Top 10 romantic cottages

Cuddle up at one of our favorite retreats, from Kauai to Colorado

  • Griffin House on Northern California's craggy Mendocino coast offers a quiet romantic winter escape.

    Griffin House Inn

    Thomas J. Story

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7. Yachats, OR

You and your mate will sleep oh-so-soundly (and within earshot of stormy waves) at Shamrock Lodgettes. Can't get much cuter than this updated 1950s beach resort, best known for its six original log cabins ― each with knotty pine-wall bedrooms, kitchenettes, jetted tubs, wood or propane fireplaces, and views of the ocean or the Yachats River. The beach is just steps away, and farther downtown you'll find creamy clam chowder. 9 cabins from $99; or 800/845-5028.
-Bonnie Henderson

8. Evergreen, CO

Lovebirds flock to this elegant countrified inn, just 30 minutes west of Denver, for its private, woodsy location on rippling Bear Creek ― and incredibly cozy cottages. Each boasts log beams, glowing gas fireplaces, and goose-down duvets. Hillside has its own bubbling hot tub, but we love Creekside, with its four-poster pine bed and hushed sounds of the rushing stream. Gourmet breakfast in an old log cabin included. 6 cottages from $210; or 303/674-3577.
-Lori L. Midson

9. Lake Tahoe, NV

Stuff your backpacks with dinner and a bottle of wine, slap on your cross-country skis, and glide off into the silent pines to Spooner's snug and well-equipped, if rustic, log cabins. Be sure to pick your companion carefully: someone adept at building a fire in the woodstove, who looks good in the light of an oil lamp, and with whom you'll want to do nothing but talk and play board games into the night, before climbing into the sleeping loft to gaze at the silvery snowscape. Wake whenever, then wrap yourselves in wool blankets and sip tea on the porch before hitting the trails outside your front door. 2 cabins from $160; or 775/749-5349.

10. Elk, CA

In an unspoiled tiny town on a quiet stretch of the Mendocino coast, you'll spot Griffin House ― and its friendly, if somewhat worn, cottages. Set on a cliff's edge, looking out to sea, is our favorite: the recently renovated Kestrel. Bundle up and sink into the deck's weathered Adirondack chairs, and watch for gray whales. At dusk, sip (complimentary) wine and enjoy your private sunset. For dinner, saunter over to the inn's Bridget Dolan's Pub; in the morning, a light knock signals the arrival of breakfast. 7 cottages from $148; or 707/877-3422.
-Dale Conour



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