Valentine’s day is a great time to plan a getaway, whether that’s with your loved one - or by heading off on an adventure by yourself. Spend quality time with your loved one and head to the USA - there’s something for everyone, whoever you’re travelling with, and what you want to do when you get there. Here’s our pick of USA trips to take to celebrate Valentine's Day in 2019.
Go wild for sea otters, Monterey County
Combine spectacular scenery with spotting seriously cute sea otters on a romantic break to Monterey County, California
, right. It’s one of the best places in the state to see these playful sea creatures, which enjoy the mild climate and rocky shores along the county's coastline. Rent a kayak and head out to sea for the best place to meet a sea otter. You can also see them up close at the Monterey Bay Aquarium
, whose Sea Otter Program studies, rescues, treat and release injured otters. Watch them frolic from above and below the water, in a tank with floor to ceiling windows.
Go Dirty Dancing, Virginia
Relive Johnny and Baby’s steamy romance from the iconic 80s movie Dirty Dancing with a themed weekend at Kellerman’s Resort. The movie was set in a fictional holiday camp located in the Catskills, upstate New York, but the resort that you see in the movie is actually in Virginia
. The Mountain Lake Lodge
in Pembroke, Virginia, provided the exterior of Kellerman’s, and the dining room and kitchen are said to have been used for a few of the interior scenes. Book yourself in for one of the resort’s Dirty Dancing weekends and you can stay in the Virginia Cottage, where Baby and her family slept in the film, take a twirl around the gazebo, learn new moves at group dance lessons and dance parties in Mary’s Barn. You’ll have to bring your own smouldering dance partner, though.
Explore the landscape in La La Land, Los Angeles
Hike up to the Griffith Park Observatory in Los Angeles
, and you’ll not only get spectacular views over the sprawling city and the famous Hollywood sign, but you can look at the stars, or even have a little dance like Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone do in La La Land. It’s open until 10pm and there are free telescopes to use, and experts on hand to help you work out what you’re looking at through them. The observatory and park are two of 48 locations shot in the film’s whirlwind round the city, which was filmed in just 42 days, including the Lighthouse Cafe jazz club on Hermosa Beach, Hermosa Pier, Grand Central Market, The SmokeHouse restaurant opposite Warner Bros studios, and swanky hotel Chateau Marmont.
Propose like John F Kennedy in Boston, Massachusetts
Choose a break in Boston
and you can pop the question like US president John F Kennedy, left. Go to The Parker House restaurant in Omni Park House Hotel and you can have dinner at table 40, where JFK asked Jacqueline Bouvier to marry him, on 24 June 1953. This historic hotel claims to have had every American president under its roof, not to mention Ho Chi Minh baking in the kitchen and Malcolm X working as a busboy.
Go solo on an American adventure, across the USA
Not everyone is coupled up at Valentine’s day. Be your own Valentine and escape on a guided adventure with a group of likeminded travellers. You’ll be in good company - USA tour specialists Trek America
says that around 75% of their customers book solo. Go in a hosted group and you can feel safe, be social and avoid stress because your accommodation and experiences are all set up for you. You’ll cover plenty of ground with the 14-day Atlantic Dream trip, where you’ll explore New York, Washington DC, Philadelphia and New Orleans, trek in Shenandoah National Park then lounge on Miami's sunny beaches.
Cosy up on a winter sports trip, in Mammoth Mountain, California
Take a winter warmer in Mammoth Mountain
- this snowy Californian
spot is a great place to head for skiing, boarding, snowshoeing, right, and more. It’s one of a number of American resorts that have such long seasons so you can hit the slopes as late as June. We’ve put together a pick of the best wintersports resorts to try in 2019.
Replicate an iconic kiss in Key West, Florida
Each year more than 600 couples hold a ‘kiss-in’ on Valentine’s Day, in Key West, Florida
, next to a 25-ft sculpture inspired by the famous photo of a couple kissing on V-J Day in New York City's Times Square. Sculptor Seward Johnson’s ‘Embracing Peace’ bronze – inspired by the famous kiss of a sailor kissing a nurse – stands in front of the Custom House Museum in Key West, Florida. On Valentine’s Day it has become traditional for couples to stand a ‘kiss-in’ beside a 25-foot-tall sculpture.
Take it easy in a LGBT-friendly hotspot, across the USA
Celebrating your love story? You’ll want to go somewhere you feel comfortable enjoying a public display of affection. There are plenty of destinations in the USA that welcome people in every type of relationship, and some who actively court LGBT travellers, with all sorts of guides and initiatives. We’ve rounded up a selection of LGBT-friendly destinations
which have made an extra effort to make everyone feel at home and have fun.
Serenade your sweetheart in Nashville, Tennessee
Step up your serenade in Nashville
, the home of country music, by recording a song for your loved one at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium
. Everyone who’s anyone in country music has played here and you’ll record your track with a professional sound engineer.
Find 'When Harry met Sally'-style sizzle in New York City
Say “oh yes” like Meg Ryan in When Harry met Sally to a valentine’s break in New York
. The city is an iconic spot for a romantic rendez-vous and it’s not hard to see why. We all recognise its romantic spots from the movies, from iconic art galleries and the Empire State Building, to cosy candlelit Italian eateries. Head off on your own tour of classic film locations including the Loeb Boathouse in Central Park and George Washington Bridge from When Harry met Sally, or go on a tour with On Location Tours
. You’ll take in spots including the café where Meg Ryan waits for her date in You’ve Got Mail - and Cafe Luxembourg, setting of Meg Ryan’s iconic ‘faking it’ scene in When Harry met Sally.
Wine and dine in Fredericksburg, Texas
Wine fans will probably already be familiar with California’s Napa Valley, but did you know that you’ll find fabulous wines in Texas too? The city of Fredericksburg
, in the heart of Texas Wine Country, is home to more than 45 wineries and vineyards. It’s a super romantic spot with beautiful landscapes, sub-tropical climate, award-winning restaurants, fantastic shopping and art galleries and glamorous hotels, left.
Hit the shops, across the USA
In love with a big spender? Sweep your partner off their feet with a shopping trip in the USA, left. There’s so much to choose from: iconic shopping streets including Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles
, and New York’s Fifth Avenue, or The Shops Buckhead Atlanta
. Find retail heaven in one of America’s biggest shopping malls a legendary malls including the Mall Of America
. Or snap up a bargain at one of the USA’s best discount shopping destinations including Macerich Shopping Centers & Fashion Outlets
. Here are our tips on where to go to combine romance with retail therapy.