If you’re looking for the perfect romantic getaway, the United States has hundreds of places where you can recharge your romance without breaking the bank. Romance calls for places with rustic charm, intimate accommodations, and lots of ways to spend quality time together. Here are seven such destinations.
Best Romantic Getaways
U.S. News & World Report recently named Kauai, Hawaii, as the number one spot in the nation for a romantic vacation. Hawaii’s oldest island maintains a slow, deliberate pace thanks to the lack of tourist traps or high-rise hotels. Kauai has only two major highways and many regions that can only be explored on foot or by one of the area’s boat tours. If you like the sand and surf, Kauai has several world-famous beaches like Polihale on the Westside, and Hanalei Bay on the North Shore. Luxury rental cottages are available to stay in. Not surprisingly for the top romantic spot, Kauai also earned top honors from the magazine as the number one honeymoon destination in the United States.
Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
Sip champagne in the hot tub, cuddle by the fire or stargaze the night away from the porch of a luxury Pigeon Forge cabin. Then wake to the sun rising over the breathtaking Smoky Mountains. The unmatched level of comfort, intimacy and luxury offered by area cabins make them perfect for a romantic getaway. When it’s time to come up for air, the neighboring towns of Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge have plenty of great restaurants, nightlife and attractions. Staying next to Great Smoky Mountains National Park means plenty of great outdoor fun like tubing, hiking, biking, swimming, and fishing. The area also has many lovely scenic drives with lots of places to picnic or steal a kiss along the route.
Located on Florida’s Gold Coast between Panama City Beach and Destin, the laid-back master-planned community of Seaside, Florida, has all of the right ingredients for a quiet interlude. If you’re thinking about taking or renewing your vows, Southern Living Magazine recently named Seaside’s Chapel as one of the most beautiful in the south. Lay out a blanket and watch the sun go down from Seaside’s sugar-white beach or stroll a few paces into town for a quiet dinner. Famous for the Truman Show movie as well as its casual and gourmet food, downtown Seaside has more than a dozen restaurants that serve up everything from lobster to smoothies. With no large hotels anywhere, just pastel-colored rental cottages sprinkled throughout the town, Seaside never gets too busy. Seaside cottages offer modern luxury and convenience and a quiet intimacy, with relaxation the clear imperative.
Newport, Rhode Island
One of the world’s highest concentrations of cozy B&Bs and charming historical inns make Newport, Rhode Island, a great place to spend romantic time together. Newport’s Cliff Walk features compelling views, with the Atlantic Ocean on one side and painstakingly restored mansions from the Gilded Age on the other. Several mansions also offer tours that take visitors back into early 19th Century life as it was lived by the very wealthy, and the less affluent. Newport has many waterfront restaurants, unique little shops, and quiet spots for an intimate moment or two.
Often described as one of America’s most scenic destinations, Sedona’s towering sandstone buttes and dramatic red-rock formations make it a great place to stir up a little romance. Sedona’s many spas offer everything from myofascial release treatments to couples massage. Sedona has endless hiking trails that lead to secluded spots with stunning views. On the spiritual side of travel, many people now flock to the area for its claimed spirit-balancing powers. After a long day of sightseeing, take a tour of the local wineries and get a taste of Sedona’s homegrown vino with gorgeous red rock vistas in the background. Take or renew your vows at the Chapel of the Holy Cross, a Catholic church built stunningly into the side of a red-rock formation.
Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts
Few destinations offer the laid-back feel of Martha’s Vineyard. While the island gets many high-profile visitors during the busy summer season, low-key villages like Menemsha and Vineyard Haven still maintain a more casual vibe. To get to Martha’s Vineyard, you’ll need to take a ferry from Cape Cod (unless you have your own boat). The ferry accommodates cars, but most people leave them on the mainland. The island is small and easy to navigate. There are also plenty of places to rent bicycles or mopeds. A mix of picturesque harbor views, pretty little beaches, and classic New England and stately Greek-revival homes make Martha’s Vineyard one of our country’s most romantic settings.
Charleston, South Carolina
Cobblestone streets, pristine centuries-old mansions, and horse-drawn carriages provide the Southern Charm for historic Charleston, South Carolina. Charleston’s many quaint little inns and intimate B&Bs make it a perfect destination for quiet time together. Explore Charleston’s romantic French Quarter during the day for a stylish ride. Take a stroll on its beautiful waterfront after dinner. Charleston also has many unique shops, excellent restaurants, and contemporary art galleries sprinkled throughout the city. For a day of sand and sun, the nearby towns of Isle of Palm, Folly Beach, and Sullivan’s Island have gorgeous beaches that rarely get too crowded.