From charming mountain villages to low-key beach communities, these are the best small towns for a romantic getaway.
Venice. Paris. Rome. When it comes to seeking out romantic destinations, many instantly point to these destinations.
But, you don’t have to travel far to find love in the air. In fact, it can often be found in the smaller, overlooked towns in your own backyard. Whether you’re a walks-on-the-beach daydreamer, the sort who gets starry-eyed at the sight of a pretty sunset, or the type who falls in love whenever you’re surrounded by mountains, we’ve rounded up some of the most romantic small towns that’ll have you feeling like the star of a Hallmark rom-com.
Have a Secluded Beach Getaway in Montauk
WHERE: Montauk, New York
The tiny fishing village of Montauk is a surprisingly charming place to spend a weekend with somebody you love. This surfing hotspot has chic and cozy accommodations for every budget from rustic cabins at Ruschmeyer’s to the luxurious oceanfront rooms at Gurney’s Montauk Resort. Go window shopping in town, visit the Montauk lighthouse, or take a long stroll on the beach before a romantic dinner for two at The Crow’s Nest, a stylish farm-to-table restaurant where you can dine under the stars.
Fall in Love as the Sun Sets in Key West
WHERE: Key West, Florida
The southernmost point in the U.S. frequently finds folks getting down on one knee, tying the knot, and honeymooning to their heart’s content. Perhaps that’s due to the spectacular sunsets, the abundance of great liquor (which can be consumed even while walking around town), or the generally pleasant climate. Whatever the case, book yourself some time at a spot like the Parrot Key Hotel and Villas for a weekend and you’ll soon see how the sparks fly.
Snuggle up in Ouray’s Snowy, Winter Romance
WHERE: Ouray, Colorado
Prefer a romantic getaway amid snow-capped mountains and handsome Victorian buildings? Look into Ouray, Colorado for your next amorous adventure away. Spend a day hiking around Box Canyon, or take it easy at Ouray Hot Springs. Then make a dinner reservation at Brickhouse 737, and see where the rest of the night takes you (but preferably it’s to the Romance of the Seas room at the China Clipper Inn).
Wine and Dine in Sonoma’s Healdsburg
WHERE: Healdsburg, California
Sonoma County’s Healdsburg is another delightful destination for all things romance. Take a stroll through the town square, home to numerous art galleries, boutique shops, and fine dining options. Do it up right in a posh, adults-only suite at Honor Mansion, complete with indoor and outdoor tubs. And of course, don’t forget to add a luxurious meal and wine tasting at Jordan or any of the other fine wineries located in the area.
Expect the Unexpected in Eureka Springs
WHERE: Eureka Springs, Arkansas
The rural South might not be the first thing that pops into the minds of LGBTQ couples when the discussion of queer-friendly destinations comes up, but this tiny hamlet in Arkansas prides itself on being a safe haven. From a picturesque walk through the Blue Springs Heritage Center to a visit with exotic rescued animals at Turpentine Creek Wildlife Refuge, to art galleries and wine tasting and more, there’s something for every couple in the Ozarks.
Bask Together in the Unmatched Beauty of Carmel-by-the-Sea
WHERE: Carmel-by-the-Sea, California
It’s pretty much impossible not to become entranced by the majesty of Carmel-by-the-Sea and the adjacent Big Sur. Really, the entire area in either direction of the Pacific Coast Highway will leave you and your person breathless. Once you’ve spent time taking in the seaside vistas, go out and explore some of the artsy charms the town has to offer by catching a show at Sunset Center, or tour the Tor House, or wander the many pedestrian-friendly galleries.
Flirt in the Southern Vibes of Fairhope
WHERE: Fairhope, Alabama
Charleston is a popular destination for couples looking for a good time, but if you’ve been there and done that, might we suggest a town that possesses the same inherent Southern charm? Yes, Fairhope, Alabama, where you can stroll (or bike) beneath massive oak trees, sail on Mobile Bay, indulge in sweet treats at B&B Pecan Company, or ride horseback together at Oak Hollow Farm. And once you need a rest, get cozy together at the charming Emma’s Bay House Bed and Breakfast.
Slow It All Down in Saugatuck
WHERE: Saugatuck, Michigan
Let Lake Michigan be the backdrop for your next romantic getaway. The teensy town of Saugatuck is truly a hidden gem waiting to be explored by couples looking to take it easy. This LGBTQ-friendly spot invites all lovers to explore the eateries and boutiques on Butler Street, embark on a ride along the Kalamazoo River on the Saugatuck Chain Ferry, or head up Mount Baldhead Park to dip your toes in the sands of Oval Beach. No matter what you do, just make sure to go nice and slow.
Escape Hand-in-Hand to Remote Sitka
WHERE: Sitka, Alaska
This remote Alaskan destination has everything an outdoorsy couple could ever need: whale watching, fishing, kayaking, hiking, cruising, you name it. Book a few nights stay at the Talon Lodge and Spa so you have access to all these activities as well as a bit of pampering and gourmet dining to end each night. And once you do make it to town, enjoy Sitka’s unique blend of indigenous and Russian culture by booking a Sitka Tribal Tour or catching a live dance show by the New Archangel Dancers.
Bliss out in Bavarian-Style Leavenworth
WHERE: Leavenworth, Washington
This adorable village situated at the foot of the Cascade Mountains is like a European wonderland come alive in Washington. Couples getting away in the summertime will enjoy golfing, hiking, or maybe just hopping from brewery to brewery. In the winter, things get even more magical, with ice skating, skiing, and sleigh rides galore (try Leavenworth Sleigh Rides for some special romantic dinner rides).
Sip in the Magic and Mystery of Moab
WHERE: Moab, Utah
Moab is one of those strikingly gorgeous places that you just can’t help but swoon over. With its impressive red rock formations and stunning natural views, couples who live for adventure will thoroughly enjoy a romantic getaway here. What’s more, after all their climbing, biking, whitewater rafting, and off-roading, they can always stop for a sip at Matrimony Spring—legend has it that the water can cause your sweetheart to pine for you eternally.
Maui’s Lahaina Is for Lovers
WHERE: Lahaina, Hawaii
Hawaii is known for being one of the most romantic destinations on earth. But rather than flock to Honolulu, why not explore a more low-key small town? Located in the County of Maui, Lahaina offers the same amount of beauty and splendor as the Big Island, but with way fewer people. Book an oceanfront suite in a place like the Royal Lahaina Resort, then prepare to explore the island, arm in arm with your beloved. Snorkel and surf the azure waters, do a little whale watching, hike the Pali Trail, then enjoy a sunset luau, and do it all over again the next day.
Dip and Dance in Dripping Springs
WHERE: Dripping Springs, Texas
This small Texas town is just the place for a laid-back weekend away with brews, barbecues, and of course, your beau. Spend a day in the refreshing Hamilton Pool (a swimming hole located within a 200+ acre preserve that’s worth relaxing in), then head over to the historic district to find some treasures in the small local shops. By afternoon, feel free to hit up the various wineries and breweries, and distilleries (we recommend Dripping Springs Distilling and Twisted X Brewing) before dancing the night away at Mercer Street Dance Hall—a honky-tonk that’s just slightly out of town but worth a visit.
Say “I Do” on Cannon Beach
WHERE: Cannon Beach, Oregon
For a scenic Pacific Northwest getaway, you can never go wrong with Cannon Beach. From Haystack Rock to Arcadia Beach, tufted puffins to bald eagles, the enchanted splendor of each natural attraction and its residents is enough to make you both never want to go back home again. What’s more, Cannon Beach is home to numerous romantic lodges and inns that cater heavily to couples. Try the Ocean Lodge or the Stephanie Inn on for size—both offer romance packages that include things like roses, scented candles, champagne, and more to sweeten the deal.
Get Swept Away in St. Augustine
WHERE: St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine is the oldest city in Florida, full of Spanish influence, historic points of interest, galleries and museums, and plenty of views of the sparkling seas. Go back in time with your beloved and tour the Colonial Quarter, full of shops and dining. Or take a trip to Ponce de Leon’s Fountain of Youth, an archaeological park that attracts plenty of romantics (so much so that they even host weddings). And once you’re done with carriage rides and romantic meals around town, retire in style at the Agustin Inn, where numerous romance packages are offered to help you both get in the mood.