The Western US was one of my favorite places to road trip as a couple

12 Most Romantic Road Trips for Couples in the US

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LOOKING FOR ROMANTIC ROAD TRIPS FOR COUPLES?

If you’re wondering what some of the most romantic road trips are for couples in the United States, you’re in the right place! This post covers twelve of the most picturesque and charming road trips to take with your partner! With routes in Minnesota, North Carolina, Florida, and California, you can find a route in this post no matter where you are in the states!

Romantic Road Trips for Couples in the US: An Overview

Before we dive deeper into some of the nitty-gritty details each route offers, here is a general overview of the most romantic road trips for couples we’ll cover today! This post will include information on total mileage, the best time to go, places to stop, and where to stay!

12 Most Romantic American Road Trips for Couples

Now that you’ve got a general sense of some of the road trips we’ll be covering, we can discuss why you might want to choose one of these routes! Let’s get into it!

The Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most romantic road trips for couples in the US

1. Pacific Coast Highway – California

Total Miles: 656 miles 
Best Time To Go: Late Spring – Early Fall

Pacific Coast Highway, also known as State Route 1, follows the majority of the Pacific Coastline in California. It is the second-longest state route in the United States and is arguably the most romantic on the list! This road trip is romantic for its excellent beachline, beautiful mountains, and exemplary treetop views.

Pit Stops

The consensus is that the most scenic section of the Pacific Coast Highway in California is from Los Angeles and San Francisco. Therefore, the places to stop in this post are between those two popular metropolitan areas. Starting from north to south, here are the places that make great pit stops! 

Starting in Los Angeles, some popular destinations are the Santa Monica Pier and the Hollywood Sign. Next, drive up the coast to Santa Barbara, where luxury meets relaxation! We recommend checking out the Funk Zone art district and some of the city’s museums. Once you’ve explored the area, continue driving to San Luis Obispo to see Bubblegum Alley. We also recommend spending some time in Morro Bay. 

Next on the list on this route is Big Sur. This part of the road trip is breathtaking for its redwood forests, dramatic mountains, and dreamy beachlines. Check out some of the natural beauty at Pfeiffer Beach or McWay Falls. After Big Sur, check out Cannery Row in Monterey – a shopping strip with gift shops, unique bars, and fantastic seafood restaurants.

As you continue, consider stopping at the Tide Pools at Half Moon Bay to witness the diverse sea life. You can find numerous spots along the coastline to see for yourself. To conclude this romantic road trip, your trip will end in San Francisco. Of course, you can’t experience San Francisco fully without seeing the Golden Gate Bridge!

Where To Stay

If you’re looking for some recommendations on places to stay, some hotels and inns along this route include:

Route 66

2. Historic Route 66 – Chicago to California

Total Miles: 2,448 miles
Best Time to Go: Late Spring – Early Fall

Historic Route 66 was one of the very first highways in the United States Numbered Highway System and is a fantastic road trip route for couples. There are cultural and historically rich places to stop on this route, so it’s great for couples who love to learn. This route goes between Chicago, Illinois, and Los Angeles, California.

Pit Stops

If you’re in the Midwest and looking for a way to get to the West Coast, look no further than Route 66. Starting in Chicago, Illinois, some top tourist destinations are the Navy Pier, Millennium Park, and Willis Tower. You’ll head south and hit the Gemini Giant in Wilmington, Illinois. It’s a 30-foot statue of a 1960s-era “muffler man” landmark outside the Launching Pad restaurant. Head to Missouri and visit St. Louis before stopping to see the biggest commercial cave in the state – the Meramec Caverns

Now that you’re in Oklahoma, explore Tulsa. The city is known for its art-deco architecture and historical sites. Next up is Pops 66 – a historic diner and gas station landmark with hundreds of sodas to try. Directly west, you’ll enter Amarillo, Texas. Check out Cadillac Ranch – an eccentric public art installation with graffitied Cadillacs half-buried into the landscape. 

After driving through Texas, Albuquerque, New Mexico, is a great place to stop for its modern downtown with fascinating Native American History. After, the Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona is a must-see for the outdoor-loving, national park enthusiasts couples! Continue west into California, where you can find great attractions such as the Hollywood Walk of Fame and Venice Beach.

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    Where To Stay

    There are great places to stay along this 2,400+ mile road trip, but let’s go over some of the best spots en route!

    • Wagon Wheel Motel in Cuba, Missouri, is the oldest continuously operating hotel along Route 66, and this charming motel is within walking distance from some great eateries!
    • The Mayo Hotel in Tulsa, Oklahoma, is a grand hotel standing iconically tall in the middle of the Art Deco district in a prime location!
    • Big Texan Ranch Motel in Armadillo, Texas, is a great place to stay after visiting Cadillac Ranch and gives laid-back vibes with great amenities.
    • The Santa Monica Proper in California is the only luxury lifestyle hotel near Santa Monica Beach with great food, amenities, and customer service in a prime location.

    UP NEXT > 10 Scenic Drives in West Virginia

    Utahs Scenic Byway is in my opinion one of the best national park road trips for couples

    3. Utah’s Scenic Byway 12

    Total Miles: 123 miles
    Best Time to Go: Spring or Fall

    If you’re looking for a road that will take you through some of southern Utah’s most beautiful sites, the Scenic Byway 12 should be your go-to route. It’s a great way to experience some of Utah’s state and national parks. It connects Capitol Reef National Park with Bryce Canyon National Park and offers plenty of outdoor recreation opportunities to enjoy!

    Pit Stops

    The Scenic Byway in Utah is 123 miles long, so it’s on the shorter side for a road trip, but there is plenty to see and do along the way. Starting from the north, you’ll begin your road trip at Capitol Reef National Park. This park is known for its domes, cliffs, and long monocline. The area has phenomenal camping, hiking, scenic drives, and historic orchards. 

    After visiting Capitol Reef, continue south towards Escalante. There are exciting places to explore, starting with the Escalante Petrified Forest State Park. It’s a great camping area for its petrified wood and immense natural reserve. After exploring the state park, head to the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, a beautiful natural landscape where you can hike, fish, and hunt. 

    Follow Highway 12 to your next stop: Kodachrome Basin State Park near Cannonville. This state park displays the red rock structures Utah is known for and has 67 monolithic rock spires. Next up, my personal favorite – Bryce Canyon National Park. This park has fantastic overlooks, intriguing hiking trails, and unlimited photo ops. You’ll finish your road trip in Red Canyon, where there are a handful of trailheads to explore the rusty red hoodoo rock formations.

    Where To Stay

    Here are some places to stay as you experience Utah’s Beauty near some of the parks:

    • The Capitol Reef Resort is at the entrance of Capitol Reef and has different accommodation options to satisfy the type of stay you’re looking for!
    • Escalante Yurts near Kodachrome Basin State Park provides the luxury of a comfortable bed and great amenities with the freedom of camping outside!
    • Bryce Valley Lodging offers charming log cabins for you to stay in on your way into Bryce Canyon National Park, and they’re affordable, too!
    Overseas Highway

    4. The Overseas Highway – Florida

    Total Miles: 113 miles 
    Best Time to Go: Late Fall – early Spring

    The Overseas Highway in Florida is truly a unique take on a road trip as it crosses over 40 bridges over the open water from Key Largo to Key West. It is a romantic trip for couples looking for an oceanside, beachy vacation. Just ensure you’re both comfortable driving over the ocean the entire way!

    Pit Stops

    Since the mileage is so short, you could make this road trip in around two hours. However, we recommend taking it slow to see some fantastic attractions along the way! Starting in Key Largo, begin your vacation by checking out John Pennekamp’s Coral Reef State Park. They offer snorkeling and glass-bottom boat tours! 

    Once you take to the open waters, visit the Rain Barrel Artisan Village to see outdoor sculptures, paintings, pottery, and gifts for purchase. After grabbing some fantastic food, stop at the Dolphin Research Center to watch dolphins and sea lions! Close to the research center is Curry Hammock State Park, where you can take your partner, relax on the beach, and dip your toes in the water.

    Next, stop at the tropical-themed seafood shack Mangrove Mamas. They offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner with immaculate outdoor beach vibes. After getting a bite to eat, you’ll find your way to Key West, the end of your road trip on the Overseas Highway. Make sure to check out the Southernmost Point Monument and Duval Street!

    Where To Stay

    If you’re looking for places to crash, here are some great options: 

    • The Key Largo Bungalows are a charming and cozy accommodation option to consider at the start of your trip. It’s a luxury, all-inclusive, and adult-only resort.
    • The Islander Resort is an ideal place to stay on your journey to Key West in Islamorada. It’s great for couples and families!
    • Opal Key Resort and Marina is an eloquent resort just a block away from Duval Street in Key West and is right on the water! Opals has a sunset deck and outdoor pool.
    The Western US was one of my favorite places to road trip as a couple

    5. Western National Parks – Montana, Wyoming, Utah, Arizona

    Total Miles: 1,209 miles
    Best Time to Go: Fall

    The Western United States undoubtedly offers spectacular scenery, especially in its designated national parks. If you and your partner want to check some national parks off your bucket list while experiencing some breathtaking scenery, this road trip from the northwest to the southwest is a fantastic way to do it. Starting from Montana and making your way down to Arizona, this western national park route covers over 1,200 miles of pure outdoor bliss.

    One of the World’s Seven Natural Wonders Like You’ve Never Experienced It Before

    Pit Stops

    Starting strong, you’ll begin your road trip at the first designated national park in the United States: Yellowstone! Popular attractions include the geyser Old Faithful and Yellowstone Lake. Driving south out of Yellowstone, you’ll enter Grand Teton National Park. We recommend checking out Jenny Lake. You can hike around it, or in the summertime, you can rent a boat to reach the canyon for other spectacular hiking opportunities! 

    Next, you’ll make your way south to Utah, but there’s a long stretch here, so we recommend stopping to explore the city of Salt Lake. Afterward, visit Arches National Park to experience its pinnacles, natural arches, and rock fins. Make the short drive to Canyonlands National Park to see the famous Island in the Sky flat-top mesa!

    Your last stop in Utah is the well-known and loved Zion National Park. If you’re up for a challenge, consider hiking the Narrows! If you’re more of a waterfall type of couple, visit the Emerald Pools. Lastly, you’ll end your trip in Arizona at the Grand Canyon. This national park is famous for its world-class geological history, layered rock, and fantastic overviews.

    For a longer route that goes into California, check out this 11-destination Western US Road Trip next!

    Where To Stay

    Here are places to stay near some of the main attractions:

    • The Brandin’ Iron Inn is a welcoming, family-owned hotel near the entrance to Yellowstone Park in West Yellowstone! It’s great for families and is close to local restaurants and gift shops.
    • The Gonzo Inn in Moab is a unique and chic boutique hotel with condo-style rooms. Each room has its personal touch and is affordable.
    • The Bright Angel Lodge is on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It features log cabins around a lodge with beautiful views overlooking the canyon.
    Blue Ridge Parkway

    6. Blue Ridge Parkway – Virginia, North Carolina

    Total Miles: 469 miles
    Best Time to Go: Late Spring – Early Fall

    The Blue Ridge Parkway is a national parkway in the Appalachian Mountains that goes through Virginia and North Carolina. It’s a romantic road trip because the scenic mountains and sweeping vistas allow you to slow down and enjoy the ride. This scenic drive offers plenty of time to relax in the company of your partner while enjoying some gorgeous views.

    Pit Stops

    The Blue Ridge Parkway begins near Afton, Virginia, and ends in Cherokee, North Carolina. The route has state and national parks, popular destinations, and scenic drives. To start, you’ll explore the magnificent Shenandoah National Park. There is plenty to see here, but the most popular hike is to the top of Old Rag. There is also the Skyline Drive through Shenandoah that you can take for more scenic views on the road. 

    As you continue your road trip, we recommend stopping at some of the towns that catch your eye. Then, stop at Natural Bridge State Park near Lexington, Virginia, to check out the bridge-shaped gorge! Once in North Carolina, stop at Blowing Rock. This landscape gets its name from an overhanging Gorge!

    As you head towards Asheville, stop to see the historic Biltmore Estate. Known as “America’s largest home,” this 8,000-acre estate is a must-see before sightseeing the artsy city of Asheville. End your trip at the Great Smoky Mountain National Park, famous for its diversity of flora and fauna and ancient mountains.

    Where To Stay

    Here are some places to stay in the Blue Ridge Mountains on the parkway.

    Oregons Coast Highway

    7. Oregon’s Coast Highway

    Total Miles: 363 miles
    Best Time to Go: Fall or Winter for wildlife viewing

    US Route 101 is another coastal road trip option spectacular for couples. It goes from the border of California to the Washington state line, showing the entire Pacific coast in Oregon. This road trip features dainty beaches, dunes, dramatic cliffs, and adorable towns.

    Pit Stops

    Starting from the California border, your first stop on the coast is the Samuel Boardman State Scenic Corridor. It’s a breathtaking forested coastal park with outdoor opportunities like hiking and picnicking. On your way to Arch Rock State Park, stop at the Natural Bridges for arguably one of the most beautiful pictures of Oregon’s coast!

    After checking out the overlook at Arch Rock, and hopefully seeing the bioluminescence in the water, head to Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. This spot will take you away from the coast and into a sandy wonderland filled with great hiking, camping, and off-roading opportunities. If you’re willing, go off course for more great scenery at Cape Meares State Scenic Viewpoint and their 1890s lighthouse! 

    After returning to Route 101, head to Ecola State Park near Cannon Beach for its exceptional seven-mile trail with lighthouse views and secluded beaches. If you want to learn what the sealife is like on the Pacific coast, head over to the Seaside Aquarium next in Seaside! 

    The final stop of the trip is Astoria – AKA brewery heaven! To unwind from the long and romantic road trip, stop for a cold one and choose between Buoy Beer, Astoria Brewing, or Fort George Brewery. I told you it was a beer lovers paradise!

    Where To Stay

    If I were to do this road trip, these would be the places I’d want to stay:

    • The Beachfront Inn in Brookings features calming rooms, easy beach access, and a great breakfast!
    • The Hallmark Resort in Newport has beach access, a welcoming atmosphere, and exceptional amenities.
    • Cannery Pier Hotel and Spa is a luxury hotel and spa on the Columbia River with private balconies and complimentary breakfast.
    Beartooth Highway

    8. Beartooth Highway – Montana, Wyoming

    Total Miles: 69 miles
    Best Time to Go: Late May – Late September

    The Beartooth Highway is a motorcyclist’s dream route. It starts in Red Lodge, Montana, dips down into Wyoming, and ends at the entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Even if you drive instead, this “Highway to the Sky” is a short but gorgeous road trip through the Northern Rockies. This road is closed in the winter, so plan your trip in the warmer months!

    Pit Stops

    You’ll start your trip in Red Lodge, Montana, and should plan on exploring this city. Then, continue your journey towards Rock Creek Vista – the first prominent feature on the route! This scenic overlook shows you a great panoramic view of the Beartooth Mountains that you’ll traverse in no time. Have you ever heard of a summer ski area? At Beartooth Basin, you can shred the mountain during the summertime since the mountain is over 10,000 feet in elevation. 

    After skiing or snowboarding, check out the next best overlook – Beartooth Pass! This pass is the highest elevation within the Beartooth Mountains. You won’t want to miss this vista! Continue winding through the beautiful forested mountains until you reach the next stop, the Yellowstone Overlook. There is also a short trail there to look over Yellowstone National Park.

     Before your final destination in Yellowstone, Cooke City is four miles east of the park entrance. You’ll want to get gas here, and if you haven’t eaten, check out one of the few eateries in town! It’s known as one of the smallest towns in Montana. Lastly, you will end in the historic national park that is Yellowstone. This volcanic hot spot is known for its wildlife, geysers, and expansive fields.

    Where To Stay

    Here is where to stay on Beartooth Pass:

    • The Pollard Hotel in Red Lodge, Montana, is close to the city’s dining, shopping, and nightlife. They have exceptional customer service with clean rooms.
    • In Cody, Wyoming, the Chamberlin Inn is a renovated historic hotel with a bar onsite. The Chamberlin Inn offers many different accommodation options within a private courtyard.
    • If you go through Yellowstone, the Hibernation Station Cabins in West Yellowstone are cute log cabins in a great location with friendly staff.
    Kancamagus Highway in WV

    9. Best of New England – Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont

    Total Miles: 629+
    Best Time to Go: Fall

    New England is a special place to visit and is romantic if you go with your loved one. There’s plenty to do, but since the states are small in New England, you can complete a lot in one trip! This road trip covers places to see in Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont, although you could include Massachusetts and New York if you wanted to!

    Pit Stops

    Starting in Maine, you’ll begin in the adorable coastal peninsula of Portland. The Old Port has fantastic shopping and eateries. You should also visit the Portland Head Light lighthouse and Fort Williams Park! You’ll make your way up to Camden, Maine, where you will stop to see its historic district and Opera House before heading to Acadia National Park

    Head west towards New Hampshire. Here, you and your partner will be amazed by the beauty of the White Mountains! You’ll take the scenic Kancamagus Highway near Conway. Plan on stopping at Lower Falls Overlook, Rocky Gorge Scenic Area, and Sabbaday Falls if you’re up for a hike. At the end of the highway, you’ll find yourself in Woodstock. Continue west to hit Vermont.

     Head towards Stowe, Vermont, and drive down the beautiful Vermont Route 100. You’ll want to check out the quaint town of Waterbury, where you can get some delicious ice cream at the Ben and Jerry’s factory. Stop at other adorable cities, including Moretown, before you head home!

    Where To Stay

    Here are a few places to stay in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont:

    • After visiting Acadia National Park, stay at the Acadia Hotel in downtown Bar Harbor!
    • After driving the Kancamagus Highway, stop at Launchpoint Lodge for easy check-in, great ambiance, and a great location in Lincoln.
    • Stop at the Weston Inn in Vermont for a homey and tranquil stay.

    For a 7-Day New England Itinerary, read this post next!

    Road to Death Valley

    10. California to Nevada

    Total Miles: 726
    Best Time to Go: October – April

    While there isn’t necessarily a designated route from California to Nevada, it’s frequently said to be one of the most scenic and romantic road trips you can take. I’m sure it’s because both California and Nevada have spectacular landscapes with endless attractions and exploring to do. This route will cover all the must-see places.

    Pit Stops

    You’ll start in southern California and visit Joshua Tree for an unforgettable desert scene under the stars. Then, head towards the ocean where you can spend a few days discovering the treasures of San Diego. After that, you’ll head to Los Angeles for great entertainment in the metropolitan area! 

    After a few days in the cities, you’ll head north towards the dramatic Death Valley National Park. This national park is known as the land of extremes for the heat and steady drought that the Mohaje desert brings. This national park has an unusual landscape, and I’d recommend sightseeing!

    This road trip truly is the best mix of city and nature exploration because, after Yosemite and Death Valley, you’ll head to Vegas for some fun. Stay as long or as little as you’d like because your next and final destination is Valley of Fire State Park, one of my favorite parks in the US!

    Where To Stay

    Here are a few places you can stay in California and Nevada:

    • Near Joshua Tree, Mojave Sands is a cute lodge with an outdoor patio in a prime location just outside the park!
    • In Yosemite Valley, the Ashwahnee is a classic hotel with artsy decor and high ratings near the national park.
    • There are plenty of places to stay in Vegas, but my family always went for the Luxor – a casino on the strip! It’s not the most luxurious but it’s decently priced.
    As a local Minnesotan, the North Shore Drive sure is one of the most romantic road trips for couples

    11. North Shore Drive – Minnesota

    Total Miles: 154 miles
    Best Time to Go: Spring, summer or fall

    As someone who grew up in Minnesota and went to school in Duluth, I strongly agree that the North Shore Drive is a beautiful road trip to take with your partner. The entire stretch from Canal Park in Duluth to the Canadian Border is full of breathtaking places to stop and take in the views. You’ll get familiar with Lake Superior and what it has to offer.

    Pit Stops

    This scenic drive starts in Duluth, and I might be biased, but I’d recommend spending some time in this eloquent city. Afterward, make your way north past Two Harbor (but stop at Betty’s Pies first) and make your first stop at Gooseberry Falls State Park. Check out the beautiful trail towards the waterfall and the gift shop inside. Then, continue to the Split Rock Lighthouse State Park for panoramic views of Lake Superior. 

    Continue along the route until you reach Silver Bay. Once you’re there, check out the famous Black Sand Beach. It’s a picturesque beach along the shore with the dark-colored sand unique to this road trip. As you continue, you’ll be within the Superior National Forest. The parks in this section include Tettegouche State Park, Temperance River State Park, and Cascade River State Park. All of these parks showcase Minnesota’s northern beauty.

    Consider hopping on the Superior Hiking Trail in one of these regions to experience one of the most utilized trails on the North Shore! You can drive up to the Canadian Border and stop at other destinations en route.

    Where To Stay

    Here are my and my family’s favorite places to stay along the North Shore:

    • In Duluth, consider staying at the Canal Park Lodge for access to downtown and the lake walk.
    • Breezy Point Cabins on Lake Superior are log cabins you can rent and are loved by many for their cozy feel and amenities in Two Harbor.
    • The Bluefin Bay on Lake Superior is in Lutsen, Minnesota, and has high reviews for couples! It’s near Temperance River State Park and is facing the lake.
    St Simons

    12. Golden Isles – Georgia

    Total Miles: 112 miles
    Best Time to Go: Spring & Fall

    Last but certainly not least, we have a beautiful road trip for couples to the Golden Isles in Georgia! The Golden Isles on the Atlantic Coast goes between Savannah and Jacksonville, Florida. It’s specifically known for its beautiful beaches, marshlands, and handful of islands that comprise the area.

    Pit Stops

    Starting in Savannah, this is a destination in and of itself. Spend some time getting to know the southern charm of Georgia before starting your trip! Once you get going, there are plenty of places where you can get off the interstate near the coast to explore. The first place I’d recommend is Fort McAllister State Park. Fort McAllister is a historical Civil War site with oceanside recreation opportunities and camping. 

    From Brunswick, take I-95 to the arguably most famous place in Golden Isles: St. Simons Island! St. Simons is a cute coastal city with great restaurants, island activities, and quaint neighborhoods. Take a detour afterward to the next island – Jekyll Island, off of State Road 520. There are fantastic walking and biking paths to experience the scenery here. 

    Afterward, head to Shellman Bluff. It’s a small fishing village that is both peaceful and picturesque. As you head south, visit Cumberland Island and hike or bike to Safford Beach. Safford Beach is a very secluded and beautiful area that not many visitors know about!

    Where To Stay

    It can be hard to pick where to stay in the Golden Isles because there are many good options! Here are a few worth checking out:

    Image from one of the road trips for couples we took back in 2022

    FAQs: Road Trips for Couples

    Now that we’ve gone over twelve romantic road trips for couples in America, we can dive deeper into some of the most frequently asked questions! Let’s go over them now.

    Are road trips good for couples?

    Road trips are valuable for couples. Experiencing new places together creates lasting memories and allows you to learn more about one another. It’s a great bonding experience and can open your mind individually and in partnership.

    Where is the best place for couples to travel?

    The United States is a fantastic place to road trip as a couple because there are many different places to explore. The West Coast is always a great option, but New England also has fantastic routes. You can find a scenic route essentially anywhere in the US!

    What to do on a road trip with your boyfriend?

    A road trip can be an opportunity to spend time with your partner. You’ll want to collaborate on fun things you’d like to do together. Some ideas include hiking, tours, trying new restaurants, visiting museums and attractions, attending sports games, and more.

    Where can I go on a spontaneous road trip?

    There are road trips anywhere you are! Many states have scenic byways or routes for road trips. Start there, or brainstorm a list of places you’d like to visit and plan your route!

    Photo from one of the road trips we went on for couples

    Wrapping Up: Romantic Road Trips for Couples in the United States

    There you have it! Twelve romantic road trips for couples in the United States! Whether you’re looking to take a week-long road trip or only a few days, you can use these routes to plan a trip for you and your partner. Buckle up and enjoy the open road!