Valentine's Day 2012 Destination #10: New York - USA
Downtown Manhattan (REUTERS/Brandan McDermid)
North America's largest city is so romanticized in film and TV that one can't help but be taken aback by all the pomp and pizzazz. Whether you're looking for Mad Men, Friends, or Sex in the City there's a slice of this metropolis to fit all tastes. Depending on where you happen to be sitting / walking / eating / sleeping, New York can be anything you want it to be from bright-lights-big-city to sleepy, side-street secret. While it's a game of choose your own adventure, romance is never hard to find.
Valentine's Day 2012 Destination #9: Tofino, British Columbia - Canada
A beach near Tofino (REUTERS/Finbarr O’Reilly)
It just sounds romantic - Tofino! This small town on Vancouver Island is the jewel of Canada's West Coast with stunning natural beauty and plenty of private, secluded spots. It also boasts swank beachfront resorts, excellent restaurants, and a dynamic arts scene rooted in the First Nations culture. Glam Tofino is a spot fit for Hollywood royalty - a place where stars like Ryan Reynolds and Scarlett Johansson honeymoon. Glamorous without being pretentious, Tofino is perfect for nature-loving couples who want to get away from it all and unwind to the sound of the Pacific Ocean.
Valentine's Day 2012 Destination #8: Mazatlan, Sinaloa - Mexico
The beach at Mazatlan (creative commons/Erasmo Perez)
The Pearl of the Pacific is one of Mexico's most alluring and inviting beach destinations offering casual elegance in a romantic setting. This oh-so-desirable location on Mexico's Gold Coast boasts luxury hotels and resorts perfectly aligned for amber sunsets along an endless stretch of palm-lined beach. Somewhat of an oddity in Mexico, Mazatlan offers a historic city with a resplendent colonial district just a short walk from a 12-mile crescent beach. Mazatlan has everything a couple could want in a romantic vacation, located on a peninsula that juts out into the Pacific Ocean with stunning views of the majestic Sierra Madre Mountains framing the beach on the horizon.
Valentine's Day 2012 Destination #7: Miami - USA
The Art Deco District in Miami Beach (REUTERS/Carlos Barria)
Miami may just be the sexiest city in America, full of impossibly gorgeous people and salty-sweet nights. Nothing like the rest of the Southeast -- or anywhere else in the North America -- Miami is a pan-American mosaic with a flair for the hyperextravagant. If the sheer beauty of the surroundings doesn't make you nauseous and the heat doesn't put you down, Miami will envelope you in its sweaty grip and offer the kind of romantic Hollywood-style getaway you've drooled over on the pages of OK! Magazine.
Valentine's Day 2012 Destination #6: Savannah, Ga. - USA
Bonaventure Cemetery, Savannah, Georgia (creative commons/scottycentral)
Savannah sweeps visitors away with its swampy Southern charm, but it's sultry, sinfully playful side may surprise. This Spanish-moss-encased historic town is no demure Southern belle like its sister city Charleston. Savannah is quaint without being stodgy. Classically romantic without being antiquated. From achingly beautiful Southern gothic cemeteries to the strollable squares of old town, Savannah is best explored hand in hand with someone you love.
Valentine's Day 2012 Destination #5: San Francisco - USA
Dolores Park, San Francisco (REUTERS/Robert Galbraith)
Locals and visitors alike swoon over San Fran. With enumerable boutique hotels and romantic hideaways, this Northern California city is easily the West Coast's dreamiest destination. The City by the Bay's eclectic shops, intriguing museums, array of global cuisine, and manageable size make it perfect for couples looking for an urban escape. Its close proximity to both Napa and Sonoma Valleys doesn't hurt either!
Valentine's Day 2012 Destination #4: Tulum, Quintana Roo - Mexico
The beach at Tulum (creative commons/Javier Hidalgo)
This low-rise, high key ocean strip along the Riviera Maya is where the world's top fashion designers flock each winter. They're joined by high-profile actors and models who revel in the serenity of this luxurious eco-chic Mexican oasis. But it's not all sun tans and saluting the sun. Laid-back and pedestrian-friendly Tulum -- which Italian Vogue called the new Goa -- has plenty of attractions both on and off the beach. You can start your day at a Mayan ruin, go shopping at an unassuming boutique, and end with a sunset walk down the coast. Share a sneak peak of the end of the world with that special someone in this gem of the Mayan heartland.
Valentine's Day 2012 Destination #3: Montreal, Quebec - Canada
The Old Warf in Montreal (creative commons/caribb)
This fairytale French Canadian hub comes to life like an idyllic Christmas village each winter. Lower in latitude than Paris but with a climate closer to Moscow's, North America's most European city has a Parisian flare for high culture and an amiable Nordic charm. Montréal is one of the few places in the world where visitors can cross-country ski, ice skate, snowshoe, ride snowmobiles, and go ice fishing all within city limits. Unafraid of winter chills, the Quebecois ski through Mont Royal, skate through Parc La Fontaine, and heat up their frozen limbs by a fireplace in the trendy cafes of the Plateau neighborhood. There's no reason you can't too - besides, there's nothing like cuddling up by the fire after a long day out in the cold.
Valentine's Day 2012 Destination #2: New Orleans - USA
New Orleans French Quarter (creative commons/wallyg)
From the laissez-faire vibe of the French Quarter and Garden District to the backcountry charm further out, this creole-flavored, jazz-permeated romantic getaway is sticky-sweet. A cache of French and Southern-influenced hotels fill New Orleans offering couples an ambient spot to settle in. Sample zesty Cajun cooking, down a signature cocktail or two, listen to some live music, and relax. Let Nah'leans tickle its way into your soul.
Valentine's Day 2012 Destination #1: Lake Louise, Alberta - Canada
The Chateau Lake Louise (creative commons/Pavan Chitumalla)
Lake Louise was ripped from Heaven and placed on Earth. The lake itself is robin egg blue and surrounded in an amphitheater of picturesque Rocky Mountain peaks bisected by Victoria Glacier at the far end. It's quite possibly one of the most beautiful vistas in all of North America. A night staring out across the milky blue waters from your balcony at Chateau Lake Louise is like spending an evening in the clouds looking out at a fairy tale kingdom - a kingdom fit for Prince Charming and Cinderella.