The Most Romantic Weekend Getaway in Every State

That's amore!

Eastwind Hotels
Romance is just a road trip away. | Photo courtesy of Eastwind Hotels
Romance is just a road trip away. | Photo courtesy of Eastwind Hotels

It shouldn’t take a special occasion to prompt a weekend getaway, but for those who are big planners—or the opposite, terrible at planning—this can seem more overwhelming than it needs to be. This is vacation, after all, and there’s plenty of fantastic cities across the country that are perfect for a weekend trip. But if you’re sticking to your state—or one around it—you can have a romantic getaway that’s just a road trip away. And we’re not talking big cities, either. These are the smaller towns, quiet lakes, mountains, and beaches that will actually make your weekend feel like a true getaway. Leave the planning to us—we’ve got you covered in all 50 states.


Orange Beach
The Orange Beach area of 'Bama had activities for you and your college friends (Hangout Fest! Pristine beaches almost as fun as the Florida Keys!), but it also boasts plenty to do now that you're an adult and attempting to impress someone not wearing an airbrushed tank. You can ride the Ferris wheel on The Wharf, go mini-golfing on Adventure Island, take a glass-blowing class at the arts center, or, you know, lie on the beach. But anytime you have the opportunity to eat and drink on a boat while watching dolphins, you should always take it—so make that a priority. –Kristin Hunt


While reenacting your favorite scenes from Balto is romantic in its own way, a couples retreat in Alaska isn't complete without some Northern Lights action—and your best bet is to head to Fairbanks. Make sure to book a place with aurora wake-up calls (many of them do this) and then decide whether you want to embark on a lights-themed van tour, train ride, or dogsled adventure for the day. Keep in mind that the latter will fulfill those Balto fantasies. –KH

At Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, you can vacation just like Beyoncé and Jay-Z—well, sort of. | Courtesy of Jason Dewey for Omni Scottsdale Resort & Spa at Montelucia


Scottsdale’s entire raison d'être, for the last several decades, has been the art of rest and relaxation. Lucky for you, all of that R&R has begotten a third, equally elusive R: romance. Aside from the bachelor and bachelorette parties you’ll see romping their way through Old Town, there are plenty of more peaceful ways to celebrate love in this desert city: candlelit Italian dinners at Fat Ox; couples spa treatments at one of the more than 50 resorts around town (including Sanctuary Camelback Mountain, where Beyoncé and Jay-Z honeymooned); watching the sun set behind the mountains to reveal twinkling stars at ADERO. If you need to de-stress after planning the perfect romantic vacation, here’s a way to kill two birds with one stone. –Tiana Attride


Eureka Springs
Between the jazzy live music scene, the haunted hotels with serious Overlook vibes, the majestic Victorian architecture, and the quirky shops slinging everything from sequined jackets to healing gemstones, Eureka Springs feels like a mini New Orleans in the Ozarks—minus the swaths of tourists, steep hotel prices, and Mardi Gras melee. This tiny town of ~2,000, nestled in the lake-filled hills of Northwestern Arkansas, actually has a two month-long Mardi Gras festival all its own, Krewe of Krazo (that’s “Ozark” spelled backward), along with ample attractions to keep couples entertained year-round. There’s hiking and kayaking aplenty, rooftop bars, boutique leather shops, cute restaurants, and even a hotel called New Orleans, with real-deal Vieux Carrés and Sazeracs. Truly something for everyone, there’s even a sprawling gay club, Eureka Live, because “Slut Juice” shots are universal. –Matt Kirouac


Napa Valley is the expected choice here, but you can mix it up by pretending to be Batman and enjoying your California wines in a legit cave. While there are many excellent, echo-y options out there, most of them are reserved for private parties (read: crazy expensive to book). But at Jarvis Estate, it's part of the tour! After you've finished your subterranean wining, there's plenty of excellent food, shopping, and river sports in Napa to fill the rest of your vacation. Also, tons more wine. –KH

Onefinestay’s Gold Mine Lodge is the definition of hygge. | Courtesy of onefinestay


Steamboat Springs
Vail and Aspen get the glamor and attention, but that makes Steamboat Springs all the more of a secret among Colorado’s many ski resorts dotting the Rockies. This won’t be for long, though, as the town in Yampa Valley continues to expand and will soon be the state’s second-largest ski area after Vail. For skiers, you’ve got six peaks to choose from, and the good news, beginners, is that a good chunk of the 3,000-ish acres is greens and blues. If you’re more in it for the après, the scene here is laid-back, to say the least. After a day on the slopes or soaking in the namesake hot springs at Strawberry Park, stay warm in heated bar Slopeside, which you can literally ski right down to. Then, head into town to the more elevated Primrose, where you can indulge in jet-fresh oysters or foie gras tourchon. There’s plenty to keep you entertained on the small Main Street strip here, but if the snow is really coming down and you’d rather cozy up by the fireplace or in the hot tub, call it a night in one of the many chalets looking out to the peaks. One favorite: Gold Mine Lodge, part of onefinestay, which is constructed from gold mine timbers, a nod to the town's gold mining past. –Lane Nieset

a sailboat on a lake near colonial houses
The town is called Mystic, but its romantic qualities are clear as day. | Flickr/Joan Sol


After getting hitched, Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall famously retreated to the seaside town of Mystic. You want a town that is small, pretty, and full of coastal photo ops should the admiring paparazzi want a picture with a good backdrop. The main attraction in town is the Mystic Seaport, where you can see old restored ships and a tiny, recreated 19th-century village. (You better believe they have a printing press.) There's also an aquarium, planetarium, and dining options outside that one famous pizza place. And if you're all about authenticity, you gotta book a stay at Bogie and Bacall's actual hotel, Inn at Mystic. –KH


Montchanin (Brandywine Valley)
Montchanin is where the very lovely Inn at Montchanin Village is based, but you're not going there to explore that town specifically. You're going there to drop your bags, maybe do a quick spin around the hotel gardens, and head out to the larger Brandywine Valley area. While you won't be inundated with an incredibly boozy concoction everywhere you go, the region, which encompasses swaths of Delaware and Pennsylvania, does have several gorgeous manors and gardens to explore. You can check out those, the Delaware Art Museum, and the many parks. But if your partner has a home shopping addiction, beware: The QVC studios are just over the state line. –KH


Sanibel and Captiva Islands
With tight restrictions that lock out high-rise buildings and most chain restaurants, Sanibel’s vibe is easily distinguishable from the overdeveloped Florida of our collective nightmares. Basically, this is what Florida would look like if it lived up to its full potential: No traffic lights or seedy “VIP” lounges. Sanibel and its even homier and more remote sister island, Captiva, boast world-renowned beaches showcasing soft, white sand and absurdly glorious sunsets. If you only have time for one, cruise over to the “secret beach” at Cayo Costa State Park. With nine miles of pristine undeveloped beach only accessible by boat, it’s easily one of the top state parks in the nation. –Jay Gentile

Get ready for sunsets like these. | Courtesy Jekyll Island Club Resort


It’s impossible not to be swept up by the Spanish moss in Savannah billowing over every street corner and park. The iconic Southern flora is just part of the charm of this hauntingly beautiful coastal city, renowned for its aphrodisiac-laden Lowcountry cuisine, open container laws, and ornate architecture. For a small-ish city, there’s a ton to do here. Want to devolve into a night of suggestive debauchery? Go on a drag pub crawl! Celebrating a special occasion? You can’t do better than a tasting menu at the city’s most lauded restaurant, The Grey. Itching for some fun in the sun? Spend the afternoon on Tybee Island! Better yet, make it a day trip and head to Jekyll Island, a gorgeous barrier island in the Golden Isles with historic mansions, miles of unobstructed beachfront, and the majestic Jekyll Island Club Resort, a sprawling hotel that looks like a chic—and harmless—Hill House. –Matt Kirouac

Hawaii beach summer lifestyle young people relaxing in Kauai
Hey, have you heard that Hawaii is romantic? | Maridav/Shutterstock


Look, you just can't lose with Hawaii. You could seek out the dumpiest motel and eat exclusively at McDonald's, and your special friend would still be impressed. Not that you should do that. (Please don't do that.) But if we had to choose a particular island for your retreat, it would have to be Kauai. Why? Lumahai Beach, Hanalei Valley, and Waimea Canyon. Google them. Book your trip. Done. –KH


If you and your beloved happen to be a fan of winter sports and literature, few experiences will fuse these passions like a visit to the Sun Valley Resort, where Ernest Hemingway once resided while writing much of For Whom the Bell Tolls. You can even stay in the very room where he worked. The lodge itself offers a romantically luxurious experience, and the Ketchum region itself is no slouch on romance, either. With plenty of opportunities for skiing and snowboarding, the majestic vistas of the nearby Sawtooth National Recreation Area, and the charming downtown district of Ketchum, there’s plenty to do and explore. If you’re looking for one of the most breathtaking views in—and of—the galaxy, bundle up one evening and drive just under an hour north to the Central Idaho Dark Sky Reserve. Protected from light pollution, it provides a glorious view of the stars. Or, just stay in at the lodge and cuddle up by the fire. –Nick Hilden

Camp Aramoni
For those whose idea of romance is communing with nature—and sharing a tent. | Camp Aramoni


LaSalle County
Outdoorsy Midwesterners already know about LaSalle County, home to not one but two show-stopping state parks alongside stellar wine and beer bars, homespun shops, rustic campgrounds, and one of the region’s most storied historic lodges. Starved Rock might steal the spotlight with its dramatic vistas, winding trails, and gravity-defying ice-climbing opportunities, but Matthiessen State Park’s quieter network of gorgeous waterfalls, less-trafficked paths, and steep cliffsides serve as the area’s resident sleeper hit. Once you’ve finished sweating it out, take refuge at the quite-possibly-haunted (but definitely awesome) Starved Rock Lodge or snag an ultra-romantic glamping cabin at Camp Aramoni, a luxury retreat complete with an onsite restaurant, bucolic pond, communal stone firepit, and cool cocktail bar that operates out of a vintage Airstream trailer. Meredith Heil


Wabash is home to many parks and an apple orchard, so you'll have no shortage of romantic strolling options, and the shops range from thrift stores to donut hubs, so all interests are accounted for. Most importantly, there's the 13-24 Drive In, so you can snuggle up under the stars to, uh, World War Z. –KH


Decorah gets name-dropped a lot in reference to the Hotel Winneshiek, which has pretty much everything you could ask for in addition to accommodations: a taproom, "opera house," and at least two fancy stone pillars. Obviously, you should stay there, but don't spend all weekend cooped up in the place. Get out to Malanaphy Springs and Phelps Park for your nature fix. Head to the speedway on Saturday, if you're into fast cars. Or go to the Wayside Skating Rink, if you're into slower-paced races. –KH


Get excited, Dwight D. Eisenhower fanatics, 'cause Abilene is the proud site of his presidential library, museum, and boyhood home! For those who don't like (or are merely ambivalent about) Ike, you'll still be pleased with the town's dinner trains and trolleys, as well as the Seelye Mansion and Brown Park Waterfall. If you aren't opposed to cowboy kitsch, there are staged gunfights and can-can dances at the Alamo Saloon in "old town." (Attention ghost hunters: It's also supposedly haunted.) And when you’re ready to settle in for the night, book a stay at the Victorian Inn. Jay and Adrian will take care of you. –KH


Brownsville (Mammoth Cave National Park)
At 400 miles, Mammoth Cave is the longest cave system in the world. That’s the kind of natural wonder that merits a weekend adventure, although you shouldn’t sleep in the actual cave—that’s creepy! (And, we’d imagine, illegal.) Book a spot in nearby Brownsville instead. There’s a B&B with a covered porch where you can watch hummingbirds as you sip your coffee. And if you get all caved out, Brownsville is a 20-minute drive from Nolin Lake State Park. –KH


Avery Island
Nothing reignites a fiery romance quite like hot sauce, so get yourself to Avery Island, home of Tabasco. After you've finished up your pancakes at a B&B in New Iberia (the isle doesn't have hotels), your first priority is Jungle Gardens, a 170-acre collection of azaleas, camellias, old Buddha statues, and the rogue croc or deer. If you're a bird-watching couple (reign it in, you party animals!), there's a separate tour of "Bird City," as well. After you've taken in all the pretty flowers, it's time to tour the super-romantic Tabasco factory. The hot sauce company has an additional restaurant and Cajun-inspired "food tour" on Avery Island, just in case your date isn't impressed with bottling operations. –KH

It’s not a question of whether you’re getting on a boat, but rather what kind of boat you’re getting on. | Unsplash/Trent Erwin


The romantic qualities of coastal Maine hardly need introduction or explanation. In Kennebunkport, it’s not a question of whether you’re getting on a boat, but rather whatkind of boat you’re getting on: There’s whale-watching tours, schooners, even “scenic lobster cruises.” As far as landside activities go, you obviously have beaches and a lighthouse (off Cape Porpoise); fine-dining options like White Barn Inn; and a “tree spa” that’s literally in the treetops. Looking to head further inland for the night? About 30 minutes west in the town of Kennebunk (yes, they’re different!), you’ll find cozy, serene glampsites like Huttopia and Sandy Pines that’ll make you feel like a teenager falling in love at summer camp all over again. –KH


Smith Island
Ocean City is crowded and full of spring breakers, so assuming shotgunning college kids aren't what sets the mood, head to one of the Chesapeake Bay’s tiny islands instead. While they all have their merits, only Smith Island has the state’s official, multi-layer dessert: Smith Island Cake (they really thought hard on that name.) Stuff it, and so many crab cakes, into your face while staring lovingly into your partner’s eyes. Then rent some bikes or kayaks and lap the island. Don’t be alarmed by the locals’ weird accents—the place is so remote, they still have traces of English affectation. –KH


North Adams
The Berkshires are reason enough to swoon—first over the rolling hills, then over all the art, and finally over each other. Start with some intimate time in nature by meandering along easy trails in nearby Mount Greylock State Reservation. If you’d rather spend more of your time gazing at the scenic view than walking through it, you can also drive up to the summit. Either way, a tower with 360-degree vistas awaits, as well as the old-timey Bascom Lodge dishing drinks and treats. Come back down to town to fully refuel, with decent restaurants throughout downtown North Adams, lining the road all the way along a 10-minute drive to Williamstown, where the food options and cuteness only continue. After you’re done crooning over the town’s brick steeples backdropped by foliage, spend some time in Mass Moca. There’s nothing like opinions on the weirdest installations at the brick-industry-building art museum to spur conversation all evening. Danielle Hallock


Walloon Lake
The fact that naturalist and iconic storyteller Ernest Hemingway chose this site above all others for his 1921 honeymoon is a testament to the beauty found on Walloon Lake in central Northern Michigan. Just a few minutes from 14 wineries in the Petoskey region and a quick two hours from the Leelanau Peninsula’s famous wine country, Walloon Lake is an entirely charming four-season destination. From spring through fall, enjoy a day out on the water with a pontoon or wake boat rental from Tommy’s Walloon before nestling into a lakeside suite at the gorgeously crafted 32-room Hotel Walloon—the sunsets over the crystal-clear, 100-foot-deep glacial lake are consistently some of Michigan’s best. –Cathy Brown


Lutsen (North Shore)
The North Shore is a section of the Lake Superior coastline with all sorts of absolutely picture-perfect scenery. If it's summer, you can canoe or post up a picnic site. If it's winter, you can snowshoe or skate. And while you have many lodging options, you should probably go with the beloved Lutsen Resort, which a) literally has a page on their site dedicated to romance and b) boasts Strand, a Wine Spectator-approved lakeside dining room whose cellar is stocked with more than a thousand of bottles to choose from. –KH


Natchez is located right on the riverbank, so you have all kinds of maritime activity options on the Mississippi River. On land, there are blues concerts happening nearly every night and gorgeous antebellum homes you can actually stay in. Don't forget the distillery and winery, the carriage tours of historic Downtown, or, uh, the Bigfoot history. –KH


This lovely Ozark town boasts everything from scenic railway tours to butterfly palaces. The shopping and restaurant hub is at Branson Landing, which has a $7.5 million fountain production featuring fire cannons and 120-foot geysers. Think the Bellagio meets the Ozarks. It might sound terrifying, but it's pretty amazing. –KH

The options for outdoor adventure are endless here. | The Lodge at Whitefish Lake


Biking, hiking, and skiing are big in the city of Whitefish, which sits just 30 minutes outside the entrance to Glacier National Park. The Whitefish Mountain Resort has an "aerial adventure park," which is basically an obstacle course in the trees, and when the chairlifts aren't being used to transport skiers, they become summertime gondola rides. Another aerial option is a hot air balloon ride with 2 Fly Us. As for indoor extracurriculars, consider a massage at one of the city's spas, cocktails at Spotted Bear Spirits, or, if you’re down to splurge and plan far in advance, an evening at The Lodge at Whitefish Lake. –KH


No, we didn't just pick it because it has romance right in the name. (Although it doesn't hurt.) Valentine—arguably Nebraska’s best small town—is a prime location to check out the state's sandhills, and it's also got the Niobrara River in the mix. Take on the Civilian Conservation Corps Nature Trail, which ends at an old fire tower. At the top is an observation deck with great views of the prairie. If plains aren't your scene, trek over to Smith Falls State Park to see the highest waterfall in Nebraska. As for accommodations, you have plenty of prairie lodges and even elk ranches to choose from. –KH


Lake Tahoe
A couple's trip to Nevada necessitates a redirect from the Strip and the, uh, stripping, to the state's other wonders at Lake Tahoe. It's huge, surrounded by trees and snowbanks, looks spectacular during a sunset, and considered by some (OK, USA Today) to be amongst the best lake towns in America. The snowboarding and skiing are pretty famous, but the place has just about every outdoor activity imaginable. Since it's a resort town, there are also plenty of gorgeous hotels, restaurants, and boutiques. And this is still Nevada, so there are places to play blackjack, if you're so inclined. –KH

New Hampshire

"The Snowmobiling Capital of New England" is a very specific nickname, but those winter speedsters aren't the only thing Pittsburg’s got going for it. Lake Francis State Park is a pretty big draw, although if you don't like that lake, the town has five others (and almost all of them are named after Connecticut). Be sure to seek out Garfield Falls—and the famous steak at Rainbow Grille & Tavern. Before you leave, congratulate the town on having one less letter than that Pennsylvania town. We assume it's saved so much money on tourism brochures over the years. –KH

a farmhouse surrounded by gardens
Bring all your cottage fantasies to life. | Beach Plum Farm

New Jersey

Cape May
Alright, get out all your jokes about "romantic New Jersey" now. You can also go ahead and mock us for picking a Jersey Shore destination, but there's a world of difference between Seaside Heights and Cape May. First off, you won't bump into Snooki here. Second, the place has wineries, breweries, museums, and theaters to pair with the requisite beach activities (parasailing, jet-skiing, and general boating). There's a downright impressive amount of B&Bs, meaning you won't have to pony up for a beach house rental, and, perhaps best of all, there’s a romantic seaside farm stay that’ll make your cottagecore fantasies a reality. –KH

New Mexico

Truth or Consequences
If you want to get away from it all—like really, really away from it all—head out into the desert about two hours south of Albuquerque to Truth or Consequences. Despite the bizzare, Western movie-sounding name, this tiny town is utterly serene. Surrounded by mountains, it was called Hot Springs, named for the soothing mineral springs found throughout the area. You’ll find plenty of options in the aptly-named Hot Springs District, but the best of them is arguably Riverbend Hot Springs, where you and your lover can lounge on the shores of the Rio Grande. Book a soak in the private pools for extra intimacy, and be sure to stay until after dark, when fairy lights strung along the water turn the riverbank into a sight resembling an ocean of stars. –TA

The Finger Lakes are great, but the Catskills are the epitome of country-chic. | Courtesy of Lawrence Braun

New York

Sure, New York City is fine and all, the Finger Lakes hold their own, and there’s a reason the Hamptons have attracted the likes of the rich and famous for half a century. But spend a weekend kissing your troubles goodbye in the dreamy northern Catskills hamlet of Windham and you’ll be an upstate convert in no time. Farm-to-table restaurants abound, from the low-key Windham Local to farmhouse-chic Bistro Brie & Bordeaux, while scenic cycling, skiing, hiking, and snowshoeing routes keep visitors on their toes year-round. But Windham’s most significant—not to mention romantic—draw is Eastwind Hotel and Bar’s flagship property, a sleek yet unpretentious Scandinavian-inspired property featuring a design-forward central bunkhouse surrounded by outrageously adorable freestanding A-frame cabins. Firepits stocked with complimentary s’mores, a standout craft cocktail bar, seasonal hammocks and bicycle rentals, and two wood barrel saunas straight from your Finnish fantasies sweeten the deal. MH

a village hotel lit by fairy lights in the evening
Getting away from it all without actually being too far away from it all. | Chetola Resort & Spa

North Carolina

Blowing Rock
What’s more enchanting than a weekend in the Blue Ridge Mountains of western North Carolina? Head to Blowing Rock, where you are sure to find yourselves in a trance as you reconnect at cozy Chetola Resort. Here, you’ll feel like you’re "getting away from it all” while still having access to the local restaurants and museums that lie just down the road. In winter and fall, snuggle by the warmth of an in-room fireplace; during spring and summer, hike to 5,946 feet as you enjoy the views from the highest peak in the Blue Ridge Mountains at nearby Grandfather Mountain; and year-round, visit the resort’s spa and wellness center as a relaxing cherry on top of your weekend escape. —Mikkel Woodruff

North Dakota

We're obviously sending you to the Badlands—ignore the name, they're pretty!—but specifically to historic Medora. The town is home to Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and you know if it's got Teddy's name on it, it's a natural beaut. You can buy stagecoach ride tickets at the Chateau de Mores Interpretive Center if you still haven't gotten over your Oregon Trail obsession, or, if you’re around in the summertime, catch the famous Medora Musical. For dinner, head to Theodore's Dining Room, unless you're ready for the wacky marvel that is Pitchfork Steak Fondue, which is just as the name suggests—steaks fondued on pitchforks. –KH


Logan (Hocking Hills)
The Hocking Hills region has heaps of natural wonders—it's just a matter of how much you want to hike. The state park features six major trails that take you to Ash Cave, Cedar Falls, Cantwell Cliffs, Conkle's Hollow, Old Man's Cave, and Rock House. They're all spectacular, but if you want easy access to the scene above (that's Cedar Falls), your best bet is to book a spot at the Inn & Spa at Cedar Falls (it's also pet-friendly, if you brought your fur baby along). You can also really connect with your other half here over mud wraps, letting nature work its magic. –KH


Medicine Park
The tiny, hilly town of Medicine Park is barely an hour from Oklahoma City but feels like it’s lightyears away. Seemingly preserved in time, this little tourist enclave alongside the Wichita Mountains is an utter reprieve from urban hustle—one marked by cobblestone streets, rickety bridges, swimming holes, and pint-sized, creekside pastel cottages. There are also cozy cabin rentals, old-school restaurants slinging fried catfish, ice cream parlors, and cafes with ridiculously cute names like Cobblescones and Santa’s Snack Shop, the latter of which hosts an annual Rubber Duck Race in Bath Lake. When you’re done strolling Cobblestone Row, swim in Medicine Creek’s Bath Lake swimming hole, go hiking (and bison-spotting) in the Wichitas, or brave the nearby Parallel Forest, an allegedly haunted, 16-acre forest of 20,000 deliberately planted red cedars spaced six feet apart in all directions, a government experiment to offset the effects of the Dust Bowl. Cobblestone streets and government experiments, what more could you ask for? –MK

Cannon Beach, Oregon
Yes, this really is in Oregon. | Flickr/Anupam_ts


Cannon Beach
You might recognize Cannon Beach through Haystack Rock, a puffin hotspot that rises 235 feet out of the water. You can walk right up during low tide to gawk at all the sea life surrounding it. But, if large ocean rocks on a beach aren't your thing, the city has several other gloomy-yet-romantic Pacific Northwestern shorelines at Ecola State Park, Hug Point, and Arcadia Beach. The non-sandy part of town offers constant arts festivals, glassblowing galleries, and creperies. Put them all together and you have one wild Saturday afternoon. –KH


Jim Thorpe
Anywhere in the Poconos is an ideal PA getaway, but if you're planning a couples vacation, you should probably go with the the town that's often compared to Switzerland. Jim Thorpe boasts easy access to ski slopes and stables for horseback riding—and it's right by Pocono Mountain Paintball, too! (You laugh, but it worked for Heath Ledger.) The town itself is full of pretty Victorian homes, including the Asa Packer Mansion, which you can actually tour. –KH

Rhode Island

Newport is so old money, and it absolutely knows it. The town is home to so many Gilded Age manors, there's a separate "mansions" page on its tourism site. Once you've gawked at enough chandeliers (and tour guides in absurd, old-timey hats), book a massage at one of the town's several spas, or head to the Newport Vineyards' tasting room. –KH

South Carolina

You're going to Landrum to stare at the Blue Ridge Mountains, and it's much easier to do that at The Red Horse Inn, a popular anniversary and honeymoon destination. (You can even get your own cottage!) Landrum is also home to Campbell's Covered Bridge, the state's only remaining covered bridge. It's a prime location for pictures and maybe a picnic. But if you'd rather not pack a basket, there's always SC barbecue. –KH

South Dakota

Spearfish (Spearfish Canyon)
It's not often that South Dakota tops Arizona at things, but one part of the Black Hills has AZ beat. Spearfish Canyon is actually older than the Grand Canyon, and, most importantly, less populated with screaming children. The 1000-foot walls are much narrower, though, so keep that in mind as you wind your way through the rocks, trees, and creek. Make sure to hit Roughlock Falls, a beautiful waterfall featured in (ugh) Dances with Wolves, and do all the outdoorsy extracurriculars (climbing, fishing, biking, etc.) your nature-loving heart desires. –KH


More couples have said “I do” in Gatlinburg than anywhere else in the South, so suffice to say this town knows a thing or two about romance. The Smoky Mountains setting allows for hiking, horseback riding, and skiing (Ober Gatlinburg is the state’s only slope). And the fact that it's in Tennessee means you can drink moonshine at several distilleries. Don't worry, there’s also wineries and breweries if you prefer something lighter. –KH


Corpus Christi (Padre Island National Seashore)
Quick note: We're not talking about South Padre Island, where you're more likely to find a beer bong than romance. We're talking about the Padre Island National Seashore, a much calmer stretch of beach with the NPS stamp of approval. You might spy some newborn turtles crawling out to the ocean, but if you miss the hatchlings, there's still windsurfing, kayaking, and sunbathing to keep you occupied. And you don't even have to book a hotel in the next town over—the campgrounds are open year-round. –KH

You’re going to need more than a weekend here. | Explore Utah Valley


There’s a reason why celebrities flock here every January, but once you’ve gotten past the film festival, Sundance remains a quiet and gorgeous mountain escape, with cabins hidden in the woods. Unlike nearby Park City, which squawks with tourists and houses piled on top of each other, arriving in Sundance instantly creates a more intimate vibe. Amid the trees, you’ll find cute wooden homes, a couple high-end restaurants with enormous windows to soak in the views, and hardly any noise other than the Provo river echoing around the mountains. In warmer months, catch a show at the Eccles Outdoor Stage, take a (very) long gondola ride for soaring vistas, or stroll one of the many trails past streams and waterfalls. In winter, ski (obviously), get a spa treatment, or take classes at the Sundance Art Studio, where you can paint, carve designs into your own stitched-together leather journal, or try your hands at a pottery wheel to recreate the steamy scene from Ghosts. Of course, you can still always swing by Park City for more selection of bars and restaurants, and be sure to make a pitstop at the geothermal hot springs inside a crater along the way. DH


Picture book-perfect Woodstock oozes the stuff that small, quintessential New England towns are made of. They’ve got the basics down pat—golf, tennis, fly fishing, mountain biking, skiing. But for something a little more unique, try your hand at falconry; get a birds-eye view of the region on a hot air balloon or at the top of Mt. Tom in Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller Park; or visit Billings Farm & Museum, one of the nation's oldest registered Jersey dairy farms. Afterward, get your fill of the village’s staples (breakfast at Mon Vert Cafe, shopping at country store F.H. Gillingham & Sons, strolling through the farmer’s market) before sipping local brews at the nearby Long Trail Brewery or Harpoon Brewery. Book a room with a wood-burning fireplace to rekindle your romance at the elegant Woodstock Inn & Resort (complete with an award-winning spa) or stay at the more budget-friendly Sleep Woodstock Motel. –Dana Freeman

Cotton candy-colored sunsets? Check. | Visit Williamsburg


If cuddling up on a horse-drawn carriage ride through the cobblestone streets of a fairytale village that hasn’t changed one iota since 1780 doesn’t sound romantic to you, you obviously didn’t obsess over American Girl dolls as a child. But even those numb to Felicity’s whimsical charms would have a hard time resisting Williamsburg’s undeniably idyllic landscape. Aside from wandering Colonial Williamsburg’s open-air living history museum, there’s nearby pastoral patches of wine country to explore, boutique hotels with wood-burning fireplaces to hole up by, nature trails and city squares to peruse, gourmet candlelit meals to devour, and world-class spas for that romantic couples massage. There’s no better place to find out if Virginia is, in fact, for lovers. MH

a Bavarian town in Washington
Washington State, or Bavaria? | Visit Leavenworth, Washington


Perched in the Cascade Mountains just two hours from Seattle, Leavenworth bursts with Bavarian charm. It’s best known for being an Alpine wonderland, complete with a small ski hill, plenty of snowshoe trails, fondue by the fireside, and, for better or worse, Christmastime crowds. Luckily, this village is just as beautiful any other time of year. In summer, stroll through the park along the Wenatchee River or head to a nearby u-pick farm to pluck your own apples, cherries, or pears. Book a room at the adults-only Posthotel, a European-style resort and spa with 55 rooms (some with fireplaces and soaking tubs!) each overlooking the river and surrounding mountains. The property’s wellness area is easily the best in the state, complete with hydrotherapy pools, saunas, massage nooks, and nap areas for a luxuriously decadent day of relaxation together. –Amanda Zurita

West Virginia

Downtown Lewisburg is home to all sorts of cute restaurants, antique stores, and art galleries. It's also got Carnegie Hall, which might not be the most famous Carnegie Hall, but does boast an impressive array of concerts and symphonies. The charming town has more than enough to fill a weekend, but if you feel like trekking into nature, hit up the Lost World Caverns. Then, go back inside to the adjacent dinosaur museum. –KH

Fireplaces are one way to up the romance factor. | Photo courtesy of Destination Kohler


Yes, that Kohler—the same company whose iconic logo marks countless sinks, showerheads, and toilets. But that’s where the comparison to bathroom fixtures ends. The ubiquitous homeware brand’s Wisconsin headquarters doubles as Destination Kohler, the Midwest's plushest five-star luxury resort complete with championship golf courses, multiple cozy lodging options, a seasonal ice skating rink, serene lakefront views, top-notch restaurants, and indulgent spa services. Treat your sweetheart’s sweet tooth to a weekend of high-end bliss by booking one of the In Celebration of Chocolate packages this Valentine’s Day weekend, which promises way more decadence than the standard bouquet and truffles combo. MH


There's a reason Jackson comes up so much when you're talking Wyoming: It's kind of the place to be. You can see a lot of the gorgeous sights (Grand Teton National Park, Snake River Valley, etc.) via an aerial tram that runs from Teton Village to the top of Rendezvous Mountain. And thrill-seeking couples will be stoked to learn about the paragliding flights from the tram's peak—it's the largest vertical drop in the US. National Elk Refuge and Laurance Rockefeller Preserve are musts. As for shows, you can watch real cowboys compete at the Jackson Hole Rodeo or some fake cowboys sing “Bless Yore Beautiful Hide” at The Jackson Hole Playhouse. –KH

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