If you're a couple in the mood for love, but don't want to spring for a pricey overseas trip to the "usual" romantic destinations, then here are five surprising top spots for romance, right here in the U.S. of A.:
5) La Jolla, California: The Golden State is known for its well-known for its beaches - some perfect for surfing, others for swimming - but La Jolla beaches have it all: snorkeling with seals and sea lions, diving, surfing, sandstone cliffs and most importantly, scenic vistas for long, romantic walks. Not a fan of sand in your shoes? Then there's shopping, dining and world-class golfing, too.
4) Denver, Colorado: The Mile High City may conjure images of blizzards and toe-freezing temperatures, but you and your honey will find that Denver is full of romantic possibilities. So, yes, it gets a lot of snow, but did you know that Denver enjoys more than 300 days of sunshine a year? That's more fun in the sun than Miami or San Diego. All that sun means more time to stroll hand-in-hand enjoying the Arts Festival in May, the Cherry Blossom Festival in June and First Friday Art Walks in the summer and fall.
3) Austin, Texas: This hippy-dippy Texas town was made for lovers. Live-music lovers, that is. Austin is known as the live-music capital of the U.S., with more than 100 music venues. Love food? Indulge in all the Tex-Mex and barbecue you can inhale. Love water? Take a dip in Barton Springs Pool, a pool fed from natural underground springs that's 68 degrees year round. Love bats? Grab a spot on the Congress Avenue bridge in the summer to watch the world's biggest urban bat colony take flight every night.
2) Providence, R.I.: If gondolas are more your style, Venice might your first thought. But forget that: Come to romantic Providence, Rhode Island! For half the price of a trip to Italy, couples can dine at Federal Hills' many Italian restaurants and float down one of the city's three rivers on gondolas to see the annual Waterfire art installation. What's more romantic than bonfires and gondola rides?
1) Charleston, S.C.: Sometimes, if you want to take a relationship to "the next level," you have to slow things down. This genteel Southern city is made for romance: Carriage rides down cobblestone streets, historic (and cozy) B&Bs and world-class Lowcountry food served with plenty of Southern hospitality.