When you think romance, do you think of tropical breezes, stunning sunsets, exquisite dining, and luxurious hotel rooms? If so, Florida could be a fit for your honeymoon, Valentine's Day vacation, or whatever other occasion might beckon you to whisk your sweetheart away on an amorous getaway.
Whether your fantasy vacation includes an oceanfront cottage with strolls and picnics on the beach or a luxurious penthouse with a Michelin-rated restaurant downstairs, you're sure to find something to suit your fancy at Florida's charming destinations.
Ancient Romantic Traditions
To some people, romance is synonymous with old-timey chivalry and ancient buildings. In that case, St. Augustine is just the thing. This historic settlement is a blast from the 16th century, with its vast Castillo de San Marcos and Euro-inspired downtown area (think: cobblestone streets and gelaterias).
A wide array of romantic bayside bed and breakfast inns such as the Westcott House or the Cedar House Inn provide an intimate atmosphere for you and your honey. By day, stroll St. George Street's timeless shopping area. Enjoy fine dining at the famous Columbia Restaurant, and take a moonlit stroll past historical landmarks and the sparkling water of the bay.
Balmy breezes, white powdery sand, and year-round sunshine make Florida's beaches the most sought-after vacation destinations in the U.S. One of the most romantic is Southwest Florida's Fort Myers & Sanibel. In fact, it even has a park named Lovers Key, which overlooks the Gulf of Mexico (how charming!). Captiva Island has been ranked as one of the country's most romantic beaches by "Dr. Beach"—Stephen Leatherman, Ph.D.—who is recognized as the nation's foremost beach authority.
Spectacular sunsets are a daily occurrence on Florida's Lee Island Coast (home to Sanibel Island, Bonita Springs, Estero Island, and Fort Myers Beach). There, you will find many opportunities for tranquil walks, shelling, or water sports such as parasailing and jet-skiing.
In addition to an abundance of natural beauty and recreational opportunities, there is an endless array of world-class resorts, restaurants, services, and facilities that cater to lovers of all ages.
While not necessarily quiet or secluded, Walt Disney World can, indeed, be romantic. This is why 1,200 couples allegedly get married or honeymoon in the Happiest Place on Earth every year. Planning a romantic getaway here is all about the accommodation you choose.
You certainly don't want something that caters exclusively to the kid crowd. Rather, Disney's Grand Floridian Resort & Spa or Wilderness Lodge are both good choices. The Grand Floridian has the Victorian opulence and pampering service of a bygone era, while the Wilderness Lodge is reminiscent of the park lodges of America's Great Northwest. Both offer a variety of activity and dining experiences—enough that you wouldn't even have to leave the resort if you didn't want to.
Puttin' on the Ritz
The luxurious accommodations and gourmet dining are expensive, yes, but for those who want to splurge, the oceanfront Ritz-Carlton in South Beach is the place. The understated elegance of the property is the perfect romantic setting for a special getaway. Or for a proposal, perhaps?
Sweeping views of the Atlantic are not the only amenity. A fully equipped fitness center, spa, elevated swimming pool, and jacuzzi provide enough activities to please just about anybody.
Sunset Dinner Cruises
You'll be wishing upon your lucky stars as you and your sweetheart enjoy an evening of dinner and dancing aboard the Starlite Majesty Dining Yacht. Elegant decor, fine dining, first-rate musicians, and an ever-changing water view on smooth inland waters all combine to make a truly memorable night.
You can set sail any night from Clearwater on this three-hour dining experience where you will cruise the Intercoastal waterway. Seating is at your own individual table where you will be served freshly-prepared food. After dinner, you may dance to the live music, take a romantic stroll on the outer decks, or enjoy your favorite cocktails.