25 of America's Best Small Towns for Romantic Weekend Getaways

Flowers and chocolates don't even compare to these beautiful destinations.

small town valentines day
Getty ImagesDennis Welsh

Romance is just about everywhere if you're searching for it—especially right around Valentine's Day. Nebraska has towns called Cupid and Valentine. Illinois has Fidelity and Louisiana has Eros. There are places called Darling in Mississippi, Lovely in Kentucky, Venus in Florida, and both Colorado and Idaho boast regions called Sugar City. Although the following 25 small towns may not have an obvious name, they're perfect for a romantic getaway on February 14.

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1 Bar Harbor, ME
Bar Harbor,Acadia National Park,Maine
Getty ImagesPeter Unger

As the home of the absolutely beautiful , is ideal for couples who are craving a bit of adventure. Of course, all that hiking and exploring can be tiring, so you'll need to take some time to unwind. We suggest scheduling an afternoon at , the perfect place to "relax and rejuvenate," . You can then take your R&R to the next level with a glass—or two—of vino at .

2 Saugatuck, MI
Old Lighthouse on Lake Kalamazoo, Saugatuck, West Michigan, USA
Getty ImagesDanita Delimont

Situated right on the coast of , this town has a little something for every lover. To begin, book your romantic getaway at , or as , the "best kept secret in Southwest Michigan." Next, grab a memorable meal at and be sure to spend some time at the beautiful . Cheers!

3 Telluride, CO
Telluride, Colorado, USA
Getty ImagesNorbert Eisele-Hein

" is just eight blocks wide and twelve blocks long," , but that makes this Colorado paradise ideal for an intimate trip. It might be on the smaller side, but there's still plenty to do, including skiing, snowboarding, and sledding on the gorgeous mountains. If you want something a little more low-key, take a trip on the free gondola ride to get a bird's-eye-view of the stunning scenery.

4 Eureka Springs, AR
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Getty ImagesJeremyMasonMcGraw.com

Attention all dessert lovers: If you have a serious sweet tooth, this stunning southern town is definitely your spot. hosts an annual Chocolate Lovers Festival, which falls on Saturday, February 16 this year. The five-hour event "includes vendors who showcase and promote their products while offering chocolate samples to attendees from organic and household brand names to select boutique labels," . We're already drooling.

5 Whitefish, MT
Morning sunrise clouds over hay shed, Whitefish, Montana, USA
Getty ImagesDanita Delimont

Cupid will need to bundle up for Valentine's Day in this . The picturesque gateway to is so romantic that ABC's long-running series The Bachelor filmed an episode here! Start by spending time outside with a horse-drawn sleigh ride or an afternoon on the ski slopes, but in the evening, take your travels to the lively downtown area. You can warm right up with live music or theater, craft beer, or a locally sourced steak.

6 Provincetown, MA
USA, Massachusetts, Cape Cod, Provincetown, Race Point Beach, Old life-saving station
Getty ImagesWalter Bibikow

The quiet winter months are an ideal time to visit Provincetown. B&Bs abound in Cape Cod's northernmost city, but few are as distinctive or thoughtfully designed as local favorite . The former home of storied mariner captain Eben Snow, the inn's main brick structure is one of only three of its kind in Provincetown still standing from the late 18th century. Breakfast is considerably more delicious than typical sailors' fare and changes with the seasons; hearty winter dishes include Chai Baked Oatmeal and Spiced Apple Chicken Sausage Frittata. Spend your days strolling the empty beaches or visiting local galleries and shops.

7 Berlin, MD
Downtown scene of Berlin; Berlin, Maryland, United States of America
Getty ImagesDesign Pics Inc

The beauty of , a small town on the eastern shore of Maryland, has not been lost on Hollywood: Two romantic films, Runaway Bride and Tuck Everlasting were filmed here. Making your own cinematic magic here is easy. A window shopping stroll along Main Street—two- and three-story brick buildings house upscale boutiques, bakeries, cafes, and antique shops—will transport you to a time before chain stores and malls. Enjoy an off-season walk with your sweetheart along the shoreline in nearby Assateague, where wild ponies (looking adorably pudgy in their winter coats) calmly roam the dunes.

8 Pigeon Forge, TN
Old Mill in Pigeon Forge
Getty ImagesRichard Cummins

Dolly Parton, who wrote and crooned I Will Always Love You, clearly knows a bit about romance. In Dolly's bustling Smoky Mountains enclave, Valentine's Day can be celebrated at the (buy your sweetheart a necklace modeled on Rose's Heart of the Ocean), or with an adventure of your own, like a hot pursuit through the followed by a cozy evening by the fire in a .

9 Amelia Island, FL
View of Beach against a blue sky with clouds
Getty Imagescopyright Dan Reynolds Photography

No Miami glitz here, Amelia Island is a kinder, gentler Florida with grand dame Victorian mansions, 13 miles of lovely beaches, horse-drawn carriage rides and a sense of old-fashioned courtly romance. It wasn't always so wholesome, though— was such a haven for pirates that at two points during the 19th century, they claimed the island as their own, flying the skull-and-crossbones flag over the objections of the local Spanish territorial government.

10 Kennebunkport, ME
View of Kennebunkport, Maine from The Nonantum Resort.
Getty ImagesSura Ark

Not content to heap all the fun Valentine's Day bounty on the 14th, this coastal burg in southern Maine keeps the heat on all February long with a series of events called . Local restaurants serve "red plate specials;" shops in town hold "red tag specials;" there are red-wine tastings, sleigh rides, Latin dance parties, poetry readings—all of which illustrate how Kennebunkport dares to call itself New England's Most Romantic Town.

11 Summerville, SC
Lowcountry Pond
Getty ImagesGlenn Ross Images

Is there any sweeter place to spend February 14 than the very place where sweet tea was invented?! Just a 20-minute drive from , is home to the world's largest Mason jar of sweet tea. , the vessel can hold a whopping 2,524 gallons of tea!

12 Hershey, PA
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The heart-shaped box of chocolates is a Valentine's Day standard, right? Hershey, where all those Kisses originate, is the place to sweet-talk your honey all month long, when the town holds , a series of dinners, tastings, and 'labs' where participating scientists design their own sweet pleasures.

13 Berkeley Springs, WV
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Jon Dawson/Flickr Creative Commons

Enjoy the decadent sensation of soaking in the warm springs waters of , a natural spa that's been around so long that George Washington bathed here. Couples can share a Roman bath, a 4-foot deep tiled tub in a private bathing chamber at Berkeley Springs State Park's lovely .

14 Paris, Texas
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Nancy I'm Gonna Snap!/Flickr Creative Commons

Paris, France is synonymous with romance. Distant cousin captures a little of the magic of the City of Lights with its 60-foot Eiffel Tower (the real thing is 984 feet tall, for comparison) topped with a red cowboy hat, lending Gustave Eiffel's original design an oil derrick edge. This east Texas town offers lovebirds terrific vintage shopping, and, to really get the heart thumping, a six-mile bike and hike path, the Trail de Paris.

15 Madison, IN
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With winery visits, antique shopping, and romantic strolls along the Ohio River, this Midwestern town makes Valentine's Day relaxed and easy. The walkable downtown is a veritable showcase of 133 buildings listed on the National Historic Register of Historic Places, so the hilly streets are packed with architectural interest and charm to spare.

16 New Iberia, LA
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  • Hot chilis have long been considered an aphrodisiac so where better to ignite some fiery passion than at the home of America's most famous hot sauce, Tabasco? In February, the focus in New Iberia, Louisiana, is mostly on Mardi Gras, but come February 14, the spotlight turns to love. Visitors can take a in nearby Avery Island and visit the gardens on the grounds (keep an eye out for alligators!), then stock up on the hot stuff at the Tabasco Country Store. Top it off with a little antebellum romance by touring the gracious plantation house .
17 Cape May, NJ
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Forget any associations you may have with Snooki and the Jersey Shore cast, this charming Victorian town will win you over to the quiet life at the southern tip of these barrier islands. takes Valentine's Day seriously: Local hotels, restaurants and shops conspire to offer breakfasts in bed, wine tastings, handmade chocolate treats and more. The celebrations extend a few days beyond the holiday, too, in case you want to linger longer in the bliss.

18 Cambria, CA
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Big Sur may be right up the rugged Pacific coast from this seaside village but you won't trip over a Silicon Valley mogul meditating here. Real people live here, along with a lot of sea otters, tidepools on Moonstone Beach and whales visible offshore. But the real Valentine's Day draw is up on the hill: , the magnificent American palace, fit for a king and queen.

19 Seneca Falls, NY
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The unusual depth of the keeps the winter temperatures of the upstate New York region relatively mild (relatively means you'll still have to dress warmly!), so not only can you frolic outside in February, you can enjoy good local wines, too. Charming historic Seneca Falls is widely believed to have inspired Bedford Falls, the town in the classic film It's a Wonderful Life, so for fans of George and Mary's enduring romance, this town's a perfect Valentine's Day destination.

20 Truth or Consequences, NM
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If you reach back past its gimmicky name, you may discover the secret to T or C (as the locals call it): This artsy small town used to go by the name of Hot Springs. These days you can soak with your sweetie in natural hot springs at any of ten different bathhouses in town, from rustic-chic riverside pools to more private in-room soaking tubs. When you're all relaxed, hit the walkable downtown for gallery browsing and catch a movie at the neon-dreamy or head to the desert to tour Sir Richard Branson's nearby Spaceport America.

21 Snoqualmie, WA
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Courtesy of Salish Lodge

A waterfall is a pretty good metaphor for falling in love. You know, a long dramatic cascade of wild frothing water dropping finally into a deep, welcoming pool. Spectacular Snoqualmie Falls (which played a starring role on the seminal TV series Twin Peaks) does that metaphor one better: the falls are thought by local indigenous tribes to have been the sacred site of the creation of man and woman. Consider that possibility as you snuggle fireside at the , balanced right at the edge of the falls or in the treetops at nearby .

22 Bissbee, AZ
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If your romantic compass veers toward the Wild West—with its desert landscapes, wild animals, and plain-spoken folks—Bisbee, a former copper mining town in southern Arizona, may be just the place for your Valentine's Day getaway. Saloons may have been replaced by brewpubs serving craft beers and small-batch bourbons, and the storefronts in the cowboy-Victorian streets now house art galleries, cafes, and shops, but Bisbee still holds a rugged air of Western romance. Take the and join the annual chocolate tasting, but make time for a walk in the red-gold desert hills before sunset.

23 Willimantic, CT
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Winter Caplanson/ctfoodandfarm.com

Each February, this former mill town (in the midst of a downtown revival) holds a Cupid Contest to honor the citizen who has shown the most love to the community. Sweet as Valentine's Day candy, right? Romantic Willimantic isn't done with the civic love—the town also holds an annual on the weekend of Valentine's Day that culminates in an evening cabaret of love songs.

24 Lambertville, NJ
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The Garden State isn't exactly known for romance, but this small-town stunner on the Delaware River has all the trappings of a great couple's getaway. The cute downtown is chockablock with art galleries, antique shops, and coffee shops on the ground floors of restored Federal-style townhouses. If treasure-hunting at the Golden Nugget flea market isn't your style, maybe an easy bike ride along the riverside path would hit Cupid's mark.

25 Ajo, AZ
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Purpose-built for happiness by town planners, sleepy Ajo is laid out with wide streets and a spacious town plaza surrounded by whitewashed Spanish colonial revival buildings and churches... and one stoplight. Don't come expecting a buzzy scene: this small town in the Sonoran Desert is mainly known as the gateway to , a pristine desert preserve, and hotspot for birders and nature-lovers who think hiking is a romantic activity.

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