It takes two — find your next romantic getaway
From hiking in Seattle to historic sites in Boston, we gathered the perfect destinations for your next couples' trip. | Paul Oswell | July 15, 2022 (Updated November 28, 2023)
If you’re traveling with your better half this summer, the world is your oyster (preferably served with chilled Champagne, of course). Whether you love hiking, sunbathing, glamorous nights or a bit of culture, these American cities boast some great choices for your next couples’ retreat. Here are some of our favorite romantic getaways to enjoy this summer:
Outdoor life: Head for the trails and take in some outstanding scenery
Elevated experiences: Glamorous nightlife and fine dining always make for great memories
Curated culture: Expand your horizons by dipping into the history and culture of your destination
Seattle: The great outdoors
If long walks — complete with scenic vistas — are a necessary part of date night, then Seattle might just be your perfect summer getaway. There’s nothing like the stunning natural beauty to be found in and around this region and the city’s adventurous Pacific Northwest spirit make it a firm favorite with locals and visitors alike.
Grab your person and head into the woods or up into the hills to breathe some fresh air into your summer romance. Casual walkers will love the Discovery Park Loop Trail (a favorite with birdwatchers), which meanders through waterfront, forest and field without leaving the city. More serious hikers should head for Mount Si, an 8-mile (13 kilometers) round-trip hike that delivers sweeping views of the Snoqualmie Valley and guarantees a picture-perfect memory to remember your trip by.
And remember, vacations should be equal parts adventure and relaxation so make sure to grab plenty of down time together — perhaps via a shared plate of Pacific oysters and a Kiss the Mezcal flight at Fog Room?
Washington, DC: Food For Thought
They say the way to a person’s heart is through their stomach. If that’s true, then Washington, DC, is the destination for you and your person. Aside from the amazing sights to be seen — there’s something special about putting eyes on buildings as famous as the White House or standing below the huge dome of the U.S. Capitol — the city has a dynamic culinary scene that’s like a honeymoon for your tastebuds.
The high-end waterfront dining rooms are packed with movers and shakers, and you can find Michelin-starred kitchens throughout the city, like Tail Up Goat, Maydan (the Tawle menu was made for sharing) and Kinship. If discovering new dishes together is how you show your love, consider a foodie tour of Georgetown, the city’s oldest neighborhood, and discover how food has shaped Washington’s history while sampling bites from locals’ favorite spots.
If you want something you might not often find elsewhere, try cozying up with some Ethiopian food, a hugely popular cuisine here thanks to the city’s large Ethiopian population and one that encourages touch as you feast on a shared meal with your hands. Local favorites include Chercher Ethiopian Restaurant & Mart, Ethiopic Restaurant and Zenebech Restaurant.
Florida Keys: Beach to their own
For the couple that loves spending their days lounging leisurely in the sand and sea, we present the Florida Keys. In addition to its world-class beaches, the Florida Keys encompass bustling vacation spots, quiet bohemian communities and unspoiled natural landscapes. All of which are surrounded by clear blue waters and the beautiful expanse of the Gulf of Mexico. The sun shines year-round and life here is very much lived outdoors, whether that’s by biking along natural trails or strolling past the colorful storefronts.
Grab your special someone and head for Key West, a celebratory town dedicated to good times, phenomenal Cuban food and raising a cocktail-filled glass as the sun goes down. After dancing the night away experiencing the area’s famous nightlife scene, reset with a day of snorkeling and adventure at Cannon Beach at Key Largo — the history buff in your life will love exploring the Spanish shipwreck replica about 100 feet from the shoreline.
Oh, and let’s not forget Islamorada, arguably one of the most romantic villages on the Keys and the must-visit spot for couples looking to get away from it all and just enjoy the experience of being together.
San Diego: Glam For the 'gram
If you plan to document every minute of your perfect romantic getaway on your feed, then San Diego is the destination for you. The laid-back city boasts a Riviera atmosphere and lots of SoCal charm, including diverse neighborhoods and beautiful natural surroundings just made for the camera. You can take in the seaside beauty (no filter needed) at San Diego Bay, enjoy the pristine beaches of La Jolla and take endless selfies in and around the vintage allure of the historical Gaslamp Quarter.
Continue the photo-ready theme by dressing up and getting glam for the city’s nightlife. There’s a wealth of chic lounges, where you and your love can kick back with craft cocktails and toast yourselves while dancing to soothing beats among an urbane crowd. Try Side Bar, Vin de Syrah or the Oxford Social Club. If you really want to feel on top of the world, head for the rooftop patio at Born & Raised and enjoy delicious steakhouse eats and wines from Napa Valley vineyards in a warm, art deco space. Just wait — the likes (and “LOVE!”) will come pouring in for this romantic place.
Boston: Historic times
What better way to celebrate your amazing history with each other than by spending some quality time in a destination steeped in history of its own. We’re talking about Boston, of course, a city that helped shape the United States and that has a character and charm like no other.
Head for the heart of the city and spend a relaxing afternoon on Boston Common and in the Public Garden — the first public botanical garden in America. You can take in so much just by walking or biking along the city’s cobblestone streets, seeing sites that mark events from the Revolutionary War. Federal-style buildings line quaint Beacon Hill, and you can take a deeper dive into the past at any one of Boston’s world-class museums and theaters.
Complete your days of sightseeing with a toast to your many years together, channeling the City of Love through delicious Parisian cuisine at the South End’s Brasserie. Oh, and if you want to have a physical piece of history to commemorate your time away together, then there’s nothing like an afternoon browsing the fantastic antique stores on Charles Street, where offerings include artwork, home furnishings and jewelry.
Paul Oswell is an award-winning travel writer and has reported from all seven continents for dozens of internationally known publications. He is based in New Orleans and is the author of “The Bucket List North America: 1,000 Adventures Big and Small” and the editor of an online travel magazine.