Your first romantic getaway is a memorable rite of passage for any relationship, and when the planning begins, forget about the generic hot spots, like Vegas or Cabo. To make it truly unforgettable, choose a destination that neither of you have ever been to—better yet—never even heard of. With fewer tourists around, you’ll be free to enjoy the culture and one another without distraction.
Start your vacation prep with some research on the following unique destinations.
Port Louis, Mauritius
For the: Artisan couple
Referred to as the “Pearl of the Indian Ocean,” this island off the African coast is a multicultural nexus with diverse attractions to keep both you and your sweetheart entertained. The waterfront capital of Port Louis, dating back to 1735, offers all the excitement of a trendy urban center. With outdoor artisan markets, upscale shopping districts, performance venues and exotic scenery, you’ll want to spend the week just taking it all in.
Photo source: Elite-Voyage
For the: Outdoors-y couple
Fringing the outskirts of metro-Phoenix, this western retreat has been described as the “desert version of Miami’s South Beach,” according to The New York Times. Once overshadowed by its more populous neighbor, Phoenix, Scottsdale is now an up-and-coming hotspot in its own right with miles of rugged hiking trails, artistic and cultural exhibits, Sonoran-inspired cuisine and a vibrant nightlife atmosphere.
This is a perfect vacation spot for the adventurous couple that enjoys wild exploration and cosmopolitan energy.
Photo source: Huffington Post
Cape Town, South Africa
For the: Little-bit-of-everything couple
Voted the “world’s best city” in 2016 by readers of Telegraph Travel, this South African capital is a beacon of post-apartheid triumph and revitalization. It’s become a mecca for vacationers of all kinds, from thrill-seekers to history buffs. Top stops include Tabletop Mountain, False Bay, and Cape Wineland.
Don’t stop there, because Cape Town is alive after sunset: “This vibey city doesn’t need much sleep and generally, the party in the city centre areas of Loop, Lang, Bree and Waterkant Streets start an hour or so before midnight,” according to Cape Town: Discover South Africa’s Most Charming City.
Photo Source: Nox Rentals
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
For the: Mountain couple
Steamboat Springs inspires romance around every spruce-lined corner. This lesser-known Rocky Mountain enclave is home to geothermal basins, idyllic white-capped peaks and ski slopes featuring “champagne powder” snow. It’s also the perfect backdrop for long days in the snow and snuggling near the fireplace all night. It’s located three hours north of Denver, and is a less touristy option if you’re interested in popular destinations like Vail or Tahoe.
Photo source: SkyRun Steamboat
For the: Luxurious couple
Known for its 3,324-foot swimming pool, which is among the world’s most expansive manmade lagoons, this South American comuna is a favorite summer playground for Santiago’s urban elite. Whisk your sweetheart to the luxurious San Alfonso del Mar resort, where you can wander hand-in-hand along a poolside promenade flanking the Pacific Ocean. Then cool off with various amenities and excursions, including scuba diving, kayaking, sailing and a waterslide that spans almost 330 feet long. No matter what you do, this luxurious town is sure to impress.
Photo source: Odd Stuff Magazine
Your first vacation as a couple is one you’ll tell friends and family about for years to come. Choose a destination that’s unique and magical, and you’re sure to have plenty of stories to share and memories to look back on.