The Perfect Destination for Every Stage of Your Relationship

Nothing tests a relationship quite like going beyond the geographical confines of one's everyday life and traveling. Whether your relationship is in the nascent dating period or you’ve put your children through college and now have an empty nest, couples can keep the spark alive by hitting the road together. In fact, a 2013 study by the U.S Travel Association found that 68 percent of couples consider travel the key to a healthy relationship. So get ready to frolic arm-in-arm with your sweetheart along the Champs-Élysées in Paris or share a kiss on a gondola under the Bridge of Sighs in Venice. To help you plan your next trip, we channeled our inner hopeless romantic and found the ideal destination for couples in every stage of a relationship.

Dating

Sure, it's noisy, gritty, and bursting at the seams with about eight-and-a-half million people, but you can't help but fall in love in the Big Apple. It's no surprise that New York City has been the filming location for so many romantic flicks. For starters, couples can ride in a horse-drawn carriage through the 843-acre Central Park or pretend like they're in the movie "When Harry Met Sally" and visit The Metropolitan Museum of Art. While there, don’t miss the Iris and B. Gerald Cantor roof garden, which features rotating large-scale art exhibitions and skyline views. Still in the mood for more romance? Hold hands like Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan in "Sleepless in Seattle" at the observation deck of the Empire State Building.

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Getting Serious

Falling in love in Paris is -- as you say in French -- a cliche. Still, there's no doubt the city takes romance to the next level. If it's your first time to the City of Light, spending some time with the Eiffel Tower is a must. Climb to the top or take it in from the ground level with a picnic at the 236-year-old Parc du Champ de Mars. For a spot that's less packed with tourists, check out the Temple of Love in the Bois de Vincennes, a park in eastern Paris. With the temple sitting on the edge of Lac Daumesnil, the setting looks like it was plucked from a Parisian storybook. To top off your visit, tango or waltz in Jardin Tino Rossi on the banks of Port Saint-Bernard. Dancing sessions are offered during the warmer months. 

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Serious

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Mr Hicks46

Photo courtesy of Flickr/Mr Hicks46

You may think you’re floating on the moon when you visit Cappadocia in central Turkey. The landscape’s "fairy chimney" rock formations, which were formed by erosion, and the ancient cave dwellings carved into the cliffs create a magical atmosphere. Take your love to new heights by jumping on a hot air balloon ride during sunset. Then, explore the Goreme National Park and Goreme Open-Air Museum with its frescoes. Unwind after a day of sight-seeing by steaming in a cave hammam. Plus, the soil here -- despite its arid appearance -- is fertile, so there are many wineries in the area that also deserve a visit. 

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Engaged

Santorini, Greece makes for one of the most romantic proposal settings in the world. The whitewashed Cycladic buildings climb up the cliffs, offering lovely views of the submerged caldera that formed when the volcano erupted in about 1600 B.C. The steep inclines can be a workout, which is perfect for getting in tip-top shape for the wedding. Toast to your new life together with vino at the Santo Winery in Pyrgos or Domaine Sigalas in Oia, which is known for its romantic sunsets. Don't forget to take in a bit of history at the Akrotiri, a Minoan settlement that was destroyed during the 1600 B.C. eruption. 

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Just Married

Photo courtesy of Flickr/John Gillespie

Photo courtesy of Flickr/John Gillespie

Looking for an alternative to the typical beach honeymoon? Kyoto, Japan might just be the perfect place to unwind after the chaos of wedding planning. With maiko dancers dressed in traditional kimonos and walking the streets, you'll feel like you've stepped into a different era. Today, the city boasts many temples and shrines that are open to visit. Begin your excursion by contemplating your life together along Philosopher's Walk or wandering through the Arashiyama bamboo grove in the Sagano area. Here, you'll also find the 14th-century Tenryu-ji temple. After working up a sweat, newlyweds should head to a traditional tea ceremony at Kyoto Station. Feeling adventurous? Get nude with your partner at the Kurama Onsen hot spring. 

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Married with Children

Whether you bring the kids with you or leave them at home with the in-laws, Kauai is the type of tropical escape that will reset your relationship and make you feel like you’re still in the honeymoon phase of dating. Get cozy with your honey as you climb into a helicopter to explore the island’s dense valleys and Manawaiopuna Falls, which were featured in the movie "Jurassic Park." Another romantic idea: plan a picnic and hike to Waimea Canyon (also known as the Grand Canyon of the Pacific). One of the many meanings of the Hawaiian word aloha is love, so go ahead and feel the aloha by sitting on the beach and taking in a sunset. 

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6. Empty Nest

You’ve raised your kids, put them through college, and now it’s time to rediscover your romantic side. The sleepy town of Bath, England is the perfect place to do just that. Bath, a UNESCO World Heritage site in South West England, was occupied about 2,000 years ago by the Romans who took advantage of the natural hot springs in the area. Follow suit and take your partner to the historical Roman Baths, a bathhouse that was built in 70 A.D. on a natural hot spring. But you won't be able to do as the Romans did and bathe here. You can, however, have a proper spa day at the modern Thermae Bath Spa. 

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