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13 Best Vacation Spots in North America for Couples This Year

When was the last time you and your sweetheart took a vacation, just the two of you? Was it your first babymoon? Maybe it was even further back, during your honeymoon?

You’re long overdue for a vacation for two. The problem is, after years of planning family getaways, you’re so focused on kid-centric locales that you’re eager to find a place to rekindle the romance.

Well, look no further. I’ve specially curated this list of 13 must-visit North American vacation destinations for two.

1. Yellowstone National Park

Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park, USA

The oldest national park in the United States is also one of its most popular, attracting crowds of 3.29 million people in 2022.

Yellowstone features geysers that still burst, including its most famous attraction, Old Faithful. The hot springs, beautiful greenery, deep forests, awe-inspiring canyons, and picturesque rivers are the perfect backdrop for some much-needed time for two.

Perhaps you and the honey plan a winter getaway to Yellowstone. The snowcapped mountains against the white-gray sky are a thing of beauty, like something straight out of a painting. Activities like snowcoaching, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and skiing will keep your days busy.

In the summer, Yellowstone attracts its biggest crowds, but that’s only because this park offers such an enviable selection of activities.

You can tour the thermal basins (from a safe distance, of course), select from almost 1,000 miles of hiking and walking trails, photograph or watch the local wildlife, or go cycling.

Horseback riding for two will be quite the romantic, momentous occasion. You can even have a sweet picnic lunch or dinner on the green grass with the trees rustling lightly around you and the blue sky overhead.

When you and your sweetie pitch a tent and snuggle up together under the stars, you’ll feel a sense of whimsy and wonder you haven’t experienced with just the two of you in so long, making the whole trip worth it. 

2. The Florida Keys, Florida

Key West, Florida

The Florida Keys include a series of tropical islands on an archipelago across the southern part of the state. You’ll feel like you need a passport to visit, but good news – you don’t!

You and your partner can spend your days sunbathing, chatting, and taking a swim, and it’d be a satisfyingly relaxing vacation. However, if you wish to take it beyond that, you have so many options.

Tours abound that will teach you to snorkel or scuba dive. You can have a dolphin excursion, where you might get to touch one of these incredible creatures.

The Florida Keys are home to three of North America’s most idyllic and tropical parks: John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, Bahia Honda State Park, and Dry Tortugas National Park in the Gulf of Mexico.

These parks invite you to splash in the crystal clear waters, plan a snorkeling excursion, take a boating tour, or feel the sea breeze. Campgrounds and campsites across the parks give you a cost-effective place to stay.

If you can bear to spend any time away from the beaches, The Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory features all sorts of free-roaming animals, from flamingos to exotic birds and butterflies.

» MORE: Can You Drive to the Florida Keys?   

The Hemingway Home & Museum is a different type of experience. This museum doubles as the maintained home of famous writer Ernest Hemingway. This is the kind of tour you couldn’t take with the kids without their eyes glazing over, so you can enjoy some adult conversation for once.

You certainly cannot leave the Florida Keys without visiting its Southernmost Point, marked by a famous buoy. You can’t go any further south than here without being in the water, and you’re only 90 miles from Cuba!

3. Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, South Carolina, in the French Quarter

Another great way to experience the South on a vacation for two is by booking it to Charleston. This port city still has antiquities that will delight you to your core, including antebellum homes decorated in pastel hues, cobblestone roads with horse-drawn carriages, and the Battery and French Quarter districts.

Rainbow Row is an excellent opportunity to admire the architecture here, consisting of 13 homes. Each is historic, and the bright blues, pinks, yellows, and greens are beautiful.

» MORE: Road Trip from Atlanta to Charleston

An afternoon visit to the McLeod Plantation Historic Site will teach you and your sweetie the sobering history of this serene part of South Carolina.

You can also catch a food tour while you’re here. These gastronomic experiences will fill your taste buds with the finest drinks and food Charleston has to offer!

The Fort Sumter National Monument is a national historical park with outdoor and indoor activities so you can keep this destination on your trip itinerary regardless of weather.

Indoors, you can stroll through the Fort Sumter Visitor Center museum and meander to the Fort Moultrie Visitor Center museum. On a nice day, plan a ferry ride across to Fort Sumter, a perfect place for birding, scenic viewing, and learning about history.

4. Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia, on River Street

Dream on the picturesque coast of Savannah, a southern state named after the flowing Savannah River.

The architecture here seems ripped straight out of varying centuries and continents. How else can you explain a place like The Cathedral Basilica of St. John the Baptist? This towering church, which looks like it would be at home in Italy, still gives live masses.

You might not always be able to stop inside, but simply marveling at the exterior will give you a scale of its grandiosity.

I also recommend a few hours at the Bonaventure Cemetery. I know this sounds like a terribly morbid suggestion, but this is one of the most beautiful cemeteries on the planet, and it’d be a shame to pass it by while you’re here.

Are you and your honey into history? You’re in luck. Savannah has a tremendous selection of history museums, including the Owens-Thomas House & Slave Quarters, the Mercer-Williams House Museum, the American Prohibition Museum, and the Sorrel Weed House Museum, which also gives ghost tours. 

The Savannah City Market is a lively intersection of art and architecture with merchants, retailers, and food and drink. It’s a great place to take the kids if you visit as a family, but you and your special someone should have just as much enjoyment. 

You can’t leave without getting at least a scoop from Leopold’s Ice Cream. This Savannah staple has served residents since 1919!

Are you wondering where to stay on your vacation? You’re an hour and a half away from one of my favorite couples’ resorts in Georgia, Little St. Simons Island.

» MORE: 10 Best All-Inclusive Resorts for Couples in the U.S.

5. San Francisco, California

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco Bay, California

Get away to sunny California in one of its largest cities, San Francisco. Beloved for its wild surf, beautiful Golden Gate Bridge, and breathtaking waterfronts, there is so much to explore here if you and your sweetie are the kind who love staying on foot.

For instance, there’s San Fran’s Chinatown, one of the better-known of its kind across the country. The alleys and streets feature cocktail bars, souvenir shops, dim sum restaurants, bakeries, and herbalists. It’s always a treat to wander here.

No trip to San Francisco would be complete without a stop at Golden Gate Park. This park has something for everyone, whether you want to ride a bike or Segway and explore on a set of wheels, fish the wide open waters, have a romantic picnic surrounded by seasonal flowers, or see some bison.

Live events happen at the park throughout the year, so check the calendar before your visit, and you just might be in for something extra special.

PIER 39 might be a tourist trap, but is that such a bad thing? This boardwalk has everything you want for a fun time in the sun, including shopping, sailing charters, wildlife viewing by boat, amusement rides, cycling, an aquarium, escape rooms, caricatures, and whale tours. Dining is also available.

This is another great spot to take the kids the next time you’re back!

You and your love can explore Alcatraz Island, reachable by ferry. This is one of the most notorious islands in the world that’s known as the Island of Freedom and the Island of Incarceration. 

Take this time to visit a spot like the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art without one of your kids pulling on your sleeve all day, begging you to go back to your hotel.

6. San Juan, Puerto Rico

San Juan, Puerto Rico

A picture-perfect vacation awaits in San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital. As the island’s biggest city, San Juan has that claim to fame and many others. For instance, Cobblestoned Old San Juan pays homage to the Spanish heritage of this city, with colonial landmarks and architecture, some of which go back to the 16th century.

The Isla Verde resort strip is certainly for adults, as it includes nothing but casinos, nightclubs, and bars. You’ll be glad you left the kids home when you and your partner dress to the nines and dance the night away.

The perfect weather of San Juan makes it a darling spot for lazy beach days. Ocean Park Beach, Playa El Escambron, and Condado Beach are three favorites.

You can go snorkeling, swimming with turtles, or waterfalling. Kayak tours to experience the inflorescences of the water are magical if you and your sweetie can swing it.

Viejo San Juan, aka Old San Juan, has forts from the 1500s to 1700s, including the Castillo San Cristobal and the Castillo San Felipe del Morro.

» MORE: Can You Drive to Puerto Rico from Florida?

7. Napa Valley, California

You’re in wine country now! The Napa Valley, north of San Fran, delivers a completely different kind of California experience. The vineyards that dot the hilly landscapes here are in the hundreds.

You and your honey could spend an entire vacation sipping the many local varieties of wine, and you’d have a fine time doing it! The only culinary delight that rivals the wine in Napa is the food, which is delectable, locally grown, sustainable, nutritious, and tasty.

You can stock up on what you need at the Oxbow Public Market, the home of eateries and food boutiques that will make you salivate.

Get something sweet at Anette’s Chocolates or Kara’s Cupcakes, treat yourself to seafood at the Hog Island Oyster Co, bite into something juicy at Gott’s Roadside, and pair wine with pizza at Live Fire Pizza.

Burn off some calories at the Bothe-Napa Valley State Park. This park is just shy of 2,000 acres. Camping is available if you love it too much and want to stay longer. Park-hoppers can continue to Robert Louis Stevenson State Park.

The winery to end all wineries is the Castello di Amarosa, a literal castle in the heart of Napa Valley. Built in the 14th century with Tuscan design influences, the castle is as authentic inside as outside, crafting a luxury experience you won’t want to miss.

You must make a prior reservation to visit Castello di Amarosa.

8. Scottsdale, Arizona

Scottsdale, Arizona’s waterfront in downtown Scottsdale

Scottsdale is another excellent place in North America to plan a vacation for two. This desert region near Phoenix has plenty of activities the kids would roll their eyes at, but you can delight in, including golfing and spa resorts and facilities.

Events are always happening here, and with guided tours available, you can experience all it has to offer. You can also go off the beaten path and explore it yourselves.

If you do, you might find yourself in Old Town Scottsdale, a neighborhood with modern attractions and amenities, from shopping to dining at award-winning restaurants. 

Hiking on the Gateway Trailhead is an optimal way to experience part of the Scottsdale McDowell Sonoran Preserve, which is about 30,500 acres in all. You’ll get some of the most covetable views of the preserve on this trail.

You can also put on your hiking shoes and plan to ascend Pinnacle Peak at Pinnacle Peak Park, a much smaller 150-acre park with a two-mile trail.

Scottsdale Fashion Square is an entirely different kind of on-foot experience, as you’ll walk from restaurant to shopping center and back again in this fine establishment.

The award-winning Western Spirit is Scottdale’s museum dedicated to the Wild West. Butterfly Wonderland is an immersive rainforest experience with a conservatory for glimpsing many free-fluttering butterfly species. 

9. New York, New York

Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan skyline

New York is a place where magic happens. The city itself consists of five boroughs, with Manhattan the most popular. If you don’t mind a vacation filled to the brim with busy streets no matter the season, this is the spot for you.

You can see such iconic sights in Manhattan as the famed Statue of Liberty, Times Square, and Central Park. A picnic lunch at the latter is great almost no matter the season, although maybe not so much in the winter.

Staten Island will give you an opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of city life (not to mention all that traffic) when you and your sweetie spend an afternoon at the Snug Harbor Cultural Center & Botanical Garden.

» MORE: Road Trip from New York City to Niagara Falls

Prospect Park is a charming spot in Brooklyn, or perhaps you spend a day viewing the art at the Brooklyn Museum.

The Bronx Zoo is one of the most famous in North America; the same can be said for Yankee Stadium, which is also in the Bronx.

Queens has the MoMA PS1 and New York Hall of Science, two places you can tour kid-free so you can soak in all the exhibits you want.

10. Big Sur, California

Get away to the coast with a Big Sur vacation for two. This land from San Simeon to Carmel features the Pacific Ocean to your west and the Santa Lucia Mountains to your east.

You can drive along State Route 1, as you can see the coastline over the mists on a clear day. The seaside cliffs are moderately treacherous to traverse, as they wind suddenly, so drive carefully and slowly if you take this route.

How about some state parks? Big Sur has more than its fair share, including Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park, Garrapata State Park, Limekiln State Park, Point Sur State Historic Park, Carmel River State Beach, and Andrew Molera State Park.

These state parks unlock the keys to adventure, as you can stroll the shorelines, take a dive in the open seas, or sit on the sand and breathe in the fresh, salty air.

The Point Sur Lighthouse is an appealing local attraction just under 25 miles from Monterey. It was built around the 1880s. You can see it best within Point Sur State Historic Park, as that’s where it’s technically located.

11. Fernandina Beach, Florida

Sunrise over Fernandina Beach, Florida

The welcoming city of Fernandina Beach is another Florida spot to consider for your couples’ getaway. This northeastern Florida spot on Amelia Island is isolated yet picturesque, making it an ideal vacation destination.

Get up to speed on all things Amelia Island at the Amelia Island Museum of History. When you finish there, hop aboard a charter boat through Amelia River Cruises and experience the beauty of Beach Creek from your prime seat on the boat.

You can also wander through this island paradise yourselves, including the 300-acre Ron Sapp Egans Creek Greenway, a protected zone (watch out for gators!). Main Beach Park is a beachfront field and skate park with access to the sea.

You should also set aside time to visit the beach at Fort Clinch State Park or the one at Peters Point Park.

The Marlin and Barrel Distillery received the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice 2022 award and is a great place to grab a pint. 

12. Santa Fe, New Mexico

Santa Fe, New Mexico, downtown skyline

The magical town of Santa Fe is so much more than the capital of New Mexico. It’s an ode to Spanish history, as much of its original architecture from the 1600s remains, the Puebloan style fully authentic.

This city offers endless sights for travelers. The Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi is a Catholic cathedral still in operation today.

The Santa Fe Plaza is at the heart of the town, featuring the oldest church in the US. You can see the Georgia O’Keefe Museum and the New Mexico Museum of Art here.

Burro Alley in the Santa Fe Plaza only allows foot traffic. It’s the home to a unique gallery and restaurants. The Lensic Performing Arts Center is an excellent place to see a show or live event. Check the event calendar, as you can always expect something going on.

Cathedral Park is a walkable plaza with optimal views of Santa Fe and vendors selling all sorts of wares you won’t find anywhere else.

» MORE: Colorado vs. New Mexico: Which Vacation Is Better?

Are you still looking for more to do around Santa Fe? But of course! The Santa Fe Farmers’ Market has the best of local agriculture.

I also love Meow Wolf Santa Fe, an immersive art adventure with temporary and permanent exhibits. Kid-friendly (older kids, mind you) but adult enough that you and your sweetie will have fun, Meow Wolf is uniquely Santa Fe.  

13. Aspen, Colorado

Situated in the awe-inspiring Rocky Mountains, Aspen is beloved for its ski resorts, but it’s not like this place becomes a ghost town after the snow thaws. It’s a wonderful spot for an outdoorsy vacation throughout the year.

The boutiques are sure to impress shopaholics, and the fine and casual dining options will satisfy your every craving.

Tours are available to help you see Aspen’s more common or hidden sides, including its historical origins and present-day position.

Aspen Mountain is a must-visit here. It doesn’t get much better in the winter, as you can ride the Silver Queen Gondola to the ski slopes and hit the powder as you descend Bell Mountain.

In the summer, live music, hiking, sightseeing, wildflower strolls, and yoga are some of the activities you and your partner can partake in.

For a change of pace, visit the Aspen Art Museum, founded by artists for artists. The Wheeler Opera House was built in the 1890s and still stands and holds shows to this day. It’s a historically relevant piece of Aspen’s history that’s also highly entertaining.

Aspen Brewing Company is a great spot to visit regardless of season. This beer is made straight from the Elk Mountain Range and tastes even better after a long day of skiing.