Certain areas are good for reigniting any lost sparks, just as there are beaches that are ideal for families and national parks, theme parks, and more that you’ll want to explore while the kids are still little. Here are ten wonderful romantic holidays that don’t require a passport, ranging from rural wine districts to subtropical islands and even the City of Brotherly Love.
1. Greenville, South Carolina
Greenville is a more rural, less upscale alternative to Charleston. It has southern charm, but it also features the Blue Ridge Mountains. Downtown Greenville has its own outdoor paradise with Falls Park on the Reedy. Falls Park consists of 32 acres of river, waterfalls, gardens and public art. Pack a picnic or stop by the adjacent Passerelle Bistro, one of just two U.S. restaurants on CNN’s list of the world’s most romantic eateries. In the summer, the park presents Moonlight Movies at night. Every Thursday and Friday, you may enjoy free salsa dancing and music on Main Street. Finally, if you want to stay in a beautiful French Chateau without taking a transatlantic journey, stay at Hotel Domestique in Travelers Rest.
2. Grand Junction, Colorado
Grand Junction is to Colorado what Napa is to California. This undervalued location where two spectacular rivers converge (the Colorado River and the Gunnison River) is home to more than 20 wineries and vineyards. The view is also unparalleled. Grand Junction is bounded by Colorado National Monument, a national park with over 20,000 acres of canyons and rock formations, and Grand Mesa, the world’s biggest flat top mountain. In the winter, you may snowshoe and even downhill ski on Grand Mesa. If you’re lucky, your visit will coincide with the Colorado Lavender Festival or the Palisade Peach Festival. (If grapes can grow here, why can’t peaches?) Two Rivers Winery & Chateau offers some of the most romantic lodgings in the area.
3. Fort Worth, Texas
Lockheart Gables, a B&B featuring heart-shaped jacuzzis in every apartment, is located in this old frontier town, noted for its historic stockyards. Fort Worth, now one of the fastest growing cities in the country, is ideal for the couple that wants to feel youthful. For starters, there’s Six Flags Over Texas, the original Six Flags and the basis for today’s theme park franchise. Then there’s the Fort Worth Zoo. Not only is it the only zoo in the country with all four great ape species, but it also specialises in weddings. Martha Stewart Weddings even featured a Fort Worth wedding event that included appearances by the zoo’s more amiable reptile and avian denizens.
4. Maui, Hawaii
Niagara Falls proclaimed itself the “honeymoon capital of the world” more than a century ago. Today, the title is most likely held by a destination like Maui. It is to couples what Oahu is to families. In fact, The Knot deems Hawaii’s second-largest island a “no-brainer” for romantic holidays on its list of the greatest honeymoon locations in the globe. Not only is the tropical weather inviting, but Maui also has some of the world’s most epic, yet affordable, date ideas. Early risers may enjoy a crater-top dawn at over 10,000 feet in Haleakala National Park. After spending the day snorkelling along a world-class beach, conclude the day at sea level with a toast to the sunset.
5. Scottsdale, Arizona
Head here if you’re in desperate need of a couples massage. This enthralling Sonoran Desert oasis offers the most destination spas per capita of any American city. Wellness is affordable at approximately 70 resorts and day spas. For example, at Scottsdale’s No. 1 spa, according to TripAdvisor evaluations, a standard one-hour couples massage costs less than $100 per person. Of course, Scottsdale is also an excellent location for a group excursion into nature. Make a wish on a shooting star while stargazing on an after-hours desert tour or take a day excursion to Grand Canyon National Park. Stay at Bespoke Inn Scottsdale to be within walking distance of the bustling Old Town area.
6. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
The City of Brotherly Love honours all sorts of love. Philadelphia offers lots of memorable sites to pop the question, with its famed LOVE monuments and even an AMOR statue dotted across the city. Or at the very least, they make for wonderful picture opps. It’s also home to LOVE Park, which offers a delightful German-themed Christmas town during the holidays. Another reason Philadelphia is ideal for romance? According to Walkscore.com, it is the country’s fifth most walkable city, so there are lots of options to stroll hand in hand. And where else can tongues meet than when enjoying a world-famous cheesesteak? Book a stay at The Independent Hotel, a boutique hotel with rates beginning at $139 per night.
Even if you’ve never been to Virginia, you’ve heard of its tagline. In 2019, the tourist board is honouring 50 years of “Virginia is for Lovers” which was even admitted into the Madison Avenue Advertising Hall of Fame. Beginning in June, take advantage of 50 straight days of deals and special events around the state. Visiting the ancient, riverside city of Alexandria is a must. (It routinely ranks first on Amazon’s list of most romantic cities, based on sales of romance novels, relationship books, and movies.) Book a stay at a beachfront resort in Virginia Beach, the third-largest beach in the United States. Or, stay in a lovely inn in the heart of Virginia’s wine region.
8. The Florida Keys
The Florida Keys are not only the southernmost point of the continental United States, but they are also one of the most romantic. While visiting this secluded archipelago of over 1,000 islands, about 20% of guests attend a wedding or vow renewal ceremony. With so much demand, costs aren’t ridiculous either. Conch Concierge’s “Key West Barefoot” beach wedding package is just $195 and includes officiant and photographs. Of course, you may also come here for a usual weekend getaway. A two-night package at Parrot Key Hotel & Villas — which just completed a $25 million refurbishment and earned Travel + Leisure’s 2019 list of Best New Hotels in the World — includes a “drink and sail sunset cruise” or tropical reef snorkel adventure.
9. Sullivan Catskills, New York
One of the greatest love tales in film – power couple Jennifer Lopez and Alex Rodriguez are fans — takes place in this lovely location only 100 miles north of New York City. While the resort that inspired “Dirty Dancing” (and where Elizabeth Taylor got married) is now closed, this is a great spot to stay in a historic inn. The refurbished and well-appointed inn, The Arnold House, originally built in 1851, offers rooms in the town’s former library and post office. It even features a classic two-lane bowling alley. While fall is when the Catskills come alive with colour, a July visit may be just as wonderful. In August, Sullivan Catskills hosted the Woodstock Music Festival, marking its 50th anniversary this year.
10. Saratoga, Wyoming
Saratoga Springs, New York, with its racecourse and mineral springs, provides both an exhilarating and soothing experience. If your notion of a romantic getaway includes more open space and fewer people, try Saratoga, Wyoming. Saratoga, population 1,605, likewise features natural hot springs, however theirs are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They’re also free. While glamping at The Lodge & Spa at Brush Creek Ranch, watch the sunset from your cabin after a soothing dip.
According to Conde Nast Traveler, this 30,000-acre ranch hideaway has been the top-ranked resort for years. And, despite being in the least populous state, which is on The New York Times list of 52 places to visit in 2023, your chances of meeting a star are rather high.