Whether you and your partner are dating or have been married for years, a romantic getaway is a healthy, priceless investment in your relationship.
Simply planning a special time to get together and connect without the demands of the every day can have a profoundly positive impact.
But where to go? What to do?
“It really just depends on the couple. Wherever they choose to go, most people’s everyday lives are filled with so many decisions to make that they want things to be as simple as possible when they get the opportunity to get away,” says Shanna Tigner, with Journey House Travel of Oklahoma City.
“Some people look for a ton of different things to do, while others are more low maintenance and don’t need to be highly entertained.”
When choosing your romantic escape, it helps to consider your personal couple style. Are you the high-energy type that loves activity, or do you prefer to lay low?
Whatever your style may be, Oklahoma and the surrounding areas offer something special for everyone.
And remember, the place and activities you choose for your trip will just be a bonus when you truly enjoy the company of your partner.
No Frills Retreats
Indian Creek Winery and Village Inn
Named one of Oklahoma’s “Dreamy Dozen” most romantic bed and breakfasts, Indian Creek Winery and Village Inn in Ringwood is a charming escape in our own backyard.
An ideal spot for a quiet rendezvous for two, the winery is tucked away amongst the luscious upland forests and wide grasslands of the Oklahoma Cross Timbers, between Ringwood and Cleo Springs.
Guests can spend the day touring the winery and sampling wines made from grapes grown on the estate’s on-site vineyard, which features a variety of tasty zinfandel, chardonnay, cabernet, merlot and more.
For added quality time, take a gourmet food class, dip in the pool and saddle up for an afternoon of horseback riding on the beautifully landscaped grounds.
Booking a room at the turn-of-the-century Village Inn makes the most out of a visit to the Indian Creek Winery, where enjoying a gourmet dinner by candlelight and relaxing with a bottle of wine on the deck overlooking the vineyards tops off the stay. www.indiancreekvillage.com
White Horse Lodging
Medicine Park, Okla.
For those seeking serious R&R, look no further than Medicine Park. Established as the state’s first resort in 1908, the low-key cobblestone community in the foothills of the Wichita Mountains is a quaint reminder of life’s little pleasures: small town hospitality, good food, nature and peace and quiet.
Amongst the heart of the town’s unique features, such as Medicine Creek and Bath Lake, rests the three cottages of White Horse Lodging – Buffalo Gal, Flute Player and White Horse Lodge.
It is here where any couple can easily master the art of simply sitting for a spell to appreciate good company and conversation.
Famous for their spacious, screened-in porches, the fully equipped cottages of White Horse Lodging have been updated with modern amenities while retaining the cozy appeal of cabin living.
Just a hop, skip and a jump away, there is plenty to do and see.
Taking in the Wichita Wildlife Refuge, featuring American bison, elk and Texas longhorn cattle, a drive up to the top of Mt. Scott for a breathtaking view and a short trip to the historic Meers Restaurant for a world-famous burger are all musts. www.whitehorselodging.com
The Arkansas House
Recommended by Southern Living Magazine, the Arkansas House in Jasper serves as the perfect landing pad for a getaway into the Ozark Mountains.
Only a few miles upstream from the Ozark National Forest and Buffalo National Park, the historic resort is within the prime vicinity for both outdoor adventuring and reveling.
From kayaking to bird watching, this escape is a breath of fresh air.
With its top-notch personal concierge service standards, the Arkansas House aims to help guests reconnect with nature, providing a tranquil and healthful getaway for a “natural state” experience.
Good eating is no exception, with the world-famous Boardwalk Café, a-one-of-a-kind restaurant that offers the purity and goodness of organic food to its patrons, featuring locally produced organic fruits, vegetables, beef, pork, chicken, elk, buffalo and seafood.
Pottery making, bee-keeping, hot air balloon rides, photographer-assisted excursions, fresh from the garden cooking classes and national park hiking with a naturalist are just some of the many activities couples can take part in during their stay. www.thearkhouse.com
The Skirvin Hotel
For some couples, the hustle and bustle of a busy urban atmosphere, where daytime city attractions and fast-paced nightlife fun abounds, is an exciting escape from the everyday.
For a dose of high-class metropolitan style, a stay at Oklahoma City’s lavish Skirvin Hotel offers guests a romantic getaway evocative of the grandeur and elegance of a forgotten era.
With a rich history of hosting oil barons, dignitaries, political leaders and presidents for more than 95 years, the historic, ornate hotel recently underwent a multi-million dollar renovation to restore and preserve original architectural details and incorporate innovative modern amenities.
An Oklahoma City landmark, its location in the heart of downtown brings the area’s highlighted features, such as the Oklahoma Museum of Art, Myriad Botanical Gardens and Riverwalk, to close proximity.
Particularly appealing for couples seeking an evening out on the town is the Bricktown Entertainment District.
Once a warehouse neighborhood, the now-spectacularly revived city hotspot is home to numerous restaurants, nightclubs, shops and entertainment venues, where there is always something happening and more to do than can fit in one night.
Priding itself as one of the grandest holders of Lone Star traditions, the Hotel Adolphus in downtown Dallas sets the ambiance for the kind of getaway reminiscent of an old cinematic love story.
Hailed as a baroque masterpiece by critics, the legendary hotel combines European charm and beauty with the sophistication and extravagance of classic Hollywood, from its beaux arts architecture and vaulted ceilings down to its marble floors.
Suites with expansive garden terraces and skylight suites with dramatic views of the city have attracted premier guests the likes of Oscar de la Renta, Donald Trump and Queen Elizabeth II.
Steps away from Dallas’ Financial District, the hotel is at the gateway to a diverse range of attractions, including the Dallas Museum of Art, the flagship Neiman Marcus downtown store and countless restaurants, shops and entertainment venues.
For the ultimate romantic dining experience, the Hotel Adolphus is home to the world-famous French Room restaurant, where its exquisite cosmopolitan gourmet dishes, service and décor have earned the dining room a No. 1 spot on USA Today’s 100 Top Hotel Restaurants in America list. www.hoteladolphus.com
Adventurous By Heart
Pike & San Isabel National Forests, Serenity Hill Cabin
A hearty road trip to a rustic outdoor adventure is ideal for many a thrill seeking couple, and a trek up to the Pike & San Isabel National Forests just west of Pueblo, Colo., offers the entire package.
Containing all or parts of nine wilderness areas, including Buffalo Peaks, Collegiate Peaks, Holy Cross, Mount Massive and the Sangre de Cristo, the national forest showcases a variety of ecosystems rich in geology, history, scenery, wildlife and recreation.
The opportunity for round-the-clock excursions is endless.
Mountain biking, rock climbing, white water rafting, kayaking and backpacking across a diverse array of trails – both in distance and terrain – and other activities offered will satisfy the needs of any action junkie duo.
When it’s time to slow down and crash, a stay at the Serenity Hill Cabin is a short, 10-minute drive from the national forest – close enough to town to grab necessities and eat, yet secluded enough to enjoy the privacy of a quiet cabin hideaway.
Resting under towering ponderosa and blue spruce pine trees, the modernized cabin comes nicely equipped with creek waterfront and mountain views for that perfect finishing touch. www.coloradodirectory.com/serenityhillcabin/
Canyon Lakeview Resort
Canyon Lake, Tex.
As lakefront property on Canyon Lake, the Canyon Lakeview Resort in Texas will keep even the most active of couples on their collective toes.
Lodge accommodations and cathedral style cabins are available for rent, but there is enough fun in every direction to ensure that itineraries stay bursting at the seams.
Known as the “Water Recreation Capital of Texas,” Canyon Lake is not only a haven for rafting, scuba diving, swimming and snorkeling, it is also the starting point for the famous Guadalupe River’s most popular tubing stretch.
With 80 miles of shoreline around pristine clear blue waters, the lake offers six public parks for horseback riding, bike riding, archery, hiking and other activities.
The resort is also within favorable distance to numerous restaurants, the San Antonio Riverwalk in Fiesta and the Texas Hill Country wineries.
Ranked as the No. 2 fastest growing wine destination in the nation next to Napa Valley, the Texas Hill Country wineries have 27 wineries and host events, such as tastings of newly released wines, food and wine pairings, live entertainment, demonstrations and tours. www.canyonlakeviewresort.com
Big Cedar Lodge
Table Rock Lake
Fusing the best of easy-going leisure with exciting activity, Big Cedar Lodge on Table Rock Lake in Ridgedale, Mo., provides a thriving cornucopia of romantic possibility.
With different levels of privacy and seclusion in a variety of rooms, cabins and cottages, many lodging accommodations feature fireplaces and views of Table Rock Lake, scenic Ozark hills or other beautiful landscape.
On grounds, Big Cedar offers two luxurious spas and four dining venues that will satiate an assortment of different tastes, from gourmet champagne brunches to top-notch pastas and pizzas.
Ten minutes away, live shows, theme parks, museums and wineries can be found in abundance in Branson.
Dogwood Canyon is just as close, for horseback riding, wilderness tours and cave and cavern exploring, as is the premier national golfing destination, Ozarks Golf Trail.
Since it’s nearly impossible not to create romantic memories on water, ski and pontoon boats can be rented hourly or by the day at the Bent Hook Marina, or couples may catch a dinner show aboard the Showboat Branson Belle as it cruises Table Rock Lake. www.big-cedar.com
A one-of-a-kind escape right here in Oklahoma, The Canebrake spa and resort in Wagoner follows a philosophy inspired by the bamboo of the same name, where the definitions of calm, clear and clean come to life in a truly transformative environment.
Situated in northeast Oklahoma’s Green Country, with marshy wetlands, leafy forests, rolling hills and gently sloping pastures, yoga, bird watching and soaking up some of the state’s picturesque sunsets can all be relished here.
Regrouping and rejuvenating are the only to-dos on this spa’s agenda, and an impressive selection of massage services, body treatments and energy work allow couples to discover balance and mindfulness.
A continuation of its dedication to earth stewardship, The Canebrake Kitchen titillates taste buds with a revolving seasonal menu that includes wholesome dishes comprised of natural, locally-sourced fruits and vegetables, fresh sustainable seafood, free-range poultry, natural beef, whole grains and desserts.
Whether visiting for a day or staying for a few in one of the many suites, couples are sure to leave the Canebrake with a refreshed sense of well being. www.thecanebrake.com
El Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa
When a resort follows in the same sustainable and ecologically respectful spirit of the town it calls home, you can be rest assured that mind, body and spirit will be all be embraced and celebrated.
True to the tranquility that is the signature of the artistic mecca that is Taos, N.M., the El Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa is a Cadillac of romantic getaways.
Couples will find refuge in all of its details – from the backdrop of the majestic mountain landscape and hand painted walls by local Taoseno artists, to the Kiva fireplaces and private garden area boasting heated soaking tubs in Premiere and Global suites.
A crown jewel of this deluxe serenity sanctuary, El Monte Sagrado’s award-winning living spa provides an extensive menu of different massages, therapeutic and body treatments.
Guests are invited to reconnect with one another by partaking in replenishing activities like yoga and Tai Chi, venturing into town for an unforgettable air ballooning ride for two, and savoring delicious meals at the spa’s two dining establishments, the De la Tierra and Gardens restaurants. www.elmontesagrado.com