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15 Best Weekend Getaways for Couples in the U.S.

While week-long or longer vacations might mean jetting off to Paris or the Caribbean, when you’ve only got a weekend available, you’ll probably want to stick closer to home. But no matter what type of escape you’re looking for, you’ve still got plenty of options from the California coast and the soaring Colorado Rockies to the picturesque shores of Maine. For an idyllic trip with the one you love, any of these romantic options is sure to fit the bill.

Big Sur, California McWay falls in Julia Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur, California
Credit: McWay falls in Julia Pfeiffer Beach, Big Sur, California by © Luckyphotographer | Dreamstime.com

Big Sur, California

One of the most romantic hideaways in the country, Big Sur, lies along the central California coast. This Mediterranean-like stretch is often called the state’s own Italian Riviera. It is home to multiple luxury properties and restaurants at the edge of dramatic cliffs overlooking the Pacific. You can visit a beach where a waterfall cascades down to the sand, another known for its jade, and one that has purple sands derived from the manganese garnet deposits in the surrounding cliffs. Contrasted with the brilliant aquamarine color of the waves that gently lap it, it’s stunning.

Mendocino, California Mendocino, California
Credit: Mendocino, California by © Pius Lee - Dreamstime.com

Mendocino, California

The seaside village of Mendocino is known for its Victorian saltbox homes, while fans of “Murder She Wrote” will recognize the 1888 residence that served as the home for sleuth Jessica Fletcher. Located about three hours north of San Francisco, it sits atop rugged cliffs and offers many walking trails that deliver dramatic ocean views. You can spend your days enjoying the postcard-perfect beaches, hiking through Redwood forests, and wine tasting at multiple area wineries. There’s a beautiful botanical garden just north, with Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens spread across 47 oceanfront acres. Stroll the path that meanders through colorful flowers leading to a park bench where you can gaze at the ocean together.

Cannon Beach, Oregon Haystack Rock at sunset, Cannon Beach
Credit: Haystack Rock at sunset, Cannon Beach by bigstock.com

Cannon Beach, Oregon

The charming town of Cannon Beach is a popular spot for honeymooners and all sorts of romance-seeking couples on the northern Oregon coast. Its main beach, Cannon Beach, is often named among the country’s most beautiful. This place is hard to beat, with awe-inspiring coastal mountain views and panoramic ocean views that include iconic Haystack Rock. Luxury oceanfront resorts have upscale amenities like fireplaces and spa tubs, plenty of restaurants for romantic meals, shops, and art galleries to explore.

Mackinac Island, Michigan Mackinac Island, Michigan
Credit: Mackinac Island, Michigan by John Freeland via Flickr

Mackinac Island, Michigan

Mackinac Island is one of the best destinations for a romantic weekend getaway in the Midwest. This tranquil place is virtually car-free, with horse-drawn carriage rides providing an ideal way for couples to take in the scenery, including beautiful architecture downtown and old summer cottages around the island. Or, bring your bike and cycle along the coastline enjoying the gorgeous views. There are state parks for walks through the woods and plenty of culinary delights with casual bistros, fine-dining restaurants, and 13 different fudge shops right downtown where you can watch it being made and enjoy free samples.

Estes Park, Colorado Estes Park
Credit: Estes Park by bigstock.com

Estes Park, Colorado

The eastern gateway to Rocky Mountain National Park, Estes Park, is ideal for Denver-area residents who can reach the town in under two hours. Couples can look forward to strolling the downtown Riverwalk, hopping on the Estes Park Aerial Tramway for a spectacular view over it all, or golfing on a course where elk often roam. There are many different shopping and dining venues, including a fabulous restaurant with romantic piano music usually hosted at the world-famous Stanley Hotel, the inspiration behind Stephen King’s “The Shining.” The national park offers more than 350 miles of trails for hiking with views of sparkling lakes, flower-filled meadows, towering snow-capped mountains, and abundant wildlife, including moose, mountain goats, and elk.

Amelia Island, Florida Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island
Credit: Fernandina Beach on Amelia Island by Madison Y Photo/shutterstock.com

Amelia Island, Florida

Amelia Island offers many opportunities for romance, including horseback rides along the sand at sunset. There are many other activities to enjoy as a couple, from golfing and cycling to exploring history. You might tour the historic downtown area in Fernandina Beach by trolley and then check out the many art galleries and boutiques before enjoying a meal at one of the many local seafood eateries.

Bryson City, North Carolina Great Smoky Mountains around Bryson City and Fontana Lake
Credit: Great Smoky Mountains around Bryson City and Fontana Lake by digidreamgrafix/shutterstock.com

Bryson City, North Carolina

One of the gateway towns to the Great Smoky Mountains and one of North Carolina’s oldest settlements, Bryson City offers spectacular mountain scenery. You’ll have miles and miles of scenic trails for hiking within easy reach and opportunities for river rafting, with many local outfitters available for a rafting trip. You might ride the Great Smoky Mountain Railroad through the national park to enjoy the scenery at a slower pace and learn about trains at the Smoky Mountain Trains Museum. There are many romantic cabin rentals in this area to base yourself on, with amenities like fireplaces and hot tubs.

Camden, Maine Camden Harbor in Maine
Credit: Camden Harbor in Maine by © Efaah0 | Dreamstime.com

Camden, Maine

Located in the heart of Maine’s coastal region, Camden is one of the prettiest towns in the area. The High Street Historic District features 19th-century homes, unique shops, trendy cafes, and fantastic restaurants. Plus, you’ll enjoy awe-inspiring views of Penobscot Bay and the sailboats that glide in and out. There are also picturesque parks for romantic walks, like Camden Hills State Park, with trails lining its slopes, while the restored Camden Opera House hosts music, film, and dance performances.

Nantucket Island, Massachusetts The beautiful Nantucket shore
Credit: The beautiful Nantucket shore by Bigstockphoto.com

Nantucket Island, Massachusetts

Nantucket is the name of the small island that sits about 30 miles from the coast of Cape Cod, as well as its main town. Easily reached via ferry, it’s home to picturesque lighthouses, gorgeous beaches, tranquil harbors, and grand mansions, some of which have been transformed into luxury vacation rentals. There are museums to explore and paths that branch off in every direction that are ideal for cycling or walking. If you like history, check out some of the 800 pre-Civil War houses in the historic district, which includes many lovely old homes.

Hudson, New York Columbia Street Downtown City Center Hudson, New York
Credit: Columbia Street Downtown City Center Hudson, New York by © Chris Boswell | Dreamstime.com

Hudson, New York

Hudson is a riverfront city with a long history dating back to the 18th century as a trading port. Over the last three decades it was reinvented, becoming a cultural haven. There are not only hundreds of miles of epic hiking trails to explore throughout the Hudson Valley, but in town, you’ll find a booming dining scene that includes multiple award-nominated eateries. Don’t miss the unique café/motorcycle shop, Moto Coffee Machine where you can pick up an iced latte to fuel up for walking the 250-acre grounds at Olana State Historic Site. There are unique boutiques, art galleries, vintage shops, and many antique stores too.

Hood River, Oregon Hood River, Oregon
Credit: Hood River, Oregon by © Davidgn | Dreamstime.com

Hood River, Oregon

Hood River is just a quick jaunt from Portland along the lush Columbia River Gorge. If you’re dreaming of a weekend getaway with lots of outdoor adventure, this is a great place. You can windsurf or kiteboard, with lessons available for either, and throughout the gorge, you’ll find many scenic trails, some of which lead to cascading falls. At Hood River Lavender, you can soak up incredible views of the endless purple flowers with a backdrop of both Mount Hood and Mount Adams, and pick up handcrafted lavender-focused items, with everything from bath and body products to culinary treats.

San Juan Island, Washington San Juan Island
Credit: San Juan Island by bigstock.com

San Juan Island, Washington

San Juan Island is easily reached by ferry or seaplane. The ferry dock is in Friday Harbor, a charming town with gorgeous views and many outstanding restaurants serving farm- and sea-to-table dishes. The streets also have museums, fun bookstores, and many independent shops. This is also where many tours depart, including kayaking and whale-watching excursions that will bring you to the region’s famous Southern Resident orcas and other marine life. You’ll also find romantic inns, B&Bs, and vacation rentals to complete your perfect stay.

Sedona, Arizona Sedona

Sedona, Arizona

Sedona offers a serene desert oasis with fiery-red rock formations and forested mountains in the distance. Here you might start your morning with a sunrise hot-air balloon ride over it all and then hike one of the many trails that provide dazzling views of red rock country. There are Jeep tours and yoga adventures where you’ll walk to a perfect spot outdoors to practice your poses in one of the famous vortexes, swirling centers of energy that are conducive for meditation, healing, and self-exploration. The artsy town itself is filled with an endless array of galleries, shops, and world-class eateries. After dark, the typically cloud-free skies are ideal for some romantic stargazing.

Lake Placid, New York Lake Placid, New York
Credit: Lake Placid, New York by © Joe Sohm - Dreamstime.com

Lake Placid, New York

Lake Placid is famous for hosting two Winter Olympic Games, with all sorts of winter sports available, from ice skating and skiing to bobsledding, luging, and ice climbing. But there’s something to enjoy every season, like leaf peeping, wine tasting, harvest festivals, hiking, and all sorts of water-related activities. Plus, you’ll find multiple options for romantic resorts with special packages for couples that include candlelit dinners and lavish spa treatments, ideal for melting stress away together.

Savannah, Georgia Savannah is famous for its beautiful squares, cobblestone streets and giant Spanish moss.
Credit: Savannah is famous for its beautiful squares, cobblestone streets and giant Spanish moss. by bigstockphoto.com

Savannah, Georgia

Savannah is a dream for an unforgettable couples’ escape that includes the best Southern hospitality, parks with canopies of moss-draped trees, and pretty streets with historic mansions, some of which have been transformed into elegant B&Bs, inns, and vacation rental properties. Enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides through the historic district, delving into the food scene on River Street, strolls through the Coastal Georgia Botanical Gardens, and even glorious sunrises while walking on a Tybee Island beach.

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