Whether you’re planning a romantic day trip closer to home or hoping to book a weekend getaway in a new locale, we went from coast to coast to find 51 of the most romantic places around the U.S. These spots offer something special for every type of couple and interest — scenic state parks with beautiful proposal-worthy backdrops, romantic urban escapes for those looking to enjoy city sights, and quirky attractions where you’re sure to create lifelong memories.
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.” Here are 51 romantic places to visit in each U.S. state and Washington, D.C.
Alabama: Cheaha State Park
The highest point in all of Alabama is inside Cheaha State Park, an exquisitely tranquil spot with plenty of hidden nooks and crannies to explore. For more adventurous couples, there are opportunities for fishing, rock climbing, hiking, swimming, and geocaching.
Alaska: Mendenhall Ice Caves
Alaska’s Mendenhall Ice Caves provide a perfect romantic adventure for couples who thrive on dealing with a bit of danger. The caves, cut into the ice of Mendenhall Glacier by rivulets of water, glow a breathtaking blue that visitors often describe as “otherworldly.” Bear in mind that these caves are rapidly melting due to climate change, so your romance may end up outliving them.
Arizona: Emerald Cave
Black Canyon, best explored by kayak, is home to a hidden cave where the water inside glows a brilliant green. This hidden gem on the Arizona-Nevada border makes for a magical and memorable photo opportunity, and it’s especially perfect for couples who want to cozy up in a tandem kayak.
Arkansas: Whitaker Point
This perilous rock, located deep in the Ozarks, is one of Arkansas’s most-photographed sites. The outcropping, also named Hawksbill Crag for its shape, lets visitors (quite literally) live on the edge, creating a fantastic backdrop for anyone planning a sweeping declaration of their love.
California: Griffith Observatory
Couples can get a taste of old Hollywood glamour at Griffith Observatory. This iconic attraction in the center of Los Angeles has been the setting for film scenes from “Rebel Without a Cause” to “La La Land,” and with this dreamy history, it’s become an enduring symbol of California love. For those more into the outdoors than the cinema, the hike up to the observatory provides fantastic views of the city.
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 more than 50 years constructing this 160-foot-tall fortress, which he started building when he and his wife needed a place to live. Today, it’s become a unique tourist attraction in the mountains south of Colorado Springs, as well as a stunning feat of perseverance.
Connecticut: Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse
The Saybrook Breakwater Lighthouse is consistently named one of the most charming lighthouses on the Connecticut coast. Opened in 1886, it’s still operational today, although it is now privately owned. The best way to see it is by renting a boat for two and rowing out into the Connecticut River.
Delaware: Rehoboth Beach
Rehoboth Beach is a stellar spot to visit any time of year, whether you’re in search of a sunny summer getaway or a quiet winter escape punctuated by gorgeous sea views. The town also has an emerging reputation as an LGBTQ+ destination, making it a great romantic trip for couples of all kinds.
Florida: Downtown St. Augustine
Golden-sand beaches, hundreds of years of history, and great year-round weather make St. Augustine a popular destination among Floridians and tourists alike. The historic downtown is packed with restaurants, bars, and shops, making it an ideal place for a date night.
Georgia: Savannah’s 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 cobblestones that are more than 200 years old, while the street itself is chock-full of cute restaurants, bars, galleries, and shops, all offering spectacular views of the Savannah River and docking cargo ships.
Hawaii: Pu‘upehe (Sweetheart Rock)
Located off the Hawaiian island of Lānaʻi, Pu‘upehe (also known as Sweetheart Rock) may be right up your alley if you’re into darkly romantic stories about star-crossed lovers. While the legend of the princess and warrior who spent their lives here ultimately ended in tragedy, you can write a new love story of your own as you watch the sun set behind the rock with your partner.
Idaho: Sun Valley
Idaho’s Sun Valley ski resort was made famous by Ernest Hemingway, who lived at the Sun Valley Lodge while he penned most of “For Whom the Bell Tolls,” among other popular writings. Sun Valley is a year-round destination for adventurous couples, with horseback riding and fly fishing in summer, world-class skiing in winter, and a charming mountain town that’s filled with art galleries, restaurants, and boutiques.
Illinois: Nicholas Conservatory
Couples who appreciate nature but don’t necessarily want to venture outside when it’s cold 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: The Kissing Bridges of Parke County
Parke County, Indiana, calls itself the “Covered Bridge Capital of the World,” with 31 extant covered bridges and an annual festival dedicated to them. The structures not only lend the county an old-fashioned charm, but they come with a romance-ready reputation, too. Covered bridges were known as “kissing bridges” in their heyday, when their opaque wooden sides created perfect cover for couples looking to sneak a smooch on the road.
Iowa: Pikes Peak State Park
Though Iowa may have a reputation as flat farmland, the 500-foot bluffs of Pikes Peak State Park allow you to look over the Mississippi River and feel like you’re standing on the edge of the world. While you’re here, explore Bridal Veil Falls (an appropriate venue for engaged couples and newlyweds), archaeological treasures like Bear Mound, and the park’s abundance of bike trails and campsites.
Kansas: Monument Rocks
For couples committed to the longevity of their love, Kansas’s Monument Rocks will provide an awe-inspiring comparison point. The chalk monoliths sometimes called “a natural Stonehenge” were formed from the erosion of an ancient sea bed, and they’ve stood for 80 million years — just like you and your sweetie plan to do.
Kentucky: Cumberland Falls
Known as “The Niagara of the South.” Cumberland Falls is impressive at all hours of the day, but it’s particularly special at night thanks to a unique natural phenomenon called a moonbow. Couples who visit the falls at night can spot a fantastic lunar rainbow spread across the water, which only adds to the area’s romantic charm.
Louisiana: New Orleans City Park
With its anything-goes atmosphere, dreamy architecture, and world-class food, New Orleans always makes for a great couple’s trip. The city’s most romantic destination, though, isn’t its tourist core but the lesser-known City Park. Step off the beaten path here and get lost together among the park’s rows of old oak trees and its picturesque stone bridge. The park is also home to the New Orleans Museum of Art and the New Orleans Botanical Garden, which offer even more opportunities for romantic strolls.
Maine: Isle au Haut
Couples who want to spend time with each other and only each other should plan an escape to one of Maine’s most secluded islands. Isle au Haut has a total population of under 100 people and requires visitors to ferry over on a mailboat. About half the island consists of national park land, while the other half belongs to the community, complete with a few charming bed-and-breakfasts.
Maryland: Assateague Island National Seashore
If you’re looking for a little peace and privacy in a beautiful oceanfront setting, head to Assateague Island National Seashore, an NPS-managed barrier island park. The seashore, split between Maryland and Virginia, is home to wild horses that you can spot from a safe distance.
Massachusetts: Boston’s Public Garden
In the heart of historic Boston, the Victorian-style Public Garden is the perfect place for a stroll, bike ride, or picnic. You’ll see swans (both literal and in sculpted paddleboat form) and plenty of scenery at this destination, which was established in 1837 as the first public botanical garden in the U.S. To maximize the romantic vibes, book a stay at the Four Seasons Boston, which overlooks the park and was recently renovated with an earth-toned design scheme inspired by the garden itself.
Michigan: Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Explore the great outdoors with your partner at Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Located near the northern tip of Lake Michigan, this NPS-operated site offers outdoor activities such as snowshoeing and sledding in the winter and hiking and swimming during the summer.
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, Congress paid for a lighthouse and fog signal to be installed here, which came to be known as the Split Rock Lighthouse. The state park it’s part of also offers visitors opportunities for cross-country skiing, beachside walks, and taking in impressive views of the lake.
Mississippi: Natchez Trace Parkway
This 444-mile road passes through Alabama, Mississippi, and Tennessee, but you don’t have to traverse the entire parkway to enjoy its historic path. A short drive through part of the Mississippi section of the parkway makes for a perfect date. Plan your drive for the fall to enjoy beautiful foliage views.
Missouri: Ha Ha Tonka State Park
Ha Ha Tonka is one of Missouri’s most fascinating state parks. Its centerpiece is the stone ruin of a blufftop castle that was built by a local businessman in 1905. He died the following year 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, for all to enjoy.
Montana: Lake McDonald
Your love deserves a trip to Glacier National Park’s Lake McDonald, where below the surface of the water, 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 (or any other romantically meaningful day) in Valentine, Nebraska, a town that loves to play up its lovey-dovey name. Besides the plethora of heart-shaped memorabilia you’ll find throughout Valentine, there’s also an impressive National Wildlife Refuge that spreads over 70,000 acres. Designated by the Audubon Society as an “Important Bird Area,” it makes a perfect destination for outdoorsy couples.
Spend the night counting the stars together in one of the darkest spots in the country. The old-school Western town of Tonopah is located halfway between Reno and Las Vegas in a stretch of desert with almost no light pollution, making it a perfect place for stargazing. There are other quirky attractions here, too, like the Clown Motel, where horror-loving couples can sleep among a collection of more than 3,000 pieces of creepy clown-themed art.
New Hampshire: Lincoln Ice Castles
The Ice Castles, located near Lincoln, New Hampshire, have become known for the otherworldly glow they give off at night. The frozen structures — which look like something straight out of a certain Disney movie — are built from scratch each winter, and come springtime, they melt away. Visit in January for the best chance of enjoying these beauties in optimal wintry weather.
New Jersey: Passion Puddle
College sweethearts can spend their time at Rutgers’ Passion Puddle, the site of legendary collegiate-romance lore. According to Rutgers tradition, anyone who walks around the pond three times with their lover will marry them — so be sure that your pond-side strolling is done with the right person.
New Mexico: Dwan Light Sanctuary
The Dwan Light Sanctuary in Las Vegas, New Mexico, will have guests seeing their partner in a whole new light. The space is equal parts art installation and scientific feat, consisting of an empty white space that fills with rainbows each day as the sun shines through 12 large prisms in the building’s apses. The sanctuary was designed as “a refuge from the pace, conflicts, and anxieties of daily living” and is the perfect destination for couples looking to relax and reflect.
New York: Niagara Falls
Niagara Falls has been known for more than 200 years as “the honeymoon capital of the world,” thanks to its popularity among newly wedded travelers from all corners of society. Join in on the couple’s-trip tradition on a visit with your partner, where you can marvel at Niagara’s thundering waterfalls (there are technically three!) and enjoy the region’s impressive array of wineries, B&Bs, and other attractions.
North Carolina: Inn at Rodanthe
Couples that love tearjerker romance flicks should visit the inn from “Nights in Rodanthe.” This iconic beachside building inspired the Nicholas Sparks novel “Nights in Rodanthe” and provided the setting for the book’s film adaptation, starring Richard Gere and Diane Lane. Though it’s a private vacation rental these days instead of a full-service inn, you and your lover can still stay here for a taste of romance-movie magic.
North Dakota: Theodore Roosevelt National Park
Couples who love wide open spaces can head to Theodore Roosevelt National Park, where the Great Plains meet the Badlands. Come nightfall, the park offers an impressive view of the stars — it’s possible to spot the Milky Way, the Andromeda Galaxy, and even the Northern Lights in good conditions. During the daytime, make a stop to hike through the naturally colorful Painted Canyon or drive the Theodore Roosevelt Scenic Byway.
Ohio: Crystal Cave
Those planning on popping the question can do so here with the aid of a larger-than-life stone. Crystal Cave is not a cave in the traditional sense, but rather the interior of the world’s largest geode, discovered in 1897 by workers who were building a well. Today, you can tour the inside of the geode — whose walls are lined with crystals as big as 18 inches in length — on a visit to Heineman’s Winery. The winery, located on the Lake Erie island town of Put-in-Bay, has offered tours of the cave on their property for more than 100 years.
Oklahoma: Center of the Universe
The Center of the Universe in Tulsa is an audio oddity. For reasons that scientists don’t entirely understand, those who stand on this point — marked by a worn, circular stone at the center of a pedestrian bridge downtown — can speak as loud as they want and not be heard by passersby standing even a few feet away. So go ahead and loudly proclaim your love instead of whispering sweet nothings. No one else will hear.
Oregon: Thor’s Well
Proclaim your love at one of the most epic landscapes on the West Coast. Thor’s Well looks like a powerful sinkhole in the ocean — so much so that it’s sometimes referred to as “the drainpipe of the Pacific.” In actuality, the landmark is just an optical illusion, created where a 20-foot depression in the rock creates the appearance of a sinkhole. Still, the well here certainly seems bottomless — just like your love for your partner.
The couple that appreciates 20th-century American architecture together stays together. Frank Lloyd Wright’s masterpiece, Fallingwater, was designed for the Kaufmann family in 1935, and today it’s open to the public for tours, events, and creative initiatives like artist residencies. Pay a visit to be awed by this elegant weekend home, whose exteriors appear to float over a rushing waterfall and whose interiors are simultaneously cozy and spacious.
Rhode Island: Mohegan Bluffs
A stroll along Mohegan Bluffs is one of the most dramatic walks available in the Ocean State. The bluffs stand 200 feet above the beach below and, on a clear day, provide views straight across the Block Island Sound to Montauk, New York. After a stroll, check out the picturesque lighthouses that dot Block Island.
South Carolina: Pitt Street Bridge
Located just a short drive from Charleston in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina, this bridge-turned-park is the perfect place for a waterfront evening stroll among the palmetto trees. In this neck of the woods, it doesn’t get more romantic than that.
South Dakota: Black Hills National Forest
Whether you’re looking for a scenic drive or a challenging hike, this national forest has something for every couple. The park also offers campgrounds if you want to stay overnight (and stargazing out in nature sounds pretty romantic, if you ask us).
Tennessee: Great Smoky Mountains National Park
If love keeps lifting you higher, head to the highest point in all of Tennessee. At 6,643 feet, Clingmans Dome offers some of the best views in the Southeast, and it’s a highlight of Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Continue your outdoorsy date in this popular park with a waterfall hike or a scenic train ride.
Texas: San Antonio River Walk
A stroll along the San Antonio River Walk is a romantic way to spend a day in this charming Texas city. Find a spot to eat dinner on the water or grab an ice cream cone and enjoy the sights on a nice day.
Utah: Delicate Arch
Love is powerful, but it can sometimes be delicate — and you can marvel at a similarly fragile treasure at Arches National Park. Although this geologic feature is now widely known as Delicate Arch, it’s also been called many other colorful names, like “Cowboy’s Chaps” and “Old Maid’s Bloomers.”
Vermont: Scenic Route 100 Byway
Take a leisurely drive down part (or all) of this 200-mile scenic byway, and be sure to stop in some of the charming small towns along the way, like Waterbury, Killington, and Stowe. Fall is the best season to make this trip, thanks to the famously vibrant Vermont fall foliage that’s visible throughout the route.
Virginia: Natural Bridge
The dramatic arch of this landmark near Roanoke makes it a perennially popular spot for couples’ photoshoots. The 215-foot-tall rock tunnel is the main event here, but Natural Bridge is more than just a geologic formation — it’s also the name of the surrounding state park and the neighboring town, giving visitors here the chance to enjoy hiking, stargazing, and a stay at one of the area’s charming B&Bs.
Washington: Ruston Way Waterfront
Couples looking for a walk with a view on the West Coast can head to Tacoma’s Ruston Way Waterfront for (practically) every type of landscape they could hope to gaze upon. From the boardwalk, you can look out at the bay of Puget Sound, and if you turn around, it’s possible to spot the peak of Mount Rainier rising over the city.
Washington, D.C.: Tidal Basin
For a romantic treat on your next trip to Washington, D.C., rent a paddle boat and row out along the Tidal Basin for some of the best views of the Jefferson Memorial. Spring is the best time to visit, thanks to the stunning beauty of cherry blossom season, but this is a great destination at any time of year. When boat rentals stop for the winter, plan to take a walk around the basin instead of a paddle on it for equally impressive views.
West Virginia: The Greenbrier
Couples who love old-school charm, sophistication, and luxury can find what they’re looking for at West Virginia’s most iconic resort. Over the course of the hotel’s 200-year history, it has hosted 28 presidents and developed a reputation for its colorful, maximalist decor. Nowadays, most people visit The Greenbrier for a relaxing session in the spa and to experience the hotel’s unique white-sulfur spring water, which is said to have health benefits.
Wisconsin: Schoolhouse Beach
Couples can take a trip to Washington Island in Wisconsin’s Door County for the ultimate Midwestern beach vacation. The entire county is packed with romantic charm, thanks to its quaint B&Bs and cozy, old-school restaurants, but Schoolhouse Beach is especially worth a visit. The beach consists of smooth white pebbles instead of sand, and its location near the easternmost point in Wisconsin will make you feel like you’re on the edge of the world.
Wyoming: Grand Prismatic Spring
For the type of romance that can be described as “steamy,” a trip to Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic Spring is more than appropriate. The largest hot spring in the United States is also one of the country’s most striking. It can only be described as a rainbow of natural beauty — a line you can totally steal while on a date in the park.