While it's thoughtful to exchange anniversary cards and presents, many couples consider a vacation the greatest gift. There's also a trend toward combining a dream vacation with a vow renewal when you reach a milestone anniversary.
Whether you retie the knot to honor your June anniversary or simply take a romantic getaway that's certain to rekindle the fire in your relationship, use these ideas for planning a romantic getaway.
Did you know that Brussels is one of the least expensive European capitals to visit? Even in June, you can score a first-rate hotel for far less than you'd pay in London, Paris, and Rome. But that's not the only reason to visit. Its central plaza, surrounded by structures dating to the year 1400, is a a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The cobblestone streets that radiate out from it are home to outdoor cafes (say yes to mussels in Brussels and wash them down with a tasty beer) and shops selling everything from exquisite Belgian lace to mouth-watering Belgian chocolates. A must-see for fans of surrealism: the Magritte Museum.
One more great thing about Brussels: You can easily get to it from to London or Paris via Eurostar train.
Nature-loving couples ought to consider a June wedding anniversary on this South Carolina island. It's a favorite with twosomes who appreciate beaches, full-service resorts, and the game of golf.
What makes Hilton Head so special this month is that you can witness loggerhead turtles emerging from the sea, crawling onto the sand to lay their eggs. Observing them in the dark of night is a near-spiritual experience, and local properties honor their timeworn procession by darkening shades and banning street lamps so the critters, who can live 100 years, won't become disoriented.
By day, explore the waters surrounding Hilton Head via kayak. If you're lucky, a curious dolphin may swim close enough to make it feel as if you're getting a benediction of your love.
Billing itself as “the most luxurious train in the world,” Rovos Rail winds languidly through southern Africa, carrying well-heeled passengers on journeys back in time. Couples can travel, sleep, dine, and take in views of the vast countryside in meticulously maintained vintage railroad cars built during the first half of the twentieth century. Some cars evoke the Art Deco era, others are more Edwardian in appearance.
Itineraries start and end in major cities and call at stops along the way that few tourists get to see such as Kimberley, location of the world’s largest diamond mine.
Many Rovos Rail journeys originate in Cape Town or Pretoria. Along the way, the landscape morphs from urban vistas to tin shacks in shanty towns to agricultural scenes to bush where animals in the wild — perhaps The Big Five — make an appearance.
Despite being a big city, Vancouver air always seems fresher and the June temperature hovers around a comfortable 72 degrees. That inspires couples to spend time outdoors, bicycling and hiking in Stanley Park, which has trails that track along the sea. Along the way find romantic inlets, coves, harbors, and bays with gorgeous views of the Pacific Ocean (especially at sunset) that inspire a kiss.
You'll also treasure Vancouver for its comforts; this British Columbia destination has many romantic hotels as well as a bounty of food to savor. Granville Island is the place to feast on some of the Northwest's freshest seafood. This open-air market tempts with ethnic delights, local cheeses, artisanal breads, and impossible-to-resist chocolates.
June 1 marks the beginning of hurricane season, but that shouldn't discourage you from visiting Curacao if you crave a Caribbean getaway; this island hasn't been hit by a devastating storm in more than 30 years.
Curacao holds great appeal for couples celebrating an anniversary even though the country defies standard ideas about the Caribbean. There is an island pace, but the scene is cosmopolitan; there is spectacular diving but no expansive stretch of continuous beach.
Romantics will find unique attractions that exceed the Americanized Caribbean. A vibrant capital city, uncrowded beaches, an underwater park, cave explorations, snorkeling excursions, hiking among wild orchids, and refreshing tropical drinks await in Curacao, little sister to more-famous Aruba.
There's probably no better place for same-sex couples to travel for their June wedding anniversary than Provincetown, located at the tip of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Early in the month, gay pride celebrations infuse the town with exciting events. Whenever you visit, the beach is a lure—although the Atlantic Ocean may still be too cool for all but the most intrepid to swim.
Commercial Street holds a mix of shops, restaurants, art galleries, and churches. There are no "big box" stores; most shops are small, artfully painted and decorated, and offer a range of uniquely whimsical merchandise.
Satisfy your craving for seafood at the Lobster Pot overlooking the harbor. If you have room left, Provincetown has a plethora of candy and ice cream emporia.
Begin your romantic journey to New Brunswick on the overnight train (sleeper car, of course) from Montreal. You'll want to drive south to the small, quaint village of St. Andrews by the Sea, akin to a Canadian version of Bar Harbor, Maine without the crowds.
Visit the Bay of Fundy, a feeding ground for whales and migratory birds that has the highest tides in the world. Every 6 hours, the tides change dramatically, revealing or concealing the ocean floor.
Couples will savor a stay at Kingsbrae Arms. There are only 10 rooms and suites, all individually furnished with antiques and other treasures including four-poster canopy beds with down comforters. Bathrooms contain deep soaking tubs for two.
Paradise for couples who are nature and sports lovers, New Hampshire boasts a classic waterfront in Portsmouth as well as rolling hills spread among the highest mountains in the Northeast.
June in New Hampshire means hot-air ballooning, thrilling to freshwater Lake Winnepesaukee and the White Mountains, and discovering the cultural treasures of historic Portsmouth. Kicked off June 1 with a Chowder Festival, the Prescott Park Arts Festival runs all summer.
Celebrate your anniversary on a sunset harbor cruise or travel on a whale-watching expedition from Barker Wharf in search of pirouetting humpbacks and dolphins. Ninety-nine out of 100 times, sea-goers return having sighted the magnificent mammals.
Luxuriate at a Relais & Chateaux Inn
Kids are out of school and families are looking for affordable vacation spots in June. Treat yourselves to something more sophisticated on your anniversary. Inns and hotels that belong to the Relais & Chateaux group adhere to the highest standards of hospitality. Each of the properties, which are located all over the world, is unique and charming in its own way. In addition to top-notch service, guests can expect meals that are exceptional in both taste and presentation. It's no wonder that many couples choose a Relais & Chateaux inn to celebrate a honeymoon, birthday, anniversary, or other special occasion.
June—the entire summer, in fact—is prime time for cruising. Thanks to the warm weather and more people going on vacation this time of year, couples have the widest selection of itineraries.
Whether you want to take a once-in-a-lifetime cruise to Alaska, explore the islands of the Caribbean and enjoy their sun-drenched beaches, visit the great cities of Europe, or even sail to exotic ports, you'll have a wide selection of cruises and itineraries to choose from on a summer anniversary cruise.
In addition to the fun and romance of cruising, you can also celebrate your June anniversary onboard by arranging special perks (flowers, Champagne, hors d'oeuvres delivered to your cabin). Hint: Tell the restaurant maitre'd the exact date of your anniversary, and he may surprise you with something special at dinner.