What are the best things to do on a romantic trip to Phoenix?

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With striking sunsets, vivid desert landscapes and ideal weather for much of the year, Phoenix mixes outdoor charm with intimate spaces for romantic getaways. Here are our five favorite things to do for couples:

1. Check into a desert resort. While there are many idyllic spots, romance sparkles at Royal Palms Resort. Hidden courtyards burrowed against Camelback Mountain, twinkling lights and the intimate T. Cook's restaurant are sure to send sparks flying.

2. Experience the desert. Cactus and dust may not exactly spell romance, but out-of-this-world sunsets and picturesque mountain views on a desert hike for two are sure to dazzle. Head to South Mountain for panoramic city views or the Desert Botanical Gardens for a gentle stroll.

3. Get lost in the art. For a romantic finish to a tour at the Phoenix Art Museum, head toward Yayoi Kusama's installation piece, You Who Are Getting Obliterated in the Dancing Swarm of Fireflies. Admission to the multimedia artwork is two at a time and the dark room filled with dancing lights will take your breath away.

4. Head to Italy without leaving the Valley. No romantic trip to Phoenix is complete without a gondola ride at Hyatt Regency Scottsdale Resort and Spa at Gainey Ranch. Four authentic Italian gondolas take three different paths along the resort's seven-acre lake — big enough that you'll have a little privacy. Cruising under palm trees while being serenaded by Italian songs will bring out the romantic in just about everyone.

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