Our first Valentine’s Day was celebrated at Outback Steakhouse.
Fortunately, we’ve come a long way since then. Each year, we take a day or weekend trip to celebrate Valentine’s Day in New England, where we live. The New England states are a great place for a romantic getaway any time of year, but the cold temperatures and snowy landscape make Valentine’s Day a particular cozy time in New England.
We’ve compiled this list of some of our favorite romantic spots for you to consider this Valentine’s Day or the next!
1.) Stay at a fancy, historic hotel
New England is anything but short on historic homes and buildings, many of which have now been converted into privately-owned Bed & Breakfasts or hotels. Our favorite is the Mt. Washington Resort and Hotel at Bretton Woods in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. It is located in the shadows of the Presidential Range and Mt. Washington, New England’s highest peak. In the winter, guests can enjoy the nearby slopes of Bretton Woods, the miles of Nordic Ski Trails surrounding the hotel, take a ride on a dog sled, go snow tubing with the family, or relax in one of the largest outdoor hot-tubs we’ve ever seen!
If you’re looking to stay inside, the hotel has plenty of nice restaurants and even a game room downstairs. Most importantly, be sure to visit the Gold Room, where in 1944, world leaders convened to set the gold standard, establish the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.
2.) Visit a waterfall
New England has no shortage of spectacular waterfalls. Whether you’re looking for tall or wide, accessible or secluded, New England has it. Our favorite waterfall is in the western Connecticut town Kent, just off the Appalachian Trail. Kent Falls is 250 ft. tall, or should we say long, and empties into the Housatonic River. The waterfall is divided into so many little cascading sections that it seems like you are visiting about six different, and incredible, waterfalls! It’s about a half a mile walk up a sidewalk of stairs to the very top, but it’s well worth it. The falls are a part of Kent Falls State Park, where you can hike, picnic, or play frisbee in the large field at the base of the falls. The only thing we dislike about Kent Falls is that there can be a lot of people around. That also happens to be one of the things we like best about it, too, because we wouldn’t want anyone to miss such a gorgeous view! You can head into the village center for a romantic dinner at any of the quaint restaurants.
3.) Take a walk along the coast
New England’s coastline spans hundreds of miles from Connecticut to Maine, with many scenic walks along the way. One of the most popular of these walks is the Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island. This three mile walk takes you along the edge of a cliff hovering above the roaring Atlantic (don’t worry, there’s a stone wall) with endless ocean views on one side, and views of some of America’s most famous mansions. Newport has long been a vacation hub for Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, Kennedys and similar folk. You can even see the house where President Kennedy and Jackie were married! There’s plenty to fill a romantic weekend in this historic Rhode Island town.
4.) Explore a frozen pond
In normal winters, New England is very cold and blanketed with snow. That’s not the case this year, so save this recommendation for a future Valentine’s. We recommend the pond made famous by the philosophical musings of Henry David Thorough: Walden. Located in Concord, Massachusetts, Walden Pond is a great place to take a snowy walk, play ice hockey, go ice skating, try your hand at ice fishing, or simply traverse the pond on foot. If you’re looking for additional literary adventures, check out the homes of Louisa May Alcott and Ralph Waldo Emerson before you leave!
5.) Visit a Lighthouse
Dotting the New England coast are some of the most majestic lighthouses in the world and they’re still doing their job protecting ships from the rocky, unforgiving New England coastline. One of our favorite lighthouses is the Portland Head Light located in Fort Williams Park in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. It is the most photographed lighthouse in the world, and it’s easy to see why. The park has a great walk that follows the coastline along either side of the lighthouse. Head into Portland for dinner at DeMillo’s restaurant, a boat converted into a delicious restaurant in the harbor.
Those are some of our favorite romantic spots across New England, and we highly recommend them for any occasion, not just Valentine’s Day.
And you? Where is your favorite place to celebrate Valentine’s Day?