The 10 Most Romantic Small Towns in the U.S.
FROM THE EAST TO THE WEST COAST, THESE ARE THE PERFECT PLACES TO ESCAPE WITH THE ONE YOU LOVE.
Sometimes the most romantic getaways are tiny, picturesque towns complete with charming main streets and friendly faces at the helm of quaint bookstores and buzzing cafes. These small, romantic towns are the perfect place to get away from the chaotic noise of big city traffic and commotion and to focus instead on exploring (and canoodling) with your partner. Basically, they're the kind of places that inspire fictional destinations in rom-coms, Hallmark Channel movies, and modern-day romance novels. You'll feel like you're living in your very own feature film in any of the below romantic small towns in the U.S.
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The Most Romantic Getaways in the U.S.
1. Hudson, New York
As the first city to be founded after the United States was formed, Hudson has charmed locals and visitors longer than any other destination on this list. Today, it's considered one of the best options for couples who want to escape the New York City hustle. The small, romantic town boasts a plethora of incredible restaurants, world class art galleries, unique cultural attractions, scenic overlooks, cute boutiques, and charming bed and breakfasts within its compact, two square miles.
"In addition to its excellent house-made pastas, Feast + Floret sells flowers by the stem and bouquet if you want to romance your sweetie," says Carly Fisher, a food and travel journalist and author of Easy Weekend Getaways in the Hudson Valley & Catskills. "Stock up on artisanal cheeses at Talbott & Arding and a bottle at Grapefruit Wines to set up a picnic along the Hudson River at Henry Hudson Riverfront Park."
And if you don't feel like leaving your room at all, Fisher suggests the bespoke historic suites at Wm. Farmer & Sons. "They have deep-soaking tubs and close proximity to the river that are perfect for a staycation."
2. Fairhope, Alabama
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With a name like Fairhope, you know you're in for some real small town romance. Nestled along Mobile Bay in the Gulf of Mexico, Fairhope is a captivating town with true Alabama spirit. It draws in tourists with its panoramic views of the bay, winding bike paths, fresh seafood, and laid-back southern charm.
Enjoy dinner with a view (and your sweetheart) at Sunset Pointe, which is located right off the Fly Creek Marina. You can also rent some bikes dowtown to peep some of the town's stunning historic neighborhoods, cozy up with a novel at the charming Page & Palette bookshop, and hunt for treasures in the town's numerous antique shops.
3. Kennebunkport, Maine
Kennebunkport is located alongside both the scenic Kennebunk River and the Atlantic Ocean. Though laid back and simple, this cozy sea village keeps visitors busy with activities like whale watching, kayaking, fishing, and sailing excursions. Your belly will also enjoy the spectrum of food options, which range from fine dining to independent bakeries and coffee houses.
Enjoy a perfectly curated menu at Earth—which includes house-made pastas, cheeses, and breads—and definitely make sure to drop by Auntie's House Bakery & Chocolate Shop for some freshly baked whoopie pies and gooey chocolate chip cookies.
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4. Cannon Beach, Oregon
Want more seaside charm? Head to Cannon Beach, Oregon, which was named one of the world's 100 most beautiful places by National Geographic. Between its sandy beaches, world-renowned seafood, and local art, there's a 100 percent chance you'll quickly fall in love with this small, romantic town.
While exploring this adorable sea-side village, pencil in some time to walk along its beautiful beaches (you've got four miles of walkable shoreline to choose from!) and make sure to peep the iconic Haystack Rock landmark and its accompanying colorful tide pools. The town also offers lots of shopping and a host of features, including the Cannon Beach Chocolate Cafe and Driftwood Restaurant and Lounge.
5. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Saddle up and head on over to Jackson Hole, a tiny Western town with lots of good energy. You'll be greeted by the town's iconic antler archway and a bustling main street, which will quickly set the mood for your visit. There's no shortage of designer boutiques, art galleries, quaint shops, and restaurants that are all very walkable. Plan to spend at least an entire day just exploring the main part of town because there's lots to discover.
As a bonus, it's located within driving distance of both Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park, so pencil in some time to explore. It's also an excellent destination for people who enjoy hiking, stargazing, and exploring wide open spaces.
6. Amelia Island, Florida
Perhaps Florida's best kept secret, Amelia Island is nestled off the coast of northeast Florida and promises visitors the allure of uncrowded beaches, candy-colored sunsets, farm-to-table cuisine, and welcoming coastal charm. Basically, it's a romantic paradise!
While you're in town, schedule an appointment at one of the town's numerous spas, check out live music at The Boat House or The Salty Pelican, and indulge your foodie senses at one of the town's 90 independent restaurants, which serve everything from international delicacies to local seafood.
7. Breckenridge, Colorado
Calling all winter sport enthusiasts. Located at the base of the handsome Rocky Mountains you'll find Breckenridge, Colorado, which serves up a major dose of cozy ski town vibes. Each of the town's "Five Peaks" has its own set of characteristics, which means you'll be able to explore and discover a diverse range of terrains and wintry adventures. Breckenridge is also known for its National Historic District, Victorian-style homes, local shops, and fine dining. It's a romantic getaway with the authentic charm of a historic mining town.
8. Mendocino, California
If you're keen on hitting a small romantic town on the West coast, Mendocino is a clear winner. Known for its cliffside trails and beaches, this historic northern California town is home to the only oceanfront botanical garden in the United States. It's also home to towering, majestic redwood trees and awe-inducing glass-bottom beaches.
Along with plenty of picturesque scenery, this coastal town features several must-visit museums and cultural centers, including the Kelley House Museum and 19th-century Ford House. There are also some must-hit art galleries and unique eateries, such as the historic Cafe Beaujolais and The Ravens Restaurant at the Stanford Inn, which serves vegan cuisine.
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9. Narrowsburg, New York
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"One of the things about the Catskills is that it's filled with a ton of these tiny little hamlets and Instagram-worthy bed and breakfasts that it's truly tough to choose just one destination," says Fisher. "That said, Narrowsburg is a good spot to settle down for a weekend given its proximity to excellent hiking and the Upper Delaware River, which you can take in from a number of amazing local farm-to-table restaurants." She adds that if you time it right, you can catch the film and book festivals that frequently pop up.
If you're feeling outdoorsy, hit the moderately challenging, three-mile loop Tusten Mountain Trail, then treat yourself with some wood-fired pizzas for lunch at The Laundrette. Fisher says, "Cap off the evening with dinner at The Heron and then it's about a 20-minute drive to The Eldred Preserve, a modern resort with cozy fireplace suites and private woodland terraces."
10. Mackinac Island, Michigan
It's not just the coastal states that bring on small town charm. The Midwest is ripe with towns that give rom-com movie sets a run for their money. Case in point: Mackinac Island, which is located within the Great Lakes. (FYI: It's pronounced "mackinaw.")
The second you step foot onto this car-free island (automobiles have been banned since 1901!), you'll understand how its historic lure and stunning view draw in visitors all year long. Enjoy horse-drawn carriage rides through the small village, cover-worthy sunsets, fine dining, and shopping.