Romantic Getaways in USA

January 12, 2022

romantic getaways in usa

Think you need to hop on a flight to Paris to experience a romantic interlude? Think again. While the United States may not have the old town squares that ooze with charm and history, it is not lacking in allure. Romantic getaways in USA offer seaside retreats, starry cityscapes, fun rooftop bars, delectable cuisine, and natural outdoor beauty that will astound any couple. And unlike Paris, these love escapes won’t break the bank.

Here, take a look and see if any of these special places appeal to you and your partner!

10 Stowe, Vermont

romantic getaways in usa

Nestled in the foothills of Mt. Mansfield in northern Vermont, Stowe is known for its Austrian-like charm and year-round appeal. Surrounding mountains provide excellent skiing in the winter or hiking trails in the summer. There are also very nice areas and trails through the lower forests for cross-country skiing if alpine skiing is not your thing.

While Stowe has certainly experienced growth over the years, the downtown maintains its old-fashioned character with a vibrant Main Street and spired Colonial church.

Accommodations in Stowe suit every kind of couple, from the luxurious Von Trappe Lodge to smaller rustic chalets throughout, some of which come fitted out with a working fireplace and 4-poster bed in the room – a great place to watch the snow falling outside the sliding doors to the terrace. It doesn’t get much more romantic than that!

9 Santa Barbara, California

romantic getaways in usa

Touting itself as “the American Riviera,” Santa Barbara is where the Santa Ynez Mountains melt into the Pacific Ocean in central California.

A picture-perfect harbor, pristine beaches, an artsy Mediterranean vibe, and a mere two-hour drive from Los Angeles make it the perfect getaway. It’s also the setting of the quirky television series, Psych.

Santa Barbara is a haven for architecture buffs. Established in 1786 by Franciscan friars, the pale pink-columned Mission Santa Barbara is set on 13 acres of beautiful gardens; Santa Barbara Courthouse, built in 1929, is an adobe Spanish-Colonial Revival building is surrounded by lush gardens and palm trees. Be sure to climb the spiral staircase to the roof for spectacular 360-degree views from the wrought iron enclosed terrace.

For outdoor lovers, there are many possibilities. Hike to Knapp’s Castle for panoramic views of Lake Cachuma and the Santa Ynez Valley. Water activities include kayaking the scenic Channel Islands Sea Caves or hitting the waves at Leadbetter Beach. For more leisurely pursuits, take a stroll in Shoreline Park, State Street, the harbor, or on Stearn’s Wharf.

8 Mackinac Island, Michigan

romantic getaways in usa

Sitting on Lake Huron between Michigan’s Upper and Lower peninsulas, Mackinac is reachable from the mainland only by ferry or small airplane – no cars are allowed on the island. Because of the cold air coming off the Great Lakes and water freeze, the island is not easy to get to or highly visited in winter.

For couples looking for a relaxing summer weekend, here is the place. Even though it has certainly been discovered by tourists, the island lacks the frenzied pace you might expect. Settled in the 1600s by the French, the entire island is listed as a National Historic Landmark. 82% of the island is dedicated to the nation’s second-named national park (Yellowstone was the first).

Mackinac has a number of boutique B&Bs. There’s also the upscale Grand Hotel, where the 1980 movie Somewhere in Time with Christopher Reeve and Jane Seymour was filmed. Even if you choose not to stay there, the stunning Victorian Hotel can be visited (for a fee).

For explorers, there’s Fort Mackinac and Fort Holmes built in the late 1700s, stunning natural Arch Rock and Devil’s Kitchen, horseback riding on the Tranquil Bluff Trail, biking the Mackinac Island Outer Loop, the Lilac Festival, or swimming at the blue water and rocky beach of the Straits of Mackinac. For foodies, Mackinac is known for its scrumptious fudge and there are candy shops everywhere.

Strolling the historic downtown includes impressive sites such as the American Fur Company, Dr. Beaumont Museum, Benjamin Blacksmith Shop, and the McGulpin House.

7 Newport, Rhode Island

newport ri

With Newport comes the vision of a harbor filled with luxurious yachts and the annual world-famous America’s Cup sailing regatta which was hosted there for many years. It’s also known for Bellevue Avenue, a charming tree-lined boulevard containing Gilded Age mansions that were once the summer homes of the Vanderbilt’s, the Rockefeller’s, and other elite American families.

Having been born and raised in Rhode Island, I visited Newport many times. Two areas offer the best experiences. The first is the Cliff Walk. With the Atlantic on one side, this ocean pathway meanders past the fascinating ostentatious mansions, wild waves crashing onto huge boulders, and eventually to Easton’s Beach, a calm beach loved by tourists.

The other highly recommended area is on the waterfront, filled with boutique shops and world-class seafood and cuisine from fine dining to ice cream stands. Do not leave without eating one of Newport’s famous lobster rolls.

6 Brown County, Indiana

brown county indiana

Named one of the top 20 best small towns in America by Smithsonian Magazine, the tiny artist community of Nashville is a great base for a couple’s weekend in Brown County and one of the best places to visit in Indiana.

Just an hour south of Indianapolis, the pristine and utterly charming downtown is filled with boutique gift and jewelry shops, local artist galleries, antique shops, candy stores, and even a brewery. An afternoon strolling about the scenic town known as “the artist colony of the Midwest” is a must-do.

Nestled between two state parks, there are plenty of outdoor activities, too. Nicknamed “Little Smokies” because of the resemblance to the Great Smoky Mountains, 16,000-acre Brown County State Park offers a variety of nature pursuits…hiking, kayaking, fishing, mountain biking horseback riding. Climb a lookout tower for magnificent views.

5 Bozeman, Montana

romantic getaways in usa

Ryan Gallup / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0 (slightly lightened)

With the stunning Rocky Mountains as a backdrop, Bozeman in southern Montana was named one of the best small towns in America. The picturesque town offers a plethora of nearby outdoor activities, museums, and great restaurants.

For nature-lovers, you’ll think you’re in paradise. Hikes for all skill levels await, from Hyalite Canyon to Palisade Falls. After hiking, why not rest your tired muscles in Bozeman Hot Springs?

If more exciting water activities are your thing, visitors can go kayaking on Hyalite Lake or white water rafting in the nearby Yellowstone River.

In winter, Bozeman is a haven for outdoor activities as well, including downhill and cross-country skiing snowshoeing, and sledding.

4 Santa Fe, New Mexico

romantic getaways in usa

Sitting in the Sangre de Cristo foothills, Santa Fe is known for its stunning desert landscapes and unique Pueblo adobe architecture. At 7,100 feet, it’s the highest capital city in the United States. Founded by Spain in 1610, the city is a labyrinth of winding streets that are easy but fun to get lost in.

But you won’t be lost for things to do in Santa Fe, starting with the Santa Fe Plaza in the center of town. Anchored by the upscale and historic La Fonda inn, the square is lined with boutique shops and often hosts outdoor festivals and markets. Housed in the Palace of the Governors, the New Mexico History Museum is also here.

Santa Fe is a virtual treasure trove of excellent museums. Just off the plaza is the Georgia O’Keefe Museum, exhibiting her iconic paintings of animal sculls and larger-than-life flowers. The Museum of Spanish Colonial Art and the Museum of Indian Art & Culture both have impressive collections. My favorite is the uber-fun Museum of International Folk Art, housing the largest collection of folk art, textiles, miniatures, and toys (some 150,000 pieces from more than 100 nations) in the world.

For outdoor pursuits, try hiking the Santa Fe River Park Trail or nearby white water rafting.

If you encounter a rainy day, don’t worry…food tours and tequila tasting tours are fun ways to pass the time. Do try a margarita at La Fonda’s restaurant or bar – considered to be the Cadillac of Margaritas! It is indeed one of the best I’ve ever had (and I’m a margarita aficionado), but be warned, they are pricey.

3 Islamorada, Florida

islamorada

Just 20 miles long, Islamorada (Spanish for “purple island”), one of the Florida Keys, is one of my favorite getaways. Unlike the chaotic atmosphere of Key West, Islamorada is the perfect, tranquil spot for relaxing and watching the legendary purple sunsets together.

For couples looking for some fun outdoors, there’s plenty to do in Islamorada. For landlubbers, there’s a walk up on eight-foot walls in Windley Key Fossil Reef Geological State Park along with a self-guided nature trail that winds through mangrove hammocks.

For diving enthusiasts, the Alligator Reef Lighthouse, built in 1820, offers a unique diving experience, with depths ranging from 8 to 40 feet. Islamorada is known as the sportfishing capital of the world, so indulge in this activity if you must.

Not to be missed is Anne’s Beach. A boardwalk meanders through mangroves and sandy beach areas. Picnic tables are strewn through the boardwalk. The beach has a lot of hidden nooks to whisper sweet nothings in your honey’s ear.

2 Annapolis, Maryland

romantic getaways in usa

Sitting on Chesapeake Bay, Annapolis, Maryland’s capital city is less than an hour’s drive from the US capital of Washington DC.

Sailing is one of the most popular things to do in Annapolis, and what could be more romantic than a sunset cruise with your loved one? Or just spend some time strolling leisurely around Ego Alley, where you can watch the boats come and go along the Chesapeake Bay

Annapolis has one of the most charming Colonial districts in the country, with 18th-century brick houses, Romanesque St. Anne’s Church, a historic cemetery, and the beautiful domed Maryland State House constructed in the 1700s.

For history enthusiasts, there’s the United States Naval Academy, including the chapel which is home to the crypt and ornate sarcophagus of revolutionary war hero John Paul Jones.

For your Instagram moment, head to Sandy Point State Park. The superb views of the Bay Bridge are perfect for your hand-holding or eye-gazing photo ops. Don’t forget to bring your tripod and timer!

And one more thing, scrumptious Maryland crab cakes are world renown, so do try.

1 Savannah, Georgia

romantic getaways in usa

Ah, Savannah. There’s just something about your old oak trees dripping with Spanish Moss and antebellum mansions that never fail to make my heart go pitter-patter. You are nothing short of magical.

Naturally, the allure as the setting of the iconic non-fiction John Berendt novel Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil doesn’t hurt.

The romance of strolling arm-in-arm through the 22 open squares under the canopies of oaks, dotted with beautiful monuments, passing mansions dripping with bougainvillea and magnolias, in Savannah’s historic district cannot be overstated. Each of the squares is like a small park on its own. Jones Street is often called “the prettiest street in America.” You can even tour the infamous Mercer-Williams Mansion (from the named book above).

Plan to spend some time in Forsyth Park with its much-photographed white fountain. And while it may not sound romantic, the Bonaventure Cemetery is fascinating. Perched on a bluff overlooking the river, the cemetery was once the site of Bonaventure Plantation. There are evening tours that provide a fascinating insight into the 19-century gravesites.

Browse the shops lining the River Walk on the Savannah River, or hop on a riverboat for dinner. For history buffs, a horse-drawn carriage tour is the most romantic way to be transported through Savannah’s famous (and infamous) sites. Also available are trolley tours as well as evening walking ghost tours with some truly creepy tales from the past.

What could be more romantic than a stay at one of the utterly charming historic mansions which have been converted to boutique B&Bs? Be prepared for true Southern hospitality.

And if you’re looking craving a little beach time, Tybee Island is just a 20-minute drive away.

Click below to PIN so you can find romantic getaways in USA again:

PIN romantic getaways in usa

This article may contain affiliate/compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer.

About the Author

Patti MorrowPatti Morrow is a freelance travel writer and founder of the award-winning international blog Luggage and Lipstick and southern travel blog Gone to Carolinas. TripAdvisor called her one of “20 Baby Boomer Travel Bloggers Having More Fun Than Millennials.”  Patti is the author of the book “Girls Go Solo: Tips for Women Traveling Alone,” and has over 150 bylines in 40 print and online publications, including The Huffington Post, International Living Magazine, Washington Post Sunday Travel, Travel Girl, Travel Play Live Magazine, and Ladies Home Journal. She has traveled six continents looking for fabulous places and adventure activities for her Baby Boomer (and Gen X!) tribe.

6 comments

  1. Comment by Tam Warner Minton

    Tam Warner Minton Reply June 24, 2020 at 10:55 am

    You have a great list here! Especially Santa Barbara…the weather is always perfect!

    • Comment by luggageandlipstick

      luggageandlipstick Reply June 24, 2020 at 12:32 pm

      The weather is indeed perfect in Santa Barbara, and so much to do as well!

  2. Comment by Cathy Sweeney

    Cathy Sweeney Reply June 29, 2020 at 12:54 pm

    These all look like great romantic destinations. One place that really captured my attention is Mackinac Island, Michigan. I remember visiting there with my parents when I was young and thinking how beautiful it was. I can totally see going back with the hubby now for a romantic getaway.

    • Comment by luggageandlipstick

      luggageandlipstick Reply June 29, 2020 at 5:34 pm

      I think Mackinac is a great choice, Cathy! I look forward to reading about your escape there!

  3. Pingback: Best Romantic Getaways in California Perfect for Valentine's Day

  4. Comment by Bill Bailey

    Bill Bailey Reply March 25, 2022 at 6:31 am

    Great Article. Although I am living in USA but never been there. But now after reading this article i can’t wait to go there ASAP.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Go top