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Amelia Island
Photograph: Shutterstock

Fall in love with these unexpected, romantic getaways in the US

Whether you have a weekend away or a longer vacation, these romantic getaways in the US are perfect for couples in love

By Sarah Medina and Rosie Hewitson
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Yes, we know you’ve just spent the best part of the last year in one another’s company 24/7. But hear us out! Whether you just started dating or have been married for decades, a couples vacation is one of the best ways to keep the spark alive, and that goes especially for anyone that has recently had to come to terms with their partner’s Zoom persona.

Studies show that just planning a trip with your significant other can be a huge mood booster, which is something we could use given the current state of the world. And while jet setting across the globe might not be such a great idea in 2021, you and your love can at least get canoodling in a different city. If you need some inspiration, take a look at this list of unexpected, romantic getaways in the US filled with scenic natural landscapes, Michelin-starred meals, and some of the most romantic hotels in America

RECOMMENDED: The most romantic, under-the-radar honeymoon destinations in the U.S.

Best romantic getaways in the US

Aspen
Aspen
Photograph: Shutterstock

1. Aspen, CO

There’s no wrong time to book a trip to this Rocky Mountain town, where romantic enticements beckon, from luxury hotels and sophisticated dining to hot air ballooning and hitting the slopes. Whether you carve with your partner, take on some rapids or just settle into a couple’s massage and the nightly Champagne sabering at the extravagant St. Regis, you’ll leave Aspen more in love than ever. 

Discover Colorado: 
📍 The best things to do in Colorado
🛏️ The best hotels in Colorado 
❄️ The best Colorado ski resorts

Mission Beach surfers
Mission Beach surfers
Photograph: Courtesy SanDiego.org

2. San Diego, CA

With 322 days of annual sunshine, San Diego begs you to get outside and explore. Hit the waves at Pacific Beach, ride bikes along the boardwalk, charter a boat or just grab a patch of sand and snuggle up with your partner. The zoo is rightfully renowned, and when you've worked up an appetite, head to the Marine Room for high-tide dinner when the Pacific crashes against the windows.


Discover San Diego: 
📍 The best things to do in San Diego

🍴 The best restaurants in San Diego

🛏️ The best cheap hotels in San Diego 

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Sun rising over the circular white building of Edgartown Lighthouse, Martha's Vineyard
Sun rising over the circular white building of Edgartown Lighthouse, Martha's Vineyard
Photograph: Shutterstock

3. Martha’s Vineyard, MA

The Obamas go-to summer getaway has always charmed visitors with its windswept beaches and sweet towns. Rent a home or base yourself at Hob Knob in Edgartown, the island’s picture-perfect, oldest settlement with narrow streets, red-brick pavements, and white clapboard homes. Hit the beach, browse local shops, marvel over the sunset and stuff yourself with fresh seafood. It’s not a Vineyard visit without lobster from Larsen’s Fish Market.

Discover Martha's Vineyard: 
📍 The best things to do in Martha's Vineyard

Glacier National Park, Montana
Glacier National Park, Montana
Photograph: Shutterstock

4. Glacier National Park, MT

With mountain lakes surrounded by rocky peaks, 600-foot waterfalls and glaciers (expected to melt in the next 30 years), this park deserves a place on your to-do list. Hike, horseback ride, hop a boat and spot a grizzly bear or mountain goat, then cozy up over a fire or hearty meal. Given the range of accommodations offered—from lodges to campsites to backcountry chalets well worth the walk—this is the ideal destination to combine adventure and affection.

Discover Montana: 
📍 The best things to do in Glacier National Park

📍 The best things to do in Montana 

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KAUAI
KAUAI
Photograph: Shutterstock

5. Kauai, HI

If your version of paradise includes rugged cliffs and sunny sand, emerald hills and epic hikes, fire up your laptop and book a trip to Kauai. The "Garden Isle" is a verdant wonderland where you can take a helicopter ride past the Jurassic Park waterfall, kayak Hawaii's only navigable river or walk the wild Na Pali Coast—though no one will blame you for kicking back with a cocktail on the beach.

Discover Kauai: 
📍 The best things to do in Kauai

San Juan Island
San Juan Island
Photograph: Jim Maya/Visit San Juans

6. San Juan Island, WA

This Puget Sound escape—where the most populated town is just one square mile—is about getting away from it all. Island life means lighthouse strolls, coastal kayaking, visits to alpaca or lavender farms and fresh seafood. Book a summer whale watch session to spot one of three local orca pods then bed down at the Bird Rock Hotel, where loaner bikes let you explore at just the right pace.

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Sedona
Sedona
Photograph: Shutterstock

7. Sedona, AZ

Free your spiritual side at this desert enclave where natural vortexes emit a mystical energy. Even if communing with the Earth isn't your thing, it's worth visiting for the spectacular slot-canyon hiking and world-class accommodations. Spoil yourself in a L'Auberge de Sedona cottage complete with outdoor shower or stay at Enchantment Resort and book a couple’s treatment at the acclaimed Mii Amo spa.

Discover Sedona: 
📍 The best things to do in Sedona
🍴 The best restaurants in Sedona

Sonoma wine
Sonoma wine
Photograph: Shutterstock

8. Sonoma, CA

It’s easy to swoon over Sonoma. The farms, the wine, the ubiquitous loveliness. Vineyard hop to indulge in some local juice and fun (the pool at Francis Ford Coppola, acres of spring tulips at Ferrari-Carano), then book a cedar bath for two at Osmosis day spa. Complete your stay at the posh Farmhouse Inn, where Michelin-starred dinners end with s’mores around the fire pit or a dip in the heated pool. 

Discover Sonoma: 
🍷 The best Sonoma wineries
🛏️ The best Sonoma hotels

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SAVANNAH
SAVANNAH
Photograph: Shutterstock

9. Savannah, GA

Savannah wears its charms in the open: classic homes, historic squares and impossibly photogenic moss-covered trees. But there's more to this Southern belle than gawking at her sights. Go for a stroll on Tybee Island, then dig into expertly crafted Cajun and low-country cooking at Alligator Soul (where, yes, there's gator on the menu). Finish things off at Lulu's Chocolate Bar and share of slice of the rum-brushed strawberry suspension cake. 

Discover Savannah: 
📍 The best things to do in Savannah

🍴 The best restaurants in Savannah

Central Park rowers
Central Park rowers
Photograph: Shutterstock

10. New York, NY

With its relentless bustle, New York romance is all about connecting with your partner amid the chaos. Go classic: Rent a rowboat in Central Park and get gussied up for dinner at La Grenouilleserving time-honored French delicacies in a flower-arrangement-filled space. Or throw tradition to the wind: Get into frisky business at the Museum of Sex or take the tram to Roosevelt Island for lofty, 360-degree views of the city. 

Discover New York City: 
📍 The best things to do in New York 
❤️ The most romantic things to do in New York
🛏️ The best hotels in New York
🍴 The most romantic restaurants in New York

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Block Island
Block Island
Photograph: Shutterstock

11. Block Island, RI

Dubbed "Island of the Little God" by the Narragansett tribe, this petite isle 12 miles off the coast of Rhode Island is a world apart from the mainland. Rent a bike or moped, grab a sandwich from Three Sisters and set about the business of discovering your favorite beach or scenic trail.

Discover Rhode Island: 
📍 The best things to do in Rhode Island

Charleston
Charleston
Photograph: Shutterstock

12. Charleston, SC

This picturesque Southern city doesn’t just feel like a romantic movie set; Nicholas Sparks’ The Notebook was actually filmed around Charleston. Turn it into the background of your own love story as you roam the historic district, explore the vibrant dining scene and wander through the gardens at Boone Hall

Discover Charleston: 
📍 The best things to do in Charleston

🍴 The best restaurants in Charleston

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Amelia Island
Amelia Island
Photograph: Shutterstock

13. Amelia Island, FL

Barely inside the Florida border, this Atlantic Coast barrier island hits the spot for a luxury weekend or low-key retreat. Book a room at a historic B&B or bed down overlooking the beach at the Ritz-Carlton. Then spend your days soaking up sun, riding horses along the shoreline or out on the water on a fishing charter or sightseeing tour. Keep the camera ready for sea turtles, manatees and dolphins.

Discover Florida
📍 The best things to do in Florida
🛏️ The best hotels in Florida
🍴 The best restaurants in Florida

Winding road along the edge of cliffs justting out into the sea on the Pacific Coast Highway
Winding road along the edge of cliffs justting out into the sea on the Pacific Coast Highway
Photograph: Shutterstock

14. Big Sur, CA

With rolling redwood forests and cliffs jutting over turquoise water, this stretch of California coast is idyllic in the extreme. Splurge at the Post Ranch Inn, where your luxury bungalow is TV- and telephone-free, or snuggle up inside a yurt at Treebones. Come during the summer when you can kayak with sea otters, take a moonlit tour of the Point Sur lighthouse or stay up late for a dip in the Esalen Hot Springs

Discover California: 
📍 The best things to do in California 
🛏️ The coolest Airstream hotels in California for a retro getaway

🚗 The best stops along the Pacific Coast Highway for an epic road trip

♨️ The 13 best California hot springs

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