7 Unique Romantic Summer Getaways
While there are plenty of ways to spice up your relationship in the sweet summertime, sometimes nothing can compare to getting the heck out of town with your significant other for a sizzling romantic getaway. It is during this time you can wave goodbye way to the monotonous routines and everyday stresses, and focus on what’s really important. You know, each other. But forget your usual go-to spots — it’s time to shake things up and add some extra heat with unique mood-igniting destinations.
And fortunately, we’ve rounded up seven unexpected travel locations for all sorts of interests (and budgets!) that are perfect for escaping reality. So whether you’re seeking somewhere near or far, planned or spontaneous, you and your S.O. are sure to create a magical experience with these getaways. All that’s left to do is decide when to start packing your bags!
1. For the adventurous couples: Arches National Park in Moab, Utah
For those who are all about fueling the flames of romance by firing up adrenaline together, Arches National Park is the way to go. Located just five miles outside of Moab, this national park is home to over 2,000 natural sandstone arches and covers over 76,000 acres. Now, that’s a LOT of adventure. With the deep canyons, spectacular landscapes, and awe-inspiring panoramic views, this is the kind of place every adrenaline junkie needs to experience.
How to Spend the Days: Bring your hiking boots because you two are about to find a wide variety of trails. From infamous hikes like Double O Arch, Delicate Arch, and Landscape Arch, to some of the lesser-known trails such as the “Primitive Loop,” you will have a plethora of options right at your fingertips. And if you still have energy simmering after all that hiking, consider driving the 18-mile long Scenic Drive where you can feast on even more natural eye-candy.
How to Spend the Nights: Nothing beats reminiscing a full day of outdoor adventure like cuddling around a crackling fire. With so many campgrounds around Arches National Park, you’ll have your tent pitched and flames burning in no time. Once the temperatures drop after a breathtaking sunset, you can snuggle up together to stay warm as you enjoy counting the shooting stars lighting up the sky.
2. For the wine lovers: The North Fork of Long Island, New York
While our thoughts tend to gravitate to Napa Valley when thinking of wine in the US, did you know there’s an emerging Wine Country on the east coast? Located along a 30-mile-long peninsula in Long Island, the North Fork has a dizzying array of about 50 wineries and over 3,000 acres of planted vineyards.
How to Spend the Days: Before embarking on a long day of sipping, fuel up on a hearty breakfast at the quaint Love Lane Kitchen. With lemon-ricotta pancakes and filling breakfast bowls, you can’t go wrong. Then, work your way from east to west by hopping at renown wineries such as Kontokosta Winery, The Old Field Vineyards, and Bedell Cellars.
How to Spend the Nights: If you want to switch your gears from wine to beer once the sun goes down, the ever-so-popular Greenport Harbor Brewing Co. will deliver a fun atmosphere where you can drink craft beers, chow down on 13-inch pizza pies, and tap your toes to live music.
3. For the foodie couples: Portland, Oregon
There’s a reason why the Washington Post once named Portland, Oregon the number one foodie city. From artisan coffee and funky doughnuts to tasty food-cart cuisine and cheap happy hours, this city is a food lover’s dream. No matter what kind of culinary experience you and your partner are seeking, you’re guaranteed to find it in this charismatic corner of the Northwest.
How to Spend the Days: Kickstart your day with a sugar-rush by stopping by Blue Star Donuts for an extra sweet treat. These handcrafted pillowy doughnuts are out-of-this-world delicious and are dunked in fun glazes such as passionfruit-cocoa-nib, lemon-poppy-buttermilk, and chocolate-salted-almond. Don’t worry if your mouth is already watering…mine is, too.
The fun continues with Portland’s beloved selection of food carts. With over 600 carts, the toughest decision will be choosing where to begin. Luckily for your taste-buds, most carts are clustered together in “pods” all around the city, making sampling various cuisines extremely convenient. From Thai, Indian, European, and Mediterranean (trust me, the list goes on…) you can practically eat your way around the world, all from one city.
How to Spend the Nights: If you’re looking for great taste without depleting your wallet, head on over to Luc Lac Vietnamese Kitchen for happy hour. Taking place every day from 4-7 p.m., there are scrumptious small plates for as little as $2, and select cocktails starting at $6.
4. For the nature lovers: Asheville, North Carolina
Tucked away in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains is where you’ll uncover the peaceful pocket of Asheville, North Carolina. The fresh mountain air and wide range of outdoor activities will make any nature enthusiast immediately fall in love with this neck of the woods.
How to Spend the Days: Drive along the scenic route of the Blue Ridge Parkway where you can take in mesmerizing close-ups of the Appalachian Highlands. Then, embark on some wet-and-wild fun by chasing dozens of cascading waterfalls, many of which are right off the road. And if you’re still seeking more outdoor adventure, consider exploring the land by hiking, rock climbing, and/or biking. With over 300 miles of trails along the parkway, the outdoor options are endless.
How to Spend the Nights: What would a trip to Asheville be without experiencing the world-renowned Biltmore Estate? After brushing up on your history skills by touring this mansion, end your day with a stop at the onsite winery where you can sip on complimentary tastings. Wine and a French-inspired chateau. Does it get more romantic than that?
5. For the charm seekers: Charleston, South Carolina
Candy-colored antebellum homes. Quaint cobblestone streets. Elegant Spanish moss hanging from old Oak trees. I don’t think there is anywhere more charming than Charleston. And with the contagious leisurely pace, you and your lover are bound to slow down, relax, and simply savor the present moment.
How to Spend the Days: One of the best ways to discover the enchantments of this southern port city is by cycling your way through the streets. And if you’re looking to spend your time on the water, there are numerous tours you can join for sightseeing. Whether it be boarding a sail boat, ferry, or water taxi to set sail around the harbor, you simply can’t go wrong.
How to Spend the Nights: Take a stroll along The Battery to watch Mother Nature paint a gorgeous sunset right before your eyes. Hand in hand, you two will instantly be engulfed by endless beauty, especially with the iconic historic mansions to one side, and the serene harbor on the other.
6. For the city-loving couples: Chicago, Illinois
We all know Chicago buzzes with excitement. But in the summer, those lively vibes soar. Whether it be touring historic sights, partaking in dynamite dining scenes, or window-shopping along the Magnificent Mile, this radiant city just oozes with things to do.
How to Spend the Days: Explore the spectacular Navy Pier to discover thrilling rides and sweeping views. Marvel at the iconic metallic “Bean.” Experience the city from a different perspective by walking along the 103rd-floor glass platform in the Willis Tower. With attractions around every corner, your itinerary will quickly overflow with exhilaration.
How to Spend the Nights: Because the city truly starts to shine once the sun goes down, enjoy the dazzling skyline by embarking on an architecture tour. As you cruise along the river, you and your partner can revel in the surrounding beauty, all while learning about the fascinating history behind the infamous skyscrapers.
7. For the couples with endless wanderlust: Lake Como, Italy
If you’re seeking to embark on an adventure abroad, look no further than Italy’s most idyllic retreat: Lake Como. Located just an hour outside of Milan, Lake Como is one of the most picturesque lakes in all of Europe. With majestic mountains and shimmering waters, you’re bound to start gushing over the magical setting as soon as you arrive.
How to Spend the Days: Soak in the allurement by climbing aboard a ferry to sail around the lake. Here you can admire the ancient towns and colorful villas up close as you ride along the gentle waves.
How to Spend the Nights: After gliding your way around the lake, head back to shore for some generous pours of wine, heaping servings of pasta, and a couple of scoops of gelato. Talk about an Italian dream!
Kathryn McLamb is a writer and photographer on a mission to inspire others to celebrate the everyday. She runs her blog Pineapple Street, and when she’s not plotting her next travel adventure, you can find her wandering the colorful city streets in San Francisco.