For those of you unsure where to start, this selection of prime suggestions could help pinpoint what places you'd find more interesting - or if you've already picked the destination, make sure you don't miss anything nearby.
If the two of you are looking for some turn of the century charm (and NOT a la Prince 1999) then head to Opatija. Long walks along the lungomare, dinner at Le Mandrać, drinks in a secessionist style villa-turned-cafe, manicured Austrian gardens – relive the days of the happy-go-lucky Archduke Maximilian and wife Carlota before their fateful decision to take on the title of Emperor and Empress of Mexico. If only they had been as smart as you.
Šunja Beach, Lopud. Beautiful sand beach (rare on the Adriatic) on this car-free island near Dubrovnik.
Sveti Jerolim, Pakleni Otoci, Hvar. This tiny island just across from Hvar town is the spot for sunning before heading out at night in town. Hop a water taxi in town. Oh, and yes, there is a boys' section - how could the trendiest spot in Dalmatia NOT have one?
Zlatni Rat, Bol, Brač. Possibly Croatia's most photographed beach, this finger-like projection of a pebble beach is made all the more chic by the marble sidewalk that connects it to the town. Why marble? Remember, the White House is build out of Brač stone. A mecca for scuba, windsurfing, and biking.
Lokrum Island, Dubrovnik. No sand here, but stunningly transparent blue water and views of Stari Grad - the old walled city - from the Napoleonic fort at the top of the island.
Punta Križa, Rovinj. The most popular gay beach in Croatia.
Plaza Jaz, Budva. If you are staying in Budva or even Kotor this sand beach about 4 km north of Budva is your best bet.
Kornati National Park. Anywhere in this park consisting solely of islands.
Viganj, Pelješac - Top windsurfing spot overlooking Korčula’s old town.
Sveti Stefan, Montenegro. The iconic island village turned luxury hotel soft opened in 2010.
Mako, Gallipoli, Salento - Makes Rovinj's boys' beach look staid.
Belgrade, Serbia - they know how to party like the world is crumbling around you
Gallipoli, Salento - during August this place is over the top with boys
Le Mandrać, Volosko/Opatija
Taverna Toscana, Skopje
Gverović Orsan, Zaton Mali
Stari Mlini, Kotor
Kapetanova Kuća, Mali Ston
La Puntulina, Rovinj
Hotel Angelo d'Oro, Rovinj
The Pučić Palace, Dubrovnik
Hotel Bellevue, Dubrovnik
Hyatt Regency Belgrade
The Regent Esplanade, Zagreb
Antiq Hotel, Ljubljana
Urban Hotel, Trieste
Hotel in Pietra, Matera, Basilicata
Some of the more unique hotels in the region include the island village hotel Sveti Stefan, near Budva in Montenegro, which has at least partially reopened under the management of Aman Resorts, and the Hotel Cittar in Novigrad/Cittanova, Croatia, a small family hotel built into the old Venetian city walls. Heading just outside the target region, the Hotel in Pietra in the stunning town of Matera is a great boutique hotel built into the ancient sassi.
Bars & Cafes
Carpe Diem, Hvar
The Garden, Zadar
Vitriol, Novigrad/Citta Nova
Kamene Priče, Bale/Valle
Anywhere involved in hosting any aspect of the Sarajevo Film Festival in August
The best ice cream on the Adriatic is, by our count, that found at Natale Gelateria Pasticceria e Cioccolateria just off Piazza Sant'Oronzo in Lecce, Puglia. The mandorlo is divine. Second may be the cimet (cinnamon) at the ice cream shop on Stradun in Dubrovnik. In Zagreb, Vincek wins hands down.
Gyms, pools, and spas
Aqua Club-Spa at Hotel Nikopolis, Thessaloniki - largest outdoor pool in southeastern Europe, and a beautiful spa to go with it
[comfort zone] space at Hotel Dubrovnik Palace, Dubrovnik – gym and indoor pool overlooking the Adriatic with accompanying wellness center
Hotel Central - Westwood Spa, Sarajevo - pool, sauna, steam room, and 2 floor gym
Club Olympus, Hyatt Regency Belgrade
Westin, Zagreb - for the pool - the gym isn't so great
Terme Čatež, Slovenia - de-tox heaven
Palata Federacije, Belgrade
Pošta 2, Skopje
Hotel Zlatorog, Bohinj-where 1973 lives on
Zigante Tartufi, various locations in Istria
Dubrovačka Kuća, Dubrovnik
Piranske Soline, Tartinev Trg, Piran and Mestni Trg, Ljubljana
Liberima, Corte dei Cicala, Centro Storico, Lecce - bookshop and wine store.
Who wants books and coffee when you can have books and local wine?