Where to go for the best romantic getaways in the US

You don’t have to wait for a special occasion to whisk your significant other away on an amorous escape—even if you only have a weekend to spare. With a dizzying array of destinations across the USA that are perfect for couples, planning a romantic weekend getaway for 2 is definitely doable. Take your pick from coastal locations like captivating Kauai in Hawaii or the charming California beach town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, or opt for a lively romp in buzzing New Orleans.

Romantic trips for 2 to Kauai, HI

Hawaii in general is widely considered one of the best romantic getaways in the US, and Kauai, nicknamed “The Garden Island,” is especially tough to beat when it comes to sheer natural beauty. The oldest Hawaiian island boasts lush rainforests, dramatic cliffs and canyons, and aquamarine waters—it’s more rugged and less crowded than Maui and the Big Island, and draws couples looking to enjoy each other’s company in unspoilt nature. That might simply mean basking on the beach, or enjoying more heart-pumping activities like surfing, mountain biking, and hiking. You can visit Waimea Canyon State Park and Na Pali Coast State Park, snap photographs at the clifftop Kilauea Lighthouse, and, after checking the swimming safety signs, take the plunge into the Queen's Bath sinkhole.

Music and nightlife galore in New Orleans, LA

For music-loving couples looking for romantic weekend getaways with a vibrant party scene, New Orleans will surely hit the spot. Famous for being the home of Mardi Gras as well as the birthplace of jazz, the Big Easy is anything but boring, and trips here are all about parties and live music. You can choose from one of the many getaway cabins for 2 in the bohemian Marigny neighborhood, where you’ll be a quick stroll away from the music venues along the popular Frenchmen Street. In the French Quarter, street artists and performers enliven Jackson Square, while Bourbon Street offers a dizzying array of bars and clubs. When you want some peace and quiet, head to the 1,300-acre City Park for arm-in-arm strolls under oak trees that are hundreds of years old.

Charleston, SC oozes with charm

Pack comfortable walking shoes for a romantic weekend getaway to Charleston because exploring on foot is the best way to see South Carolina’s oldest city. Make a beeline for cobbled Chalmers Street in the French Quarter, one of the best-known and most-photographed streets in Charleston, or head to the Battery, where you can gaze out at the sea or ogle the antebellum homes lining this storied seawall. When you need to rest your feet, go on a horse-drawn carriage tour or hop aboard a schooner for a sunset sail. Cap off the day with an intimate dinner—the surplus of exciting dining choices will satisfy any craving, and many restaurants offer great views. Vacation rentals in Charleston include chic studios and apartments, as well as old carriage houses with modern interiors.

Captivating couple getaways in Providence, RI

The capital of Rhode Island, Providence serves up a slice of the delightful New England life, accompanied by a vibrant art and food scene, that’ll make a weekend trip here very much worth your while. You can stay in a well-appointed apartment downtown, or rent a houseboat and experience living on the water. Federal Hill is one of the best places to go for romantic dinner dates, as you’ll find a bunch of restaurants in this Italian enclave. Pop into the Providence Athenaeum, an independent library dating from 1836, visit the Rhode Island of School of Design’s beloved RISD Museum, and in the summer, check out WaterFire’s flaming art installations along the riverfront. You can also see the city on a private gondola ride—you’ll even be serenaded by your gondolier!

California dreamin' in Carmel-by-the-Sea, CA

California has tons of beach towns that are worth visiting, but Carmel-by-the-Sea, or just Carmel, is one of the most recommended destinations for couples. No matter which of the many cozy cottage rentals in quiet wooded settings you choose to stay at, you’re never far from Carmel Beach, where you can sit back and watch the surfers, or go for a run along the Scenic Bluff Path that follows the coast. In the 1-square-mile village, charming houses, shops, and courtyards evoke a fairy-tale atmosphere, and lots of restaurants and tasting rooms—you won’t find any chain eateries here—provide great date places. You can head to nearby Point Lobos State Natural Reserve for hiking and awe-inspiring ocean views, or stop by the Carmel Mission to gain more insight into the town’s history.