50 Most Romantic Places in the United States
Nothing brings couples closer together than traveling to new destinations and sharing experiences together. But no two love affairs are the same, which is why we believe that no two romantic getaways should be the same, either.
For couples planning an epic trip from sea to shining sea or for those just hoping to book a weekend getaway close by, we went from coast to coast to find 51 of the most romantic places our country has to offer. There's one in every state, and even the District of Columbia.
There are plenty of romantic wilderness retreats where couples can take advantage of epic cliffs, waterfalls, and beaches. For more urban couples, we found waterfront streets and high-up cityscape views. And, of course, there are a few castles for couples swept up in a fairytale romance.
And hey, even if there isn’t a special someone to take on a trip this year, in the words of Oscar Wilde, “to love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.”
Related: More trip ideas
Alabama — Cheaha State Park
The highest point in all of Alabama is inside of this state park. The park is especially tranquil and has plenty of hidden nooks and crannies to explore. For the more adventurous, there are opportunities to fish, mine gems, rock climb, hike, swim, or geocash.
Alaska — Mendenhall Ice Caves
For couples who thrive on a bit of danger, Alaska’s Mendenhall Ice Caves are a perfect epic romantic adventure. The caves glow a breathtaking blue that visitors often describe as “otherworldly.” Bear in mind that the caves are rapidly melting due to global warming, so your romance may outlive them.
Arizona — Emerald Cove
Black Canyon’s Emerald Cove is best explored from kayak. It’s a hidden cave where the water inside glows a brilliant green. It’s a magical and memorable photo opp and perfect for couples who split a tandem kayak. Keep paddling down the Colorado River and visitors will find saunas, hot springs, and narrow canyons.
Arkansas — Whitaker Point
This perilous rock deep in the Ozarks is one of Arkansas’s most-photographed sites. The rock, which is also named Hawksbill Crag for its shape, lets visitors (quite literally) live on the edge. It’s certainly a fantastic backdrop for anybody planning a sweeping declaration of their love.
California — Griffith Observatory
Relive old Hollywood glamour in your romance at Griffith Observatory. Since playing host to that iconic scene from "Rebel Without a Cause," the Los Angeles observatory has become a symbol for SoCal love. For those that are more into the outdoors than the cinema, the hike up to the observatory provides fantastic views of Los Angeles.
Colorado — Bishop Castle
When you’re in love, it feels like there’s nothing you can’t do — even construct the country’s largest self-built castle. Jim Bishop has spent the past 60 years constructing his now-16-story-high fortress. He started the project when he and his wife needed a place to live. Today it’s become a unique tourist attraction and personal feat.
Connecticut — Saybrook Breakwater Light
Saybrook Breakwater is consistently named as one of the most charming and picturesque lighthouses on the Connecticut coast. It opened in 1886 and still operates, although it is now privately owned. The best way to see the lighthouse is by renting a boat for two and rowing out into the Connecticut River.
Delaware — Rehoboth Beach
Although many of the businesses along Rehoboth’s iconic boardwalk will be closed for the season come Valentine’s Day, there’s something very romantic about a deserted beach town. Spend the day enjoying the seashore without fighting crowds because, at the end of the day, you only need one other person to make a cherished memory. The beach has also become a popular LGBTQ-friendly destination over the past few years.
Washington, D.C. — Tidal Basin
Rent a paddle boat and row out along the Tidal Basin for some of the best views of the Jefferson Memorial. There are even swan paddle boats available for rent, for those who are interested.
Florida — Little Palm Island
Escape from the world and stay with only each other in one of the most secluded spots in the Florida Keys. The private escape features plenty of diverse wildlife and the shore’s coral reef is one of the best in the country for snorkelers.
Georgia — Savannah River Street
Couples looking for an urban escape can take a romantic stroll along Savannah’s River Street. The historic waterfront path is constructed from cobblestone that’s over 200 years old. The street is chock full of cute restaurants, bars, galleries, and shops and offers spectacular views of docking cargo ships.
Hawaii — Sweetheart Rock
For star-crossed lovers, Hawaii’s Sweetheart Rock may be an appropriate romantic venue. According to local lore, there was once a man who was so taken with his new wife’s beauty that he was afraid to let other men see her. So he confined her to a sea cave near the rock. One day, a giant storm began to pound the island. The man raced back to where his wife was to save her but by the time he arrived, she had already drowned. He threw himself off a nearby rock in grief and despair. Pray that your own love story has a happier ending.
Idaho — Sun Valley
Idaho’s Sun Valley ski resort was made famous by Ernest Hemingway, but it was originally discovered in 1935 by an Austrian count. Today, it’s a perfect winter destination for glamorous couples looking for a spot to ski and and be seen.
Illinois — Nicholas Conservatory
Couples who appreciate nature but don’t necessarily want to venture outside when it’s cold out can find romance in a greenhouse. The Nicholas Conservatory in Rockford, Illinois is a perfect indoor escape with butterflies, orchids, and contemporary art installations.
Indiana — Kissing Bridge
Parke County is proud of its covered bridges — it hosts an annual festival and calls itself the “Covered Bridge Capital” of the United States. But the most romantic of the county’s dozens of covered bridges is the Kissing Bridge at Valparaiso University. The bridge is also called “Student Bridge” because, according to local legend, good luck will befall co-eds who kiss on the bridge at midnight while a late-night freight train passes below.
Iowa — Pikes Peak State Park
Stand on the edge of the world at this bluff overlooking the Mississippi River with a 500-foot drop. For more adventurous couples, there’s a wooden boardwalk that leads down to the park’s Bridal Veil Falls (an appropriate venue for engaged couples). The park also features archaeological sites, bike trails, and overnight camping spots.
Kansas — Monument Rocks
For those in awe of the power of love, compare your relationship to Kansas’s impressive Monument Rocks. The chalk monoliths — which are sometimes called “a natural Stonehenge”—seem to rise out of nowhere and are the only interesting natural features for as far as the eye can see. There’s definitely a metaphor for love somewhere in there.
Kentucky — Cumberland Falls
For those who can’t make it up north, visit “The Niagara Falls of the South” in Kentucky. Cumberland Falls is home to one very unique natural phenomenon, the moonbow. Couples who visit the park at night can spot a fantastic lunar rainbow spread across the falls, adding to the area’s natural romanticism.
Louisiana — New Orleans City Park
History-loving couples can step back in time in New Orleans. While in town, be sure to check out City Park. Step off the beaten path and get lost together — just be sure to eventually wander over to the rows of old oak trees and the park’s picturesque stone bridge.
Maine — Isle au Haut
For couples who want to spend time with each other and only each other, escape to one of Maine’s most secluded islands. Isle au Haut has a total population of 73 people and requires visitors to ferry over on a mailboat. About half the island is national park land while the other half belongs to the community, complete with some quite charming bed-and-breakfasts.
Maryland — Ladew Topiary Gardens
Maryland’s Ladew Topiary Gardens has been named one of the most “incredible topiary gardens in the world.” For couples who enjoy a dose of whimsy, check out the incredible greenery, trimmed to resemble giant sailboats, an English countryside hunt, and even outdoor rooms.
Massachusetts — Mapparium
For jet-setting couples, the Mapparium in Boston’s Mary Eddy Baker Library may prove the perfect spot to begin planning adventures together. The three-story stained glass globe was opened in 1935 as a symbol of global reach. Today, it’s an impressive and immersive sound and light show.
Michigan — The Victorian Garden at Frederik Meijer Gardens
The Meijer Gardens is a fantastic destination to appreciate both greenery and sculpture. The Victorian Garden is one of the most impressive parts of the property. It’s a greenhouse with a sparkling fountain, elegant sculptures, and tropical hanging plants.
Minnesota — Split Rock Lighthouse
The coastline along Lake Superior was once called “the most dangerous piece of water in the world,” by novelist James Oliver Curwood. In 1905, one single storm along the rocky coast caused 29 shipwrecks. After that disastrous storm, Congress paid for a lighthouse and fog signal, which would come to be known as the Split Rock Lighthouse. Although the picturesque lighthouse has a rocky past, its state park now offers visitors cross-country skiing, beachside walks, and impressive views of the lake.
Mississippi — Pierce Castle
Couples seeking a fairytale romance can nail down the setting at this medieval-style castle in Mississippi. A stroll around the grounds reveals plenty of greenery and even a mini-waterfall. Inside, the castle is lined with tapestries, armory, and flags. Just be warned: Like any castle, it’s not always easy to get in. The space is available to rent for parties and weddings — although there’s also an onsite cabin where guests can stay overnight.
Missouri — Ha Ha Tonka State Park
Ha Ha Tonka is one of Missouri’s most fascinating state parks. It’s actually the stone ruins of a castle built on top of a bluff by a local businessman in 1904. He died two years later in one of the state’s first automobile crashes, but left behind an impressive spot of land, complete with natural bridges, caves, and a scenic lake.
Montana — Lake McDonald
The romantic interest that adds color to your life deserves a trip to Glacier National Park’s Lake McDonald. Below the surface of the lake, the unique and vibrantly-colored pebbles create a walkable mosaic. The lake’s beautifully-colored rocks were formed by glaciers, as were many of the impressive cliffs and waterfalls nearby.
Nebraska — Valentine National Wildlife Refuge
Spend Valentine’s Day in Valentine, Nebraska — where town officials have taken their name to heart. Besides the plethora of heart-shaped memorabilia found around the town, there’s also a national wildlife refuge that spreads over 70,000 acres. The refuge is designated as an “Important Bird Area” by the Audubon Society and is a perfect destination for romantic, outdoorsy couples.
Nevada — Tonopah
Spend the night counting the stars together in one of the darkest spots in the country. Tonopah is halfway between Reno and Las Vegas and completely rooted in old timey Western tradition. And for couples that love a dose of fear, book a stay at the town’s Clown Motel where 700 different clowns help lull guests off to sleep.
New Hampshire — Lincoln Ice Castles
The Lincoln Ice Castles have become famous for the otherworldly glow they give off at night. The ice structures—which look like something straight out of a Disney movie — are maintained by hand and grown every winter.
New Jersey — Passion Puddle
College sweethearts can spend their time at Rutgers’ Passion Puddle, the site of collegiate romance lore. According to Rutgers tradition, any woman who walks around the pond three times with her lover will end up marrying them. So just be sure that the pondside stroll is done with the right person.