Love is in the air, around the corner, and all over the map. Whether you prefer long walks on the beach at sunset, wining and dining until the wee hours of the morning, or soaring to new heights – literally, we have 50 shades of ways to spark love, rekindle romance, and induce wanderlust. Let’s dive into this list of the most romantic places in the US (by state).
Perched at the southernmost point of Alabama, Dauphin Island is a Gulf Coast island known as the “sunset capital of Alabama.” The long skinny 14-mile-long island boasts pristine white sugar sand beaches on its west side and offers small town beach vibes, romantic walks on the beach, and the most mesmerizing sunsets in Alabama.
Chase the northern lights with your crush at Borealis Basecamp in the Arctic wilderness. Located 25 miles north of Fairbanks, Alaska, at Boreailis Basecamp you can spend the night admiring nature’s dazzling light show from fiberglass geodesic igloos. Lie back and relax while watching the swirling rays of light in green, pink, purple, and white.
Sure, the majestic Grand Canyon National Park is a romantic spot, but don’t miss out on the photogenic Oak Creek Canyon: the second most-visited spot in Arizona. Part of the Coconino National Forest, Red Rock Country is populated with ponderosa pine forests and red desert rock formations and punctuated with buttes and mesas, making it one of the most cozy and romantic places in the US.
For more than a century, locals and visitors have soaked in the steamy thermal waters that flow from 47 protected springs from Hot Springs Mountain. Practice self-love with an indulgent soak at The Buckstaff Bathhouse and The Quapaw Bathhouse, two of nine historic bath houses in Hot Springs National Park.
The French Laundry‘s famous multi-course tasting menu makes this exclusive dining spot one of the most romantic places in the US. A place where food fantasies come true, the three Michelin-starred restaurant in Napa Valley offers a daily-changing menu, perfectly paired with wines that make for a memorable meal you or your date won’t soon forget.
A half-hour’s drive from Denver, the breathtaking Red Rocks Park & Amphitheater is not only a natural wonder perched 6,450 feet above sea level where the Great Plains meet the Rocky Mountains, but also a music lover’s dream thanks to its perfect acoustics. It’s the only naturally occurring, acoustically -perfect amphitheater in the world!
Keep your love on track aboard the Essex Clipper Dinner Train: vintage 1920s Pullman diner cars pulled by a diesel locomotive. Dine on a four-course supper during the two-and-a-half hour round trip journey from Essex Station in Essex, Connecticut.
Take a romantic rendezvous hand-in-hand with your date along the Rehoboth Beach boardwalk. Originally built in 1873 between the beach and Surf Avenue, the one-mile-long boardwalk is lined with restaurants, shops, and old fashioned amusements. Sink your toes in the golden sand along the mid-Atlantic coast, take a dip in the Atlantic Ocean, and browse the beach shops in this lively beach town.
Hop on a seaplane or set sail to Little Palm Island Resort and Spa: the only private island resort in the US. Go off the grid at this adults-only, four-acre island that has no telephones and only one television. The thatched roof bungalows boast outdoor showers, many with outdoor copper tubs, and ocean views as far as the eye can see.
Located on the banks of the Chattahoochee River, Canoe is a dreamy restaurant where you can dine outside in the lush environs or settle into a comfortable booth for exceptional wines and culinary creations by executive chef Matthew Basford, who uses traditional Australian ingredients in seasonally changing pan-Asian and American dishes.
Indulge in long walks on the crescent-shaped beach at Kahala Hotel & Resort: a favorite retreat for celebrities which also boasts beautiful tropical gardens and waterfalls – perfect spots for lovers. Honeymooners flock to the Kahala’s aptly-named island jetty, “Kissing Point,” a picture perfect perch for Hawaiian sunsets and smooches.
For more than a century, locals and visitors have found refuge in the steamy hot springs of Idaho. Soothe tired muscles and de-stress in the therapeutic waters at the five outdoor gravel and rock bottom pools at Lava Hot Springs. Fed from natural underground springs, the mineral-rich, sulfur-free geothermal waters range from 102 to 112 degrees Fahrenheit.
Leave your Windy City worries behind and embark on an ancient aquatic journey at AIRE Ancient Baths Chicago. Located in a former factory in River West, look forward to resting in traditional Roman, Greek, and Ottoman baths. This candle-lit spa sanctuary includes baths of varying temperatures, steam rooms, a salt water bath, and hot marble stone bed plus ah-mazing massages. This is one of the most unique first date ideas in Chicago!
Situated on 85 bucolic acres in La Porte, in northern Indiana, each of Serenity Springs’ 30 private cabins offers the perfect setting for romance. Set the mood with a soak in the sunken en-suite whirlpool tub, cozy up by the fireplace, and enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner overlooking the tranquil lake.
Skip the long haul flight to the Netherlands and travel to the Dutch-inspired town of Pella, Iowa instead. This Midwest town evokes all the excitement of the Netherlands, complete with Dutch architecture, colorful tulips, and the Vermeer Windmill: America’s tallest working grain windmill. The historic downtown features 21 heritage buildings, including a blacksmith shop, wooden shoemaker shop, puppet theater, and bakery.
Located in the Flint Hills of northeastern Kansas, the grasslands of Konza Prairie contain the largest area of unplowed tallgrass in North America. Admire the views of the Flint Hills and Kansas River Valley by hiking one of three moderately intense natural trails that range from 2.6 miles to 6.2 miles and traverse lowland forest and ancient limestone ledges.
Make it a double and sample the best bourbon in the birthplace of American whiskey. Start the week-long journey at the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Welcome Center at the Frazier Museum in downtown Louisville. Whether you opt to tackle the 18 distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail or the 23 distilleries on the Kentucky Bourbon Trail Craft Tour or both, get ready to sip and savor arguably the finest bourbon ever.
Indulge in a romantic rendezvous at the historic Hotel Monteleone in New Orleans’ French Quarter. Take s seat at the Carousel Bar & Lounge, the city’s only revolving bar, and sip its famous signature cocktails, including the Vieux Carré (Bulleit rye whiskey, Pierre Ferrand 1840, sweet vermouth, and Bénédictine with bitters).
Located on York Coast in southern Maine, the charming York Harbor Inn, a collection of seven buildings along the coast, is a restful respite ripe for romance. The luxurious inn has the quintessential components to spark romance: mesmerizing ocean views, soothing jacuzzi tubs, crackling fireplaces, and plush four-poster beds. The main building boasts a pub and lavish dining room with live music on the weekends.
Let your love take flight on a hot air balloon ride. Light Flight Balloons offers three-hour hot air balloon rides and scenic biplane rides over the skies of Maryland. A short 40-minute drive northeast of Baltimore is the launching point for three-hour hot air balloon adventures and 20- to 60-minute rides in the front seat of a vintage World War II Navy trainer.
Take a walk to remember in Boston’s Public Garden, the first public botanical garden in the U.S. Established in 1837, the lush garden is popular thanks to its picturesque pathways perfect for strolling hand-in-hand while admiring the famed Vicorian floral patterns. Complete your visit with a relaxing Swan Boat ride — perfect for a romantic first date in Boston.
Enjoy the simplicity of island life at Mackinac Island in northern Michigan. The car-free island is full of charm, from quaint accommodations to its famed Mackinac Island fudge to the most magnificent sunrises and sunsets. Take a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride and pack a picnic to enjoy while watching the sunset in this Great Lakes paradise.
Located on the rocky coast of Lake Superior, the 1,000 watt Split Rock Lighthouse is one of the most photographed spots in Minnesota. Built in 1910, the lighthouse is a national historic landmark that claims to be the most visited lighthouse in the U.S. Visitors can tour the grounds and explore the inside of the decommissioned lighthouse. If you’re looking for more romantic things to do in Minnesota, check out our guide to the best date ideas in Minneapolis.
Paddle back in time abroad the Betsy Ann Riverboat, an historical steamwheel paddleboat. The paddlewheel boat whisks travelers on themed dinner cruises along Biloxi Bay on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Along the way, passengers may spot dolphins and can visit the pilot house and steer the boat with the captain.
Wander into the wilderness and go glamping at Big Cedar Lodge in Camp Long Creek. A king size bed, stylish chandelier, and wooden floor are housed with each stylish canvas tent. Creature comforts like heating and air conditioning, private bathroom with shower, and a mini refrigerator and coffee maker make glamping fun for everyone.
Buckle up for a beautiful ride through Glacier National Park. Take a scenic 50-mile drive on the famed Going-to-the-Sun Road. The paved two-lane highway passes through the park’s verdant forests, alpine meadows, and picturesque lakes. The pinnacle of the route is crossing the Continental Divide at its highest point, Logan Pass.
Go big or home home. Nestled inside Smith Falls State Park is Smith Falls, Nebraska’s highest waterfall. The 70-foot-tall are accessible via a footbridge that spans the river on the north side of the park, which is also a popular place to camp and keep an eye out for ice age species who inhabit the peaceful park.
Soar 550-feet above the Las Vegas Strip and conquer any fear of heights with your other half on the High Roller at the LINQ. Board one of 28 air-conditioned cabins for a 30-minute ride around the largest observation wheel in North America. Each pod can hold up to 40 people and the slow rotation affords passengers seamless boarding and departures without stopping the ride.
Baby, it’s cold outside, but brave the chilly temps to tour the whimsical winter wonderland of New Hampshire’s Ice Castles. Each year, the ephemeral attraction comes to life thanks to hundreds of thousands of icicles, which are hand-placed by ice artists to create ice castles, frozen thrones, LED lit sculptures, caves, ice-carved tunnels, slides, and fountains.
The seaside resort town of Cape May in the tip of southern New Jersey is captivating year-round. Since the mid-18th century, visitors have flocked to this seaside escape for fun in the sun. The 2.5-miles of pristine beach are perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and strolling with the one you love.
Take your love to another level – 10,378-feet to be exact – as you step aboard the Sandia Peak Aerial Tramway in Albuquerque, New Mexico. During the 15-minute journey, you’ll travel 2.7 miles up the Sandia Mountains to an elevation of 10,378 feet. Disembark to admire the views, hike, dine at the TEN 3 restaurant, and ski in the winter before taking a return tram ride for panoramic views you won’t soon forget. This is one of the best things to do in New Mexico.
One If by Land, Two If by Sea, the Big Apple engagement hotspot in New York’s West Village, is an oldie but a goodie. Located in a historic 18th century carriage house, the New American prix fixe and tasting menus by chef Gary Volkov are as stunning as the restaurant itself.
The epicenter of college town, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, historic Franklin Street is a lively thoroughfare perfect for exploring with your love. Located in downtown Chapel Hill, the three-mile street is flanked with a collection of storefronts, coffee shops, restaurants, bars, and music shops – all wonderfully charming places to wander with your lover.
A gift from Awano, Japan, the serene Japanese garden at Sertoma Park in Grand Forks, North Dakota, is a meticulously manicured space perfect for peaceful walks. The picturesque garden features three lanterns made of natural granite rocks and is a locals’ favorite spot for meditating and meandering strolls.
There’s plenty of space to ponder your love during walks in the expansive 3,500-acre Holden Arboretum. The manicured gardens, peaceful trails, and Murch Canopy Walk, a 500-foot-long elevated walkway that soars 65-feet above the forest floor, are picture-perfect spots for strolling, sneaking kisses, and photos. Climb the 12-story Kalberer Emergent Tower for views that stretch as far as Lake Erie.
Nestled in the Ozark Highlands of northeast Oklahoma, Natural Falls State Park offers the perfect backdrop for rekindling romance. From a 77-foot waterfall to a hiking path that includes an observation platform for admiring the waterfall to comfortable yurts for overnight camping, you may also find yourself falling in love with nature.
Cannon Beach, a coastal city 90 minutes from Portland in northwest Oregon, is arguably one of the most romantic places in the state. The iconic Haystack Rock, a 235-foot basalt sea stack just off shore, makes a great focal point for selfies with your sweetie during strolls on the beach.
This Pocono Mountains hotel takes romance literally with over-the-top accommodations. Each of the Cove Haven Resort’s suites include unique features focused on love like heart-shaped bathtubs and log-burning fireplaces. The Champagne Tower suite includes a seven-foot champagne glass whirlpool bath for two, a heart-shaped pool, and a round king bed set beneath a celestial ceiling of twinkle lights.
Any of the 17 miles of beaches on Block Island is the perfect setting to spark romance. Located nine miles from the mainland of southern Rhode Island, Block Island is part of a coastal archipelago and features miles of sandy coastline perfect for snuggling up during sandy sunrise strolls.
Hidden in a lush garden in Charleston’s historic district, the Peninsula Grill affords a fairytale setting for dinner. Soft, glowing light from the garden’s carriage lanterns sets the scene for a magical evening tha may start or end at the candle Champagne bar and a slice of the restaurant’s legendary 12-layer The Ultimate Coconut Cake.
Let love lead the way on Lovers Leap trail, a peaceful three-mile backcountry hiking trail tucked inside the 71,000-acre Custer State Park in South Dakota’s Black Hills. The trail gets its name from a rocky outcrop at its highest point where legend has it that two lovers leaped to their deaths.
Mountains of fun await you and your lover at Lookout Mountain, home to Ruby Falls, the tallest and deepest underground waterfall in the U.S. open to the public. Visitors are whisked in a glass-front elevator 260 feet down to the breathtaking falls, which are illuminated in colorful lights, adding to the magical setting.
San Jacinto Plaza, the historic El Paso, Texas park that was originally the town square and home to real alligators, is a lively spot for a picnic followed by games like ping-pong, chess, and washoes: a yard game similar to cornhole. Situated in the heart of downtown El Paso, a fiberglass alligator sculpture by Luis Jiménez pays homage to the alligators that once called the popular park home.
Plan ahead for a prix fixe dinner at The Nelson Cottage by High West in Park City, Utah. The intimate dinners inside a charming cottage on Park Avenue showcase the best locally-sourced Utah ingredients, which are perfectly paired with High West Distillery’s whiskey. The menu changes weekly and tables go fast so plan ahead.
Skip the ski slopes of Stowe, Vermont and head to nearby Bingham Falls in Mount Mansfield State Park. A moderate hike through a forest of red maple trees is rewarded with the beauty of rushing waterfalls, the perfect backdrop for picnics, and deep pools ideal for a refreshing swim in warmer months.
Take a stroll down memory lane in Old Town Alexandria, an historic district on the Potomac River waterfront. Walk along cobblestone streets flanked by row houses and punctuated with gas lamps. Founded in 1749, there are now more than 200 restaurants and boutiques to explore in this charming downtown minutes from Washington, D.C.
Take a 35-minute ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island in the heart of Puget Sound to sip and savor fine wines from seven island wineries. The island’s wine trail makes it easy to propose a toast, clink glasses, and check off your favorite wines from each boutique winery.
Cross the New River, one of the oldest rivers in North America, if you dare. The 24-inch-wide Bridge Walk located in New River Gorge National Park is a catwalk 25 feet below the New River Gorge Bridge and 850 feet above the mighty New River. Adventurers are fastened into a safety cable before embarking on the 3,030-foot trek.
Head deep into the night at Newport State Park on the shores of Lake Michigan. One of the darkest parts of the state, Newport State Park has been designated as a “Dark Sky Park,” one of 18 parks in the U.S. where stargazers can truly gaze deep into the night (AKA, one of the most romantic places in the US)
Dash with your date through the snow on a horse-drawn sleigh to see the thousands of elk who migrate to the National Elk Refuge each winter. During the 45-minute romantic ride, visitors will have a front row seat to capture picture perfect panoramas of the wildlife refuge that serves as a sanctuary for elk in Jackson, Wyoming.
Dig this list of romantic places in the US? Check out our list of uber-sweet date ideas for Toronto!