What Makes a City Romantic?
Here are eight cities and towns in North America that offer distinct answers of their own.
Riding beach cruisers together in Tofino, B.C.
Sure, we'll always have Paris -- just not this year. Fortunately, there are plenty of liaison dangereuse locales within North America to keep our longing for blind lust for the City of Lights at a minimum. But what exactly makes a city romantic? Is it the number of walking lanes, the view of ocean or mountain, the quality of intimate restaurants? Certainly San Francisco would top this list, frigid summer fog excepted. But shouldn't a city be and look ancien, at least by New World standards, to qualify? Quebec City comes to mind. Perhaps a city must possess historical conflict and conflagration, like Savannah or Atlanta, to receive a two-lips-puckered endorsement?
Like every list, the beauty of our most romantic cities resides in the beholder's eye. Personally, I can't imagine a romantic city without some tie to literary history, whether Walt Whitman wandered the wild lands above 72nd Street or William Faulkner gazed out upon the southern oak copse dripping with Spanish moss. However, can anyone fault a couple for choosing Gary or Buffalo if a first kiss or proposal was ushered there?
Weddings at the Hôtel de Glace in Quebec: cool!
Quebec City, Quebec
Stone walls surrounding the city? Check. Cobblestone streets? Check. Forts and history? Check. No, we're not describing a European ville, but rather Quebec City, the most continental city in North America. It isn't just the French language that engenders swoons here, though it doesn't hurt, it's the Old World ambience cosseted into narrow, winding streets with breathless moments around every corner. The night air's chill also does much to engender embrace, especially while gazing upon ice sculptures at the Winter Carnival or, if you dare, a night's slumber at the Hôtel de Glace. Lovers can reside deep within a castle, LeChateauFrontenac, then take to the fortification parapets or wander through 400-year old Place Royale en route to Old Port, home of gallery viewing and café cuddling.
> Find Quebec City images | travel tips
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Which of these extreme outdoor sports would you be brave enough to try?
- BASE jumping
- Ice climbing