It’s hard to tell the days apart when you are a freelancer and business owner. Ryan has been working a lot of weekends right now. Thankfully, he has the work and I am not traveling, but this does make most of the days look alike.
Apparently, Valentine’s Day is around the corner, and I think it will be the ideal time to do something fun, even if it’s just a little getaway to our family cabin in the South Park area of Colorado.
I field romantic travel questions often. In fact, “where would you recommend we go on our anniversary” may be the number one question I get. Therefore, I am writing this post. It not only gives me something to write about but affords me the opportunity to look back and reflect on a few very pleasant trips.
Saratoga Hot Springs Resort in Saratoga, Wyoming – Romance in the Rockies
Ryan and I have spent a handful of weekends at Saratoga Hot Springs Resort. The town of Saratoga is in the river valley between the Medicine Bow Mountains. It’s about 20 minutes south of I80 or, if the pass is open, visitors should drive through the scenic Snowy Range.
Saratoga doesn’t have a stoplight and for some reason, that makes it high on the Richter Scale of romance. Not having a traffic light does not mean it is boring in Saratoga. We have golfed, fished, soaked, and bar hopped between the two downtown bars.
RELATED: 15 Years of Anniversary Road Trips
One of the reasons this place often comes to mind is that I have a fond memory of being wrapped in a blanket, lounging with a book in front of the outside fireplace on the resort’s main lodge patio. This peaceful scene took place long before HeidiTown existed.
I miss reading as now I only listen to Audible so that I can do something else like fold clothes or go on a walk while listening to a book. If I sat down to read, I’d feel guilty that I wasn’t writing. That’s one lousy side effect they didn’t tell me about when I became a writer many years ago.
For his birthday, I took Ryan drift fly fishing here along the North Platte River with an outfitter. This is one of his favorite travel memories because he caught 13 lovely trout.
There is nothing more romantic than snow softly falling while soaking in a hot spring pool and we’ve had this happen here more than once. We also did a couple’s massage at the spa, which is open and ready to serve.
Saratoga Hot Springs Resort is sort of a one-stop-shop kind of place. There are hot springs, a spa, a golf course (for summer travel), and a restaurant and brewery. While you don’t need to leave the property, you’ll want to make reservations for dinner at Bella’s Bistro downtown. People come from all over Wyoming to go and once you’ve experienced the place, you’ll see why.
Cascade Escapes in Cascade, Colorado – Romance in the Woods
Cascade is west of Colorado Springs, and the two closest towns are Manitou Springs and Woodland Park. When I looked Cascade up on Google Maps, a spot in southwest Colorado came up, so I’m not sure it’s really a town, but it is an address. I think this makes Cascade extra romantic.
Ramona Cottage is part of Cascade Escapes, which rents out the cottage and Zeb’s Cabin. We stayed at the cottage a number of years ago. It’s on a quiet, wooded street near the turn for the North Pole/Santa’s Workshop. This is also the road that winds its way to the top of Pikes Peak.
There is something special about Ramona Cottage. I am not sure if it’s the stone fireplace, claw foot tub, cozy hot tub, or the fact that it’s within walking distance to The Wines of Colorado. Whatever the reason, the place oozes romance.
It’s easy to pop into Manitou Springs for a walk in this charming little town. We’ve been visiting this town for nearly twenty years. It’s a bit of a throwback that includes a Penny Arcade that is truly one-of-a-kind in Colorado.
If you prefer to stay in town, The Cliff House at Pikes Peak is a nice option. We’ve stayed at both and while both offer a different type of experience, I enjoy both places. The Cliff House has played a role in Colorado’s colorful past, so it will appeal to the history buff.
San Luis Valley, Colorado – Romance in the Wild
We’ve stayed in the San Luis Valley for two anniversaries, that’s how much we love it. It’s easy to get off-grid here because so much of the region is off-grid.
We’ve stayed in a variety of places in the valley from chain hotels to a strawbale home built by the owners. It used to be on Airbnb. I think wherever you choose to stay, this under-visited area of Colorado will surprise you in a good way.
There are breweries of Alamosa, the delicious pizza in Del Norte, birding in Monte Vista, an amazing diner in Saguache, and Joyful Journey Hot Springs in the tiny town of Moffat. By the way, there’s another amazing hot spring destination in Hooper. Seriously, San Luis Valley offers everything from hiking to birding to breweries. It’s not for nightlife lovers, but rather for the person who wants to breathe in the real Colorado.
I realize that all three of these locations are fairly remote for most people, but if you’ve followed HeidiTown for any length of time, you’ll notice my affinity for small towns. Plus, when it comes to romance, instead of streetlights, I prefer moonlight.
Happy Valentine’s Day, citizens!