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Traveling with the one you love can be a great way to reignite the spark of romance or to simply make memories together. A study by US Travel found that couples who travel together are more satisfied with their relationship and that it’s more likely to stand the test of time. Of course, the destinations you choose to travel to are an important part of the equation, so when you start planning that next getaway, consider one of these options in the United States.
Cannon Beach, Oregon
One of the most popular destinations among romance-seeking couples, the northern Oregon coast offers the longest stretch of unbroken beaches and iconic rock formations that rise from the waves, like the famous Haystack Rock. Look forward to long strolls along the sand, searching for sand dollars and peeking into tide pools with colorful marine life, including starfish, sea anemones, and hermit crabs. Ecola State Park, just a few minutes from town, offers a myriad of trails to hike through lush forests with views of the coast and Tillamook Lighthouse. You’ll find luxury resorts with ocean views, romantic restaurants, unique shops, and art galleries too.
Key West, Florida
While the weather in Key West will be quite warm, the sea breezes help temper the heat and a wealth of activities can be enjoyed out on the water, including sunset cruises. Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park is a National Historic Landmark that also provides some of the clearest blue waters around for snorkeling and diving. The beach at its southern end is a favorite and also offers fishing, paddling, and picnicking. Of course, on the famous Duval Street, you’ll find plenty of bars for a fun night out too.
Asheville, North Carolina
There are many ways to enjoy a romantic escape in Asheville. It’s famous for its breweries and farm-to-table eateries, as well as the awe-inspiring mountain scenery. It’s also home to one of America’s only castles, Biltmore Estate, which is open for tours and even has a winery you can visit. There are spas that offer couples’ massages, endless opportunities for romantic hikes, and even a bean-to-bar chocolate factory where you can watch how it’s made and enjoy samples in the tasting room.
San Francisco, California
The options for romantic experiences are nearly endless in San Francisco. You might walk or bike the 1.7-mile span of the Golden Gate Bridge, take a selfie of it in the background from Baker Beach and enjoy strolls in beautiful Golden Gate Park. The park is home to some of the city’s most popular attractions, including the California Academy of Sciences, named one of the “New Wonders of the World” by Conde Nast Traveler. It includes an aquarium, the world’s largest planetarium, a four-story rainforest with an incredible coral reef ecosystem, a natural history museum, and more. Of course, you’ll find some of the most mouthwatering cuisines, with restaurants serving everything from favorites like clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl to 5-star candlelit fine dining.
Kauai is arguably the most romantic of the Hawaiian islands, with its more tranquil feel and plenty of places where you can be immersed in breathtaking beauty all to yourselves. Known as the “Garden Isle,” it boasts several botanical gardens, rushing rivers, and waterfalls that spill to serene pools for secluded dips. The adventurous can hike the famous Na Pali Coast or take in an aerial view via a flightseeing tour. There are countless gorgeous beaches, luxurious resorts, and enticing restaurants too.
Mendocino is a seaside Victorian village about three hours north of San Francisco along a rugged stretch of coast. It sits atop cliffs that jut out into the Pacific, providing jaw-dropping ocean views and the chance to spend your days exploring the beaches, hiking through redwood forests, and perhaps enjoying wine tasting and touring with many wineries throughout the area. Just north, you’ll find the Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens sprawled across 47 oceanfront acres. A path meanders through beautiful blooms, leading to a park bench at the edge of the cliff, a perfect spot to cozy up together and enjoy the view. Wandering through town is enjoyable, with the historic saltbox homes lining the streets, along with plenty of shops, galleries, and restaurants.
Port Townsend, Washington
Located at the tip of the Olympic Peninsula, Port Townsend is surrounded by water on three sides and backed by the Olympic Mountain Range. On a clear day, both Mount Rainier and Mount Baker come into view. It’s hard to beat its magnificent beauty and its historic streets with grand Victorian buildings that house trendy cafes, enticing restaurants, wine bars, shops, galleries, and museums. Just two miles from downtown, Fort Worden State Park is an ideal place for a picnic and offers beaches to comb, a lighthouse, and kayak rentals if you want to paddle among marine life like seals, dolphins, and otters. There are also many historic structures from the park’s days as a military fort too. The Commanding Officer’s Quarters is filled with late Victorian-era furnishings and can be toured for a glimpse into the life of an officer and his family.
Marquette is an ideal base for enjoying the wilderness of Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It has a rich history and picturesque downtown, but the primary focus for most is its spectacular nature and opportunities for outdoor recreation. You might paddle along the 42-mile stretch of Lake Superior with its cascading falls, multicolored sandstone cliffs, and sand dunes, hike the trails, soak up the sun and swim off the beautiful beach in Presque Isle Park, or cycle the 17-mile Marquette City bike path.
Amelia Island, Florida
Amelia Island offers a peaceful setting for enjoying 13 miles of coastline with beautiful beaches, historic sites, and much more. Take a trolley tour of historic downtown Fernandina Beach with some 400 Victorian-era buildings on the National Register. Then enjoy a leisurely stroll while browsing the boutiques and art galleries. At Fort Clinch State Park, you can explore a well-preserved Civil War-era fort surrounded by three miles of protected beach with trails for hiking and biking in 1,400 acres of woodland. One of the most romantic things you can do on the island is to go horseback riding along the sand at sunset.
Falmouth, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Falmouth is situated at the southwestern tip of Cape Cod, providing lots of fun for a couples’ getaway during the summer. Everyone will be flocking to the beach, but there are many other things to do, from lighthouse “hopping” to renting bikes for a pedal along the Shining Sea Bikeway that begins here and stretches for 10 miles along the coast. A picnic at Nobska Lighthouse is really a must, with some of the very best views of the Cape. You’ll find many romantic places to stay and plenty of restaurants serving the area’s famously tasty lobster.
Enjoy the charms of Bavaria in the Blue Ridge Mountains by heading to Helen, which took its inspiration from German villages. The downtown shops and restaurants are housed in buildings with a distinct Bavarian style and lined along cobblestone streets. You can watch fudge made on marble tables along with caramel apples and whipped cream caramel at Hansel & Gretel Candy Kitchen and visit the Nora Mill Granary Grist Mill & Country Store, an authentic working grist mill nestled alongside the Chattahoochee River to see how corn is ground into grits The the surrounding area is popular for wine tasting, hiking, and tubing. There are many waterfalls to visit, too, with Anna Ruby Falls, a rare double waterfall and one of the easiest to access.
One of the most picturesque towns in Maine’s coastal region, Camden’s High Street Historic District features 19th-century homes, unique shops, hip cafes, and fabulous restaurants. It overlooks Penobscot Bay, with many sailboats gliding in and out on a warm summer’s day, and offers several scenic parks for romantic walks. Camden Hills State Park has trails that line the hilly slopes, while the restored Camden Opera House hosts music, film, and dance performances.
Glacier Bay National Park - Gustavus, Alaska
Glacier Bay National Park is renowned for its dramatic beauty, abundant wildlife, and glaciers. Here you can get face-to-face with a glacier so close you’ll be able to hear the sounds of the ice cracking. You might even witness iceberg calving, with huge chunks of ice breaking off and plunging into the water. The Glacier Bay cruise that can be booked at Glacier Bay Lodge in the park will take you to Margerie and other glaciers with all sorts of creatures that can be seen along the way. Keep an eye out for whales, gaze out at countless sea lions that crowd onto rocky islets, coastal brown bears wandering along the shore, mountain goats climbing seaside cliffs, and much more. Park rangers provide regular guided activities, and there’s plenty to do on your own as well, including hiking, backpacking, kayaking, and rafting.
Crested Butte, Colorado
Colorado’s wildflower capital, Crested Butte, may be a top spot for skiing, but it’s a breathtaking place to visit during the warmer months, with the peak of summer characterized by meadows that are bursting with color, including paintbrush, columbine, lupine, and dozens of other beautiful blooms. You’ll find miles and miles of trails for hiking and biking while the Taylor, Gunnison and East rivers provide world-class trout fishing, kayaking, and rafting. There’s a fantastic dining and drinking scene to enjoy afterward, complete with cold brews and farm-to-table experiences.
Sedona offers a breathtaking desert oasis with fiery-red rock formations and forested mountains in the distance. For an unforgettable romantic getaway, you might start off with a sunrise hot-air balloon ride over the landscape and then hike one of the many trails that provide views of the remarkable rock formations and lead to the town’s famous vortexes, swirling centers of energy known to be conducive for healing and meditation. The artsy town itself is filled with an endless array of galleries, shops, and world-class eateries, and couples can stay at one of the top spa resorts nearby. After dark, the typically cloud-free skies are ideal for stargazing.