With over over 35,000 cities and towns, America is filled with gorgeous surprises, and there are so many cities that exude romance. However, many of these destinations tend to fly a bit under-the-radar, but the truth is, they are simply breathtaking — which makes them ideal for a cozy and intimate weekend escape.
In honor of Valentine's Day, we've picked some of the most romantic and wallet-friendly destinations across the country.
1. Haig Point, Daufuskie Island
This South Carolina island is located between Hilton Head and Savannah, and is easily accessible by ferry or water taxi. With beautiful mansions and a stunning collection of quaint Gullah Homes, Haig Point has a Great Gatsby aura about it. Plus, it's the perfect time to plan your stay, as visitors now have the option to book a luxurious suite at the historic Strachan Mansion; or they can even stay in the two-bedroom guesthouse at the island's famed lighthouse, which dates back to 1873 (but was refurbished in the 1980s). Here, expect quintessential southern charm and hospitality. Rates for Strachan Mansion from $250 per person, per night. Rates for the lighthouse are $425 per night, per person based on 2 guests; $300 per night, per person based on four guests. To reserve, call 800-686-3441.
2. Pasadena, California
One of the earliest cities to be incorporated in Los Angeles County, Pasadena is renown for its annual Tournament of the Roses on New Year's Day, and you may be familiar with their Rose Parade. The city began to grow popular after it became a stop on the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railway at the turn of the 20th century. As a result, more people began to fall in love with the city's charm, and it soon became a not-so-hidden gem. What's more, many movies, including Father of the Bride and Back to the Future have been filmed here. While you're in town, don't skip out on the Pasadena in the Movies bus tour ($35 per person), which will take you around the city's famed buildings, vistas, and residences that have been featured in film and television. If you're looking for something more romantic, check out the Langham Pasadena, which is offering special packages and promotions in honor of Valentine’s Day — one even includes a hot-air balloon ride and a diamond Tiffany bangle, but it'll cost you a whopping $100,000. Rates from $360 per night.
3. New Haven, Connecticut
New Haven is more than just a drive-by college town. Home to arguably the finest thin-crust pizza in the country (you must try it for yourself at Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana) this city has some of the best museums in the world, including the Yale Center for British Art (free admission), which has the largest collection of British artwork outside the United Kingdom. In terms of lodging, consider booking a stay at The Study at Yale, a bespoke hotel in the heart of the campus that happens to feature a fabulous restaurant. Throughout your stay, be sure to take in the views of the surrounding Gothic Revival-style architecture as you snuggle up with your better half. Rates from $249 per night.
4. Madison, Connecticut
This charming town is halfway between Boston and New York City, and is situated on the shoreline of the Long Island Sound. While in town, be sure to explore the downtown area, where you'll find legendary bookstores such as R. J. Julia as well as an array of family-owned boutiques and restaurants. After a romantic stroll, head to the beach for prime sunset viewing with your sweetie. Check in to the picturesque Madison Beach Hotel (a Hilton-owned property), which offers a world-class wine list, oceanfront views, and spacious rooms. Rates from $210 per night.
5. Greenville, South Carolina
Featuring one of the most romantic riverwalks in the country (if not the world), Greenville has quietly been making a name for itself in both the culinary and art spheres. Fun fact: Greenville is home to over 70 pieces of original artwork (which you can view at public places), and has over six performing arts venues. In terms of its food scene, the city features loads of unique and romantic restaurants. While you're here, stop by Passerelle Bistro for a taste of Paris in the south (dinner entrees from $16). And, if you're craving Middle Eastern food, check out Pomegranate, which serves Persian cuisine in a warm and inviting space. Book your stay at the trendy Aloft Downtown Greenville, which will put you at the center of all the action happening in town. Rates from $174 per night.
6. Denver, Colorado
With picture-perfect mountain views, serene lakes, and stunning amphitheaters such as Red Rock, Denver offers visitors many surprises that'll be sure to inspire romance. Here, there are plenty of culinary gems, including the American Grill-style Acorn (large plates from $32) and the Mediterranean-style Rioja (dinner entrees from $19.50), as well as a ton of craft breweries. Book your stay at The Ramble Hotel, which has gorgeous chandeliers, colorful guest rooms, and dreamy bathtubs. The 50-room property also features the only non-New York outpost of Death & Co. (the bar, not the band) in the country. Rates from $219 per night.