Nothing says romance like the whirlwind of an elopement: packing an overnight bag and heading for an idyllic spot where just a handful of guests will witness your special occasion. And no locale is as ideal as a small town.
PHOTO: Sunset is a special time at Kailua-Kona. (©Peter Liu Photography/Flickr, Creative Commons)Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
For those who love a seaside paradise, Kailua-Kona delivers and then some. This village on the Big Island has colorful coral, boat moorings, reconstructed thatched houses and a former royal vacation home. A pilgrimage to its sunsets should be on all lovers' bucket lists.
PHOTO: Art and nature are top of mind in Old Lyme. (©Samuel Globus/Flickr, Creative Commons)Old Lyme, Connecticut
Dreamers will be swept away by the artful Old Lyme, Connecticut, home to America's first European-style art colony in the 1890s. Wander through galleries, sift through hand-crafted treasures and cut a swath down the federally designated wild and scenic Eight Mile River valley complex.
PHOTO: Explore Victorian splendor in Ferndale. (©mlhradio/Flickr, Creative Commons)Ferndale, California
This town on California's Redwood Coast is full of Victorian charm; it features some of the best-preserved Victorian architecture in the United States and the entire town is on the National Register of Historic Places. Enchanting and quirky, it is rooted in vintage Americana but embraces the modern.
PHOTO: Take photos beneath a tree-shaded canopy in Lake Geneva. (©Oscar Shen/Flickr, Creative Commons)Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
A resort city dotted with Gilded Age mansions, Lake Geneva serves up a postcard picture-perfect background for newlywed bliss. Life here takes on a more relaxed pace; make a day of it on the beach, on the water or on a hike. Take a romantic boat cruise to cap off an unforgettable day.
PHOTO: Kick back under starry, starry nights in Hood River. (©Travel Oregon)Hood River, Oregon
Hood River sits at the crossroads of the Columbia River Gorge and the Cascade Mountain range. Traverse the scenic byways, walk alongside waterfalls hand-in-hand and view the area's stunning landscapes from a unique perspective: the Gorge Beer Trail.
PHOTO: America's oldest city was meant for lovers. (©Will Barnwell)St. Augustine, Florida
St. Augustine, the nation's oldest city, is both relaxed and vibrant. After a day of strolling along the beach, get up above the city. Climb 219 steps for breathtaking views from the lighthouse—built in 1874—and revel in the night air atop one of the many rooftop cafes; come dark, Salt Life Cafe is gloriously bathed in blue.
PHOTO: Greenough started the trend of glamping as we know it. (©Ranch Seeker/Flickr, Creative Commons)Greenough, Montana
A wide range of Big Sky Country experiences come together in Greenough. It's home to the wide-open spaces of Glacier National Park and Garnet Ghost Town. For a true ranch vacation, sleep underneath the stars in luxury tent at The Resort at Paws Up, the company that introduced the world to glamping.
PHOTO: Spend some quality time in a canoe on Lake Leatherwood. (©Eureka Springs CAPA)Eureka Springs, Arkansas
This Victorian town in the heart of the Ozarks abounds with rustic experiences. Discover cozy restaurants for candlelit dinners then stay in a cottage, cabin or B&B. Launch a canoe on the spring-fed Lake Leatherwood. You can even take a romantic cave journey underground and pan for your own gemstones.
PHOTO: Catch a classic at the Utah Shakespeare Festival. (©Karl Hugh/Utah Shakespeare Festival 2017)Cedar City, Utah
Who better than the Bard to get your passions flowing? Whether it's love, murder, deceit, pure joy or a combination of all these, the Utah Shakespeare Festival has something for all couples. But that's only the tip of Cedar City's charms. A visit to Cedar Breaks National Monument and Brian Head are musts; the rugged Kolob Canyons are also a short drive away.
PHOTO: Make the most of Texas Hill Country in Fredericksburg. (©Fredericksburg)Fredericksburg, Texas
Fredericksburg is in the heart of Texas Hill Country and is known for its wineries. Those who visit at the end of summer should take part in a wine stomp, although events are plentiful year-round. Fredericksburg takes pride in its German heritage; imbue yourselves in its rich past when visiting settlers' homesteads and the quaint town square.
PHOTO: Drive down Blue Ridge Parkway for an interlude at Skinny Dip Falls. (©Visit NC)Weaverville, North Carolina
As a sleepy mountain town, Weaverville is just 15 minutes from Blue Ridge Parkway; get in the car to visit the Craggy Mountains and Mount Mitchell. Stop along the way for an interlude at Skinny Dip Falls and for a fragrant afternoon take a visit to the Blue Ridge Dayliliesgarden.
This story by Jennifer McKee first appeared on WhereTraveler.com.
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