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.
Chief Mom Officer: 23 Quotes From Working Moms Finding Their Balance
The truth is, Black moms create magic every single day. Whether we're juggling motherhood with a busy 9-5, a thriving business, or staying at home to run a household, no day is short of amazing when you're managing life as a mommy. This Mother's Day, xoNecole is giving flowers to CMOs (Chief Mom Officers) in business who exemplify the strength it takes to balance work with motherhood.
We've commissioned these ladies, who are pillars in their respective industries, for tidbits of advice to get you through the best and worst days of mothering. Here, they share their "secret sauce" and advice for other moms trying to find their rhythm.
Emmelie De La Cruz, Chief Strategist at One Day CMO
"My mom friends and I all laugh and agree: Motherhood is the ghettoest thing you will ever do. It's beautiful and hard all at the same time, but one day you will wake up and feel like 'I got this' and you will get the hang of it. After 4 months, I finally felt like I found my footing to keep my kid and myself alive, but it took vulnerability to take off the cape and be honest about the areas that I didn't have it all together. The healing (physically and emotionally) truly does happen in community - whatever and whoever that looks like for you."
Alizè V. Garcia, Director Of Social & Community Impact at Nike
"I would tell a new mom or a prospective mother that they must give themselves grace, understand and remember there is no right way to do this thing and have fun! When I had my daughter three and a half years ago, I was petrified! I truly had no clue about what to do and how I was going to do it. But with time, my confidence grew and I realized quickly that I have all the tools I need to be the mother I want to be."
Nikki Osei-Barrett, Publicist + Co-Founder of The Momference
"There's no balance. I'm dropping sh*t everywhere! However, my secret sauce is pursuing interests and hobbies outside of what's required of me and finding time to workout. Stronger body equals = stronger mind."
Lauren Grove, Chief Experience Architect, The Grant Access, LLC
"I try to give myself grace. That’s my mantra for this phase of motherhood…grace. I won’t be able to get everything done. To have a spotless house. To not lose my cool after an exhausting day. Those things can’t happen all of the time. But I can take a deep breath and know tomorrow is another day and my blessings are more plentiful than my pitfalls."
Rachel Nicks, Founder & CEO of Birth Queen
"You have the answers within you. Don’t compare yourself to others. Curate your life to work for you. Ask for help."
Tanisha Colon-Bibb, Founder + CEO Rebelle Agency + Rebelle Management
"I know love doesn't pay bills but when I am overwhelmed with work or client demands I take a moment to play with my baby and be reminded of the love, energy, science, and Godliness that went into his birth. I am brightened by his smile and laugh. I remember I am someone's parent and not just a work horse. That at the end of the day everything will work out for the good of my sanity and the love within my life."
Christina Brown, Founder of LoveBrownSugar & BabyBrownSugar
"Learning your rhythm as a mom takes time and can be uncomfortable when you’re in a season of overwhelm. Constantly check in with yourself and assess what’s working and what’s not. Get the help you need without feeling guilty or ashamed of needing it."
Mecca Tartt, Executive Director of Startup Runway Foundation
"I want to be the best for myself, my husband, children and company. However, the reality is you can have it all but not at the same time. My secret sauce is outsourcing and realizing that it’s okay to have help in order for me to perform at the highest level."
Jen Hayes Lee, Head Of Marketing at The Bump (The Knot Worldwide)
"My secret sauce is being direct and honest with everyone around me about what I need to be successful in all of my various "jobs". Setting boundaries is one thing, but if you're the only one who knows they exist, your partners at home and on the job can't help you maintain them. I also talk to my kids like adults and let them know why mommy needs to go to this conference or get this massage...they need to build an appreciation for my needs too!"
Whitney Gayle-Benta, Chief Music Officer JKBX
"What helps me push through each day is the motivation to continue by thinking about my son. All my efforts, though exhausting, are to create a wonderful life for him."
Ezinne Okoro, Global Chief Inclusion, Equity, & Diversity Officer at Wunderman Thompson,
"The advice I received that I’ll pass on is, you will continue to figure it out and find your rhythm as your child grows into new stages. Trust your nurturing intuition, parent on your terms, and listen to your child."
Jovian Zayne, CEO of The OnPurpose Movement
"I live by the personal mantra: 'You can’t be your best self by yourself.' My life feels more balanced when I offer the help I can give and ask for the help I need. This might mean outsourcing housecleaning for my home, or hiring additional project management support for my business."
Simona Noce Wright, Co-Founder of District Motherhued and The Momference
"Each season of motherhood (depending on age, grade, workload) requires a different rhythm. With that said, be open to learning, to change, and understand that what worked for one season may not work the other...and that's okay."
Janaye Ingram, Director of Community Partner Programs and Engagement at Airbnb
"My daughter's smile and sweet spirit help me to feel gratitude when I'm overwhelmed. I want her to see a woman who doesn't quit when things get hard."
Codie Elaine Oliver, CEO & Founder of Black Love
"I try to listen to my body and simply take a break. With 3 kids and a business with 10+ team members, I often feel overwhelmed. I remind myself that I deserve grace for everything I'm juggling, I take a walk or have a snack or even head home to see my kids, and then I get back to whatever I need to get done."
Jewel Burks Solomon, Managing Partner at Collab Capital
"Get comfortable with the word ‘no’. Be very clear about your non-negotiables and communicate them to those around you."
Bridget Bogee, Marketing Lead At Meta
"Ask for help and always prioritize making time for you."
Julee Wilson, Executive Director at BeautyUnited and Beauty Editor-at-Large at Cosmopolitan
"Understand you can’t do it alone — and that’s ok. Relinquish the need to control everything. Create a village and lean on them."
Salwa Benyaich, Director Of Pricing and Planning at Premion
"Most days I really try to shut my computer off by 6 pm; there are always exceptions of course when it comes to big deals or larger projects but having this as a baseline allows me to be much more present with my kids. I love the fact that I can either help with homework or be the designated driver to at least one afterschool activity. Work can be draining but there is nothing more emotionally draining than when you feel as though you are missing out on moments with your kids."
Brooke Ellis, Head of Global Marketing & Product Launches at Amazon Music
My calendar, prayer, pilates class at Forma, a good playlist, and oatmilk lattes all help get me through any day.
Courtney Beauzile, Global Director of Client and Business Development at Shearman & Sterling
My husband is a partner who steps in when I just can’t. My mom and my MIL come through whenever and however I need. My kids have many uncles and aunts and they will lend an ear, go over homework, teach life lessons, be a presence or a prayer warrior depending on the day.
Robin Snipes, Chief of Staff at Meta
"Enjoy the time you have to yourself because once kids come those times will be few and far between."
Monique Bivens, CEO & Founder at Brazilian Babes LLC.
"For new moms, it is very important that you get back into a habit or routine of something you use to do before you were pregnant. Consider the actives and things that give you the most joy and make the time to do them."
Let’s make things inbox official! Sign up for the xoNecole newsletter for daily love, wellness, career, and exclusive content delivered straight to your inbox.
Featured image by Westend61/Getty Images
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Viola Davis On Beauty Standards Changing In Hollywood: 'We Are Beyond Male Desirability'
Actress Viola Davis is shedding light on beauty standards and how it has transformed throughout the years.
The 57-year-old has touched on this topic numerous times throughout her career, which spans over three decades. In the past, Davis revealed that she felt inadequate because of her physical appearance due to constantly being told she wasn't beautiful or enough.
Since then, the EGOT winner has overcome those insecurities and used her platform to share a positive message to those who need them. In a recent interview withPEOPLE magazine while attending the 76th annual Cannes Film Festival in Cannes, France, Davis shared that the shift is because many now know that beauty is "beyond male desirability."
Viola On Beauty Standards
During the discussion, the How To Get Away with Murder star also mentioned that another factor contributing to the transformation is that people associate beauty with mental health, which she claimed inspired her partnership with makeup brand L'Oreal.
"I think beauty standards have changed. I think that what's shifted is that whole idea of mental health being associated with beauty [and] of understanding who we are beyond male desirability. It's really a huge part of why I decided to become a part of L'Oreal, that whole statement of 'I'm worth it,'" she said.
Further in the interview, Davis recounted her past experiences of being told she wasn't beautiful and mentioned how it destroyed her because, growing up, she knew that beauty was tied to worthiness.
"What destroyed me was people constantly telling me that I was not beautiful. [You might think] why would you be upset with that? Because beauty is attached with worth and value. And I refuse to believe that I'm not worth it just based on a sort of idea and perception of what people think classical beauty is," she stated.
The Woman King star added that since the shift in beauty standards, women are now being "encouraged to speak their truth a little bit more" in certain situations such as one's goals, sexual assault, mental illness, etc. With that, Davis explained that people are now seeing the beauty within others and applauding them for it.
"Now women are encouraged to speak their truth a little bit more. We see that with sexual assault, with mental illness, with being burnt-out mamas, with following our dreams and our hopes that we have for our lives," she said.
"Back in the day, we hid our pain behind perfectly applied lipstick and wax floors. Now we don't do that anymore. We're saying this is who we are, beyond the makeup and the hair. I see that. I see that with my daughter's generation."
Viola On The Message She Shares With Her Daughter
As the conversation shifted to the advice Davis gives her teenage daughter Genesis Tennon --whom she with her husband, Julius Tennon-- when it comes to beauty, the star disclosed that she motivates Tennon to become the "love" of her own life.
Davis said she shared these sentiments because she wants Tennon to advocate for herself in various situations when others disappoint her and cross her boundaries.
"I told my daughter this morning that she has to have a love affair with herself. That she is indeed the love of her life. I said, 'I love you, but it's not me, it's not some boy. At the end of the day, you can't disappoint yourself. You have to advocate for yourself," she stated. "You have to show up for her.' And it's not just spa treatments and a glass of wine. It's in showing up when someone hurts you. Creating boundaries and when someone crosses it."
Davis wrapped up her remarks by saying she spread positive messages like this to Tennon and the world because she was not "taught" that loving oneself meant being one's supporter.
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