Romantic Travel Done Right
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New England Hideout
The fantasy: An idyllic winter getaway at a quaint B&B in Vermont, with afternoon strolls through snowy forests, warming up by the fire with cocoa followed by hot baths in an antique claw-foot tub, and scenic drives through friendly mountain towns.
The reality: Sure, there is a forbidden-feeling sexiness to getting busy on four-poster quilt-and-lace-doily beds, but B&Bs can also mean forced socialization before your morning coffee with grumbling couples and nosy proprietors micromanaging your vacation. And the high season means you'll be fighting for dinner reservations, and road space, with the legions of other dewy-eyed couples on their country getaways.
Perfect match: Instead of treading the well-worn tourist path, hole up in an off-season seaside town like Kennebunkport, Maine. Take walks along deserted beaches, snowshoe across rolling hillsides, and cozy up over bowls of seafood bisque in eateries so quiet they feel like private dining rooms. Cuddle under the comforters at the White Barn Inn (pictured), a 26-room historic inn on the Kennebunk River with an award-winning restaurant in a restored barn.