You’re not like most couples on Valentine’s Day [uncorks pumpkin butt plug], which isn’t to say you don’t dig a classic couple’s vacation activity, but we think you can do better than the old beachside massage package/wine tasting/hot air balloon venture (does anyone actually do that outside of Santa Fe or The Bachelor??).
In fact, you know what? For your next couple’s vacation, leave the massages to us whilst you and your hunny explore more intriguing pastures; if you must do the spa thing, why not get tenderized by oak leaves together at a Russian and Turkish bathhouse? Feel like branching out even more? Take a pilgrimage to the best kitsch roadside hotels or sign up for a guided nudist hike. We really do live in the golden era of Airbnb experiences, and the world is your weird, briny oyster for the slurping.
Maybe you’re looking to skip town with your new situationship for a bit, or trying to add some spice to the stew of your five-year-strong relationship this Valentine’s Day; maybe you need a cozy spot for two, or four, or you and six long Furbies. Whatever your reason for getting out of Dodge, we’ve found a bunch of non-traditional vacations and rentals for y’all to dip into a sudsy and swimmable Champagne glass, zipline across a tree house, or make out in a converted bunker.
Bathe in a Champagne glass
Back in the pre-internet days, love resorts were clutch for swinging, groovy couples like Bunni and Randy to link up with other happening peeps; they’d pull up to a place like Cove Haven Resorts in Pennsylvania, and stay for a whole weekend of swan boat pedalling, karaoke, glamour shots, hiking, live music, and the hotel’s inimitable Champagne glass tub. Being loose with your goose isn’t a requirement to enjoy the iconic kitsch hotel, of course, but it can’t hurt to grow a handlebar moustache beforehand and wear some velvet pants.
Learn more about Cove Haven Resort on Tripadvisor
Blast them off
A Futuro house will sweep architecture buffs, mid-century nostalgics, and alien sleuths right off their kiesters. They were first designed in the 1970s by the Finnish architect and designer Matti Suuronen, and now there are less than 85 left on this fine blue planet, according to the host of this one in Joshua Tree. Just imagine doing shroomies in a silky boi bathrobe here with your love.
Area 55 Futuro House; sleeps up to 4, $292 at Airbnb
All aboard the love boat
The houseboats of Sausalito, California have a long history as one of the more unique bohemian communities in the state; they were even featured in an Agnès Varda’s documentary on the area, and continue to entice travelers with their Waterworld-romantic feel. This floating guest cottage is the last boat of its kind on the northward leg of the dock, and has beautiful views of Mount Tamalpais.
Floating Guest Cottage; sleeps up to 4, $256/night at Airbnb
Attend elf school together in Iceland
[Chortles in Huldufólk.] Iceland was one of the first countries to encourage vaccinated Americans to come hither, and honestly, heading to Reykjavík for a long-weekend jaunt if you live on the East Coast isn’t that crazy or (comparatively) expensive; there are a bunch of round-trip flights from NYC in February for about $500. We have an entire guide of what to do in Iceland, from staying at the best Airbnbs, like this Reykjavik cabin sitting right under the Northern Lights…
… to attending the Elf School, which is a real thing that exists. Sign your partner and yourself up for a crash course, and learn about the importance of elf folklore and influence on Icelandic culture. “It felt more like a casual evening with grandpa than just a tour,” writes one diploma-holder.
Learn more about Elf School on Tripadvisor
Hot lovin’ in the Cold War bunker
Remember that Dean Martin song? This converted bunker is in Roswell, New Mexico, so you might just see some little green dudes when you wind down into its 186-foot deep nethers for a romantic evening with your history buff/aspiring war criminal lover. There’s also a tour of the old Launch Control Center included.
Cold War Bunker; sleeps up to 2, $460/night at Airbnb
King of your own castle
Wing’s Castle was built in the 1970s by the late Peter J. Wing, who wanted to create a whimsical place for his family to call home in Millbrook, New York. Since then, it’s hosted everything from retired show elephants to its own version of Stonehenge. There are so many different rooms in the castle for you to pick, but we’re partial to the dungeon and the separate cottage, which are great if you’re rolling with a big crew.
Learn more about Wing’s Castle on Tripadvisor
Film a music video here
Photo: Plum Guide
The invisible house, the mirror house, the space ship—call this sexy rectangle whatever you like, it’s still one of the raddest architectural additions to Joshua Tree in recent memory. Bring your hunny, or a few, and film a music video beside the 100-foot long indoor pool just because you can.
The Mirrored House; sleeps up to 6, $4,816/night at Plum Guide
A hobbit hole for your precious
In a hole in the ground, there lived your boo and you. There are so many Hobbit-inspired Airbnbs around the world, but this one gets top marks for its commitment to the OG cottagecore aesthetic with Arts & Crafts furnishings, rounded doors, a rounded wooden tub, and a choice position above the Columbia River Gorge in Orondo, Washington.
Underground Hygge; sleeps up to 2, $371/night at Airbnb
A treehouse with a zipline
Give them the gift of ziplining, and you’ve truly reached the peak of romance. This Portland, Oregon treehouse is actually held up by four different trees, is close to the downtown area, and has its own hot tub and zipline, so practice your George of the Jungle yell.
Eagles Nest Tree House; sleeps up to 6, $220/night at Airbnb
Just a couple of wizards in the Berkshires
Is there anything more romantic than a private wooden turret in the Berkshires? You’ll even overlook a babbling brook in this Lee, Massachusetts home, which is spread over four acres of gardens and a lily pond. Here’s an idea, for you crusty city slickers: Grow out your rattail just long enough to toss out the tower for a little 21st-century Rapunzel roleplay.
Enchanted Tiny Tower; sleeps up to 2, $252/night at Airbnb
This dome house overlooking a volcano
Can you imagine cracking your eyes to the glory of this volcano in La Fortuna, Costa Rica? It feels like something both J.Lo and Werner Herzog would do, which obviously hits our couple’s vacation sweet spot; there are 180 degrees of glass for panoramic views, as well as an indoor and outdoor tub.
Eco Glam Volcano Home; sleeps up to 2, $118/night at Airbnb
Barbie’s Dream House
Did you know Barbie and her jabronis have a Dream House in Scottsdale, Arizona? A dozen hot people can massage and bon voyage at this hot pink estate, which comes complete with an in-home movie theater, Swimming pool, game area with arcades, a make-up room, and (of course) an aquamarine pool.
Barbie House with Home Theater; sleeps up to 12, $253/night at Airbnb
Stay in the Garden District of New Orleans
This Victorian apartment is in the Garden District of New Orleans, Louisiana, a historic district where the houses are “tiered like wedding cakes or shot-gunned into long, narrow lots,” explains the city’s website, “ sheltered by canopies of leafy green.” Your home for the weekend comes complete with a glass-topped dining table, 12-foot ceilings, and a grand gold chandelier beside an open brick fireplace so y’all can wine and dine each other in southern comfort.
Bohemian Chic Home in Garden District; sleeps up to 4, $137/night at Airbnb
Camping by Joshua Tree (without hurting your back)
In the words of Rec Room editor Hilary Pollack, “Glamping is a stupid word, but a great idea.” This private camp ground by Joshua Tree can welcome half-a-dozen of your lovers/besties, and it’s complete with a cooking area, shower, and comfy beds with fluffy linens. Rest assured that “the tents are strong enough to hold up to the winds and the temperature,” writes the host, “so you'll be able to sleep well!” Yes please.
Delightful Group Glamping Site; sleeps up to 6, $290/night at Airbnb
Happy romancing, ya freaks.
The Rec Room staff independently selected all of the stuff featured in this story.