The Most Romantic Weekend Getaway in Every State

From windswept beaches to postcard-worthy mountain escapes, consider your Valentine's Day plans sorted.

couple holding hands while iceskating in newport, rhode island
Romance is just a road trip away. | Photo by Corey Favino, courtesy of Discover Newport
Romance is just a road trip away. | Photo by Corey Favino, courtesy of Discover Newport
It’s no secret that we at Thrillist love to travel—in fact, it’s pretty much all we do. And with every new flight, mountain summit, cocktail bar, and hotel check-in, we always learn something new. That’s why we’re in the habit of turning to our team of seasoned editors and global contributors, each with extensive boots-on-the-ground experience, to help you plan your next jet-setting adventure.

If the Book of Love was an atlas, it would be full of dreamy small towns, lakeside villages, gobsmacking natural vistas, luxe hotel spas, and cozy mountain cabins. Everybody does romance a little differently, and throughout the US there are infinite romantic getaways to help you speak your own love language. 

With that in mind, we asked our smartest and swooniest travel writers and editors to play travel agent Cupid in an effort to help you track down the most romantic escape in every state. Whether you prefer a vineyard in bloom or a roadside love nest, a grand adventure or a quiet place to canoodle, you’ll be sure to find something to help write the next chapter of your love story.

Morning walk on the beach, Alabama Point, Orange Beach, Alabama
Sand, sea, and warm weather bliss in Alabama. | Leigh Ann Speake/ iStock/Getty Images Plus


Orange Beach
The Orange Beach area of 'Bama had plenty of activities for you and your college friends (Hangout Fest! Pristine beachesalmost 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 together. 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, Freelance Travel Writer


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 to or from Anchorage, or dogsled adventure for the day. Keep in mind that the latter will fulfill all of your Balto-related fantasies, should that be your thing. –KH


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 romping 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, Social Media Editor, AFAR


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, 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 a universal love language. –Matt Kirouac, Freelance Travel Writer


Yes, you could snuggle up with sweeping views in Big Sur or desert vibes in Palm Springs, get swept up in the romance of Los Angeles or San Francisco, or have a bougie coastal weekend in Carmel-by-Sea or Santa Barbara. But Napa is, well, Napa. Here, of course, viticulture is the main attraction, and you’ll have your fill between visiting some of the nearly 500 wineries throughout one California’s most scenic valleys, which can be navigated by cycle, chauffeured tour, or the romantic Napa Valley Wine Train. But once you’re done spitting in buckets with your beloved, there’s so much more. Dip into the mineral-rich waters of Indian Springs Resort. Splurge on a once-in-a-lifetime meal at The French Laundry or go more casual at a tasting room. And once it’s time to cozy up for the night, you’ll have your pick of pampering at places like Stanly Ranch Auberge Resorts Collection; boutique resorts like Carneros and Alila Napa Valley; or numerous glamping sites located a scenic stumble from some of the world’s best wineries. –Andy Kryza, Freelance Travel Writer

person cross country skiing in steamboat springs colorado
Onefinestay’s Gold Mine Lodge is like a gateway to the Great Outdoors. | Photo by Chris Holder, courtesy of onefinestay


Steamboat Springs
Vail and Aspen get the glamor and attention, but that makes Steamboat Springs feel even more like a hidden gem for the enamored among us. 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 the 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, which is constructed from gold-mine timbers, a nod to the town's gold mining past. –Lane Nieset, Freelance Travel Writer


After tying the knot, Golden Age Hollywood power couple Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall famously retreated to the aptly named 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, and Connecticut’s best seaside hamlet delivers in spades. The main attraction 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 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. The region encompasses swaths of Delaware and Pennsylvania, and it does have several gorgeous manors, wineries, and gardens to explore along the state’s best scenic byway . 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. 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, Freelance Travel Writer


It’s impossible not to swoon at 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? Take a day trip 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. –MK


Look, it’s Hawaii. You could seek out the dumpiest motel and eat exclusively at Burger King, and your special friend would still be impressed. (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. That’s aloha! –KH

snowboarders on a mountain at sun valley resort in idaho
Fresh powder, mountain air, and pristine vibes await. | Sun Valley Resort


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. The lodge 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, Freelance Travel Writer


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, Editorial Director, Thrillist Travel


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, Oppenheimer. –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 consider presidential history an aphrodisiac, 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

aerial view of the kentucky castle hotel in versailles
The Kentucky Castle is less Medieval Times and more fairytale hotel. | The Kentucky Castle


Lexington on its own is an ideal place for a romantic city getaway in the Bluegrass State: It’s home to more than 450 incredible horse farms, its fair share of bourbon distilleries, and some of Kentucky’s best restaurants for a special night out (here’s a handy guide to your future date nights). But what really sweetens the deal is the opportunity to stay in a genuine castle during your stay: A short drive from the city in the aptly named Versailles sits the Kentucky Castle, which is less Medieval Times and more fairytale hotel complete with high-end farm-to-table dining, a full-service spa, and a chance to unwind like royalty in the Bluegrass region. –AK


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


The romantic qualities of coastal Maine hardly need explanation. In Kennebunkport, it’s not a question of whether you’re getting on a boat, but rather what kind 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


Tilghman Island
Who says Maryland’s epically scenic Eastern Shore is strictly a summertime destination? Turn your preconception frown upside down with an off-season trip to sleepy Tilghman Island, a sweeter-than-sweet slice of Chesapeake Bay bliss separated from the mainland by a storybook drawbridge. There, you’ll find that the former fishing village’s small town charm fills every nook and cranny, from sunset-ready restaurants peddling meaty Maryland crabs to undeniably romantic hideaways like Wylder Tilghman Island’s historic-meets-modern waterfront property (wood-fired outdoor sauna, here we come). The best part? It’s less than a two-hour drive from both Washington, DC and Baltimore. Beat that, Delaware. –MH


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, Senior Editor, Atlas Obscura

frozen grapes on a vineyard in michigan
Care for another round of ice wine? | Chateau Chantal Winery


Old Mission Peninsula
Conventional Michigander wisdom is to abscond by ferry to the stuck-in-amber historical charms of Mackinac Island. Leave that for the kids and retirees. The most romantic getaway in Michigan is the Old Mission Peninsula, which juts into Lake Michigan’s Grand Traverse Bay and is home to the Midwest’s most exciting—and laid-back—wine scene. This 19-mile stretch offers sweeping views and iconic lighthouses to go along with the wares of 10 excellent wineries, among them Brys Estate, Chateau Grand Traverse, and ice-wine pioneers Chateau Chantal, all of which double as inns. Even better, the peninsula is a (Petoskey) stone’s throw from one of Michigan’s best small towns, Traverse City, whose lakeview strolls are matched by its above-class food and drink scene. And from there, you’re a short drive from some of the best beaches in the continental US… and even more wineries. –AK


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 the Strand, a Wine Spectator-approved lakeside dining room whose cellar is stocked with more than 1000 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 historic 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, theme parks, and even Dolly Parton’s Stampede Dinner Attraction (if you prefer a romantic dinner with a side of equestrian entertainment). 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, but with much cozier luxury lodging.  –KH

woman in hot tub at the ranch at rock creek in montana
The options for outdoor "adventure" are endless here. | Photo courtesy of The Ranch at Rock Creek


Located about half-way between Missoula and Bozeman, this blip on Big Sky Country’s radar is the state’s top romantic retreat for one reason: The Ranch at Rock Creek. The 6,600-acre resort strikes the perfect balance between rustic and luxe, housing guests in a bevy of elegant suites, log cabins, and historic barns while treating them to a wide range of onsite activities and top-tier food and drink. And Valentine's Day is the perfect time to drop in, thanks to Winter Wanderlust, an annual celebration of all things frosty and cozy running February 7–11 and 14–18. During the day, you’ll be soaking up the outdoors via horse-drawn sleigh rides, ice fishing and snowshoeing expeditions, alpine skiing, and more before heading inside for some quality après featuring live music, chef dinners, spa treatments, and plenty of sauna time. –MH


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 to be among 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

New Jersey

Cape May
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. 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

hot spring surrounded by mountains at Riverbend Hot Springs, new mexico
Take time to soak it all in (literally). | Riverbend Hot Springs

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 bizarre, Western movie-sounding name, this tiny town is utterly serene. Surrounded by mountains, it was called Hot Springs thanks to 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

New York

Sure, New York City is romantic and all, the Finger Lakes are breathtaking, and there’s a reason celebrities and socialites carouse in the Hamptons. 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, 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, a sleek yet unpretentious Scandinavian-inspired property featuring a design-forward central bunkhouse surrounded by outrageously adorable freestanding A-frame cabins. Fire pits 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

North Carolina

Blowing Rock
What’s more enchanting than a weekend in the Blue Ridge Mountains? 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, Freelance Travel Writer

North Dakota

We're obviously sending you to the Badlands—ignore the name, they're good!—but specifically to historic Medora. The town is the gateway  to Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and you know if it's got Teddy's name on it, it's a natural beauty. The town itself is a Wild West riot, especially in the summer, when the famous Medora Musical goes full Broadway. For dinner, head to Theodore's Dining Room to sample buffalo osso buco, or indulge in the regional marvel that is Pitchfork Steak Fondue, which, just as the name suggests, involves skewering steaks on a pitchfork and dunking them in hot oil. –KH

Waterfall Below Bridge with Rock Formations in ohio
Who knew Ohio could be so damn scenic? | Corey B Stevens/Shutterstock


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 Cobblestones 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’s most dreamy coastal destination packs a lot into its tiny city limits: It’s an adorable and strollable artist enclave full of cute shops, excellent seaside haunts, and seemingly more bars than it has residents. It’s also home to arguably the best sunsets in the Pacific Northwest thanks to the gigantic Haystack Rock, which sits right on the beach just begging for a place in your most romantic memories. You’ll also find incredible hiking and views at the adjoining Ecola State Park, a seemingly endless number of adorable waterfront cottages and hotels, and easy access to the aptly named Hug Point, if you want to be a little on the nose about things. As a bonus, getting here from Oregon’s inland empires means cruising through the lauded Willamette Valley wine country—home to some of the world’s most renowned Pinot Noir—plus a wealth of creameries, charcuterie shops, and oyster shacks in and around Tillamook, should you want to stock up on the way to your romantic getaway. –AK


Jim Thorpe
Anywhere in the Poconos is an ideal Pennsylvania getaway, but if you're planning a couples vacation, you should probably go with 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, if you’re into that sort of thing. And the town itself is teeming with pretty Victorian homes best viewed hand-in-hand on a leisurely afternoon walk (or, you know, from inside your very own mansion). –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, which is also home to the excellent Taproot Brewing. –KH

snowy pastoral scene at The Red Horse Inn in south carolina
Snow? In South Carolina? You bet. | The Red Horse Inn

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 good ol’ barbecue–KH

South Dakota

The Black Hills
Set your compass toward Spearfish, South Dakota and get ready to be shocked at the absolute grandeur of the Black Hills. Make haste for Spearfish Canyon, whose 1,000-foot walls snake along a roaring river and where the Spearfish Canyon Lodge offers up stellar cross between rustic charm and luxe digs. Or head to Sylvan Lake, home to a shimmering mirror lake that’s best observed from the comfort of the Sylvan Lake Lodge resort. From either, the spoils of the Black Hills await, whether you’re interested in the extraterrestrial wonders of nearby Devils Tower, the majesty of the Badlands, the cowboys-and-casinos delights of Deadwood, or, the kitschy charms of the world’s greatest tourist trap, Wall Drug. All are within an hour or two of Spearfish… although you’d be forgiven for snuggling up and enjoying the nature by fireside instead of venturing out, too. –AK


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


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


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 cozy cabins hidden in the woods. 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 Ghost. And if you’re craving a little more bustle, you can still always swing by Park City for more bars and restaurants—just be sure to make a pitstop at the geothermal hot springs inside a crater along the way. –DH

cross-country skiing at Woodstock Inn & Resort in vermont
Few states are more romantic than Vermont in the wintertime. | Woodstock Inn & Resort


Picture book-perfect Woodstock oozes the stuff that small, quintessential New England towns are made of. 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 for a spark of 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, Freelance Travel Writer


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


Lake Chelan
Tucked in a sun-soaked Cascade Mountains valley, Lake Chelan feels custom-made for a quiet, intimate escape for couples. It’s home to Washington’s most criminally overlooked wine country, where more than 30 tasting rooms are waiting to give you a taste of the terroir. The laid-back small town vibes pair beautifully with the sweeping mountain lake views, and the unexpectedly perfect weather makes it easy to golf, hike, or hit the crystal waters. Set up camp at Campbell’s Resort for water views from your private balcony, and get ready to let the mountain air set the mood in one of the country’s most scenic small towns. –AK

West Virginia

Berkeley Springs
A few questions: Do you and yours like adorable country towns that ruminate with artistic charm? How about verdant state parks with sweeping views? Or long soaks in perfectly warm, soul-cleansing hot springs? If you answered yes to any one of those questions—or all three—then this northern West Virginia hamlet is tailor-made for your next couple’s escapade. The town centers around a famous historic spa fed by natural healing waters, but there’s so much more to Berkeley Springs than the springs. Like the cheffy wonders at Lot 12 Public House, scenic hikes (and even more spa treatments) in nearby Cacapon State Park, antique shopping galore, and tranquil rooms fit for two at The Country Inn of Berkeley Springs and Coolfont Resort. We haven’t even mentioned the breweries yet, but I’m pretty sure you get the gist. –MH


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 Celebration of Chocolate packages this Valentine’s Day weekend, which promises way more decadence than the standard bouquet and truffles combo. MH

two women with champagne at Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole, wyoming
There's plenty to toast to in Jackson Hole. | Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole


There's a reason Jackson comes up so much when you're talking about 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. You’ll also find plenty of dining options ranging from steakhouses to casual candlelit dinners, in the towns and villages of Jackson Hole while lodging ranges from The Cloudveil—a luxury resort complete with cozy in-room fireplaces, spacious rooms, and a hot tub with views—to the fancy Four Seasons Resort and Residences Jackson Hole. Naturally, the views are spectacular no matter where you lay your head. –KH

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