There are some places that make us want to fall in love. Whether it is a colorful sunset, casting an alluring glow upon your love, or just the addition of live trumpets and horns while dining in the South; regardless, feeling moonstruck is something we all look forward to.
So, whether you wish to spark a flame with a new lover, rekindle a flame with a longtime love, travel with your beloved for a short romantic break, or go on the quintessential honeymoon after your wedding, here are the most romantic travel destinations, worldwide, to set the right mood.
1.Hawaii (Maui, Kauai)
Best Time to Visit Hawaii: Spring to Fall
Kauai is notorious for its enchanting sunsets, postcard-perfect coastlines, laid-back surfer towns, and fewer tourist crowds than other Hawaiian isles; it is the idyllic choice for the outdoorsy couple looking to embrace the Aloha spirit. Kauai is a favorite for couples who want to get away from the crowds and enjoy secluded, natural beaches.
Make sure to check out: The food trucks and bohemian boutiques. Enjoy a picnic on Hanakapi'ai Beach and a couple's massage at the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort and Spa or the St. Regis Princeville Resort. In addition, get your heart racing with a hike along the Kalalau Trail and have your breath taken away by the views of the Na Pali Coast's inspiring green cliffs.
2.Quebec City, Canada
Best Time to Visit Quebec City, Canada: Winter to Fall
For the overly warm-blooded couples, visiting Quebec City in the Winter could be the ideal place for a cozy winter getaway. A charming French-Canadian city, Quebec is full of snow-covered streets, romantic restaurants, and plenty of fireplaces to cuddle up to. Nevertheless, if you cannot take the cold, fear not, Quebec City is still a romantic destination for you. In the Spring, visit Quebec to enjoy the jazz bars, trendy shops, and kayaking/canoeing tours.
Make sure to check out: The music and drinks at the local jazz bars. Visit the Musee de la civilisation, Montmorency Falls, Cathedral-Basilica of Notre-Dame de Quebec, and the St. Lawrence River. Also, make sure to go to the ice skating rinks and take kayaking and canoeing tours.
3.Charleston, South Carolina
Best Time to Visit Charleston, South Carolina: Spring to Fall
With Spanish-moss draped strolls, horse-drawn carriage rides, antebellum char, and a thriving culinary scene, there are more than a few draws for romantics to Charleston, South Carolina. Take your partner to have a memorable barbeque meal and enjoy the historically rich architecture. Once you're done, don't forget to stop by the local places for a bubbly evening filled with wine, cheese, and soulful, live jazz.
Make sure to check out: The much talked-about Husk restaurant in Charleston. Linger over an intimate meal at Peninsula Grill and take a low country walking tour to appreciate the city's history-steeped beauty.
4.Buenos Aires, Argentina
Radiating passion, Buenos Aires is a beautiful, multicultural city that is the birthplace of the tango: the dance of lovers. Perfect for a romantic vacation, Buenos Aires' historic architecture, beautiful gardens, and boulevards lined with trees for a romantic stroll are great ways to show your romantic partner a good time.
Make sure to check out: The Puerto Madero for an evening stroll. Take a helicopter ride over the city, enjoy a picnic in the La Costanera Ecological Park or a tango lesson or two, dine al fresco in the Palermo Viejo neighborhood, and watch a Tango show or opera.
Best Time to Travel to Bruges, Belgium: Spring to Fall
Bruges is a city consisting of magnificent medieval buildings, pretty canals, and picturesque streets that look straight out of your childhood fairy tale books. Cobblestone streets are lined with scenic buildings housing boutiques, chocolate shops, and eateries offering exquisite fare. Through its amazing food, vast history, rich cultural heritage, warm people, and "magical" villages, Bruges makes for a romantic escape.
Make sure to check out: The Old Town and cycle around with your boo to explore the parks and cafes surrounded by a canal. Share some world-renowned Belgian Waffles. Visit the Basilica, Salvador Dali Exhibition, Windmills, Groeninge Museum, Ice Sculpture Festival, the River in Antwerp, and the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Best Time to Visit to Paris, France: Spring and Fall (cheapest in Winter)
Paris is an exquisitely beautiful city to discover on your own; though, it is even better when you're accompanied by your significant other, mainly because the city exudes romance. From sidewalk cafes perfect for getting cozy to some of the world's most passionate art, Paris is synonymous with romance and you'd be remiss if you left it out.
Make sure to check out: The neighborhood of Montmartre, with its cobblestone streets, is a charming place to explore and witness breathtaking views of the city below. Naturally, there is the Eiffel Tower, which is even more awe-inspiring at night, when it sparkles. Also, check out the renowned art at both the Musee du Louvre, and the Musee d'Orsday and take a nightly stroll along the Seine or the striking Pont Alexandre III.
Best Time to Visit to Santorini, Greece: Spring to Late Fall
With its iconic blue-domed churches, whitewashed buildings, and magnificent cliff-side vistas, there is no wonder why Santorini draws tourists from across the globe. The romantic charm and serene vibes of the striking island of Santorini has made it a popular choice for a romantic getaway. While here, take your love to admire the magical sunsets, marvel at beautiful Grecian buildings, and enjoy tastings at top-notch wineries.
Make sure to check out: The Venetian Castle in Akrotiri, along with the La Ponta Tower. Hold hands and, together, experience the thrill of cliff jumping at Amoudi Bay. Spend a relaxing day on Kamari Beach, hike the active volcano in Nea Kameni, escape to the Red Beach, explore the Atlantis Books in Oia, party like the Greeks at Enigma, and travel above the beautiful island from a helicopter. In Santorini, your romantic options are never-ending.
Best Time to Visit to Venice, Italy: Mid-Spring and Early to Mid-Fall
Venice is an Italian city perfect for lovers. Whether on a honeymoon trip or simply a romantic getaway to express your love, Venice is undoubtedly the perfect romantic destination. From a dinner date with a beautiful view of the Grand Canal to experiencing the popular gondola ride, there are a limitless amount of adventures you and your romantic partner can endure.
Make sure to check out: The Teatro La Fenice and watch Opera like you never have before. Enjoy a cuddlesome gondola ride and Vaporetto ride. Visit the Dorsoduro shop, the Doge's Palace, the Rialto Bridge, the San Giorgio Maggiore, the Alberoni Beach, and the Restaurant Terrazza Danieli.
Best Time to Visit Rome, Italy: Fall to Spring
Brimming with old-world charm, Rome stands as one of the most romantic cities to travel in the world. Hand in hand, take your romantic partner wandering along the streets to take in all the beautiful architecture. In Rome, you have art, history, food, and win culture at your fingertips; all you have to do is reach out and grab it.
Make sure to check out: The Eternal City offers a cinematic backdrop with its instantly recognizable landmarks, from the Pantheon to the Colosseum to the Roman Forum to the Trevi Fountain. Also, leave some time to thoroughly explore the Borghese Gallery, Borghese Gardens, Spanish Steps, Piazza Navona, and the rendezvous restaurant "The Library" with your loved one.
10. Kyoto, Japan
Best Time to Visit to Kyoto, Japan: Spring
Kyoto is one of the most romantic destinations to explore with your special someone. Have a romantic boat ride along Kyoto's cherry blossom-lined along the Okazaki Canal. With tranquil destinations brimming with astonishing beauty around every corner, it's hard to pass up this romantic city.
Make sure to check out: The Gardens are often some of the loveliest areas to experience such as the Kyoto Botanical Gardens. The Kyoto Botanical Gardens feature cherry blossom trees — ideal viewing time is in the Spring — flowers, opens spaces great for having a relaxing picnic, a greenhouse, incredible temples, and relaxing public baths. Afterwards, make your way to Gion, which houses willow-flanked roads and gorgeous stories tea houses. Check into the Ritz-Carlton, Kyoto and you'll have the ideal accommodations, framed by the Higashiyama mountain range.
11.Koh Tao, Thailand
Best Time to Visit Koh Tao, Thailand: Winter
Koh Tao is a tranquil place for nature-loving couples who are looking for a relaxed romantic vacation on a stunning island. The rich and diverse marine life of Koh Tao has been one of the leading factors for drawing beach lovers from across the world. This tiny island in Thailand is known for its world-class scuba diving opportunities and spectacular sunsets.
Make sure to check out: The remarkable sunsets from lantern-lit restaurants that line the beach. Go sunset swimming at Sairee beach and island hopping to neighboring islands like Koh Samui and Koh Phangan. Watch the sunset at Mango Bay Viewpoint. Enjoy a romantic dinner at Thaita Italian Restaurant, Blue Heaven, The Gallery Restaurant, and Eagle View; plus, be sure to check out their many romantic resorts.
12. Srinagar, India
Best Time to Visit to Srinagar, India: Spring to Late Fall
Known as "Paradise on Earth," Srinagar is stunningly beautiful and downright romantic. From the arc of green mountains with snow caps to the placid water bodies, to the colorful floating gardens, to the array of houseboats and shikaras in Dal Lake in Srinagar, Srinagar makes for a surreal scenery that every couple would want to enjoy.
Make sure to check out: The houseboats in Srinagar. Plus, take a shikara ride in Dal Lake, meander through the royal Mughal gardens — Nishat Bagh, Chashme Shahi, and Shalimar Bagh — with your beloved.
13.Cape Town, South Africa
Best Time to Visit Cape Town, South Africa: Fall to Spring
Cape Town is one of the most beautiful and most romantic cities in the world. Having stunning scenery, endless small adventures, gorgeous beaches, and cosmopolitan culture, Cape Town makes the perfect place for a romantic destination.
Make sure to check out: The hiking trails on Table Mountain. Enjoy romantic strolls on the white sandy beaches and vintages cars at Franschhoek Motor Museum, taste the finest wines at Cape Winelands, and take a cable-car ride over to the neighboring cities.
Best Time to Visit to Marrakech, Morocco: Spring and Fall
With vast stretches of the Sahara Desert on one side and the mighty Atlas Mountain peaks on the other, Marrakech is a city that provides a unique setting for a romantic vacation. From exploring the markets to watching snake charmers to taking refuge in charming boutique hotels, known as riads, Marrakech is wonderful for lovers to travel together. The breathtaking landscape has palm trees, and the aforementioned view of the Sahara Desert and Atlas Mountains.
Make sure to check out: The Majorelle Garden. In addition, make sure to visit Jemaa el-Fnaa public square, intricately designed Bahia Palace, Koutoubia Mosque, Saadian Tombs, and take a horse or camel ride through the dunes of Palmeraie.
Featured image by Shutterstock
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Originally published on February 5, 2019
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Taysha Robinson is a writer and high school English teacher, based in metro-Atlanta. A self described philomath, you can find her reading books and articles of every genre, attending educational conferences, and hiking wherever the terrain will allow.
Exclusive: Gabrielle Union On Radical Transparency, Being Diagnosed With Perimenopause And Embracing What’s Next
Whenever Gabrielle Union graces the movie screen, she immediately commands attention. From her unforgettable scenes in films like Bring It On and Two Can Play That Game to her most recent film, in which she stars and produces Netflix’s The Perfect Find, there’s no denying that she is that girl.
Off-screen, she uses that power for good by sharing her trials and tribulations with other women in hopes of helping those who may be going through the same things or preventing them from experiencing them altogether. Recently, the Flawless by Gabrielle Union founder partnered with Clearblue to speak at the launch of their Menopause Stage Indicator, where she also shared her experience with being perimenopausal.
In a xoNecoleexclusive, the iconic actress opens up about embracing this season of her life, new projects, and overall being a “bad motherfucker.” Gabrielle reveals that she was 37 years old when she was diagnosed with perimenopause and is still going through it at 51 years old. Mayo Clinic says perimenopause “refers to the time during which your body makes the natural transition to menopause, marking the end of the reproductive years.”
“I haven't crossed over the next phase just yet, but I think part of it is when you hear any form of menopause, you automatically think of your mother or grandmother. It feels like an old-person thing, but for me, I was 37 and like not understanding what that really meant for me. And I don't think we focus so much on the word menopause without understanding that perimenopause is just the time before menopause,” she tells us.
Photo by Brian Thomas
"But you can experience a lot of the same things during that period that people talk about, that they experienced during menopause. So you could get a hot flash, you could get the weight gain, the hair loss, depression, anxiety, like all of it, mental health challenges, all of that can come, you know, at any stage of the menopausal journey and like for me, I've been in perimenopause like 13, 14 years. When you know, most doctors are like, ‘Oh, but it's usually about ten years, and I'm like, ‘Uhh, I’m still going (laughs).’”
Conversations about perimenopause, fibroids, and all the things that are associated with women’s bodies have often been considered taboo and thus not discussed publicly. However, times are changing, and thanks to the Gabrielle’s and the Tia Mowry’s, more women are having an authentic discourse about women’s health. These open discussions lead to the creation of more safe spaces and support for one another.
“I want to be in community with folks. I don't ever want to feel like I'm on an island about anything. So, if I can help create community where we are lacking, I want to be a part of that,” she says. “So, it's like there's no harm in talking about it. You know what I mean? Like, I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change. I'm just getting better and stronger and more intelligent, more wise, more patient, more compassionate, more empathetic. All of that is very, very welcomed, and none of it should be scary.”
The Being Mary Jane star hasn’t been shy about her stance on therapy. If you don’t know, here’s a hint: she’s all for it, and she encourages others to try it as well. She likens therapy to dating by suggesting that you keep looking for the right therapist to match your needs. Two other essential keys to her growth are radical transparency and radical acceptance (though she admits she is still working on the latter).
"I was a bad motherfucker before perimenopause. I’m a bad motherfucker now, and I'll be a bad motherfucker after menopause. Know what I’m saying? None of that has to change. How I’m a bad motherfucker, I welcome that part of the change."
Gabrielle Union and Kaavia Union-Wade
Photo by Monica Schipper/Getty Images
“I hope that a.) you recognize that you're not alone. Seek out help and know that it's okay to be honest about what the hell is happening in your life. That's the only way that you know you can get help, and that's also the only other way that people know that you are in need if there's something going on,” she says, “because we have all these big, very wild, high expectations of people, but if they don't know what they're actually dealing with, they're always going to be failing, and you will always be disappointed. So how about just tell the truth, be transparent, and let people know where you are. So they can be of service, they can be compassionate.”
Gabrielle’s transparency is what makes her so relatable, and has so many people root for her. Whether through her TV and film projects, her memoirs, or her social media, the actress has a knack for making you feel like she’s your homegirl. Scrolling through her Instagram, you see the special moments with her family, exciting new business ventures, and jaw-dropping fashion moments. Throughout her life and career, we’ve seen her evolve in a multitude of ways. From producing films to starting a haircare line to marriage and motherhood, her journey is a story of courage and triumph. And right now, in this season, she’s asking, “What’s next?”
“This is a season of discovery and change. In a billion ways,” says the NAACP Image Award winner. “The notion of like, ‘Oh, so and so changed. They got brand new.’ I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
"I want you to be brand new. I want me to be brand new. I want us to be always constantly growing, evolving. Having more clarity, moving with different purpose, like, and all of that is for me very, very welcomed."
She continues, “So I'm just trying to figure out what's next. You know what I mean? I'm jumping into what's next. I'm excited going into what's next and new. I'm just sort of embracing all of what life has to offer.”
Look out for Gabrielle in the upcoming indie film Riff Raff, which is a crime comedy starring her and Jennifer Coolidge, and she will also produce The Idea of You, which stars Anne Hathaway.
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Feature image by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images
Whoopi Goldberg discussed her experience with endometriosis on The View.
During the segment on November 8, the co-hosts were joined by Hillary Clinton, who is an executive producer for the documentary Below the Belt, to raise awareness about endometriosis.
Goldberg expressed her grievances with the health care system to properly diagnose women with the condition after an untreated urinary tract infection led her to discover that she had the condition.
“It drives me berserk that we are still constantly having to beg for health care,” she shared candidly.
“We pay taxes. Women pay taxes. I don’t understand why, when doctors go to school forever, they’re not taught about a woman’s body. And then you have all of these people making these comments, and you know [they] have no idea how this works,” she added.
Endometriosis is a common and often painful condition that occurs when the tissue similar to the lining inside the uterus, called the endometrium, grows outside the uterus. It often affects the ovaries, fallopian tubes, and the tissue lining the pelvis.
The Sister Act star went on to share that she considers herself to be “lucky” to have caught her endometriosis at an early stage, emphasizing the importance of addressing such health issues promptly.
“I was lucky enough because I had a urinary tract infection that I did not take care of. Note to people: don’t let that stuff go. Because stuff happens in your body, and I ended up with what looked like - and I don’t mean to gross you out - but suddenly there was a smell, and it looked like cottage cheese, and I didn’t know what was going on,” she said.
“And I was lucky enough to get to somebody who said: ‘This is called endometriosis,’” Goldberg continued. “They were able to treat me with antibiotics, but that’s because somebody knew what they were looking at.”
As the conversation around endometriosis begins to grow, it is important for women to continue to share their symptoms and educate others about the diagnosis. Goldberg is just one of many celebrities who have used their platform to discuss the condition. Chrissy Teigen, Tia Mowry, and Monica are among those spreading awareness that can empower other women to seek early diagnosis and potentially prevent more severe, long-term pain.
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Featured image by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images