If you and your boo are due for some time away together, you have a number of vacation experiences to choose from. Active itineraries, vineyard exploration and remote stargazing venues are just a few of the options available. From Sonoma to South Carolina, here are some of my favorites.
Sports: If moving and grooving suits your travel style, perhaps it’s time to consider a few more golf getaways instead of focusing on food, for instance. Hilton Head Island has a number of such options available, including the numerous courses available at the Sea Pines Resort. Packages there start at $170, and include such things unlimited play with complimentary repeat rounds, private villa accommodations with fully-equipped kitchens, free bag of warm-up balls for the range and restaurant discounts. An on-island, scenic waterfront dining splurge is available at the Old Oyster Factory. Entrée prices are on the higher end of moderate, but a number of their seafood appetizers are available for less than $15 each. Course-view meals are available at the Harbour Town Grill, which offers an affordable lunch menu, and gourmet entrees starting at less than $25.
Prefer something a bit more rustic? The Boulder Mountain Lodge in Utah is less than 20 minutes from the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, providing a comfy place to rest after a day of hiking or canyoneering. Bryce Canyon and Capitol Reef National Park are also nearby, making the venue a perfect escape for nature enthusiasts. Packing daily picnics provides maximum access to the landscape, and there’s an on-location restaurant supplied by the lodge’s own organic farm. High season individual room rates are all less than $200, while a two bedroom unit at the same time of year is only $210, making a weekend double-date excursion very affordable.
Solitude: Sometimes the pressure of chaotic work schedules can make alone time even more of a priority for couples than might usually be the case. When that happens, searching out venues that make seclusion a priority is the name of the travel game. Dunham Farms, an intimate bed and breakfast establishment along the Georgia coast near Beaufort, South Carolina, comes with access to several thousand acres of private forest, hiking trails, kayaking marshes and open fields. Accommodations start at $165 per night, including a gourmet breakfast for two, afternoon munchies and a low level of evening light pollution that even professional dark sky observers will find enticing.
Nearby daytrips include the free-to-use Cay Creek Wetlands Interpretive Center, the Midway historic district’s $6 museum and 1792 church, and $25 pistol range reservations at the Dorchester Shooting Preserve. Weekend visitors interested in a waterfront dinner with live music will want to check out Sunday dinner options at the Sunbury Crab Company, where waterfront band enjoyment can be had along with buckets of steamed oysters and frosty brews.
One state away, The Red Horse Inn in Landrum, South Carolina offers secluded private cottages for $210 per night with kitchens, scenic views and private, back-porch hot tubs suitable for skinny dipping with champagne cocktails. Situated near Greenville, South Carolina, the location comes with drivable access to a number of no-cost day hikes, antiquing trails and even a selection of wineries. For example, Overmountain Vineyards waives their tasting fee for guests of the hotel and offers outdoor fireside sampling pours with seating in generously-sized Adirondack chairs and complimentary cuddles from the family’s affectionate canine.
Sipping: Winning winery experiences are available throughout North America, including popular Sonoma County, California. For instance, at the Applewood Inn and Osmosis Day Spa, a year-round wine package is offered to couples on Sundays through Thursdays where $449 per night scores you a room, two-course breakfast with mimosas, a bottle of local wine upon arrival, $50 dinner voucher to the on-site restaurant, portable gourmet picnic lunch, a multi-winery visitation pass and a cedar enzyme bath for two at the spa along with two full-sized spa products to enjoy back home. A pretty affordable proposal itinerary, in my opinion.
Similarly, typical packages at the Watermark Beach Resort in Osoyoos, British Columbia can score you a suite stay, specialty tastings at five area vineyards, a bottle of regional wine waiting for you after check in and a complimentary tapas and wine pairing at the venue’s wine bar. It’s the perfect location to enjoy the southern Okanagan Valley.