Romantic Weekends You Can Do on a Budget
Being a parent is rewarding, but it can also be exhausting. Sometimes, you and your significant other just need some time away together to regroup and unwind. There are lots of great places you can visit for a romantic weekend that won't cost a fortune. Leave your kids with a babysitter or the grandparents, and pack your bags. Every couple deserves a break.
Drink Up: Finger Lakes
If you can't afford a jaunt to Napa, consider the Finger Lakes, a wine region in upstate New York that's budget-friendly and lots of fun. It's best visited in the spring, summer or fall (it can get very cold in the winter), and you can drive or fly, depending on where you're based. Book into the Best Western Plus Vineyard Inn & Suites (142 Lake St., Penn Yan, NY), which often has rooms for around $100 per night as of summer 2017. Visit a few vineyards or embark on the Keuka Lake Wine Trail to taste a variety of local wines. When you get back to the hotel, enjoy the heated indoor pool (and that you don't have any kids to put to bed).
Beach Up: Sanibel Island
Jet to Fort Myers, FL and take a ferry to Sanibel Island, FL, a small beach community nestled in the Gulf of Mexico. Thanks to its location, the island is warm most of the year, so your visit should be pleasant in any season. Grab a room at the Sundial Beach Resort & Spa (1451 Middle Gulf Dr., Sanibel Island, FL), which has a beach-side location, an outdoor pool, and a relaxing vibe you and your partner will enjoy all weekend. Spend some time on the beach looking for some of the island's famous shells, or simply read a book by the pool. The only downside is that you may never want to leave.
Warm Up: Glenwood Springs
Colorado is known for its many hot springs, which are ideal when you want to relax. Because the waters are naturally warm, you can enjoy the hot springs year-round, but they feel especially good in the winter months. Journey to Glenwood Springs, CO, a small, quaint mountain town with a massive hot springs pool. It's a two-hour drive from Denver, and the town is home to lots of restaurants and local breweries. Book a room at the Glenwood Suites (2625 Gilstrap Ct., Glenwood Springs, CO), a budget hotel that offers complimentary continental breakfast and a view of the mountains. Its rooms go for less than $150 per night most of the year as of July 2017.
Eat Up: Austin
If you and your honey enjoy spending your time away eating and drinking, Austin may be the right city for you. You can visit the Texas capital all year-round thanks to its temperate weather. Check out the Crowne Plaza Austin (6121 N. Interstate 35, Austin, TX) for room deals, or splurge on the Lone Star Court (10901 Domain Dr., Austin, TX), a hip boutique hotel with rooms for around $215 per night as of July 2017. While in town, line up early for brisket and ribs at Franklin Barbecue (900 E 11th St., Austin, TX) and be sure to indulge in some tacos at Papalote Taco House (2803 S. Lamar Blvd., Austin, TX). You won't leave hungry.
Party Up: Las Vegas
You don't have to go all-in at the blackjack table to enjoy Las Vegas. The Nevada city, known for its gambling and nightlife, can make for a fun vacation even when you're on a budget. Most of the hotels are posh and remarkably cheap, so you can book into an iconic property like the MGM Grand (3799 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV) for less than $100 per night as of summer 2017. Choose from dozens of amazing restaurants for a date night on the town, but try Center Cut Steakhouse in the Flamingo (3555 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV) for the perfect filet. Grab tickets for a show, too, whether it's the Cirque du Soleil or one that features one of the many pop singers who perform on the Strip. Don't forget to visit The Chandelier, a glamorous bar in The Cosmopolitan (3708 S. Las Vegas Blvd., Las Vegas, NV) for a nightcap.