The vision of Valentine’s Day dinner with a view of the Empire State Building put New York City on the map of romance and even L.A. has its own story thanks to Steve Martin, but if a romantic getaway is your goal and the biggest cities don’t hold much appeal, you might be surprised at the wooing potential of several smaller cities that locals have succeeded in keeping secret.
Melissa Burdick Harmon at Yahoo! Travel decided to pull back the curtain on ten unexpectedly romantic cities in the United States that are far more budget friendly than the big three or four go-to destinations.
Finding the perfect partner, though, is still up to you.
For natural beauty with a big-city vibe
Minneapolis, with its booming big-city feel, combined with its 180 parks, 22 lakes, and 80 miles of bike paths and trails, is a perfect destination for couples who want a mix of sophistication and time alone with nature. Book a room at the 24-room Nicollet Island Inn, on an island in the Mississippi. Its romance package is lovely, and you can venture out to stroll through pretty neighborhoods lined with Victorian homes. The city’s Chain of Lakes offer abundant opportunities for romantic strolls complete with skyline views. Choose pretty Lake of the Isles, with lots of privacy-promoting nooks and crannies, for a late summer, early fall picnic. Go for drinks in the speakeasy-themed bar called Prohibition, at the hip Minneapolis W Foshay. Contact the Hitching Company for a horse-drawn carriage ride along the riverfront, along cobblestone streets and across the Stone Arch Bridge. In winter, cozy blankets are provided. On a less sophisticated note, you can take the light rail to the Mall of America, to get married in the “Chapel of Love,” or renew your wedding vows on the mall’s roller coaster.
For rock ‘n’ roll nostalgia and more
What can be more romantic than reliving special musical moments together? And where better to do that than at Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum? The Beatles exhibit alone includes some 70 artifacts (stage outfits, hand-written musical arrangements). Also catch the Grateful Dead exhibit (through 2012), and many others, including Jimi Hendrix, U2, and the Doors. On a totally different musical note, catch the Cleveland Orchestra at the handsome Severance Hall. Finish a day of touring at Edgewater State Park, where you can picnic while you watch the sun slip down into Lake Erie. Perhaps enjoy a nightcap at the Velvet Tango Room, a modern-day “speakeasy” in the Tremont neighborhood. Shop for retro fashion, antiques, and bargains in Larchmere. Grab a tasty lunch, including some interesting Japanese fare, at Flying Cranes Café on nearby Shaker Square. Extend your trip a bit by a drive out to Put-in-Bay, on South Bass Island, north of Sandusky. Book rooms at the Vineyard Bed and Breakfast, a century-plus-old farmhouse set among lovely vines, and with its own private beach.
Full story at Yahoo! Travel.
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