bannerman Castle, Pollepel Island, New York

Bannerman Castle sits on Pollepel, a rocky island on the Hudson River. It was built by a Scottish immigrant called Frank Bannerman in 1901. At age 14, Bannerman started prospering by selling surplus military goods. The family decided to build a castle to use as an arsenal on the island. By 1918, when Bannerman died, construction halted. The castle was partly destroyed when 200 pounds of shells and powder exploded after two years. In 1989, a fire left the castle in ruins. You can visit this castle when the river is boat-friendly.

Hammond Castle, Gloucester, Massachusetts

Hammond Castle, Gloucester, Massachusetts

John Hays Hammond, Jr., American inventor, had a large collection of art – Roman, medieval and Renaissance.  He built this castle on the shores of the Atlantic in 1929 to serve as his residence plus art museum. The castle combines the structural sensibilities of castles styles from the 15th to the 18th-century.  The great hall is surrounded by elaborate rose windows; there are plenty of secret passageways, plus an indoor courtyard, a pipe organ, and huge library.

Hearst Castle, California

Hearst Castle, California

The Hearst Castle Estate was constructed between 1919 and 1947 by William Randolph Hearst. Casually nicknamed as ‘La Cuesta Encantada’ or the Enchanted Hill by Hearst, the castle comprises of four buildings. These buildings comprise of 127 acres of beautiful terraced gardens plus 165 rooms. The Gothic Study in the main building has a vaulted Spanish ceiling that dates back to the early 1400s. There’s also a gorgeous guesthouse named Casa del Mar that boasts of panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean.

Biltmore Estate, North Carolina

Biltmore Estate, North Carolina

The Biltmore Estate is nestled cozily in the panoramic Blue Ridge Mountains outside Asheville, North Carolina. George Vanderbilt became enchanted by the area’s beauty and got architect Richard Morris Hunt to design the French Renaissance chateau with a 70-foot ceiling banquet hall, bowling alley and 250 rooms. It took six long years to build the Biltmore Estate. Famous landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted designed the beautiful grounds including the splendid 15-acre Azalea Garden. The estate produces award-winning wines today; tours are available.

The Breakers, Rhode Island

The Breakers, Rhode Island

The Breakers has been designed by George Vanderbilt and executed by architect Richard Morris Hunt. It is one of the area’s most adorable late 19th century summer homes. The Italian Renaissance-inspired 70-room mansion includes a grand dining room with gilded cornice and several freestanding columns. Beautiful relief sculptures designed by Parisian interior design firm Jules Allard and Sons add beauty to the walls.

Bishop’s Palace, Texas

Bishop’s Palace, Texas

The Bishop’s Palace was built in the late 19th century as the residence of entrepreneur Colonel Walter Gresham. It is one of America’s most significant structures. It was designed by well-known architect Nicholas Clayton who built the spectacular sturdy mansion using steel and stone. The interior is opulent with stained glass windows, dramatic mahogany stairwell, and wood carvings. The mansion even endured the Great Storm of 1900 that destroyed a great portion of Galveston.

Iolani Palace, Hawaii

Iolani Palace, Hawaii

Iolani Palace is the official residence of Hawaii’s royal family in downtown Hawaii. It was built in 1882 by King Kalakaua as a way to increase Hawaii’s prestige as a modern nation overseas. In 1893, the Hawaiian monarchy was overthrown and it was then that Iolani Palace served as the nation’s capitol building. The palace takes design inspiration from European palaces and is America’s sole example of a mixture of Italian renaissance and native Hawaiian architectural styles, termed ‘American Florentine’. This palace, the only royal castle in America, has been a museum since 1978; it is so beautiful, it’s well worth your US visitor visa!

Conclusion

As you can see, the USA has its share of fabulous castles constructed in various styles. Many of them have been built by entrepreneurs and brilliant architects, emulating the styles of medieval, byzantine, Italian renaissance and French chateau ordinances. Most of these castles are either museums or taken over as official national buildings. You can enjoy exploring the ones that are open for view, except on US holidays; check their viewing schedules online before planning to the trip. Here’s an idea – why not plan a castle-viewing trip to the US to enjoy seeing these amazing castles?

The post List of the Most Beautiful Castles in the US appeared first on USA Travel Blog.

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