Where to Go for a Presidents’ Day Couples Getaway

Presidents' Day provides the perfect winter backdrop for a mini-vacation or romantic getaway over a three-day weekend.
Happy couple on a winter weekend getaway (Photo: @zaza via Twenty20)
Photo: @zaza via Twenty20

After months of winter, does cabin fever have you climbing the walls? Presidents’ Day weekend is a perfect opportunity to hit the road to a romantic vacation spot at long last, maybe even for the first time since summer vacation or the holidays.

Presidents Day Weekend Getaways for Couples

From sparkling winter carnivals to après-ski cocktails by the fire, here are the best places to visit in February for couples on Presidents’ Day weekend.

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1. Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa – Galena, Illinois

Hot Air Balloons Winter Carnival-Photo Credit Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa
Hot Air Balloons Winter Carnival (Photo: Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa)

During the annual winter carnival at Eagle Ridge Resort and Spa in Galena, Illinois, you can enjoy fire and ice shows, ice turkey bowling, s’mores making, ice carving stations, and indoor activities like swimming in the pool and using the golf simulator by Trackman. (Maybe sneak a few marshmallow shots from the ice bar, too.) You can rent equipment for snowshoeing, ice skating, sledding, ice fishing, skiing, and more from Eagle Ridge’s Nordic Center.

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Relax your achy muscles and boost winter weary spirits at the resort’s Stonedrift Spa. And if Mother Nature cooperates, you can hike, bike, hop on a horse at the Shenandoah Riding Center, bird watch, or even soar in a hot air balloon. Accommodations range from inn rooms to villas and homes.

2. Jekyll Island, Georgia

Historic Clubhouse on Riverview Drive in Jekyll Island (Photo: Shutterstock)
Historic Clubhouse on Riverview Drive in Jekyll Island (Photo: Shutterstock)

You don’t have to worry about crowds getting in the way of your Presidents’ Day weekend getaway on Georgia’s Jekyll Island. This 5,500-acre barrier island is all about pristine beaches, salt marshes, and maritime forests. There are 10 miles of beautiful shoreline here, and just 35 percent of the island is developed because the land is owned and protected by the State of Georgia. The vibe can best be described as chill. Head here for a night or a romantic long weekend, then rent a bike and explore the 20-plus miles of bike paths and trails together.Co

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You can also take an open-air trolley tour of the National Historic Landmark District, where many mansion-sized “cottages” remain from Jekyll Island’s heyday as a winter retreat for the nation’s wealthiest folks back in the 1700s. And no trip to Jekyll Island is complete without a visit to the Georgia Sea Turtle Center and the new Mosaic, Jekyll Island Museum.

3. Copper Mountain, Colorado

Aerial view of family-friendly Copper Mountain ski area in Colorado (Photo: Copper Mountain)
Aerial view of Copper Mountain ski area in Colorado (Photo: Copper Mountain)

With more than 2,500 acres of naturally divided terrain, there’s plenty of room to share the slopes on a weekend getaway at Colorado’s Copper Mountain, one of the nation’s top ski resorts for beginners. This Colorado mainstay offers a variety of activities for all interests, including skiing, ice skating, snowshoeing, tubing, the Rocky Mountain Coaster, and unique indoor activities at the Woodward Copper training area.  Take advantage of accommodations that are ideal for romantic getaways and lazy long weekends like condos with full kitchens.

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4. Greater Williamsburg, Virginia

Family taking a horse and carriage ride in Colonial Williamsburg (Photo: Virginia Tourism)
A horse and carriage ride in Colonial Williamsburg (Photo: Virginia Tourism)

Winter in Greater Williamsburg might mean a light dusting of snow reflecting the flickering lamps on Duke of Gloucester Street in Colonial Williamsburg‘s historic area, or the warm rays of a sunny day in the 60s on a walk through the Yorktown Battlefield. No matter the weather, there’s plenty for you and your partner to do your mini Presidents Day weekend vacay.

Get that pleasant rosy cheek feeling with a romantic skate at Liberty Ice Pavilion, or enjoy a three- or five-mile bike ride on the Historic Jamestowne Bike Trail and Freedom Park’s 20 miles of mountain bike trails. Golf courses remain open year-round, and Colonial Williamsburg and Yorktown Battlefield both make fun excursions.

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If there’s a chill in the air, heat up at the Muscarelle Museum of Art or The Watermen’s Museum in Yorktown. There’s always special programming at the Art Museums of Colonial Williamsburg for Presidents’ Weekend.

Sip on wine at the Williamsburg Winery, or if mead is your thing, make your way to Silver Hand Meadery. There are also craft breweries and distilleries in the area. Shoppers will get their fill at Williamsburg Premium Outlets, Yankee Candle Village, or the boutiques along Merchants Square.

Relax, refresh, and recharge with a visit to the four-star Spa of Colonial Williamsburg, featuring 17th- and 18th-century colonial wellness experiences, or at the Williamsburg Salt Spa with its salt cave.  Many hotels have indoor pools, and if your romantic weekend involves bringing the kids, the area’s Great Wolf Lodge location will wow them with its indoor water park.

5. Lake Placid, New York

Whiteface Lodge is tucked into the woodlands above Lake Placid (Photo: Whiteface Lodge)
Whiteface Lodge is tucked into the woodlands above Lake Placid (Photo: Whiteface Lodge)

The Adirondacks are renowned as a New York vacation destination for their fresh mountain air and ample opportunities for winter fun. At the Lake Placid Olympic Sites you can experience the thrill of what it was like to be an Olympic Bobsledder during the 1980 Winter Games on the Cliffside Mountain Coaster at Mt. Van Hoevenberg, the longest year-round mountain coaster in the United States.

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Other attractions and recent upgrades to the Olympic Sites include new Nordic trails, the Sky Flyer Zipline, the SkyRide Experience, an eight-person gondola that brings guests from the Olympic Jumping Complex’s base lodge to the 90-meter and 120-meter ski jump towers, and a glass-enclosed elevator ride to the top of the ski jumps for a panoramic vista of the Adirondack High Peaks.

Also in Lake Placid, Mirror Lake has ice skating, cross country skiing, toboggan rides, dog sledding, and skating on the Olympic Oval, just as the Olympians did. When you’re ready to call it a day, choose from Lake Placid area hotels including cozy B&Bs and luxurious retreats.

Sheridan, Wyoming

Located between Yellowstone National Park and Mt. Rushmore National Memorial, the Presidents’ Day weekend getaway destination of Sheridan is less than two hours from the year-round outdoor recreational destinations of Antelope Butte and the Bighorn Mountains. It’s in northern Wyoming just south of the city of Billings, Montana, and is a must-visit for outdoorsy couples and wildlife lovers. You’ll get your fill of fishing, horseback riding, hiking, mountain biking, and camping on a mini vacation here.

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There’s another side to Sheridan, too, with its more than 40 buildings on the National Registry of Historic Places. Historic Downtown is where you’ll find shops, restaurants, galleries, and cafes, and some of the Mountain West’s legendary watering holes. Head to the Welcome Market Hall, an 8,000 square-foot renovated food hall space in what was a 1912-era railroad station. Here you can feast on a curated mix of food and beverages. Artwork from local artists adds to the cozy Western ambience.

North Conway, New Hampshire

Recognized by National Geographic as one of the top 25 ski towns in the world, tiny North Conway is the Granite State’s winter wonderland. And it’s incredibly budget-friendly when it comes to hotels, too—though you just might blow your savings shopping the nearby outlet stores.

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North Conway is at the center of Mt. Washington Valley, home to several ski resorts, all roughly 30 to 45 minutes from town. Within the Mt. Washington Valley region and inside North Conway, you and your sweetie can make a day trip of sleigh rides, dog sledding, snowmobiling, ice skating, sledding, fat biking, snowshoeing, hiking, ice climbing, and more.

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Sheryl Nance Nash
Sheryl Nance-Nash is a freelance writer, specializing in travel/lifestyle, personal finance and business. Her travel articles have appeared on CNTraveler, Newsweek.com, Fodors, Afar, RD.com, The Daily Beast, Culture Trip, Shermans Travel, Orbitz, among others. She is based in New York.

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