Where to Go for an Anniversary Trip, Based on Your Celebration Year
Updated: July 27, 2023
AAA Travel Editor Katie Broome
For couples who love to travel, what better way to celebrate a milestone wedding anniversary than with a romantic getaway to somewhere new? Not only will you create new memories, but you’ll also be able to connect one-on-one with each other in a unique setting.
To help you come up with ideas for future trips — whether you’re celebrating your first wedding anniversary or your 50th — we’ve put together a list of romantic hotels that correspond to the traditional anniversary gifts, with input from AAA’s team of professional hotel inspectors.
And when you’re ready to start planning your trip, the helpful agents at your local AAA Travel office can assist with all the arrangements to make your trip go as smoothly as possible.
(See the full anniversary gift list on Hallmark's website.)
1-Year Anniversary Gift: Paper
The traditional first anniversary gift is paper, and you could consider celebrating your first year of marriage at the St. Elmo Hotel in Ouray, Colorado. The reason for its inclusion in this list? The ornate wallpaper in every room, complimented by period furniture and Victorian-era décor.
“This quaint historic hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway,” said the AAA hotel inspector. The surrounding town of Ouray — nestled in a canyon at the base of the San Juan Mountains — is a great home base for adventurous activities like hiking, rock climbing and off-road jeep tours.
2-Year Anniversary Gift: Cotton
For the anniversary gift of cotton, we recommend an anniversary trip to Savannah, Georgia. This charming Southern city was once a major player in the cotton industry. Today you can stay in a restored 1852 cotton warehouse at the East Bay Inn, a pet-friendly boutique hotel with exposed brick walls and lofty ceilings. The Cotton Sail Hotel, Tapestry Collection by Hilton is another restored cotton warehouse that’s located right on the Savannah riverfront. The Cotton Sail Hotel has a rooftop bar and is a “great place to catch the sunset,” according to the AAA inspector.
3-Year Anniversary Gift: Leather
What to get for the third anniversary gift of leather? Book a stay at the Hotel Jackson, a luxury boutique property in Jackson, Wyoming. Room décor is upscale yet rugged, with leather headboards and outdoorsy accents like reclaimed barn wood, wool and rawhide. Some suites feature natural gas fireplaces and terraces with breathtaking mountain views.
4-Year Anniversary Gift: Flowers or Fruit
Give the gift of flowers or fruit with a stay at one of the many romantic B&Bs or country inns in the northeast United States. The Mayflower Inn & Spa, Auberge Resorts Collection (pictured above) in Washington, Connecticut, has 58 acres of landscaped gardens and woodland. Rooms feature floral fabrics and details as well as fresh flower arrangements.
The Chanler at Cliff Walk in Newport, Rhode Island, boasts manicured gardens, in-room flower arrangements and a scenic location overlooking an ocean cove and beach. “Romantic options include rooms with full-canopy four-poster beds, extra-large jetted tubs and fireplaces,” according to the AAA inspector.In New Hope, Pennsylvania, The Inn at Bowman's Hill is a charming bed-and-breakfast on a gated estate complete with beautifully landscaped gardens, a vine-covered terrace and a koi pond. “The property includes a solarium growing citrus fruit year-round,” added the AAA inspector.
5-Year Anniversary Gift: Wood
For a five-year anniversary gift, a weekend getaway at a rustic and woodsy retreat is fitting. The Hewing Hotel in Minneapolis, Minnesota, features lots of exposed timber and a Nordic-inspired design in a former 1890s warehouse. “Stay in and enjoy room service,” said the AAA inspector, “then venture out for shopping and entertainment in the hip North Loop neighborhood.”Other rustic getaway ideas perfect for a fifth anniversary include the Yellowstone-inspired Disney's Wilderness Lodge (Lake Buena Vista, Florida); the chalet-style suites close to hiking and skiing at Alta Crystal Resort (pictured above; in Mount Rainier National Park, Washington); and the cabin-themed suites at Cottage Inn at Lake Tahoe (Tahoe City, California).
6-Year Anniversary Gift: Candy
A sweet treat always makes a good anniversary gift, but you can take the gift theme a bit further with a stay at a candy-themed hotel. The Hotel Hershey in Hershey, Pennsylvania, overlooks two chocolate factories and incorporates many cocoa-related details, from the chocolate bar provided at check-in to the Hershey’s Kisses at the nightly turn-down service.Located in a former chocolate factory, The Wilbur Lititz, Tapestry Collection by Hilton in Lititz, Pennsylvania, is known to have a distinct smell of chocolate as soon as you walk in. Rooms like the “Master Chocolatier King Studio Suite” and the “Cocoa Corner King” harken back to the building’s rich history. The hotel is also just a short walk from the Wilbur Chocolate Store.The sweet theme continues — albeit more subtly — at The Charmant Hotel (pictured above), a candy-factory-turned-hotel in La Crosse, Wisconsin. According to the AAA inspector, the stunning hotel carries the candy factory theme throughout the property, with chocolate truffles available for purchase at the front desk and vintage photos portraying the building’s history.
7-Year Anniversary Gift: Copper
What to give for the 7th anniversary gift of copper? Consider a stay at the Copper King Hotel & Convention Center, an Ascend Hotel Collection in Butte, Montana. The town of Butte — a good stopping point between Yellowstone and Glacier national parks — was once called “the richest hill on Earth” due to its copper deposits. The hotel celebrates this history with copper art pieces and large copper soaking tubs in some rooms, according to the AAA inspector.More copper details are found at the Brewhouse Inn & Suites (pictured above) in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Located in the original Pabst Blue Ribbon Brewery, the hotel features “six glistening and enormous copper brewing kettles lined up side-by-side, with their pipes climbing three stories up and out the roof of the atrium,” said the AAA inspector. These massive copper kettles once brewed thousands of gallons of beer for Pabst.
Pinewood Social/Andrew Thomas Lee
10-Year Anniversary Gift: Tin or Aluminum
You’ll have to think a little outside the box to incorporate tin or aluminum into your 10-year anniversary trip plans. One way to do it is to stay at a stylish hotel in the area of Manhattan once known as Tin Pan Alley. The Evelyn Hotel is a retro-classic option, built in 1903 and restored to the Art Nouveau style of the early 1900s.If you prefer to go with the aluminum gift to inspire your trip plans, consider a different type of stay altogether. A vintage Airstream travel trailer — with its sleek aluminum shell — could be just the ticket, especially if you pick a place to stay where you can experience the Great Outdoors. A few resorts and campgrounds cater to Airstream aficionados, whether you have your own trailer or will need to rent one. Consider staying at Yonder Escalante near Bryce Canyon National Park, where there are 10 glamorous Airstreams available for one-of-a-kind stays, in addition to cabins and RV sites. You can also search for an Airstream to rent with Outdoorsy, which offers a special .And if staying in an Airstream isn’t really your travel style, you could just order a cocktail or a bite to eat from the one parked at Pinewood Social, the trendy Nashville social spot that, in summer, features a converted Airstream trailer by the outdoor pool.
11-Year Anniversary Gift: Steel
For the 11th anniversary gift of steel, a historic hotel with ties to the railroad industry can be a good option. Located in a train station built in 1888, the Crowne Plaza Indianapolis Downtown Union Station has 26 train car rooms that let you spend the night in a converted 1920s Pullman sleeping car. The train car rooms rest on steel tracks inside the hotel.
Courtesy of Baccarat Hotel New YorkCourtesy of Baccarat Hotel New York
15-Year Anniversary Gift: Crystal
Cheers to your 15th anniversary with a luxury stay at a hotel known for its crystal. The Baccarat Hotel New York (pictured above) — owned by the French crystal company Baccarat, founded in 1764 by King Louis XV — glitters with glamorous Baccarat chandeliers, fixtures and wall sconces. All guest rooms include real crystal stemware to make your anniversary champagne toast extra special.Another well-known brand of cut crystal has a North American hotel perfect for a romantic getaway. Created by a member of the Swarovski family, the Sparkling Hill Resort in Vernon, British Columbia, features $10 million worth of Swarovski crystals throughout the property, according to the AAA inspector. From the curtains of crystals hanging in the lobby to the light-refracting crystal fireplaces in guest rooms, it’s an elegant setting. The adults-only, European-style resort also offers a luxury spa with cryogenic treatments and steam rooms filled with rose petals.
16-Year Anniversary Gift: Coffee or Tea
If it’s your 16th anniversary, you’re in luck, as there are plenty of great hotels that fit into the gift theme of coffee or tea.For a luxury stay in the coffee-focused city of Seattle, Washington, consider the Fairmont Olympic Hotel, which has a stellar coffee shop (4th Ave Espresso Bar) in the lobby that also serves tempting pastries.To experience the British tradition of afternoon tea, stay at the Hotel Bennett in Charleston, South Carolina, where you can partake in an elegant tea service at Camellias (pictured above), the hotel’s pink-hued champagne lounge. “They also have a coffee and pastry shop onsite called La Patisserie,” added the AAA inspector.Other hotels well-known for their afternoon tea include the historic Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, Michigan; Fairmont Empress in Victoria, British Columbia; and the The Adolphus, Autograph Collection in Dallas, Texas.
17-Year Anniversary Gift: Wine or Spirits
There are quite a few hotels offering a memorable spin on the 17th anniversary gift of wine or spirits. Learn the art of blending wine at the Grand Bohemian Hotel Charleston, Autograph Collection in Charleston, South Carolina, which hosts classes where you can “create and cork your own bottle with the help of an experienced sommelier,” said the AAA inspector.An on-site distillery at The Cavalier, Autograph Collection Hotel in Virginia Beach, Virginia, offers tours and tastings to sample house-made bourbon, vodka, gin and even a unique bourbon cream liqueur. “Many dishes in the [hotel’s] restaurant use the spirits in their dishes,” added the AAA inspector.For more tastings of the grape variety, consider the Chateau Chantal Winery and Bed & Breakfast (pictured above) in Traverse City, Michigan. “Set on a ridge with sweeping views of the vineyards and the bay, this elegant property offers evening wine tastings,” said the AAA inspector.On the west coast, there’s the Harvest Inn in St. Helena, California, with a scenic setting right next to their vineyards, or the Cameo Heights Mansion Bed & Breakfast in Touchet, Washington, a romantic mansion with more than 100 wineries nearby.
26-Year Anniversary Gift: Art
Art-focused hotels can inspire and delight when executed well, and AAA inspectors have identified quite a few stand-outs from coast to coast that are perfect for special occasions. For fans of contemporary art — think eye-catching abstract pieces — consider The Alfond Inn at Rollins (pictured above) in Winter Park, Florida, which features a contemporary art collection displayed throughout the hotel. The 21c Museum Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, is home to avant-garde sculptures and paintings and even a dedicated gallery space, while The Art Hotel Denver, Curio Collection by Hilton in Denver, Colorado, has an on-site art gallery and many art museums located within walking distance.For art in a more traditional sense, the JW Marriott Savannah, Plant Riverside District in Savannah, Georgia, mixes art with entertainment and features “collections of geodes, artifacts and even a dinosaur replica,” according to the AAA inspector.An impressive Victorian art collection and Romanesque Revival architecture lends a sophisticated air to The Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. The Pfister also has an artist-in-residence program, where guests can interact with an artist in a working studio.
27-Year Anniversary Gift: Music
Music can have a powerful effect on the emotions, and a music-themed hotel is the perfect place to celebrate a 27th anniversary. A musical motif is front and center at Hard Rock Hotel® at Universal Orlando (pictured above), with classic rock memorabilia everywhere you look and an outdoor swimming pool complete with an underwater sound system. For live music with a view of the ocean, make the trip to Hard Rock Hotel Daytona Beach on Florida’s east coast. The hotel has Fender guitars and record players you can borrow for your room.More rock ’n’ roll can be found at The Guest House at Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee. Within walking distance to Elvis Presley's Graceland, the hotel is said to reflect The King’s personal style and also offers an on-site concert venue.The sound of music is alive and well at the Trapp Family Lodge in Stowe, Vermont. Owned and operated by the von Trapp family — the inspiration for “The Sound of Music” — the Austrian-style mountain resort has plenty to keep guests occupied, including hiking, mountain biking, tennis and skiing. “The resort’s hallways resemble a museum with memorabilia from the family and the 1965 film,” said the AAA inspector.A boutique hotel to consider for the music theme: The Verb Hotel in Boston, Massachusetts, which has “a cool, retro-vibe,” according to the AAA inspector. The groovy décor weaves in music memorabilia and posters from the 1960s and 70s, and the inspector added that “each room has a record player with vintage vinyl.”
Hotel Emma/Julia Keim
30-Year Anniversary Gift: Pearls
Connected to the 30th anniversary gift of pearls in name only, two AAA Diamond-designated hotels are worth a mention. Located in a European-style village on northwest Florida’s Gulf coast, The Pearl Hotel Rosemary Beach has the “nostalgic feel of a bygone era,” according to the AAA inspector. The trendy oceanfront hotel is perfect for a romantic getaway, with a private beach, spa, complimentary bicycles and an adults-only pool.Trendy Hotel Emma (pictured above) in San Antonio, Texas, is located in the city’s hip Pearl brewery complex and is “as much a museum as it is a hotel,” noted the AAA inspector. Repurposed industrial equipment, fixtures and furnishings hint at the hotel’s former life as the Pearl Brewing Company, while upscale details like claw-foot tubs, private terraces and a 3,700-volume library evoke an air of luxury. The surrounding Pearl complex includes more than a dozen restaurants, shops and a food hall, with purveyors selling Pearl beer on tap.
33-Year Anniversary Gift: Iron
For anniversary No. 33, celebrate with a hotel stay where industrial vibes are aplenty. The Iron Horse Hotel in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, embraces its past as a 100-year-old foundry with iron detailing, exposed brick walls and a Harley–Davidson motorcycle on display in the lobby. Special amenities are geared toward motorcycle riders, too; the hotel has on-site bike parking, a bike wash station and heavy-duty in-room hooks for hanging heavy leather gear.Indianapolis’ Ironworks Hotel Indy (pictured above) as well as its sister property, the Ironworks Hotel in Beloit, Wisconsin, offer an industrial feel in a boutique setting. The Indianapolis property incorporates design elements like metal piping, reclaimed barn wood, brick accent walls and leather seating in guest rooms; opt for the Legacy Terrace room or Founder’s Suite to get an outdoor terrace with a firepit. The Beloit location adds in-room soaker tubs and fireplaces to some suites.
34-Year Anniversary Gift: Food
Who wouldn’t want to celebrate an anniversary with food? A few AAA Diamond-designated hotels incorporate excellent features for food-minded travelers. The Alluvian Hotel in Greenwood, Mississippi, has a popular Viking Cooking School where guests can take hands-on cooking classes ranging in difficulty from basic to advanced.
Junction at The Essex, a AAA Four Diamond designated restaurant, add to the theme. The restaurant is complete with a theater kitchen and chefs who explain the origin and process for each course.A self-described “food-focused hotel,” the Epicurean Hotel, Autograph Collection in Tampa, Florida, has a culinary classroom located off the lobby that hosts cooking classes and wine tastings. Bern's Steak House, a local landmark since 1956, is across the street and great for special occasion celebrations. (The wine collection at Bern’s offers more than 6,500 different labels.)
36-Year Anniversary Gift: Antiques
A stay at a historic hotel fits in nicely with the 36th anniversary gift of antiques. The Gingerbread Mansion Inn (pictured above) in Ferndale, California, is “full of antiques,” according to the AAA inspector, and has details perfect for an anniversary celebration, including roaring fireplaces, cozy seating areas and, in some rooms, side-by-side claw-foot bathtubs. The attractive B&B earned the AAA Inspector’s Best of Romantic award in 2020.
The Mainstay Inn in Cape May, New Jersey, consists of two Victorian-era buildings which showcase a variety of antiques, Oriental rugs and some furnishings left over from the property’s early days as a private gambling club. “The whole downtown area [of Cape May] displays antique buildings and artwork,” added the AAA inspector.
Courtesy of Library Hotel Collection
37-Year Anniversary Gift: Books
If reading and romance go hand-in-hand for you, a stay at a book-focused hotel may be just the way to celebrate your 37th anniversary. Guest rooms at the Library Hotel (pictured above) in New York City are themed around a specific topic within the Dewey Decimal system. A “Love Room” is perfect for romantic celebrations and features a collection of love-related books as well as a private terrace within view of the New York Public Library.Channel the collegiate vibes at The Study at University City in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, located between the campuses of Drexel University and the University of Pennsylvania. “Their lobby library is curated by students and professors from both colleges,” said the AAA inspector. Guest rooms have a sleek Scandinavian design and feature campus views and a separate seating area with fully stocked bookshelves.
Courtesy of The Plaza Hotel
50-Year Anniversary Gift: Gold
When thinking of ideas for 50th anniversary gifts, go all out with a luxury stay at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. The landmark hotel on the southeast corner of Central Park has elegant features like 24-carat gold-plated bath fixtures, gilded bed frames and crystal chandeliers. White glove butler service is available upon request, and the skilled staff can deliver a special bottle of champagne or even a “Home Alone 2”-inspired 16-scoop ice cream sundae covered in cherries, whipped cream, M&Ms and three different sauces.
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AAA Travel Editor Katie Broome
Katie Broome is a AAA Travel Expert.