USA's most romantic destinations
Hollywood isn’t the only stateside destination that knows how to whip up a love story for the ages – we’ve handpicked a list of spots that set the scene for romance.*
Expect ivory-white sands and gnarled trees on Carmel's beaches
Otherwise known as Carmel-by-the-Sea, this poetically-pretty little town has been home to a unique population of artists since the turn of the century. And with one look at its scenery, it’s easy to see why; simmering waves wash over ivory-white sands, gnarled trees wrestle with gentle winds on the shore, and wooded enclaves curl around the bay. In Carmel itself, there’s a toytown feel to the architecture – half-timbered homes with thatched roofs line the streets, as do small bakeries, cafés and tea rooms, all outfitted with pinstriped awnings and hanging flower baskets. Spend a romantic night at the luxurious Carmel Country Inn.
Montauk, New York
Take in the crushed orange horizon from Montauk Lighthouse
The lesser-known, more downtempo sibling to the Hamptons, Montauk is a sleepy beach town perched on the eastern edge of Long Island. Though its popularity peaks in the summer, it’s the shoulder seasons that reveal its simple charm. By day, head into town and you’ll catch local fisherman ambling along, filling local bars with a gentle murmur. By night, its long stretches of empty sands are often dotted with impromptu bonfires and storytelling sessions. For the truly nostalgic and romantic, a walk to the Montauk Lighthouse at sunset will gift you with unblemished views of the crushed orange horizon. Keep the ocean views going when you stay at Sunrise Guest House.
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Autumn's an ideal time to visit Eureka Springs' and its burnt orange foliage
Hidden in one of the Ozark’s forested valleys is Eureka Springs – a jumble of Victorian buildings nicknamed both ‘The Magic City’ and the ‘Stairstep Town’. There’s a distinct look and feel here, where Victorian buildings curl around the steep hills the town is built on, all decorated with balconies painted turquoise and lemon. Autumn is an ideal time to visit, when the burnt orange foliage shrouds the town in a fiery canopy, and beneath it the Thorncrown Chapel bells toll. In the spirit of love and artistry, pay a visit to the town’s rainbow staircase, a mural covering a set of gray concrete steps with myriad hues. The town is known for its distinct architecture, so stay at Cliff Cottage Inn – a country home with a hint of Sabrina the Teenage Witch to it.
Forsyth Park is one of the many secluded spots in Savannah
Georgia’s oldest city, Savannah is an age-old romantic at heart. A renaissance of architectural restoration has allowed the city’s heritage beauty to shine, and it’s well worth simply strolling through town in order to appreciate this in full. Antebellum mansions give the town its regal and grandiose feel, while Spanish moss trees drape over walkways creating leafy, secluded avenues, such as in Forsyth Park, where an atmosphere for intimacy and privacy lingers on. Wander down Jones’ Street (considered to be Savannah’s prettiest street) and pay a visit to one of the many antique stores, ending the day with a little Lowcountry cuisine at The Olde Pink House. The Catherine Ward House Inn is nearby and right in the middle of the historic district.
Newport, Rhode Island
Try the 3.5 mile Cliff Walk past colonial-era mansions
Clinging to the edges of the Ocean State, Newport is a handsome, colonial town, primed for romantic weekends away. Grand mansions stud the coastline while sailboats drift lazily past, while in town, locals feast on fresh oysters at the harbourfront. It’s a quintessentially New England scene but Newport distinguishes itself by blending activity and rest into its offerings. One of its signature charms is the Cliff Walk; a 3.5-mile hike past towering colonial-era mansions, accompanied by wistful, panoramic ocean views. The sea breeze is known to work up a thirst, and there are few better options than Gurney’s Resort and Marina, where you’re guaranteed a spectacular sunset. Then head to Bouchard Inn & Restaurant for a French-inspired dinner and a restful night’s sleep.
**These destinations were picked based on endorsements for ‘romance’ in the USA, according to global travellers.