By Genie Davis & Linda Marr
What are the most romantic places in the U.S.? Wherever you and your sweetheart may be is the best answer. But if you’re looking for a special spot to turn up the heat, we have some suggestions for you.
Talk about turning up the heat – go to the desert! Palm Springs is just a short drive from Los Angeles, but a romantic world away. Your Palm Springs experience can start with a large margarita or ice cold cerveza at one of the many Mexican restaurants around town. We often stop at Las Casuelas Terraza, a patio restaurant bursting with bougainvillea and usually showcasing a mellow bar band – excellent for dancing close and slow with your sweetheart or just tapping your toes. Overhead misters keep the scene cool while the homemade salsa keeps your taste buds charging just hot enough.
Or if you’re feeling more energetic, take a cooling trip in one of the three hundred and sixty degree rotating cars up the Palm Springs Tram Way. Things on top of the mountain that these cars transcend are a good twenty degrees cooler than on the desert floor. Bring a picnic, take a hike, follow a mountain stream or sit on a rock and look down at the shimmering valley below. Once you’ve strolled away from the visitors center you’re certain to find any number of private nooks if you want to heat things up just a little with your companion. And the ride up and down the mountain face – spectacular view and a spectacular excuse for a holding each other tight on the ten minute ride.
However you’ve begun your weekend, you’ll want to continue your getaway by unwinding – preferably in your own personal cabana with ceiling fan, misters, and bar service by the pool of your hotel. We like the Riviera at the north end of Palm Springs, with it’s delightfully large pool and fire pit.
When the sun goes down you can star gaze and swim in the shallow pool, or check out the jacuzzi. The pool stays discreetly dark, with dramatic lighting illuminating the cactuses and rock sculptures rimming the area. A sparkling glass gas fire pit adds to the romantic ambiance. When the twilight sky matches the color of the pool water, flames are dancing, and you’re splashing, letting the desert air-dry your skin again, you’ll be soaking in the most sensual of vibes.
If the desert’s not your thing, how about a romantic city? You won’t need Paris if you have New York. Beautiful architecture, amazing food, pristine walks, exciting night life – everything but the Eiffel Tower and then, isn’t the Empire State Building or Top of the Rock just as wonderful?
Where to stay? There’s no shortage of hotels, but the W Hotel with its cool, low key entrance and flat waterfall, puts you in the heart of Times Square, to gawk and browse the lights at all hours of the night.
Whether your dinner taste runs to a tiny Italian restaurant in Little Italy or fine sushi on the upper West side, or a falafel from one of the many street vendors on any corner, you can find just about any delicious meal you want often served until all hours of the night. Don’t forget this is the city that never sleeps, and you have better things to do than dose, don’t you?
If it’s before midnight, try a cuddle in a horse drawn carriage through Central Park. If it’s after midnight, how about a trip to the top of the Empire State Building, or Top of the Rock in Rockefeller Center. Either choice will get you a sparkling view of the city’s lights, the legendary Flat Iron building, the diamond outer reaches of the New York boroughs. Empire State’s art deco grandeur is open ‘til 2 am and there’s no lines, no tourist children scrambling for souvenirs at that hour. Just the view and you – and what a place for a long, long kiss. The altitude alone will make your head spin.
Or how about a boat ride that affords a magnificent lower Manhattan skyline view and a look at the Statue of Liberty without the lines and security of the Park Service boats. And it’s free! The Staten Island Ferry – get on and get off and ride it all over again – as many times as you choose. You’ll be singing “New York, New York” all the way home – and whenever you need a little romantic recharge, put on the Frank Sinatra and remember your packed with pleasure weekend in the Big Apple. It’s a lot sweeter than the apple Eve used on Adam.
And here’s another great idea for romance. The setting of our book, Between the Sheets, is the coastal area around Depoe Bay, Oregon. Here you’ll find deserted beaches strewn with driftwood, beautiful lighthouses, soft sand dunes, and charming bed and breakfasts perfect for a private getaway with an ocean view.
Whether you’re admiring the enormous haystack-shaped rocks at Canon Beach, or driving across the picturesque bridge that leads to Astoria, you’ll find incredible scenery, plenty of peaceful trails through quiet, dark forests, and lovely sandy seaside paths. Walking with the one you love has never been sweeter than here, with the sound of wildly crashing waves, and the sight of spectacular sunsets as your backdrop.
Don’t forget to check out the Florence sand dunes, which tower high above the sea, and offer many private spots for a picnic and snuggling. There are also plenty of awesome, historic lighthouses to explore, as our lovers do in our book, such as Heceta Head near the dunes, the isolated Cape Meare lighthouse, and further south at the Coquille River Lighthouse. Intimate places, secret spaces, you’ll have all of that and more in scenic coastal Oregon.
While there are plenty of truly lovely little towns along the coast, if you choose Depoe Bay, you’ll find it is the whale watching capital of the coast. The rocky shore here offers great coastal viewing, it’s easy to spot the whales, and the quaint shops in town will yield delicious chocolates and regional wines for you to take back to your cozy get away retreat.
Enjoy your romantic travels!
Genie Davis is a multi-published novelist and produced screen and television writer. Recent releases: the mystery thriller Marathon, the romantic suspense of Executive Impulse, The Model Man, and Five O’Clock Shadow, the literary fiction of Dreamtown. Her erotic romance Rodeo Man won an RWA Passionate Plume award.
Linda Marr is a producer/writer on America Now. She’s co-writer of the comedy book Dear Neighbor. Her many television projects include the NBC comedy The Mommies, HGTV’s House Hunters and Design on a Dime, a Nickelodeon skateboarding special, and some of the most successful infomercials on the air.
Genie Davis & Linda Marr upcoming book, Between the Sheets, releases Monday, February 24th.
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Erotic romance writer Jenna Brooks lives an ordinary life in a quiet Oregon town, putting her sensual heart into her fiction rather than her everyday life. Deeply involved in her latest story about glamorous lovers on the run, she laughs off a carnival gypsy’s prediction that she’ll find everything she desires “between the sheets”—apparently those her DeskJet is printing. Because suddenly, Jenna finds herself drawn into her own stories, literally. When the seductive, mysterious Riley Stone rescues her from an attempted hit and run, she’s plunged into a reckless, wild relationship unlike anything she’s ever experienced—except on paper.
Meanwhile, Riley is feeling pretty upended himself. A specialist consultant with the FBI, he’s on a mission to derail a drug king-pin whose wealth and extensive real estate is managed by Jenna’s neighbor, he’d planned to ingratiate himself with Jenna just enough to gain access to her neighbor’s apartment so he can keep a close eye on his comings and goings. Instead, he finds himself not only drawn to Jenna, but falling for her, hard. On the heels of this realization comes the discovery that her new neighbor didn’t move in next door by chance: her father is the last hold-out against a drug-money fueled billion dollar development scheme and her neighbor plans to take and hold Jenna hostage until the necessary papers are signed.
As Riley struggles to keep Jenna safe, the romance they’ve woven could force them to pay the ultimate price: admitting they’ve fallen in love—for real.
Purchase Between the Sheets
photo by: brianholsclaw