5 romantic destinations for Valentine’s Day, and how to get there with rewards


Here are five romantic destinations where you and your sweetheart can sneak away for some quiet time, and how you can get there using miles and points.

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Could you steal away for a long weekend or a quick getaway for Valentine’s Day?

If you’re able to escape the weekend before, you can likely find some good flight deals, as the weekend after is President’s Day, when flights and hotel rates tend to be more expensive.

Here are five romantic destinations where you and your sweetheart can sneak away for some quiet time.

1. Santa Barbara, California

One of my favorite places that I’ve visited with my husband is Santa Barbara. This is an utterly charming small town at the top of what’s considered Southern California.

Known for its red-tile-roofed buildings, Santa Barbara’s main thoroughfare of State Street is a great place to wander, getting lost in the paseos that hide off the street with a maze of stores and restaurants. It has a beautiful harbor with one of the prettiest sunsets I’ve ever seen, and you can enjoy the beach, hiking and even wine tasting in the wine country area nearby.

American Airlines includes Santa Barbara on its list of Reduced Mileage Awards destinations for February 2019. Reduced Mileage Awards let you save up to 7,500 miles per round-trip flight if you hold select American credit cards like the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard.

2. Charleston, South Carolina

We used to live in Charleston, South Carolina, and it doesn’t get much more romantic than this historic city. You will often find 70-degree days during winter, and the city boasts a vibrant dining scene among all the historic structures and homes that date back to the 1700s and 1800s.

Head slightly out of town to explore old southern plantations like Boone Hall and Magnolia Gardens, visit the beach at Isle of Palms or the more laid back Folly Beach, and see where the Civil War began at Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.

Southwest now flies into Charleston and the Southwest Rapid Rewards cards are great options to earn a chunk of Southwest points to redeem for flights. You can also earn the Southwest Companion Pass, which lets you bring one person free with you on all flights for the life of the pass.

See related: 6 ways to save on Valentine’s Day using card rewards, perks

3. California Wine Country

For the ultimate sweetheart’s getaway, spend a few days in the lush green rolling hills of California’s Wine Country region. You can explore the many small towns that make up this area, such as Napa, Calistoga, St. Helena and Yountville.

We’ve enjoyed a bike tour of area wineries with Getaway Adventures, or you can fly high above the vineyards in a hot air balloon with Napa Valley Balloons. When we visited in May, we were able to see as far as San Francisco in our balloon!

For the cheapest flight, consider flying into one of the San Francisco-area airports, including Oakland, San Francisco and San Jose, and then driving up to Wine Country. Keep an eye out for Delta Airlines flash sales, when they discount the mileage required to book flights to select destinations. American also has Santa Rosa, a city within the Wine Country region, on its list of Reduced Mileage Awards destinations for February.

4. Aspen, Colorado

If you and your honey love snow and skiing, Aspen can make for a great quick vacation with its Rocky Mountain beauty paired with an upscale ambience that draws celebrities who you might be skiing beside without knowing!

The Hotel Jerome is a classic spot to lay your head in Aspen or stay in nearby Snowmass and indulge at the luxury Viceroy Snowmass, with fireplaces in every bedroom along with full kitchens.

While Aspen has its own small airport, it’s likely cheaper to fly into Denver and then take a shuttle to Aspen. Cards like the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card are good options to save on travel if you’re not sure which airline you’ll be flying or don’t have miles and points saved with a particular frequent flyer program. The card reimburses you for most travel expenses based on the number of points you have earned using the card.

See related: Winter destinations: 4 exotic islands you can visit on points

5. New York City

It’s usually easy to find a reasonably priced flight to New York City, especially in the winter months. While you may not want to hang outside in the Big Apple during February, there’s plenty to do indoors.

New York City Restaurant Week runs through Feb. 8, and you can get deals on two- and three-course meals at participating restaurants. There’s also Broadway Week, during which you can purchase two-for-one tickets to 24 Broadway shows, through Feb. 10.

We love to hang out at the Comedy Cellar in Greenwich Village. You never know who might show up – we’ve seen Aziz Ansari and Dave Chapelle there.

And, of course, you can take your pick of museums, from the Guggenheim to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and you can even take a romantic dinner cruise (all enclosed!) past the Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty with Hornblower Cruises.

Don’t forget to use a card that earns miles and points on dining and other expenses during your trip. The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve are good options that earn double and triple points, respectively, on dining and travel. Then you can save miles for your next romantic getaway!

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