Want to steal away for a romantic rendezvous — and get there fast? These 10 tropical islands have perfected the art of romance, and they’re each a nonstop flight from a major city — maybe even your city. Because when you’re eager to celebrate your love, nobody’s got time for layovers.
If you live in New York (JFK), fly to Bermuda (BDA)
Flight info: 2 hours, 15 minutes on American, JetBlue and Delta
More than 40 moongates grace Bermuda’s Olde English-meets-tropical-island landscape. Couples famously kiss under these stone circles for good luck; find them on beaches, in gardens and at hotels like adults-only Cambridge Beaches Resort & Spa. Other ways to feel the love: Find your own secret beach along the south shore trail; unwind side by side in Grotto Bay Beach Resort‘s cave spa; and toast with rum swizzles at Hamilton Princess hotel’s weekly Friday-night happy hour.
If you live in Los Angeles (LAX), fly to Hilo, Hawaii Island (ITO)
Flight info: 5 hours, 45 minutes on United
Sunset is undeniably the most romantic time of day — and sunset from the top of 13,796-foot Mauna Kea volcano is one of the most dramatic dusk displays on Earth. Stick around for some stargazing, and cuddle close — temps at the summit hover around freezing. For even more excitement, feel the rush (literally) on a waterfall tour with Hawaii Forest & Trail, or turn up the heat by viewing spattering lava from the Jaggar Museum & Overlook. Spend date night at the intimate Mauna Kea Beach Hotel Luau, the longest-running luau show on Hawaii Island.
If you live in London (STN), fly to Ibiza, Spain (IBZ)
Flight info: 2 hours, 40 minutes on Ryanair
Ibiza’s first hotel, the circa-1933 Gran Hotel Montesol Ibiza, Curio Collection by Hilton, is still one of its most romantic. Here, history lovers are just steps from the castle, cathedral, monastery and cobbled passageways of Dalt Vila (Upper Town). More fairy-tale sights await at the circa-1763 Torre des Savinar tower. Romantic dining is ubiquitous on the White Island; reserve a table in the sleek courtyard of Zela, just opened in 2017, to savor a heady fusion of Japanese and Mediterranean cuisine. Bonus: Every February, the rural village of Santa Inés turns pale pink when the almond trees bloom, as if on cue for Valentine’s Day.
If you live in Chicago (ORD), fly to Nassau, Bahamas (NAS)
Flight info: 3 hours, 20 minutes on United
Nassau Paradise Island has wooed couples for decades, whether they crave a peaceful stroll through Versailles-inspired gardens or a heart-pumping swim with reef sharks. Now, with the addition of Baha Mar‘s three chichi resorts in 2017 and 2018, the romantic possibilities are even greater. Paddle over turquoise waters in a double kayak (complimentary rental), clink glasses at Skybar’s 20th-floor rooftop lounge, and escape for the day to Long Cay, a private islet with comfy tented beach beds.
If you live in Houston (IAH), fly to Grand Cayman (GCM)
Flight info: 2 hours, 50 minutes on United
Along the eastern shore of Grand Cayman, a stone wall bears the sign, “Lovers Wall.” The peaceful scene is the perfect spot to stare at the ocean, snap a selfie and steal a kiss. Speaking of kisses, adventurous couples can smooch wild stingrays at Stingray City (not an amusement park — just a natural sandbar where these friendly sea creatures congregate). Cozy nooks, from daybeds and pool cabanas to a spa soaking grotto, are scattered throughout the grounds of Kimpton Seafire Resort, the island’s newest hotel.
If you live in Dallas (DFW), fly to Montego Bay, Jamaica (MBJ)
Flight info: 3 hours, 45 minutes on American
Venice meets tropical rainforest on Jamaica’s Rio Grande river, where 30-foot-long bamboo rafts are just wide enough for two. More watery thrills are on tap at Dunn’s River Falls, which entails lots of hand-holding as you scramble up the slippery cascade. The island’s most romantic spot may just be the Blue Lagoon, filming site of the eponymous movie; legend holds the waters are an aphrodisiac. Couples who stay at Secrets Wild Orchid also have free access to the amenities at Secrets St. James and Breathless Montego Bay; all three resorts are adults-only.
If you live in Miami (MIA), fly to Aruba (AUA)
Flight info: 3 hours on American, Aruba Airlines and Surinam Airways
In Aruba’s arid Arikok National Park, shallow caves hold secrets and lore from the past. Bring your flashlight to explore the Tunnel of Love (Huliba Cave), named for its heart-shaped entrance. Adventurous souls will also relish a tandem jump into the wild and scenic Natural Pool. After active days, a quiet tête-à-tête is in order; try a romantic dinner sail for two on the Tranquilo, or head to Amsterdam Manor Beach Resort‘s Passions restaurant for torch-lit dining on the sand. You’ll be calling each other dushi — the island word for “sweetheart” — in no time.
If you live in Atlanta (ATL), fly to St. Kitts (SKB)
Flight info: 4 hours on Delta
Sugar cane was St. Kitts’ primary industry for more than 350 years, and there are still plenty of sweet ways to get a taste of St. Christopher. On a 4X4 sugar-plantation tour with Greg’s Safaris, wander through historic ruins, then picnic on local fruits, coconut pastries and island rum. And at Cockleshell Beach, gaze at the neighboring island of Nevis while dining on dishes like pineapple grilled chicken and piña-colada bread pudding at Spice Mill restaurant. Cool off in the adults-only Rampart Pool at Park Hyatt St. Kitts, which created major buzz when it opened in late 2017.
If you live in Toronto (YYZ), fly to Turks and Caicos Islands (PLS)
Flight info: 3 hours, 50 minutes on Air Canada
Conch is everywhere in Turks and Caicos — even on the flag of this British oversees territory. Try it at Da Conch Shack — and if you’re brave enough, slurp down the conch’s pistol, aka “sea Viagra.” Discover more ocean treasures on a blissful snorkel sail up the Caicos Cay chain with Sun Charters. On Tuesday nights, the party is at The Somerset on Grace Bay, where the weekly beach barbecue features a rum bar, DJ, fire dancer and bonfire.
If you live in Philadelphia (PHL), fly to Punta Cana, Dominican Republic (PUJ)
Flight info: 4 hours on American and Frontier
For couples with the will power to tear themselves away from Punta Cana’s white-sand beaches, a stop at the ChocoMuseo is worthwhile — tastings of island aphrodisiacs like chocolate and mamajuana liquor will pay dividends later. Come evening, dine over the water at Tortuga Bay‘s rustic La Yola Restaurant, then get loose at Flavio Acuña Spa Natural Center, where the Massage Under the Moonlight treatment comes with sparkling wine. Or just let your suite’s outdoor hydro-massage tub at Grand Palladium Palace Resort Spa do the work.