When it comes to travel destinations, there are some places that you’d only visit with your squad for a bachelorette party, those that are more family-oriented, and others that scream “there’s going to be multiple surprise engagements at dinner.” You might think that going to Vegas just isn’t the same without your girls or that jetting off to Italy without your partner isn’t that you had in mind, but you’re forgetting something: Rules are dumb!
Go clubbing with your significant other. Take your girls on that Tuscany trip you’ve been dreaming about. Or even consider hopping on a plane solo for the travel experience that gets you out of your comfort zone. (Related: How to Travel Alone Safely Right Now)
Now that your script is flipped, you can reimagine what it means to search for the best travel spots for couples. Sure, there’s a time and a place for romance (lots of options for that mushy stuff below), but sometimes the best way to connect with someone you love is by doing something scary, adventurous, or just entirely new together. Below, you’ll find some great options for couples’ travel destinations within the U.S. for foodies, wellness gurus, outdoor enthusiasts, and yes, even you old-school romantics.
Hawaii consistently ranks as one of the top destinations for honeymooners — in fact, it’s the number one pick for the best honeymoon destinations of 2021, according to The Knot — and for good reason. Lush landscapes, seaside dining, and water experiences are abundant on all eight of its islands. However, if you had to choose just one, the island of Maui is a no-brainer choice as the best vacation spot for couples… no honeymooning required.
When deciding where to stay, it doesn’t get much better than Hotel Wailea, the only luxury, adult-only resort in Hawaii. Yep, you can say it: That means no screaming kids at the pool. If that doesn’t breathe a sigh of relief into your vacation, all the unique qualities at the Relais & Châteaux resort will. (ICYDK, a Relais & Châteaux label indicates a property is part of the growing association of individually owned luxury hotels and restaurants. And let’s just say, not everyone gets into this exclusive club.) Notable is its intimate, exclusive vibe thanks to its location 300 feet above sea level, guaranteeing unobstructed views of three Hawaiian islands. Check out the property’s open-air fitness studio and The Restaurant at Hotel Wailea between naps in your poolside cabana or beach lounge chair and before your sunset sailing experience. The popularity of Hawaii as a destination for couples is starting to make a lot more sense now right?
North of New York City’s concrete jungle is a vacation spot for couples that’s just as much NY as is The Big Apple. The Catskills region, with its hiking trails, orchards, wineries, breweries, and farmland, feels like a world away but is a drivable distance for many northeast city dwellers and suburbanites alike.
Spend time hiking Kaaterskill Falls — one of the most popular trails with multiple scenic waterfalls to view along the way — then visit one of the many breweries for a well-earned beverage. Couples who check into Urban Cowboy can sink into the clawfoot tubs next to windows offering panoramic views of the mountains from their rooms. Every suite is uniquely designed with its own take or urban cowboy charm, and each has a private deck and cozy Pendleton robes.
While there are some standout locations within its boundaries (find some inspiration below), literally anywhere in the state of Wyoming could be considered the best vacation spot for couples who want to unplug from the grind of daily life. With a little more than 581,000 residents, Wyoming earns the spot as the least populated state in America, so you won’t have to worry about running into anyone you know — heck, even anyone at all if you don’t want to — while on vacation. (Related: Secluded Vacation Ideas for When You “Just Can’t” with People Anymore)
And if you think you’ll have to “rough it” out in “the middle of nowhere,” you’ll be surprised to learn there are some incredible, luxury — and still entirely authentic — ranches to call home out West. Magee Homestead, the adults-only Relais & Châteaux option within the Brush Creek Ranch Collection of properties, offers an all-inclusive experience featuring adventures such as horseback riding, fly fishing, ATVing, rock climbing — and a spa, of course. But the real draw is the sunsets across the vast open land with horses and other animals running free in the distance. Add a cocktail in hand, and it becomes a truly pinch-me kind of scene to witness.
For the duo who plans their itinerary entirely on where to eat, it doesn’t get any better than Charleston, South Carolina. Every foodie tour should include a visit to the original outpost of Husk for farm-to-table, elevated southern cooking downtown. Next, stop for local raw bar bites at The Darling Oyster Bar on Upper King St., dig into unbeatable pimento cheese biscuits at one of many locations of Callie’s Hot Little Biscuit, and eat the best fried chicken of your life at Leon’s. Lastly, no trip to Charleston would be complete without a sampling of all the best barbecue joints across town, each with their own unique take on southern classics — check out Lewis Barbecue, Rodney Scott BBQ, and Melvin’s BBQ, among others.
To be clear, Charleston makes the list of the best vacation spots for couples for more reasons than its grub. With three beaches within 30 minutes of downtown, more breweries than you can count, and historical provenance galore, there’s something for everyone in this charming place. Stay awhile and book an Airbnb or grab a room at the centrally located Hotel Bennett overlooking Marion Square at the heart of town.
When you drank one too many glasses of your new favorite red blend — AFAF, how can you not over-drink in wine country? — let your head hit the pillow at Chateau de Vie, an elegant B&B with only a handful of guest rooms, so you can feel like you have the place all to yourselves. If you’re looking for brand-name luxury, another great choice is Solage, part of the Auberge Resorts Collection of Resorts, where suites and studios all have their own outdoor patio, so you can take in the stunning vineyard sunsets.
For the partners who are looking to reconnect with one another as they reconnect with nature — cliché or not, science backs up the power of green spaces — the Berkshires, a mountainous region in western Massachusetts, is the place to be. Two and a half hours due west of Boston, this rural region offers endless hikes, water activities (think fishing and canoeing in nearby rivers, and kayaking and boating on its many lakes), and next-level relaxation.
Redefine what you think vacation is with a truly customized wellness experience at Miraval Berkshires, an adults-only resort in the heart of New England nature. (Are you sensing an adults-only theme with these picks for the best vacation spots for couples? Family road trips have their place, but these destinations serve a different purpose.)
Enjoy fitness, yoga, and meditation classes as well as lectures from in-house wellness experts, a slew of spa treatment options, and three different pools to dip into as many times as your heart desires. (Next: Wellness Retreats That Are Worth Every Penny)