U.S. News and World Report has released its list of the ten best destinations for couples who are looking to experience a true romantic getaway, but this time at a more affordable price. As one might expect, all of these getaways are in North America. Here is the list of the Best Cheap Romantic Getaways, and some ideas for each location to make the getaway a romantic one:
10. Montréal, Quebec, Canada
The multifaceted Canadian city takes the number 10 spot. A romantic getaway in Montréal takes full advantage of the city’s blend of Old and New World cultures. Couples can begin their experience along the ancient cobblestone streets of Vieux-Montréal, visiting historic cathedrals and museums. As the sun sets, the city’s robust nightlife suffuses the streets, particularly the Rue St. Denis, where couples can party until dawn.
9. Kennebunkport, Maine
This southern-coastal beach town captures the sea-centric serenity of Cape Cod or Martha’s Vineyard at a much more affordable price point. Couples here can really “get away from it all” along the miles of rugged shoreline with only the occasional summer home or sailboat to mark the scene. After lounging at the beach, pairs can visit the open-air cafes on the wharves of Dock Square to experience fresh lobster and seafood, as well as local art galleries.
8. Monterey, California
Monterey’s luxury homes and world-class golf courses, like Pebble Beach, while romantic unto themselves, are expensive. Couples who love to golf need not look further, but even the most budget-savvy pair can find a romantic getaway between the northern tourist area and the wealthy Carmel-by-the-Sea to the south. One can enjoy romantic oceanfront scenery and outdoor activities in Point Lobos State Natural Reserve before experiencing the town’s tight-knit, laid-back California vibe along Cannery Row and Old Fisherman’s Wharf.
7. Sanibel Island, Florida
Only at Sanibel Island do romantic seclusion and affordability go hand in hand. This island offshoot of Fort Myers makes its shabby-chic galleries, restaurants and shops of Periwinkle Way available to couples looking for somewhere quaint to get away. There are many rental properties and B&Bs to lodge affordably and have a romantic breakfast in bed. Another necessary experience is to join various beachcombers in the “Sanibel stoop—“ what the locals call shelling along the spot’s white sandy beaches.
6. Santa Fe, New Mexico
The colorful and vibrant desert city is ideal for artsy and art-loving couples. Galleries containing the works of Georgia O’Keeffe, Peter Hurd and Miro Kenarov (to name a few) line Canyon Road alongside a number of small boutique shops. Couples can appreciate the city’s unusual blend of history, art and the outdoors, visiting Gothic cathedrals amid 16th century Spanish architecture, trying its spicy chili pepper-infused cuisine and exploring the lively surrounding desert landscape. It is also more than likely there will be a festival celebrating some aspect of this quirky city couples can join in on for free.
5. Asheville, North Carolina
Once couples save their money choosing a bed-and-breakfast over a luxury resort, the quaint mountain town, outdoorsman’s retreat, bluegrass home and beer city welcomes couples. Outdoorsy couples should take a hike to get a panoramic vista of the fall foliage along the Appalachian Trail and Blue Ridge Parkway. Epicureans can sample the city’s eclectic restaurant and brewery scene while culture hounds can wander through the River Arts District.
4. Cannon Beach, Oregon
Couples headed to Cannon Beach escape the more expensive, touristy destinations of the Pacific Northwest at this nature and beach destination 80 miles west of Portland. At this quiet spot, couples can stroll through (pleasantly) isolated beaches at sunset, spot tufted puffins on Haystack Rock or watch gray whales migrate right from the shoreline.
3. Sedona, Arizona
The iconic, jagged landscape of Red Rock State Park ought to be enough to draw adventurous duos, who can hike and bike the park’s many trails. There are also a number of affordable all-inclusive resorts providing couples massages and hot tub soaks in the desert locale. Sedona nowadays is also becoming home to a number of artists, filmmakers and spiritualists. Try visiting in the fall or winter to escape crowds and higher prices.
2. Portland, Maine
The second Maine destination on this list has everything imagined in a quintessential Maine vacation experience, like lobster rolls, quaint maritime atmosphere and scenic coasts complete with old-world lighthouses, but this hipster haven has so much more to offer. With a population of only 66,000, couples can escape crowds to explore the city’s historic Old Port and museums before sampling the city’s highly-underrated culinary scene. James Beard Award-winning restaurants dot the downtown area and there are a number of breweries to tour and taste, like the acclaimed Allagash Brewing Company.
1. Savannah, Georgia
The “Hostess City of the South” simultaneously embodies and reinvents the preconceived atmosphere of a southern getaway. Couples here can stroll under Spanish moss at Forsyth Park, relax on the beach at Tybee Island, or even explore creepy, ancient graveyards in this historic city—all for free. Forrest Gump was filmed here, and it is here that any couple can find their “box of chocolates” among the Southern-fried restaurants, famous museums and burgeoning art scene.