for National Geographic News
February is the perfect time to take a romantic getaway, whether you're celebrating Valentine's Day or seeking a mid-winter escape. Here, Traveler Editor in Chief Keith Bellowsa professional traveler who has seen many of the best places in the worldrecommends 17 great places and experiences for couples, ranging from country retreats and urban getaways to idyllic beaches and unforgettable walks.
Canada. Americans get a 45 percent discount, based on the current exchange rate, almost anywhere in the country. For an intimate, tiny village with great skiing, go to Mont-Tremblant and stay at the Mont-Tremblant Lodge.
If you're not up for skiing, go to Quebec Cityone of the most magical small towns in North America. It's like being in France. Stay at the castle-like Château Frontenac, which overlooks the St. Lawrence River and has great food.
Try the Rajvilas Hotel, a spectacular resort that recalls the days of the Raj, in Jaipur, India. It has a spa, tented rooms, and great Indian food. Paul McCartney took his wife there when they were still dating.
Or visit the Point, a former Rockefeller home near Lake Placid, in Saranac Lake, New York. It's very intimate, and the meals are superb. No kids under 14 are allowed to stay there, and men must wear tuxedos on Saturday night.
The Okavango Delta in Botswana is a great soft adventure. You can rough it, or you can stay in a high-end wilderness lodge. CC Africa and Wilderness Safaris both have terrific, luxurious lodges. There's nothing more romantic than being out in the evening on the delta and listening to the sounds of the animals as you sip a cocktail and watch the sun go down. It's truly one of the most remarkable places in the world.
Or visit New Zealand, where you'll find many adventuresrafting, heli-hiking, and jetboating, to name a few. It's a bit far to go for Valentine's Day, but you don't have to come home the next day.
Best Country Escape
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