Florida is Made for Romance
By Lauren Tjaden
Florida promises dreamy sunsets, opulent getaways and miles of glittering beaches, all guaranteed to send butterflies fluttering through your stomach and make your heart sing.
Here's where and how to discover resorts, experiences and ideas dedicated to helping the love bug take a juicy bite.
For an over-the-top, mind-blowing study in romance, splurge on a seaplane ride over the crystalline water of the Florida Keys on a flight to one of the country’s most remote National Parks, the Dry Tortugas. The park, famed for its marine life and pristine splendor, is dominated by magnificent, historic Fort Jefferson. Cuddle on its soft, white-sand beach and snorkel the living reef in the balmy ocean waters before returning to Key West.
You can’t miss with a beach horseback ride beside the sparkling surf on tranquil, historic Amelia Island, hugged against the Atlantic Ocean in the northeast tip of Florida. Amelia Island Horseback Riding will help with ideas and plans for proposals, anniversaries and weddings. For a special treat, take a ride at sunrise or sunset.
Remember that the most basic pleasures can be as profound and memorable as the extravagant ones. For a snuggle-worthy afternoon, grab a picnic lunch for two and enjoy it on the shell-strewn shores of Lovers Key State Park in Fort Myers Beach, an idyllic, pristine gem on the Gulf of Mexico in southwest Florida. While there, you can try to spot dolphins frolicking in the emerald waters, explore a stunning butterfly garden, hike the trails or rent a kayak.
Inn the Mood for Love
Nestled against the pure, sugar-white sands of Destin in northwest Florida, it’s no surprise TripAdvisor named Henderson Park Inn the Most Romantic Hotel in America. The adults-only hotel boasts an attentive staff bound to please, and its 37 rooms and suites welcome couples with romantic music, a bottle of vino and fresh roses as well as succulent grapes and decadent chocolates.
Mother Nature does her part to set the mood, delivering stunning sunsets over the emerald-hued waters of Gulf of Mexico; the back patio of the Inn or secluded chairs on the beach provide perfect views of the nightly spectacle.
Amenities include chef-prepared buffet breakfasts, free happy-hour at the tiki bar, and complimentary bicycles for a pedal along scenic 98.
Make sure to visit the Inn’s on-site restaurant, the Beach Walk Café, offering foodie-favorites like pecan-crusted grouper and New Zealand lamb chops. For the ultimate intimate meal, indulge in the Toes in the Sand dining experience, a private dinner on the beach that’s complete with tiki torches, rose-petals and a for-your-table-only waiter.
The lavish Sandpearl Resort, ideally situated against the shores of Clearwater Beach on central Florida’s Gulf coast, provides another getaway lovebirds can embrace. Melt away stress with a massage in one of the spa’s sumptuous Couples Suites, share an elegant beachfront meal at Caretta on the Gulf, and feed the flames of amore with s'mores by the fire pit.
Little Palm Island Resort and Spa invites you and your honey to escape to their private island in the Florida Keys, a magical place where champagne is poured by mid-morning. Accessible only by boat or seaplane, the palm-fringed resort is among the world’s most lux, with captivating views, no telephones and no televisions, and no guests under the age of 18.
More idyllic inspiration and ideas
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The Sandpearl Resort: Romance in Clearwater Beach