Destinations of the Heart
At Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada. (© Travelpix Ltd/Getty Images)
Jasper National Park, Alberta
Why go well north of the 49th Parallel in the heart of winter for a romantic getaway? Because it doesn't get more romantic than cuddling up under the Hudson Bay blankets at the 90-year old Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge, a timber frame structure as solid as it is historic. Like Chateau Lake Louise, located 150 miles south on the Icefields Parkway, the JPL and its cottages yawn at the Canadian Rockies across Lac Beauvert, a frozen lake where skaters frolic before heading to the heated outdoor pool with a convenient (and sometimes essential) indoor entrance. The Jasper Adventure Lodge will set you on your way to mush, snowshoe and Nordic ski if you opt to leave the indoor comforts and forge farther into this wild, largely unvisited 4,200-square mile park. You'll also find plenty of frozen falls to climb if you decide to raise your heart rate more than you did last night, when you snuck outside to view the stars in the world's largest Dark Sky Preserve.
Hey, what makes a place romantic, anyway?
14 Surprisingly Romantic Destinations
World's Most Unromantic Destinations
Not even the wonders of Technicolor can improve on the natural beauty of Kauai, Hawaii. (© Monica & Michael Sweet/Getty Images)
It would be nice to visit Kauai and do absolutely nothing, but an island so environmentally enticing demands exploration, whether you hike to tropical cascades like the double-tiered Wailua Falls, dive into the sea caves or snorkel above the famous reef ridge off Makua Beach, or clamor through the 10-mile-long, 3,500-feet deep Waimea Canyon. Given so many itineraries and superlatives--"wettest place on earth" (Wai'ale'ale Crater), "world's highest swamp" (Alaka'i)--it's any wonder you won't need a vacation from your expedition to the "Garden Island." Fortunately, you'll find a more typical vacation strategy on (here's my superlative) some of the world's most storied beaches including Ha'ena Beach, where the Pacific greets Bali Hai, fictional home of the dame-loving "South Pacific" crew. What's more romantic than a Hollywood musical? Not that Technicolor can properly illuminate an island as lush and luminous as Kauai. Though its reputation as the archipelago's ecologically richest major island is well deserved, culture thrives here as well, especially during late February's annual Cultural Festival in Lihue at Kauai Beach Resort. The event, held the last weekend of February, showcases "E Pili Kakou I Ho'okahi Lahui," the teachings of hula from an aesthetic and philosophical perspective.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Do you think sunrises or sunsets are more romantic?
- 73 %Sunsets
- I rarely get to enjoy either