A horse-drawn carriage waits on the street with the spires of St. Louis Cathedral in the background.

French Quarter photo © Laura Martone.

Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, but there’s still time to plan a romantic getaway with the one you love. To assist in the planning, I’ve prepared a two-part article about the top ten most romantic U.S. cities, five of which are listed in the first part.

Here are the last five, in no particular order:

New Orleans, Louisiana: Nestled between Lake Pontchartrain and the Mississippi River, and surrounded by mysterious swamps and historic plantations, New Orleans is a city like no other. Atmospheric and full of life, the Crescent City offers a plethora of romantic diversions, including riverfront strolls, carriage and streetcar rides, intimate piano bars, sumptuous eateries, and picnics in Jackson Square. Even a nighttime walk through the city’s fabled French Quarter is enough to make almost anyone believe in magic.

New York, New York: With iconic images such as horse-drawn carriage rides through Central Park, the observatory of the Empire State Building, and the skating rink in Rockefeller Center, it’s surely no surprise that New York City is one of America’s most romantic locales. Given the number of love stories that have been filmed there, it seems that Hollywood agrees – and certainly, you’ll find no shortage of intimate restaurants and luxurious hotels.

San Francisco, California: Like New Orleans, this port city has a spirit all its own. Steep hills, fog banks, watery vistas, and the Golden Gate Bridge only add to its unique charm. Seafood restaurants with excellent views, lovely paths within Golden Gate Park, and its proximity to Napa Valley make San Francisco ideal for couples on a romantic retreat.

Santa Fe, New Mexico: Brimming with creativity, Santa Fe – the capital of New Mexico – is a dreamy, magical town, tucked amid the Sangre de Cristo Mountains and filled with adobe-style buildings, numerous art galleries, elegant restaurants, and charming bed-and-breakfasts. Given the beauty of the surrounding landscape – which is ideal for hikers, cyclists, rafters, skiers, and other outdoor enthusiasts – as well as the remote vibe of the city – despite its proximity to Albuquerque – it’s easy to see why New Mexico is called the Land of Enchantment.

Savannah, Georgia: Like Charleston, South Carolina – which frequently appears on “top romantic city” lists – Savannah is an incredibly romantic town, with a rich colonial history and a friendly, genteel atmosphere. Couples can celebrate “New Orleans-style” with the natives or simply stroll amid the lovely squares that comprise the downtown area – the picturesque trees, old-fashioned homes, and eccentric residents of which were popularized in the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil (and its accompanying film).

Naturally, I’m curious to know which U.S. cities you find the most romantic–so please feel free to mention them in the comments section below. And, of course, wherever you choose to spend your upcoming holiday, I hope that you have a Valentine’s Day to remember.