Nothing keeps the spark alive like a change of scenery, whether you’re a brand-new couple or celebrating a big anniversary. Since it’s not always easy finding the time to escape, we got things started by searching out America’s very best weekend getaways for couples—because if you’re hitting the road with your favorite person, why not go for the cream of the crop?
Romantic Weekend Getaways You’ll Love
We know that every couple is different, from preferred pet names to favorite shows to binge-watch, so when it comes to planning a romantic weekend getaway, your vacation ideas should be as unique as you are. There’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all weekend getaway for couples, so we kept it colorful with adventure hotspots, remote islands, glamorous beach towns, and a few offbeat surprises. And maybe we’re biased—our mission is curating the ultimate vacation rental experience, after all—but we’re pretty sure a rental makes the perfect home base no matter where you go. Book a penthouse suite or cozy cottage and it’ll be the perfect starting point for a romantic weekend.
Catch the sunrise over the ocean in upscale Kennebunkport, one of the best weekend getaways for couples on Maine’s gorgeous coast. A romantic weekend here is all about the water, whether you’re learning to steer a surfboard, cruising the coast in an old-fashioned schooner sailboat, or going offshore on a whale-watching trip. After a day of sun and salt, head to winding Ocean Avenue for a romantic sunset drive past some of Kennebunkport’s most exclusive inns and mansions.
Tucked into the spectacular Smoky Mountains, Gatlinburg is among the most fun weekend getaways for active couples. Hit the trail on a guided hike to find waterfalls and wildflowers, drive through the heart of Great Smoky Mountains National park, and check out the region’s gorgeous fall foliage. Not that it’s all back roads and rural scenery. If you’re looking for something a little more spirited, Gatlinburg’s got a booming craft distilling scene that’s ideal for an afternoon of tasting moonshine straight from old-school Mason jars.
Winter Park, FL
A romantic couples weekend in Winter Park gives you the best of both worlds, since you’re a quick drive from Orlando’s world-class theme parks, but can finish each day in a picture-perfect town that’s packed with romantic charm. Start your day with some culture by browsing the gorgeous art at Rollins College and Charles Hosmer Morse Museum of American Art, then head to Orlando to spend a day in one of Florida’s amazing theme parks: escape to Universal’s Islands of Adventures, or channel your favorite Disney romance at Magic Kingdom.
Paradise Valley, AZ
If your perfect romantic weekend getaway means a pre-booked tee time and a bit of pampering, Paradise Valley is a luxurious dream trip. Weekend getaways for couples could start with a treatment at one of the town’s top-shelf spas, followed by a trip to nearby Scottsdale for a foodie tour of the historic downtown. Not that everything in Paradise Valley is quite so placid; if your idea of a fun couples weekend is more high-adrenaline than haute cuisine, hit the desert for an off-road tour that explores the best of the Arizona backcountry.
Eureka Springs, AR
Fun weekend getaways for couples in Eureka Springs might be all about getting back to nature, but the town’s beautifully preserved Victorian downtown exudes old-fashioned charm. Animal lovers can spend the day with the big cats at the Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, then head to Basin Springs Park for a romantic walk through rock formations and leafy forests. Don’t leave town without snapping an unforgettable couple selfie with the towering Christ of the Ozarks.
Hood River, OR
With a prime location on the beautiful Columbia River, Hood River is among the best weekend getaways for couples ready to explore the beautiful Columbia River Gorge. Join a bike tour that links up the region’s vineyards, then take a spin on the Columbia with a kayak, windsurf board, or stand-up paddleboard. For a romantic activity that’s more about scenery than sweat, hop the Mount Hood Railroad through Oregon’s gorgeous mountain terrain.
Orcas Island, WA (San Juan Islands)
Seemingly pulled from a postcard, the scenic Orcas Island is just a ferry—and a world—away from Washington’s mainland. Couples weekend getaways on Orcas Island mean adapting to the leisurely pace of life in a mostly rural community: start with a whale-watching cruise out of Eastsound, taste oysters straight from the sea at the Buck Bay Shellfish Farm, and check out some of the studios of the island’s many artists.
St. Simons, GA
Romantic weekend getaways to Saint Simons Island are perfect for long afternoons on the water. Soak up the salty air and coastal scenery with a fishing charter or kayak tour, or climb into the saddle for a laid-back horseback ride along the beach. After all that exploring, treat yourself to some of the region’s freshest seafood on a gourmet tour of downtown, where moss-draped oaks line the historic streets.
An outdoor hotspot surrounded by Rocky Mountain peaks, Telluride was made for couples who love the mountains. Rent a pair of skis or a snowboard to hit the slopes, or launch a Jeep expedition that follows rugged back roads. For a tiny town in the mountains, Telluride’s got a thriving foodie scene and breweries that are perfect for post-trail pints—you can even fuel up for all those adventures with a tasting tour of downtown.
With legendary beaches and plenty of Golden State shine, it’s no surprise that Malibu’s one of the best weekend getaways for couples in California. Lounge on the idyllic sands of Zuma Beach, head to the skies and book your spot on a Malibu Canyon and Coast Air Tour, or up the closeness factor on a romantic Tandem Paragliding Experience where you’ll have unforgettable views of the area at its sparkling best.
One of California’s top weekend getaways for couples that like wildlife more than nightlife, Monterey is all about coastal scenery. Commune with the kissing fish at the must-see Monterey Aquarium, take a romantic sunset sail, or book a full-day, private tour that explores Carmel and the winding 17-mile drive. Of course, Monterey’s the ultimate couples getaway for golf lovers, too, with easy access to the world class courses at legendary Pebble Beach.
Old Southern charm meets vibrant culture in Charleston, one of the most romantic weekend getaways in the South. There are endless ways to experience Charleston’s coast and picture-perfect downtown: hop a private, horse-drawn carriage through the historic center, watch a sunset from the deck of your own personal catamaran, or brush up your fishing skills on a private fishing charter. If your idea of a romantic night is all about sharing spine-tingling ghost stories, head out after dark to hear about Charleston’s haunted graveyards and most famous ghouls.
San Antonio, TX
Couples weekends in San Antonio go from America’s Wild West history to cutting-edge cuisine, and the colorful city overflows with Texas-sized romance. Get your bearings on a cruise down the San Antonio River, then take a deep dive into local lore at the San Antonio Missions, the Alamo, and the rolling landscape of Texas hill country. For a fun mission that’s great for serious bonding, challenge yourself to a couples’ scavenger hunt that winds through the heart of the San Antonio Riverwalk.
Pristine and spectacular, the island of Kauai is the ultimate in romantic getaways (it’s not called the “Garden Isle” for nothing). Okay, so it may require a long weekend to make it worthwhile, but if you live on the West Coast, Kauai is a worthy candidate and makes for a couples weekend you won’t forget. You can move to the rhythms of traditional Hawaiian culture at a Luau, cruise along the remote Na Pali Coast, or treat yourself to a once-in-a-lifetime sightseeing flight that gives you aerial views into Kauai’s rugged mountains. To experience Hawaii’s legendary waves, sign up for a private surf lesson that will get you paddling into your very first break.
A fun weekend for couples awaits in Logan, a scenic small-town escape where you can leave your stress at home. The forests that surround the old-fashioned community are filled with hidden rock formations, hiking trails, and caves that invite an afternoon of exploring. If you haven’t discovered Ohio’s local wineries, pause for a tasting at Hocking Hills Winery, and don’t even think about leaving town without a visit to Logan’s most delightfully offbeat attraction: the Paul A. Johnson Pencil Sharpener Museum.
This post was originally published on the TripAdvisor blog. FlipKey is a TripAdvisor company.