Are you an active couple looking for a romantic getaway in Florida but don’t want to get stuck on a boxed vacation with kids and canes? We’re here to tell you that Florida is full of romance and adventure; you just need to know where to look. We should know. We lived and Florida for years and traveled all across the Sunshine State, discovering amazing adventures for people who want to travel experience and activity first, and then fill in with romantic places to stay and delicious food to eat.
Our guide covers the most romantic things to do in Florida at the most romantic hotels in Florida. You’ll explore from A-Amelia Island around the coast to Z-Zepher Hills and beyond. (warning – Zepher Hills may or may not be rolled into greater Tampa )
What Do Active Couples Do On a Romantic Getaway to Florida?
We’ll introduce things to do for active couples in Florida and romantic resorts that facilitate the fun. You’ll find some no-brainers on the list, like private islands in the Keys and the perennial who’s who of romantic Florida hotels. You’ll also find a few surprises, like mermaid-themed B&Bs where you can swim with manatees right off your own private dock.
Keep reading if you love romance, coral reefs, baby manatees, hatching sea turtles, 80-lb miniature deer, white sand beaches, golden sunsets, and warm blue water. You’ll find all this and more in our guide to romantic getaways in Florida. We even include an interactive map with every property in this guide, along with pictures and a brief description. (if the map doesn’t pop up below, just hit the refresh button. It’s worth it ) Finally, we’ve included our affiliate links for these hotels, so if you like our guide, you can click in from here and give us a little love at no extra cost to you.
The Most Romantic Hotels on Amelia Island – Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island
Our choice for the most romantic hotel on Amelia Island is the Ritz-Carlton Amelia Island because it has accessible tranquility with the full Ritz level of service. What makes Amelia Island so accessible and tranquil? It is only 30-minute outside of Jacksonville in Florida’s northeastern-most corner and features 13-miles of golden shores. Active couples can choose from an easy drive down I-95 or plentiful flights into the Jacksonville Airport. From there, it’s just a short hop out to the beach to dip your toes in the ocean. The easy access makes Amelia Island a perfect Florida weekend getaway for couples.
We seriously considered having me work in Jacksonville and having Jenn work at the Amelia Island Ritz, but we moved to San Diego for a few years instead before ultimately heading to Florida. On the bright side, we learned all about romantic Southern California getaways and biking in San Diego during our time in California.
When Jenn was a Spa Lead and opened up the Tucson Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain, a member of the property’s opening team came from the Ritz at Amelia Island and couldn’t stop raving about how beautiful the property was. This stunning oceanfront hotel continually tops lists for the most romantic hotel in Florida, includes an on-property AAA Five-Diamond restaurant, Salt. Active couples will love having access to the resident resort naturalist and the Sandcastle Concierge service to arrange any activities.
Romantic things to do on Amelia Island include:
- Riding horses on the beach
- Kayaking Pumpkin Hill Creek Preserve State Park
- Dining at world-class restaurants
- Exploring Amelia Island State Park and Talbot Island State Park
- Watching the sunrise over the Atlantic
The Most Romantic Hotels in Jacksonville – Lodge & Club Ponte Vedra Beach
Our choice for the most romantic hotel in Jacksonville is the AAA Four-Diamond Lodge & Club Ponte Vedra Beach. This classic Old Florida beach has been setting the standard for excellence since 1928. If you’re noticing a pattern of historic lodges and clubs on golden islands, you might be on to something. This area is Florida’s answer to Georgia’s Golden Isles. Kind of like going to Jekyll Island, except for an arguably better oceanfront experience.
Active things for couples to do in Jacksonville on a Ponte Vedra Beach escape include:
- Biking through Ponte Vedra Beach’s charming seaside community
- Kayaking and paddling with on-resort beach rentals
- Oceanfront dining at the Sea View Grille or Sea View Lounge
- Evenings at the heated oceanfront adults-only pool and jacuzzi
- Indulging with one of the spa’s over 100 treatment options
The Most Romantic Hotels in St. Augustine – The Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens
Our choice of the most romantic hotel in St. Augustine is the Collector Luxury Inn & Gardens because you’ll feel like your immersed in a fairy tale. St. Augustine is a 400-year-old city dating back to Spanish Florida. The Spanish influence is visible in the city, and the idyllic grounds of the inn take you deeper into the dream.
First of all, we love that this property is adults only because, let’s face it, there’s a reason every married date night starts with getting a sitter. The Collector Luxury Inn describes itself as a modern, sensory immersion in art, history, and romance. The property has a collection of nine historic homes surrounded by a one-acre garden in the heart of St. Augustine. You can walk to all the attractions or, better still, use one of their bikes to explore the Ancient City.
Romantic things to do in St Augustine include:
- Strolling St George Street
- Touring America’s oldest masonry fort, the Castillo de San Marcos
- Visiting the iconic Flagler College
- Exploring Anastasia State Park
- Boating to Fort Matanzas National Monument
- Experience St. Augustine’s Nights of Lights over the Holiday Season
The Most Romantic Hotels in Orlando – Four Seasons Resort Orlando
This city is a family travel mecca, but that doesn’t mean you active couples can’t make an Orlando romantic getaway. You just need to know where to look. We discovered more amazing date nights during our years living in Orlando than you can shake your mouse ears at and wrote all about it in our 19 Incredibly Romantic Things to do in Orlando article. Here’s the skinny…
Active things for couples to do in Orlando include:
- Kayaking on Shingle Creek or Wekiva Island
- Taking an airboat on Lake Kissimmee
- Biking on the West Orange Trail
- Learning to fly at a vintage aircraft flying school
Seriously, fun in Orlando is only limited by your imagination, so you owe it to yourself to read our full piece to find out more.
We also wrote a dedicated piece for romantic hotels in Orlando, so it’s hard to pick just one. However, here it is the Four Seasons Resort Orlando, which is objectively one of the best properties in Orlando that happens to be at Disney World. It’s close enough to see the fireworks from select rooms or the roof-top restaurants, but it isn’t on the monorail or canal network. The Four Season offers pure luxury, including marble bathrooms, C.O. Bigelow toiletries, and high thread count bedding with plush pillows, perhaps most of all for romance, an adult-only pool and fabulous spa.
The Most Romantic Hotels in Palm Beach – The Breakers Palm Beach
Palm Beach holds a special place in our hearts because it’s the first beach you’ll reach where the ocean is undeniably amazing. This is where the Gulf Stream that flows up from the Keys leaves the coast for the open ocean. Every beach north of here is just a little murky with miles of continental shelf keeping out the clean, open ocean.
Every aquatic adventure is just a little better in the south, but this is particularly true of scuba diving in Palm Beach. A Palm Beach scuba trip features the most diverse diving in the Sunshine State with shore dives at Blue Heron Bridge, drift dives with turtles, wreck dives, and even blackwater diving where you float in the Gulf Stream and see what bioluminescent creatures come to visit.
Active things to do in Palm Beach include:
- Scuba diving (either by boat or at the “World’s Best Shore Dive”)
- Turtle tourism
- Exploring the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge
- Kayaking Peanut Island
- Tour Panther Ridge Conservation Center
No property captures the area’s idyllic setting better than the most romantic hotel in Palm Beach, The Breakers Palm Beach. This 125-year old hotel holds fast to the ideals that put it on the map: unapologetic luxury, seaside glamour, and world-class service. They also add extra spice for active couples looking for a romantic Florida getaway with free bicycle rentals, kayaks, and a world-class workout facility overlooking the ocean. You can even surf here where the breakers meet the beach or snorkel or dive on The Breakers’ Reef.
The Most Romantic Hotel in Fort Lauderdale – The Ritz-Carlton, Fort Lauderdale
Romantic getaways to Fort Lauderdale offer all the refined, upscale elegance of Miami without the debauchery of South Beach. It’s also a mecca of watersports in its own right. 300-miles of canals crisscross through the city, beckoning you to explore by kayak, water taxi, or even a historic paddleboat. You’ll discover everything from the upscale and chic entertainment district of Las Olas Avenue to dinner theater on a private, tropical island while passing by the waterfront mansions of America’s rich and famous.
Snorkelers and divers will delight in exploring Ft Lauderdale’s crystal blue water. Just offshore is 23-miles of coral reef spread and over 100 commercially dove shipwrecks, including the SS Copenhagen Underwater Museum and the Pompano Beach Dive Park, an underwater sculpture garden.
Perhaps the most magical place at Ft Lauderdale is the beach. There’s every watersport imaginable by day, but by night, the beach becomes the world’s largest loggerhead turtle hatchery—more than 3,000 turtles nest in Broward County. Summer turtle tourism is a thing, with visits to the Gumbo Limbo Turtle Hospital or even guided late-night Turtle Treks, where you might witness a hatch for yourself. You might have guessed that we like to play in Fort Lauderdale.
Active things to do in Fort Lauderdale include:
- Scuba diving the “Wreck Capital of Florida”
- Watching baby sea turtles hatch
- Take a canal tour
- Shop and dine on Los Olas Blvd
- See America’s only burlesque mermaid show
There’s no hotel better suited for the Yachting Capital of the World than the most romantic hotel in Fort Lauderdale, the Ritz-Carlton. The beachfront beauty features an elevated pool inspired by a ship’s bow and spa treatments that incorporate elements of the ocean. All of this with the luxury and amenities you’d expect from a Ritz-Carlton.
The Most Romantic Hotel in Miami’s Sunny Isles Beach – Acqualina Resort & Residences On The Beach
There’s nothing more romantic than a blazing orange sunset dropping below the water. Only Miami and Fort Lauderdale area on the east coast, and the sun sets in the west. There is a loophole. You can watch the sunset over the Inner Coastal Waterway. From waterfront dining at GG’s (formerly owned by Al Capone) to sunset and full moon paddle boarding at Oleta River State Park, you’ll discover the elusive east coast sunset on your romantic escape to Miami’s Sunny Isles Beach.
Active things for couples to do in Miami’s Sunny Isles Beach include:
- Enjoying east coast sunsets
- Paddling Oleta River State Park
- Biking the Hollywood Boardwalk
- Surfing on the Flowrider
You might be surprised, but the U.S. News #1 Best Resort in the Continental U.S. for 2021 isn’t in Orlando or the Florida Keys. It’s the most romantic resort in Miami’s Sunny Isles Beach, the Acqualina Resort. Upon arrival, you’ll understand why named Forbes Travel Guide ranked this property a Five Star Hotel for nine consecutive years. With unprecedented accommodations and service, world-class dining destinations, you might never want to leave the grounds. Of course, with three oceanfront pools, who could blame you.
The Most Romantic Hotel in Miami – Mandarin Oriental, Miami
Miami has arts, culture, nightlife, and so much more for active couples, especially boat lovers. From sunset sails to boat trips to Biscayne National Park to airboats on the Everglades, water babies never want for things to do. However, more is more, and more is coming. In 2021, Miami will unveil a seven-mile underwater sculpture park. The Reefline snorkeling trail is South Beach’s aquatic answer to New York’s High Line. I’m not sure what the question was, but if Reefline is the answer, I’m in. It’s the perfect complement to the onshore art deco opulence of South Beach. There’s so much more to a Miami trip than shopping.