If you and your sweetheart are craving a dreamy beach vacation, we don’t blame you! Now, more than ever, setting up some time for personal relaxation and reconnection with your partner is critical for your mental health. But, when it comes to planning a romantic beach getaway, sometimes it is more complicated than a long weekend in a picturesque destination.
Did you know that being outdoors in open, relaxing spaces can actually reduce stress and blood pressure? Walking hand-in-hand along a serene shoreline is the perfect way to reflect and remind yourselves of what truly matters — nurturing your relationship with some much-needed TLC!
Taking in calming blue waters with your toes in the sand is just the remedy you two need to decompress from Zoom meetings and hectic work-life schedules. Science aside, who doesn’t enjoy cuddling up in a cabana soaking up some sun while reading a good book?
So if you’re looking for the best beach vacation destinations, we’ve got seven must-see picks for stress-free spots to relax and unwind. From the crystal waters of the coast of Bali to the vibrant snorkeling and surfing in Puerto Rico, each of these stunning locations has precisely what you need for a perfect romantic getaway. These are the top 7 dreamy beach vacations you should book right now.
Key West, Florida
Get that laid-back island vibe without ever leaving the mainland by heading to the southernmost point of the United States in Key West, Florida. Perfect for simply relaxing at a slower pace, the beautiful white-sand beaches are ideal for a dreamy and romantic couple’s getaway. Rent a car from Miami or Fort Lauderdale and take the easy 4-hour drive, crossing the famous Seven Mile Bridge, then park and opt for a beach cruiser for the rest of your trip.
Key West is truly the perfect beach destination for those seeking that island-like charm. Make a stop at the Hemmingway House and pet the iconic and adorable polydactyl cats before taking a romantic walk through its beautiful lush gardens. Or, try stand-up paddle boarding or kayaking in the calm waters for a unique sightseeing experience. Of course, nothing beats simply soaking up the sun while lying on one of Key West’s pristine beaches. And when the sun sets, you can always dress up for each other and explore the island’s easygoing bars and romantic atmosphere, inspiring some of Jimmy Buffets’ greatest hits.
Traveler Tip: Remember, Florida is known for its snowbirds, so consider heading to Key West in the shoulder seasons, like March through May or September through November, for a less crowded, more relaxed experience.
If you and your partner are looking for a quick flight from the East Coast to a romantic Caribbean island, Puerto Rico is one of the best places. From pristine white sand beaches to fun outdoor adventures, from water activities like snorkeling and surfing to hiking the El Yunque rainforest, it’s the perfect island landscape for anyone seeking a healthy dose of adventure and romance.
When you’re ready for some interesting history, visit the historic inner city of Old San Juan, with well-preserved Spanish colonial architecture and historical sites dating back to the 16th century. You and your better half will be whisked away to a different time that’ll awaken your wildest fantasies. In the evening, meander through Calle San Sebastián, a famous street for nightlife with bars and clubs featuring live music and dancing. The area also features a variety of restaurants and cafes offering outdoor seating and breathtaking views of the romantic city.
Traveler Tip: US citizens do not need a passport to enter Puerto Rico, speeding up the time entering or exiting the country. However, we recommend having an updated Real ID card and carrying your passport if you plan to hop to other islands. With quick nonstop flights out of New York daily, jet-setting to a dreamy destination like Puerto Rico for a long weekend is a perfect beach holiday from the East Coast.
With some of the best beaches, lush tropical jungles, and volcanic peaks the world has to offer, Hawaii is an iconic beach vacation spot. You and your beau can hike to incredible vistas and flowing waterfalls, and depending on what island you’ve decided to visit, there’s even a chance of seeing an active volcano!
One of the most exciting things about Hawaii’s beaches is that there are no private beaches (except for Federal land). All beaches are accessible to the public as part of common law, and as you both travel along the coast, stopping from one beach to the next is a romantic adventure. Along with the breathtaking mountain and ocean views, the rich culture of traditional Hawaiian villages and customs is the heart of what makes this great place so special. Make sure to immerse yourself in Polynesian history and check out a luau for a complete experience.
Traveler Tip: When it comes to a quick trip to Hawaii, it can be tempting to pack as much in as possible by hopping from island to island. But for true romance and relaxation, give yourself a few days on just one of the islands and be open to some spontaneity! See how we spent nine days on Oahu on a budget.
Cabo San Lucas
Just a 3-hour direct flight from Los Angeles, this enclave of stunning Mexican coastline is the perfect quick romantic weekend getaway from the West Coast. Here, you and your partner will marvel at majestic rocky cliffs that meet the crystal blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, with miles of shoreline lined with luxury resorts. Shorter than a flight to Hawaii, you can usually find 4+ star all-inclusive resorts for a romantic three-day weekend whenever you need an intimate tropical destination.
Relax together at the cabana overlooking the infinity pool. Or, go swimming with dolphins, take a fishing tour, or enjoy a romantic sunset boat cruise. After a quick 1-hour shuttle ride from the local airport, flying into and getting to your destination is stress-free. And once relaxing in Cabo, there’s no shortage of nightlife, local restaurants, and bars, with easy taxi services to get about. A spontaneous trip to Cabo always makes for one of the most unforgettable beach destinations.
Traveler Tip: The resorts have a wide variety of on-site restaurants, but grabbing a taxi and finding something out of the resort can be a fun trip through town together. Head down to the marina for fresh fish or further up the coast for rooftop restaurants with incredible views.
The Greek Islands
Transport yourself back in time while also experiencing some of the most stunning beaches in the world. The Greek Islands are renowned for their fine white sand, crystal-clear waters, and picturesque views. Each of the islands scattered through the Aegean and Ionian Seas is unique from the others offering exciting sightseeing, shopping, and nightlife.
The abundance of activities you and your love can discover on the Greek Islands is only limited by your time there. From diving into the pristine waters or viewing the ruins of ancient places like the Palace of Knossos on Crete, it’s easy to become entranced with the history and beauty of this island — perfect for a romance. After a day of soaking in the sun, venture into the traditional towns and villages to taste amazing cuisine, fresh seafood, and traditional dishes. At the Greek Islands, you’ll feel like you’re in your own romance novel!
Traveler Tip: The Greek Islands are best visited from late spring through fall. Although beautiful in the winter months, you may not find as many places open for businesses in the slower season.
If you’ve got a week to relax to the sound of crashing waves, look at flights to Bali. Also known as the Island of the Gods, it is a tropical paradise known for its beautiful beaches, lush jungles, and vibrant culture. Take a romantic walk from white sands to shorelines made of black volcanic ash. Then soak up the island’s culture and history by exploring traditional Balinese villages and seeing the beautiful temples, traditional dances, and ceremonies.
While in the sultry atmosphere of Bali, you might as well treat yourselves to one of their famous couple’s massages and spa treatments to amp up the romance. You can also wake up early and take a sunrise yoga class for a truly grounding and rejuvenating experience. With miles of coastline and a rich cultural heritage, Bali is the perfect destination to make memories together that’ll last a lifetime.
Traveler Tip: All visitors are required to have a valid passport with at least six months remaining before expiration. So before booking your dream trip, double-check your travel documents.
The Azores are a group of nine islands off the coast of Portugal. With incredible volcanic landscapes, their black beaches are a once-in-a-lifetime destination for couples seeking adventure and romance. Similar to Hawaii, but off the coast of Europe in the Atlantic Ocean, the Azores may be quicker to travel to depending on where you live in the US.
Immerse yourself in the island’s rich culture and customs. You and your partner can visit the local museums, attend festivals, and try local food to experience something completely new together. Don’t forget to go whale watching! The island is known for its abundance of marine life all year long. For active couples, a romantic hike through some of The Azores’ lush forests is a great choice. You’ll be delighted by the orchids and wild ferns as you hike up spectacular summits.
Although stunning, this is not a crowded party destination. The Azores is a destination ideal for nature-conscious couples that truly want to unplug, disconnect, and rejuvenate their senses in a romantic island paradise.
Traveler Tip: The Azores are known for frequent rain, so pack an umbrella, raincoat, and appropriate shoes for exploring the islands.
When to Get the Most Out of Your Trip? Go Off-Season.
Want to find the best time of year to get the most bang for your buck? Look for off-season times to travel. Other than peak hurricane seasons, most of these locations have great weather all year round for a romantic vacation soaking up the sun.
Let us let you in on a secret: you and your partner could save thousands of dollars by being flexible and improvisational! Consider mid-week travel for cheaper flights and hotel rates. And if you’re feeling incredibly spontaneous, last-minute room rates can be the best value — the perfect excuse to surprise the love of your life with a romantic getaway!
And avoid, at all costs, traveling during peak times like spring break, when resorts are crowded, and prices are at a premium. Romance ain’t as easy when children are screaming in your radius!
What to Pack in a Carry-on for a Beachy Destination
This may be a hard pill to swallow for some, but we like to keep it real here: stop overpacking! Focus more on what you need for a relaxing vacation. When you break it down and leave all the “what if I need 5 extra pairs of XYZ” at the door, you can fit everything you need in one carry-on suitcase. Here is our quick guide on what to pack for a romantic weekend:
- Two bathing suits
- One cover-up
- One nice dress or jumpsuit or casual slacks and button-up shirt
- Three skirts or shorts
- Three tops, the lighter and more breathable, the better
- Casual walking shoes, open-toed sandals if possible
- One pair of nicer shoes you can still comfortably walk in
Always check resort guidelines for the evening dinner dress code, as most resorts request men wear long pants to dinner.
Well, first off—the ocean! There’s something about the sound of the waves crashing against the shore that sets the perfect atmosphere for a romantic getaway. Not to mention, people tend to feel more relaxed near the ocean.
This means you can have those long, meaningful conversations and be open with your partner without feeling overwhelmed or tense. It’s a great place to express your love for each other and share a kiss or two! So if you’re looking for the perfect romantic escape, consider a beach vacation. It’s sure to bring out the romance in you!
If you and your partner are planning a more spontaneous romantic getaway, then Expedia, Priceline, Orbitz, Travelocity, and Travelzoo are all great go-to options for finding some awesome last-minute deals.
With each of these sites offering price comparison tools to compare flights and accommodation prices from multiple airlines and hotels, you’ll be sure to find the best deal for your budget.
Generally, yes. Adults-only resorts usually come with a few extra bells and whistles that may not be found in other resorts, which can up the price. You can expect to pay a bit more for luxurious amenities such as top-tier activities and entertainment, delicious food, and premium drinks.
While it’s understandable to want to save money, it could be worth investing in an adult-only resort if you’re looking for a more romantic and relaxing experience.
Make Your Beachside Dreams Come to Life
Escape to a world of crystal clear waters, white sandy beaches, and delicious local cuisine. From quick getaways to weeklong sabbaticals in breathtaking destinations, these dreamy beach vacations offer top-quality relaxation and rejuvenation for every type of couple.
So don’t wait any longer; book your dream beach vacation for the ultimate romantic getaway experience!
Have you and your better half been to a dreamy beach destination that was out of this world? Go ahead and tell us all about it in the comment section below! If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to our newsletter for more juicy romantic getaway content.
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This article originally appeared on Food Drink Life.