February can be pretty cold, dark, and slushy, making Valentine’s Day the perfect excuse for a change of scenery. Whether you want to show a little extra gratitude to your partner this year, or simply can’t bring yourself to buy yet another cheesy card, a getaway is the perfect way to celebrate—even for folks with busy schedules. For those who don’t have quite enough time for a weekend in Paris or Hawaii, here are three destinations within two hours of Boston where you can treat your sweetie to a whirlwind, romantic night away.
Drive from Boston: About two hours
With kitschy eateries, indie bookstores, and green public spaces around every corner, Portland is a hipster couple’s paradise. Start off your trip by wandering the galleries at the Portland Museum of Art, which features hundreds of American, European, and contemporary works. Then, head to Allagash Brewery for a tour and free tastings—or, if your significant other is a beer lover, book the Grand Cru Tour, which allows you to actually take part in the brewing process. Later, end your trip on a high note by cuddling up at the Merrill Auditorium for a performance by the Portland Symphony Orchestra.
Located in Portland’s quaint Old Port district, the Portland Harbor Hotel is all about the details. From the luxury pillow-top mattresses designed exclusively for the hotel, to the chocolates the housekeeping staff leaves on them at nightly turndown, it’ll be hard to resist the temptation to extend your stay.
The brocade furnishings and marble bathrooms of the Portland Regency Hotel and Spa are impressive—but the complimentary shuttle transportation, fitness studio, and coffee and tea are what really make it a standout.
Located in the stylish Parkside neighborhood, just a nine-minute walk from the Portland Museum of Art, the Mercury Inn is a uniquely modern bed and breakfast with crisp, quirky furnishings and a dedication to sustainable living.
Drive from Boston: About 50 minutes
This charming seaside town is a quick drive from Boston, and its small size makes it perfect for a 24-hour visit. Sign up for the Taste Newburyport food tour for a delicious introduction to the area—you’ll learn all about the town’s fascinating history while tasting some of the local specialties. Then, walk off the extra calories with a bundled-up stroll through the Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, keeping an eye out for the local winter birds. Finally, spend your evening at one of Newburyport’s many theaters, like the quaint red-bricked Firehouse Center for the Arts.
2017 got you down? The opulent chandeliers, in-room fireplaces, and afternoon tea and cookie service at the Garrison Inn will make you feel like you’ve traveled back in time. And with luxurious extras available, like rose petal turndown service and a guests-only champagne bar, setting the mood has never been easier.
For a home-away-from home feel and personalized, attentive service, book one of the six suites at the Compass Rose Inn. Located on a quite side street just a block from the Market Square, the location is perfect for exploring—if you can convince yourselves to leave your cozy lodgings.
Beach houses aren’t just for summer vacations—and while a dip in the Atlantic might not be too tempting this month, the beachside hot tub at Blue Inn on the Beach certainly is. In addition to its prime beachfront location, Blue offers complimentary breakfast baskets, luxury bath amenities, and the option to stay in a suite or a cottage, granting you and your significant other the perfect amount of privacy.
Drive from Boston: About one hour and 40 minutes
During the summer months, Newport is flooded with tourists, eager to peek inside the famous Bellevue Avenue mansions and get a glimpse into how the other half lives. But Newport has much more to offer than just its ritzy estates. For a romantic start to your trip, stop by the elegant St. Mary’s Catholic Church, the chosen wedding venue of John F. Kennedy and Jackie Bouvier. From the church, it’s a quick walk to the Newport Skating Center, where you can skate arm-in-arm right on one of Newport’s signature wharves. Later, top off the night with some of the luxury Newport is famous for at Bodhi Spa, where you and your special someone can indulge in massages, facials, or the signature “water journey” hydrotherapy experience.
Short of staying at the Vanderbilt mansion itself, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more opulent place than the Chanler to rest your head. The old-world charm of the hotel’s many amenities (there are “bath butlers” available for hire) will make your night one to remember, and the complimentary chauffer service is a real perk for a couple looking to maximize their time.
In a style its website identifies as “Newport unconventional,” the décor at the Attwater is a fresh take on nautical, with bright colors and metallic accents. Choose this boutique hotel for its airy, private bedrooms, attentive service, and a bold change from historical, old-world Newport.
For a casual and comfortable home base, spend the night at the Beech Tree Inn and Cottage. While the tiny property does offer in-room fireplaces and jacuzzis, its homey touches (board games in front of the fire, anyone?) are what really make it a standout for your one-night stay.
Source URL: https://www.bostonmagazine.com/arts-entertainment/2017/02/08/valentines-day-getaways-new-england/
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