When you and your special someone are looking for a romantic escape, choosing the right location can be daunting. Have no fear, there's no shortage of exciting locales where you can make the most of your time away together. Whether you're after an urban atmosphere with a long history of charming visitors, or an outdoor adventure in the serenity of nature, these locations will deliver. And with plenty of vacation home rentals, from chic apartments to rustic cabins, your home base for a romantic getaway awaits.

Best cities for romantic getaways

If a romantic getaway for you means excellent dining, a stroll through historic quarters, and loads of history and culture, these cities will surely have what you need. From a unique Southern city with bags of charm, a bayside metropolis, to a European capital synonymous with love, these locations offer everything required to make your getaway one you'll never forget.

Romantic getaways in New Orleans

New Orleans is a city unlike any other in the South. Possessing a unique and long-established cultural heritage, its charm is evident right away. The French Quarter, featuring 18th-century architecture, is a great place to stroll and grab a cocktail or catch some jazz at one of the numerous bars, while the nearby Mississippi River hosts a variety of riverboat cruises. And don't forget the food. The Big Easy is renowned for its cuisine, from gumbo to po boys to beignets. To keep the romance burning, book a vacation rental with your own hot tub.

San Francisco romantic getaways

One of the most picturesque cities in the country, San Francisco offers a photo opportunity at almost every turn. From the colorful houses along Alamo Street to the zigzag of Lombard, the cable cars of Nob Hill to the often mist-shrouded Golden Gate Bridge, it's almost made for romantic pictures. And there's no shortage of great places to dine out, including the oldest Chinatown in the country and the Latin American flavors of the Mission District. You could also grab your own ingredients at Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, just be sure to book a vacation rental with a full kitchen, and cook up a romantic meal for you and your sweetheart.

Romantic getaways in Paris

When you're talking about romance, there are few better spots on the globe than Paris. In the city of the flaneur, the streets of the Ile Saint-Louis or the paths the Luxembourg Gardens are perfect for a romantic stroll. Head to artsy Montmartre and climb to the Sacred Heart Basilica for a picturesque view of the city, or do some window shopping on fashionable Rue Saint-Honore. And of course Paris is a city of great food, with old-school bistros and cafes rubbing elbows with trendy new joints around the metropolis. Be sure to book a vacation rental with a balcony for enjoying a glass of wine and a Parisian sunset.

Top spots for an active romantic getaway

Not all romantic getaways need to be leisurely. If you and your significant other prefer trips filled with hiking, biking, aquatic amusement, and scenic vistas, then these destinations have what you're looking for. From a picturesque California locale to a North East national park and an island nation with fairy tale scenery, active getaways in these destinations are sure to please.

Romantic getaways in Sonoma

Best known for its wine making (and rightly so), Sonoma is also a top-class destination for outdoor activity. It's home to towering redwoods, and you can enjoy a leisurely walk among these great trees, or head up into the canopy for a high-speed zipline experience. Biking around the area, particularly along the course of the Russian River, is great way to see the sights—and sample the wineries. Lake Sonoma is also a great destination for kayaking, canoeing, and paddleboarding. Along the coast are plenty of trails leading to Pacific Ocean overlooks, great places to watch a sunset. Be sure to book a vacation rental with a hot tub, for rejuvenating after an active day.

Romantic getaways in Maine

Encompassing several islands off Maine's jagged coast, Acadia National Park is a wonderland for lovers of outdoor activity. The park boasts over a hundred miles of hiking trails, biking along the old Carriage Roads, and climbing (or just sightseeing) at Otter Cliffs. For the best views, head to the top of Cadillac Mountain, which offers dramatic vistas across Bar Harbor, and is also one of the best spots on the East Coast for watching the sun rise. After a day out in the park, what could be more welcoming than a vacation rental with a fireplace to snuggle up by?

Iceland romantic getaways

For a tiny island nation marooned in the North Atlantic, Iceland boasts some of the most breathtaking scenery and top-tier outdoor recreation around. A good place to start a getaway is along the Golden Circle, a loop in the south of the country encompassing Thingvellir National Park, the Gullfoss Waterfall, and the geysers of Haukadalur, among other spots. Hornstrandir Nature Reserve and Asbyrgi Canyon offer stunning views over sheer drops, and the geothermal pools of the Blue Lagoon provide a uniquely relaxing experience. Book a vacation rental with a terrace, and you may just catch a glimpse of the elusive but awesome Northern Lights.