Valentine’s Day is right around the corner and, of course, you want to pull out all the stops for your true love. But this year, instead of candy or flowers, treat your Valentine to a romantic road trip. Road trips have all the ingredients for memories that last a lifetime — a new shared adventure, the possibility of spontaneous pit-stops and best of all, quality time together.
Whether you have just a few days or all the time in the world to spend with your sweetheart, here are three impossibly romantic road trips sure to make this Valentine’s Day the one to beat.
Before You Go
There’s nothing romantic about your car breaking down a day into your road trip. So before you hit the road, make sure your vehicle is in good shape. If you haven’t had a tune-up in a while, stop by your local mechanic to get your brakes, fluids and tire tread checked.
If your itinerary is ambitious and you plan to clock a lot of miles, consider purchasing touring tires, which are specifically made to provide a quiet, comfortable ride. And just in case something does happen, keep a kit with a flashlight, flares, water, jumper cables, portable phone charger and a blanket in the car at all times.
1. Las Vegas to Zion National Park
This trip will take you from the center of opulence through the desert to the peak of simple natural wonder. Start in Las Vegas with a stay at the modern Rumor Boutique Hotel. Grab dinner and a drink by the romantic fire pit on the patio at the Barrymore before taking in a show or testing your luck at the craps table. When you’ve had your fill of Sin City, hop in the car for the relatively quick 244-mile trip to beautiful Zion National Park.
Upon arrival, check into the charmingly rustic Zion Lodge, the only lodging inside the park. Suites feature a sitting room, wet bar, king-size bed and porch. You’ll be steps from all the canyon activities, which include hiking or biking at lower elevations and snow-shoeing on the peaks. If you have time, explore other parks in the area like Bryce Canyon National Park, Cedar Breaks National Monument and the Grand Canyon’s South Rim.
2. Miami to Key West
February is the perfect time to visit South Florida — and the trip from Miami to Key West is another relatively short drive that you’ll want to stretch to really capture the magic of the Keys. Start off your romantic trip with a stop at John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park on Key Largo to go snorkeling, followed by seafood at the famous Alabama Jack’s.
Drive 30 miles south to the village of Islamorada to stay the night in a cottage at Moorings Village and watch the sunset on their private white sand beach. Spend the next day moseying southward toward Key West, with a stop for a picnic and swim in the impossibly clear waters of Bahia Honda Key on the south end of the famous Seven Mile Bridge. Once in Key West, stay at the charming 27-room Marquesa Hotel in the historic district and don’t miss breakfast on the porch at La Creperie.
3. Burlington, Vermont to Jackson, New Hampshire
Curl up with your valentine in front of a room-side fire at The Essex Resort & Spa in Burlington, Vermont. While there, you’ll be hard-pressed to think of a more romantic start to your Valentine’s Day getaway. Grab brunch at Pingala Café and then explore Burlington’s South End Arts District before hitting the road to ski in Stowe, Vermont.
After a day on the slopes, be share a pint or two at Doc Ponds. From Stowe, take your time driving two and half hours through the White Mountains to the charming town of Jackson, New Hampshire. Book the Romance package at the Christmas Farm Inn and Spa, which will provide you with a two-night stay with breakfast, $100 toward spa treatments and a bottle of champagne in your room.