What’s romantic to you? Travel is how my sweet husband Steve and I show love for each other. We don’t give expensive gifts, we don’t go to dinner, we spend time experiencing the world together. It’s our thing! Here’s a quick list of the top 10 most romantic things we’ve done in the world to hopefully inspire you to take a romantic leap of your own!
10. Having Dinner at Mama’s Fish House
Steve and I don’t go out to eat very often, even when we travel. We’ll get something to go, we’ll pick up something easy at the local grocery, but as far as actually sitting down for a meal out somewhere, it’s just not that important to us. But that’s one of the reasons why getting reservations for Mama’s Fish House on our anniversary trip to Maui was so special: because it’s not typical for us, and it’s meant for special occasions!
We made our reservation three months in advance, the restaurant manager came over to personally give me an anniversary lei, and the food truly was superb! It seemed everyone there was celebrating a special occasion, and the happiness was tangible. The restaurant is right on the beach, which only added to the romance, especially with the tiki torches lit! If you’re looking for a romantic meal, we’ve found it for you.
Read all about the romance: The Best of Romantic Maui
9. Having Afternoon Tea and a Show in London
Believe it or not, Steve and I aren’t fancy. But here again, that’s what made this experience special: it’s so out of the norm for us! This was the ultimate date night for the inner little girl of every woman out there: afternoon tea at the legendary Savoy Hotel in London, then off to a play to complete the evening. We saw Agatha Christie’s The Mouse Trap, which is the world’s longest-running play! We dressed up, we felt fancy, and we both truly enjoyed our night on the town!
Read on: A Beginner’s Guide to Afternoon Tea
8. Surprising Me at the Burbank Airport
After Steve and I got engaged, I went to California to see a girl friend who was also recently engaged. We had a great time, but when it was time to go home, I got the most pleasant surprise. Steve had flown from D.C. to Burbank on a weekday to surprise me and fly home with me! When Steve said he’d pick me up at the airport, I had no idea he meant the Burbank airport! It remains one of the sweetest, most romantic things he has ever done for me. I don’t have a photo from that moment, unfortunately, but now we have our whole lives together!
Need ideas? 5 Ways to Surprise Someone with Travel
7. Taking a Snowy Carriage Ride in Montreal
Steve does not care for carriage rides. Not in the least. They’re smelly, they’re a rough ride, and he’d rather just walk 100% of the time. But I really thought a snowy carriage ride through Montreal’s old town would be the most romantic thing ever! So he paid whatever it cost and the driver was a little prickly, but it was so romantic!
Read on: Top 10 Romantic Montreal
6. Staying at the Hotel Sacher Salzburg
Y’all, when we went to Salzburg, we needed a good travel experience. And the Hotel Sacher was perfect. Perfect! We got an upgraded room with a spectacular view, the bed was completely comfortable, they provided complimentary Sacher tortes with coffee each and every morning, the concierges were helpful, the spa was soothing. It was amazing. It was perfect. It was romantic because we needed a win, we needed to relax, we needed Sacher tortes, and the whole experience was all about making us feel well and happy. It was perfectly romantic.
All in the details: Legendary Hotels of the World
5. Taking a Gondola Ride in Venice
Venice is definitely a romantic city, and the quintessential romantic thing to do is… take a gondola ride! It’s a little pricey, but if it’s the one thing you want to do with the one you love, it’ll be worth it. Everything else is icing on the cake. From the low bridges to the historic architecture to holding hands and stealing a kiss, the whole experience was beautiful and oh, so romantic!
Keep reading: Top 10 Romantic Venice
4. Attending an Opera at the Sydney Opera House
This had been on my bucket list ever since I first saw a picture of the Sydney Opera House. I was maybe four. I thought it would be so fancy and romantic to see something there–anything really! While we were still dating, Steve asked me where I would go if I could go anywhere in the world. I did not hesitate to say Australia. So he said he’d take me for my birthday!
We would spent 10 days going wherever I wanted and doing whatever I wanted. And lucky for me, Don Pasquale, a short, funny opera, would be playing at the Sydney Opera House the day after my birthday! He wasn’t so sure about the whole opera thing, but it was at the tippy top of my list, and he didn’t hesitate to make it happen for me. It was so romantic because it was so selfless on his part.
Read on: 10 Reasons to Visit Sydney
3. Hiking the Waianapanapa Coastal Trail
This is one of Steve’s favorite hikes in the world. We had it all to ourselves, and the dramatic coastline combined with the waves and the ominously overcast skies made it so romantic! We held on to each other and just watched the mighty ocean put on a wave show for us. When I asked Steve what we should put on this list, this was the first thing he said!
More here: Hiking Hawaii: Maui
2. Visiting Verona for Valentine’s Day
What could possibly be more romantic than spending Valentine’s Day in Romeo and Juliet’s home town? Staying at a bed and breakfast that shares Juliet’s courtyard, that’s what! This is one of the most overall romantic trips we’ve ever taken because the city truly celebrates romance! Admission to attractions is two-for-one, there are romantic events to attend, every restaurant is intimate, lovers come here to be in love!
Valentine’s Day in Verona is like Christmas in the rest of Europe. It’s highly anticipated, made special in every way, and love is truly celebrated here unlike anywhere else in the world. I would go back every Valentine’s Day if I could!
Need more reasons? Why You Should Visit Verona for Valentine’s Day
1. Having a Plan for Our Anniversary Each Year
Okay, so planning is not the romantic part. The romance comes in because we know we’ll celebrate somewhere special every year. For us, it’s an island. Any island, really. On our first anniversary, we went to O’ahu. I thought I’d like it, but I didn’t know I’d love it! We stayed on Waikiki, we drove around the island, we hiked, we explored the history, we reconnected. Before we left, I asked Steve if we could visit an island every year for our anniversary. So we started working our way through the Hawaiian Islands first!
Islands are, without fail, more laid back, friendlier, slower, and just more relaxing than our everyday lives in D.C. There’s only so much to do and only so far to go, making an island the best place for us to reconnect at least once a year. Maybe for you that’s the same place every year. Maybe it’s revisiting your first date. Maybe it’s going back to where you got engaged. No matter what you choose, the most romantic thing you can do is the same thing once a year. Make it your special thing.
Get inspired: The World’s Best Anniversary Trips
Need more romantic ideas? Check out all my travel lists for more inspiration!
What makes something romantic to you? Comment below so we can all be inspired!
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