Want to whisk away your significant other this winter? Good call. Here are some picturesque romantic cities in the US where sparks are sure to fly.
Looking for romantic cities for a winter getaway? We’ve done the research, trawled the reviews, and come up with a set of locations that are sure to get your heart racing. Put simply, our algorithm analyzed reviews on TripAdvisor, identifying the city destinations with the highest percentage of reviews mentioning romance. From sunny Santa Barbara to beautiful Boston, we’ve got your winter travel as a couple all wrapped up.
There are a mix of climates here, so your winter break could involve sunning yourself on the sands or snowboarding down a mountain. Your next big decision is where you’re going to stay. TripAdvisor Rentals has plenty of couple-friendly private rental options to choose from, from cozy one-bedroom apartments to luxurious cabins complete with gardens and star-spotting porches. The best part—whatever style you book, it’s just for the two of you.
Read on for our pick of some of the best US city destinations for romantic winter trips. And once you decide on a destination, you can book all your tours, activities, and attraction tickets right on TripAdvisor, too. Our new 24-hour cancellation policy means you can pre-book activities before arriving, but still have the flexibility to cancel if your itinerary changes.
“Everything was perfect. From the location in a quiet neighborhood, to the well-equipped and lovely home (and that’s what it felt like–home), it made our stay even more memorable. We look forward to coming back again and will recommend it to anyone wanting a special place to stay in Santa Fe.” — TripAdvisor Reviewer
Santa Fe is a little bit magical, with its impressive adobe facades and its artisanal chocolate and coffee houses. This artsy city hosts tons of cultural events so there’s always something going on. Don’t miss the Palace of the Governors, the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum, the culinary, artistic, and historical tours, and why not shoehorn in a massage at the Ten Thousand Waves Spa?
Stately Newport is known for its handsome mansions, its harbor full of upscale yachts, and its sweeping Atlantic views. It draws sailing enthusiasts (boat tours available), architecture fans, and those in search of a romantic stay in truly lovely surroundings. It’s particularly pretty in winter when it’s all lit up for Christmas. Be sure to take the 3.5-mile Cliff Walk to appreciate the panoramic sea views and spectacular coastal architecture.
Santa Barbara, also known as the American Riviera, makes a sunny winter travel destination. It’s got the lot: wide sandy beaches, white painted frontages topped with distinctive red roof tiles, plus high-end shopping and dining options. Rent a bike to pedal up and down the lovely waterfront, or discover the shoreline on a private kayaking tour before catching a romantic sunset from Butterfly Beach.
“The river was only feet away from the front door. Every morning we took our coffee to the river and would sit for hours. Ducks would float by and come visit us. Even an elk decided to make his way up the road. The place was really clean, the beds were comfortable and the cabin really quiet.” — TripAdvisor Reviewer
Here, you don’t have to stray far from the center to find a romantic spot. Just off Elkhorn Avenue, you’ll find the Estes Park’ Riverwalk, a lovely spot complete with shady nooks, benches, and outdoor sculptures. Take off into the Rocky Mountain National Park for snowshoeing or skiing surrounded by stellar views. Finish up back in town with a Swedish massage and a spa soak for two. Early riser? You might like this private morning safari tour offering a glimpse of yellow-bellied Marmots, Bighorn Sheep, and more.
First stop in Asheville should be the elegant Biltmore House and gardens, where the two of you can tour at your leisure. Towards Christmas time, you can step up the romance with a festive candlelit evening here. Nearby Craggy Gardens is a popular spot for hiking and incredible mountain views. In town, there’s a great live music scene to enjoy with a drink at the end of the day, plus all sorts of tailored tours to choose from.
With its horse-drawn carriages clip-clopping through the town and historic homes everywhere you look, it’s clear to see why Charleston has made this list of the most romantic cities in the US. This port city has it all: gardens, beaches, excellent restaurants, and charming shops packed with souvenirs to take home. Why not top it all off on a walking tour or romantic boating adventure.
One of the main draws in San Antonio is its set of stunning 18th-century Spanish missions, now UNESCO-rated attractions and the perfect place to enjoy some quiet time out together. For a bit more buzz, follow the San Antonio River Walk and discover this romantic city at your own pace, stepping through arches, under trees, and past shops and restaurants alive with people. You can also explore parts of the River Walk and surrounding landmarks as part of a guided tour.
With antebellum architecture, city squares draped in Spanish moss, and an intimate dining scene, it’s no surprise that Savannah makes the cut as one of the most romantic cities in America. Kick off your tour of Savannah’s cobbled streets in a horse-drawn carriage, on a gentle riverboat cruise, or simply with a stroll. This pretty city is perfect for walkers, peppered with landscaped parks to rest in, and boasts mild weather ideal for winter travel. And there are so many guided tours of Savannah you’ll be spoiled for choice. And just 20 minutes’ drive away is the beach at Tybee Island—look out for the bottle-nosed dolphins!
Grab your snorkel—you’re off to Key West. Here you can fish, swim with dolphins, glide over gleaming shoals of multi-colored fish on a glass-bottomed boat—everything you need for a romantic getaway with a tropical flavor. Take a perch together in Mallory Square to watch the sun go down, then dine on ocean-fresh seafood at Nine One Five restaurant. No matter how you spend your time, Key West brings the heat to any couples’ winter travel plans.
This desert city has a lot to offer vacationing couples. Whether you’re hot air ballooning over a desert landscape studded with cacti, walking the halls of the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, or touring the Old Town by Segway, this place won’t disappoint. Set out to sample fine cocktails and wines at the end of a day of sightseeing.
“The apartment was spotlessly clean on our arrival and fully stocked with everything required for a week’s vacation. The apartment is also within walking distance of all that Philadelphia has to offer. We would certainly stay here again if we return to Philly.” — TripAdvisor Reviewer
Every Philly adventure should start at Reading Terminal Market—maybe with a roast pork sandwich from DiNic’s or a whoopie pie from the Flying Monkey. Once you’re fueled up, you can tick off the big sights, such as the Liberty Bell, and the Barnes Foundation, with its impressionist art collection. The Valley Forge National Historical Park is good for military history buffs, but also has some scenic trails and picnic spots popular with couples. The manicured gardens and huge fountain at Longwood provide another romantic setting. To catch all the big sights and get the local lowdown try a walking tour.
A Denver winter can be very romantic indeed: skating hand in hand on the Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park, lingering under the mistletoe at Denver Botanic Gardens, watching the ‘Blossoms of Light’ display twinkling around the grounds. Alternatively, you can take off into the Colorado Rockies on your skis or book a private tour of the city or surrounding foothills.
This beachy destination is just the ticket for a romantic coastal break. You can trail down a canal on a gondola, sun yourselves on a palm-fringed beach, paddle in the freshwater lagoon at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park, or book a romantic riverboat cruise. Get a taste of the good life seeing the boats and luxury homes of Millionaires’ Row, or set off on a wildlife tour of the Everglades.
“This guest house was truly beyond my expectations! Upon arrival I was graciously greeted by the owner/hostess, Nina. All of the photos and descriptions were exactly as stated and then some. The sunrise and view from the hills was spectacular! The guest house was clean, neat, and decorated in very good taste.” — TripAdvisor Reviewer
There are plenty of romantic activities in Austin: a picnic on Mount Bonnell, a swan pedal boat ride on Lady Bird Lake, or a cycle tour with Barton Springs Bike Rental. When the sun goes down, get yourself a front row seat at a blues or country show and let this city show you what it’s all about. For something a little different, combine biking and bats with this unique evening tour or set off on a super-tasty wine and barbecue experience.
Our final romantic cities recommendation is Boston. Whether you’re uncovering the streets and boutiques of pretty Beacon Hill, visiting the world-class art museums, strolling in the orderly city parks, or sharing a box of North End cannoli, this place makes a romantic retreat that’s nothing short of wonderful. If you want to see all the main sights, buy a Go Boston Card for reduced entry and save your extra cash for a candlelit dinner instead.
Methodology: Our algorithm analyzed every single review on TripAdvisor, identifying which city spots had the highest percentage of romantic-oriented reviews.