Cannon Beach, OR
Photograph: Courtesy Travel Oregon

The most romantic places in the USA

Cozy up in nature! We found the most romantic places in the USA and—bonus—they're all outdoors.

Lauren Mack

Love may have no bounds, but there sure are many romantic places to remind us how much we adore our special someone. Indulge your love language of quality time by taking a trip to the most romantic places in the U.S.

Whether you get starry-eyed among the stars in Alaska, take a long walk hand-in-hand on a sun-drenched secluded beach in Florida, or get carried away on an air balloon ride in Albuquerque, New Mexico, these 14 classic, romantic rendezvous in the great outdoors are the most romantic getaways for Valentine's Day, date nights, proposals and beyond.

RECOMMENDED: The most romantic hotels in the U.S.

Most romantic places in the U.S.

1. Antelope Canyon, AZ

Located 4,000ft above sea level within the LeChee Chapter of the Navajo Nation, Antelope Canyon offers picture-perfect panoramas for lovestruck outdoorsy folks. Formed by the erosion of Navajo Sandstone due to wind, water and time, the photogenic slot canyon is the perfect backdrop for sweet snaps thanks to its deep corridors, smooth edges, and 'flowing' sandstone. Access is by permit only, and Navajo guides lead tours through the captivating canyon.

2. Honeymoon Island State Park, FL

Named after a 1939 LIFE magazine contest in which newlyweds won a two-week honeymoon vacation to the island, this barrier island off Florida’s west coast is a piece of paradise. No matter if you soak up the sun on Honeymoon Island State Park’s four miles of pristine, white sand beaches, take a leisurely stroll hand-in-hand on a nature trail through a pine forest, or admire wildlife like ospreys and gopher tortoises. Each acre of this romantic island is picture-perfect.


3. Acadia National Park, ME

This superlative park—the only one to have carriage trails and the first national park east of the Mississippi River—has all the hallmarks of romance. From Cadillac Mountain, which serves as the first place to catch the sunrise in the U.S. for half the year, to the 27-mile Park Loop Road flanked by miles of shoreline and picturesque spots for picnics to horse-drawn carriage rides along 45 miles of meandering carriage trails through mountains and valleys, Acadia National Park on Maine’s Atlantic coast offers unbelievable natural beauty.

4. Red Rocks Amphitheater, CO

Serenade your partner and make sweet music at Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater, the most acoustically perfect amphitheater in the world. Nestled at the meeting point of the Great Plains and Rocky Mountains 6,450ft above sea level, it took 300 million years to create the red, brown, and ochre-hued geological wonder that includes an open-air, 9,525-seat amphitheater that hosts memorable concerts most days of the year from April to November.


5. Ruby Falls, TN

Take your partner's hand and plunge 26ft below the ground to see elaborate rock formations and majestic waterfalls. Accidentally discovered nearly a century ago by Leo Lambert, who named the falls after his wife, Ruby Falls is the tallest and deepest underground waterfall in the U.S. open to the public. Glass-front elevators whisk visitors deep beneath the ground and guides lead tours through the caves by lantern light on special Friday night tours.

6. Grand Teton National Park, WY

The iconic granite Teton Mountains punctuate the 310,000-acre Grand Teton National Park in northwestern Wyoming, serving as the perfect backdrop for romance. Just 10 miles from Yellowstone National Park, the world’s first national park, the park is the perfect place to picnic, pitch a tent and relax. With over 200 miles of trails and outdoor activities galore, including biking, fishing, and hiking, this rejuvenating, restful respite may be just the boost your love life craves.


7. Mackinac Island, MI

Enjoy the slow pace with your significant other in the Great Lakes on Mackinac Island, where cars are prohibited. More than 80 percent of the island is state park land populated with nature trails, historic sights and endless views. Located on Lake Huron in northern Michigan, Mackinac Island has charming hotels and inns, horse-drawn carriages, and mesmerizing sunrises and sunsets—all contributors to setting the mood for romance. Don’t forget to indulge in Mackinac Island fudge—the perfect sweet for your sweetheart.

8. Borealis Basecamp, AK

Star-crossed lovers can cuddle and gaze at the stars and aurora borealis from within fiberglass geodesic igloos at Borealis Basecamp, just 25 miles north of Fairbanks, Alaska, in the Arctic wilderness. The basecamp features fine Alaskan seafood at Latitude 65 restaurant, a relaxing sauna and a galaxy of stars. Snuggle in bed in a cozy dome and ponder the meaning of the universe while watching the Northern Lights dance, dazzle and swirl through transparent 16ft igloo ceilings.


9. Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

Formed by the Colorado River 17 million years ago, admire the awesomeness of the 227-mile-long, 18-mile-wide, and one-mile-deep Grand Canyon with your amour. Increase your heart rate with an exhilarating rafting trip along the Colorado River that courses southwest through the limestone, sandstone, and shale canyon. Adrenaline junkies can take a Grand Canyon helicopter ride, ride a mule along the 19-mile Bright Angel Trail and snap selfies on the glass-bottom Skywalk perched 4,000ft above the canyon floor.

10. Niagara Falls, NY

Straddling the New York-Canadian border, Niagara Falls State Park offers several vantage points to admire the 3,160 tons of water that rush over the falls every second. From dining à deux with a top-level view at the aptly-named Top of the Falls Restaurant, the only restaurant overlooking Niagara Falls, to a soggy boat ride to 'explore the roar' at the base of the falls on the Maid of the Mist to capturing selfies at Cave of the Winds, a misty lookout point just 20ft from the rushing waters, you’ll soon feel the rush of romance.


11. Public Garden, MA

Stroll along meandering paths flanked by florals at the Public Garden. Established in 1837, Boston's Public Garden was the first public botanical garden in the U.S. The flower beds are laid out in traditional Victorian style. Stop and smell the roses and admire up to 80 species of plants before taking a swan boat ride, a tradition for over a century. The foot-propelled paddle boats are the only kind in the world, gliding visitors around the garden's lagoon at 2 miles per hour. It's an idyllic vantage point for a passionate kiss.

12. Hot air balloons, NM

The hot air ballooning capital of the world is the ideal spot for taking your love to new heights. New Mexico's largest city is home to the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta, the world's largest balloon festival held in October each year. Still, conditions are perfect year-round for hot air balloon rides. Go up, up, and away at sunrise or sunset and float over the Rio Grande River Valley. End your flight with a Champagne toast, a ballooning tradition from the French. Villagers and farmers would get upset when the colorful balloons landed in their villages or farmlands, so balloonists carried a bottle of Champagne onboard to appease them post-flight. Thankfully, the tradition endures.


13. Cannon Beach, OR

If ever there were a more romantic beach, Cannon Beach is it. Just 90 minutes from Portland is Cannon Beach, a beach town in northwest Oregon famed for its iconic Haystack Rock, Pacific Northwest culinary food and bird population. From early spring to mid-summer, it's an ideal spot to see tufted puffins who perch on Haystack Rock, a 235ft basalt sea stack. Cozy up with your loved one for a beach bonfire and the serenade of the waves crashing on the sandy shore.

14. Bainbridge Island, WA

Set sail with your lover with a wine tasting off the coast of Seattle on Bainbridge Island. A 35-minute scenic ferry ride terminates at Bainbridge Island, a 5-mile by 10-mile island and city west of Seattle. The tiny island boasts seven boutique wineries. The close proximity of each winery makes it easy to visit them all in a day to sip, savor, profess your love and propose a toast (or marriage!).

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