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Pennsylvania offers a surprising number of romantic destinations for couples who are looking for a tranquil getaway. While it’s well-known for its famous Poconos Mountains that have put the state on the map for honeymooners, there are many other options to consider too. Whether you want to delve into history together, get active and enjoy outdoor adventure, or get pampered from head to toe at a spa, this list is sure to provide the spark you need to get planning that unforgettable escape.
Just about everyone has at least heard about the Poconos, Pennsylvania’s most recognized natural feature. These picturesque mountains are ideal for enjoying nature, hikes and sleeping under the stars, with lots of places to camp as well as cozy cabins and romantic resorts. The couples-only Cove Haven on Lake Wallenpaupack features suites with a round king-sized bed, indoor pool, log-burning fireplace, sauna, and more. The Lodge at Woodloch in Hawley is adult-only and hosts luxurious rooms with private verandas for watching the sunrise and enjoying the sounds of the Rock Garden Waterfall. It also offers a spa and aqua garden with co-ed soaking pools, including heated Hydromassage WaterWalls and an outdoor whirlpool.
Pine Creek Gorge
Pine Creek Gorge, a 47-mile-long gorge carved into the Allegheny Plateau in north-central Pennsylvania, is sometimes referred to as Pennsylvania’s own Grand Canyon. Here you can not only enjoy gorgeous views from overlooks in places like Colton Point State Park and Leonard Harrison State Park but plan a horseback or covered-wagon ride, hike, picnic and camp. If you’d prefer to stay indoors, there are lots of hotels, inns, lodges and B&Bs throughout the area, including Bear Mountain Lodge, which offers special romance packages that include a dozen red roses, chocolate truffles and heart bath soap.
If you live in a more rural area, a couples escape to the city might be ideal. The “City of Brotherly Love,” Philadelphia, is a great pick for history and culture buffs, as you’ll find an extensive list of captivating attractions. It has a long list of offerings that includes Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell, the science exhibits at the Franklin Institute, the famous steps “Rocky” climbed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and perhaps most appropriately, the famous “LOVE” sculpture in John F. Kennedy Plaza. There are lots of luxury hotels for a romantic stay as well, including the Five-Diamond Award Rittenhouse. It offers a prime location, an in-house spa and world-class dining.
The Cumberland Valley is known for its picturesque scenery, outdoor adventure, relaxing spas and fabulous dining, located just 90 minutes from Pittsburgh and two hours from Washington DC. Bedford, in particular, has been a popular mineral springs wellness destination for many years. Enjoy hiking the trails at Shawnee State Park just minutes away and then return to a place like Omni Bedford Springs Resort with its lavish Springs Eternal Spa that offers mineral springs treatments along with five onsite restaurants serving regional cuisine. Up the romance factor by choosing a special package that includes sparkling wine and strawberries and a historic walking tour with a keepsake book or a signature spa welcome amenity.
Montrose offers some of the state’s most charming B&Bs and inns for an especially romantic stay, like The Rosemont Inn Bed & Breakfast, a renovated circa 1859 home with beautiful gardens. From here, you can enjoy strolling by the town’s well-preserved architecture, taking advantage of fun shopping and indulging in culinary delights like the gourmet Chocolates by Leopold. Salt Springs State Park is located here, too, offering a magical setting with magnificent waterfalls and even a miniature Stonehenge.
For a romantic retreat that includes an Amish experience, Lancaster is ideal. One of Pennsylvania’s most well-known Amish towns, there are many Amish communities living just outside the main town, where people make their living by farming lands that their ancestors inherited. Here you can tour the actual homes and farmlands with The Amish Experience, riding in a shuttle that travels the countryside. The excursion includes the opportunity to engage with the Amish people and their culture and is capped off with a farm-to-table dinner where you can taste Pennsylvania Dutch home-style cooking.
There are lots of quaint B&Bs throughout the area, or if you want a trip that combines the arts, stay at the Lancaster Arts Hotel. Set within a converted 19th-century tobacco warehouse, art is prominently displayed throughout, showcasing original works by Pennsylvania talent.
Erie is located along the shores of Lake Erie and offers the state’s only true beachfront. Presque Isle State Park is home to a beautiful stretch of shoreline that offers the chance to spend the day at the beach, strolling the sand hand-in-hand, hiking scenic trails, biking, kayaking or boating. Stay at one of the many romantic B&Bs in the area, like the 18th-century Queen Anne-style Victoria Inn or the Spencer House Bed & Breakfast, a Victorian mansion with two solariums and a lovely front porch for cozying up together.
For chocolate lovers, Hershey is a no-brainer. And really, when it comes to a romantic retreat, there are few things better for setting the mood than relaxation and chocolate. Here, chocolate is literally everywhere. The streetlights are topped with jumbo Hershey’s kisses, the coffee’s roasted with cocoa beans and in some spots, you can even smell chocolate wafting through the air. The luxurious Hotel Hershey is an ideal place to base your stay with romantic getaway packages that can include special chocolate-themed spa treatments at its onsite spa. Through the month of February, there are lots of special chocolate-themed events too.
Allegheny National Forest
The Allegheny National Forest is an ideal destination for nature lovers, with its Pennsylvania Wilds region offering a wide range of hiking trails, from short and sweet treks that are less than a mile to challenging 201-mile routes. There are all sorts of other outdoor adventures too, from horseback riding and biking to ATVs, boating, fishing and golfing. Canoeing and kayaking can be enjoyed on the Allegheny River with rentals and guided trips available via Allegheny Outfitters. You can set up camp or rent a cabin at one of 15 different campgrounds in the area or stay at one of the many quaint B&Bs throughout the area.