Rekindle and Rediscover Romance in Alabama

We all tend to have our own definition of romance. For some, it's spending quality quiet time with that special someone. For others, it's sharing a special experience or two together.

Or perhaps those were once everyone's definitions.

In a 24/7, go-go-go, plugged-in environment, the "r" word is becoming few and far between these days.

However, it doesn't that have to be that way.

If you want to rekindle and rediscover romance with your partner, consider getting away from the weekend. In Alabama, you can find many places where you both can relax and reconnect.

And don't forget to leave your laptop, iPad, etc. at home. You'll be glad that you did.

All jokes aside, the secret Bed & Breakfast Lodge in Leesburg just may be one (of), if the, state's best kept secrets. Situated atop Lookout Mountain in northeast Alabama, the setting provides unforgettable views of the area and beyond (why yes, that just might be Georgia you see in the distance.) There are four guests rooms available in the Main Lodge and five cottages on the property. Now these aren't your typical cottages, either. You and your loved one can choose from such enclaves as The Sugar Shack, The Tree House, or The Lake Cottage as well as others.

While You're There: Get outdoors and go exploring. Visit DeSoto State Park and DeSoto Falls. There's also Yellow Creek Falls nearby. The possibilities are endless to create some special experiences here.

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Of course you can expect a great story to go along with the only remaining hotel in a small town's historic downtown . And St. James Hotel in Selma doesn't disappoint. Supposedly Frank and Jesse James once stayed here in the 1880s. But wait a minute, how can a property that once potentially hosted outlaws be considered romantic? Well, it all comes down to the location and views. The property is situated in the quaint downtown and the 42-rooms either provide views of the Alabama River or the courtyard. There is also two on-site restaurants, which makes it possible for never leaving (at least for eating) St. James Hotel.

While You're There: Rich in Civil Rights history, you can tour the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute, and then walk across the famous Edmund Pettus Bridge. Take a self-guided tour of the area's historic churches or a self-guided ghost tour. Go window shopping in downtown. The getaway is you and your significant other's time to explore.

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Located in downtown Birmingham, Tutwiler is a historic hotel with a rich past that includes hosting famous people, such as Charles Lindbergh and former first lady Eleanor Roosevelt throughout its years. Today, it still retains in elegance as one of the places to stay when visiting the Magic City. What stands out most this property, which was renovated in 2007, is the personal touch with the artwork. They say that a photograph is worth a million words and here it is true. The artwork tells about Birmingham's history and there's a audio tour available to learn more. The 149-room property has an on-site restaurant as well.

While You're There: View the exhibits at the Birmingham Museum of Art. Tool around the Alabama Jazz Museum Hall of Fame. Immerse yourself in the important history of the Civil Rights Movement at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and see nearby the 16th Street Baptist Church . Discover for yourself why downtown Birmingham is still "magical" to visit.

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Experience romance in the quaint, small southern town of Eufaula when you "weekend it" at Candelight Inn. Exuding southern-ness with its wraparound porch, the property offers a suite with a fireplace and a private balcony, two color-themed regular rooms and a guest cottage for the complete getaway experience. Enjoy breakfast in the main house and then spend the in leisure on the front porch.

While You're There: Perhaps the biggest attraction here is Lake Eufaula. With over 640 miles of shoreline and numerous public use areas, there isn't excuse for not spending some time at the lake. Take a stroll downtown and visit some of the shops. Take a self-guided walking or driving tour of Seth Lore & Irwinton Historic District, the largest historic district in the state.

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There's a reason that the Grand Hotel Marriott Resort, Golf Club & Spa in Point Clear is called The Grand, and once you enter the property's grounds and the lobby, terms like "grandeur" and "charm" take on a whole new meaning. Referred to as "The Queen of Southern Resorts," the property has been visited by the likes of Colin Powell, Dolly Parton, Fannie Flagg and many others. Its history includes a portion of it serving as a Confederate hospital during the Civil War. Overlooking Mobile Bay, the property features 405 rooms and 34 suites, nine restaurants (something for every taste and budget), a 20,000-square foot European style spa and much much more. You can spend hours just walking around the property, and never getting bored or tired.

While You're There: If you can tear yourself away from the property, take a short drive to downtown Fairhope and park your car to walk. The blocks are filled with local shops and eateries. Go horse back riding at Oak Hollow Farm. Visit Punta Clara Kitchen (251/928-8477) for a sweet treat or two.

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