As much as we love Austin, sometimes it's a change of scenery that will keep the spark burning. Here’s how to have a fabulous weekend getaway—via a direct flight or a short drive—for all types of couples this Valentine's Day.
For a Food & Wine Excursion: San Francisco, CA
Where to Stay: The birthplace of California cuisine and a hub for exotic international dishes, San Francisco is a foodie haven even before venturing to the infamous Napa Valley. Enjoy luxury accomodations at Four Seasons San Francisco in the vibrant Yerba Buena cultural district near Market Square, with floor to ceiling windows and modern accommodations. Opt for the couples package and arrive in your suite with a welcoming bottle of Veuve Clicquot and truffles, among other goodies. 757 Market St., 415-633-3000
What to Do: Ready to excite your palate? È Tutto Qua offers a whimsical take on Italian cuisine, while the inviting taverna located in the city's financial district, Kokkari Estiatorio serves high-end Greek fare fit for the gods. Three-Michelin-starred Benu, lauded for their faux shark’s fin soup, is an unforgettable Asian-inspired fine dining experience that will leave any food connoisseur dazzled.
For Rustic Charm: Fredericksburg, TX
Where to Stay: A short drive from Austin can transport you to the heart of the Texas Hill Country with old-world German flourishes and cozy accommodations. Snag a room at a charming B&B through reservation service Absolute Charm—you'll be able to find a weekend home ideal for you and your valentine. We suggest choosing one with a hot tub for quite the rejuvenating weekend. Various locations, 866-244-7897
What to Do: There are several sites in the area that you can't miss: Lost Draw Cellars boasts a tasting room that lets you sample vinos from the burgeoning Texas wine scene without straying far from Main Street, while The Nest is a praised fine dining establishment in town. However, you can’t leave without checking out Fredericksburg Pie Company for an assortment of delicious cream pies and souvenirs. Finally, work off everything by planning a hike up to Enchanted Rock, which is a source of many legends for the Tonkawa Indians and glorious views.
For History Buffs: Washington, DC
Where to Stay: It’s impossible to leave our nation’s capital without learning something new. There's stately The Hay-Adams Hotel, which is ideally located just across Lafayette Square from the White House. Built in 1928, the boutique hotel’s lavish decor draws from historical influences, while the intimate space will surely make you feel presidential. 800 16th St. NW, 202-780-9033
Where to Stay: If you believe couples who play together stay together, then head out to New Orleans where practically every street corner is a venue and adventure waiting to be discovered. For a weekend stay, we love Hotel Mazarin in the French Quarter, which is just secluded enough to remain peaceful. You can relax on their gorgeous courtyard featuring classically European touches before heading out to wander through the city. 730 Bienville St., 504-581-7300
What to Do: After taking in the sights, head to the city's popular jazz clubs to take in all the sounds. An offshoot of an NYC club, d.b.a has a wide selection of drinks and hosts jazz acts nightly. Located in a historic building, The Palm Court Jazz Cafe keeps things classic with mosaic-tiled floors and a mahogany bar, while Grammy-winning namesake Irvin Mayfield’s Jazz Playhouse offers a more upscale lounge area with equally laudible shows.
For an Ocean Retreat: Malibu, CA
Where to Stay: There are very few things that are as calming as watching ocean waves softly crashing against the sand, and Malibu Beach Inn offers the perfect view for this nirvana from the privacy of your own room. The definition of California cool, this luxurious inn has comfortable modern decor, an array of spa services, and the option to enjoy a cocktail by the fireside or overlooking the waves. 22878 Pacific Coast Hwy, 310-651-7777
What to Do: Whether you're looking for the tranquility of Malibu or the bustle of LA, there are endless entertainment options in the City of Angels. Continue the theme of beautiful sights, by spending the day walking the gorgeous grounds of Getty Villa, an art museum impressively recreated as a Roman countryside house, or hike Nicholas Flat Trail for spectacular ocean views (and maybe a picnic for two at the top?).