Sometimes you just need to get away, and since one is the loneliest number, a romantic road trip with your significant other could prove to be the perfect mini vacation. Romantic tastes vary, but you can’t go wrong with sunsets, ocean views and time spent in nature, coupled with delectable meals and cozy retreats. Fortunately, the Northeast has an abundance of regions that check all of these boxes and more.
From the northern coastline of Maine to the southern tip of New Jersey, here are some of the most swoon-worthy romantic road trips in the Northeast.
You’d go to the ends of the earth for your loved one, but you don’t need to go quite that far for this romantic road trip. Just get to the end of Massachusetts, then jump on a ferry and set sail for an island vacation, Northeast style. Nantucket may not be as well-known Martha’s Vineyard, but this neighboring plot of land has all the appeal but a fraction of the crowds. Take a romantic stroll along Sconset Bluff Walk, dig in to a toes-in-the-sand dinner at Galley Beach or enjoy a sunset cruise around the island.
The Hudson Valley
There are few Northeast locations more picturesque than New York’s Hudson Valley, a region stretching 150 miles along the Hudson Valley from Westchester to Albany. Nearly every turn brings breathtaking views, but some of the best are had at elevated perches, such as Poughkeepsie’s Walkway Over the Hudson or the top of Breakneck Ridge in Hudson Highlands State Park Preserve. Closer to sea level, the Innisfree Garden and Poets’ Walk Park are perfect spots for a romantic stroll. If the way to your heart is through your stomach, reserve a table at Blue Hill at Stone Barns. The Five Diamond farm-to-table eatery is also the state’s only Michelin-starred restaurant outside of New York City.
Get away from the hustle and bustle by taking a romantic road trip back to a simpler time. Connecticut’s coastline is dotted with quaint, historic towns perfect for a quiet getaway. Mystic, Old Saybrook, Guilford, Madison and Old Lyme are just a few of the charming villages nestled along the Long Island Sound. Each is home to enough attractions to keep you and your significant other busy for a day. The area is also teeming with romantic bed-and-breakfasts should you want to extend your stay.
Newport and Narragansett
If it’s a seaside stroll you and your significant other are after, you’ll find none better than the Cliff Walk in Newport. Not only does the 3.5-mile paved path give you a front-row seat to the coast’s crashing waves, it also guides you past the historic Gilded Age Mansions Newport is so well-known for. But that’s just the start of this waterfront destination’s appeal. There are museums, wineries and much, much more.
When you’re done touring the city, take a quick drive over the Newport Bridge and down Route 1A to the town of Narragansett. Here you’ll find beaches aplenty, along with porched-lined bed-and-breakfast spots where you can put your feet up and allow the ocean breeze to wash over you.
Wave-splashed cliffs, historical lighthouses, panoramic ocean views – every inch of Maine’s coastline looks like it was pulled from the canvas of a painting. The seaside towns dotted along the way, from Kennebunkport and Portland to Freeport and Camden, are just as charming and filled with countless attractions to keep you busy. (Don’t forget to stop for a lobster roll or two.)
Wander up the coastline until you and your one and only reach the Northeast’s one and only National Park. Not only does Acadia contain some of the country’s most scenic drives, its home to Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the East Coast. Wake up early and trek to the summit for a particularly special experience: From October 7 to March 6, Cadillac Mountain is the first place in the country you can see the sun rise.
At the southern tip of New Jersey, you’ll find picturesque Cape May. The town has been a popular seaside destination for visitors dating back to the 18th century, so you know there’s something special about it. Cape May is a perfect year-round vacation spot for couples, as it offers something for everyone (or every pair). There are outdoor activities like parasailing and whale watching, luxurious spas to relax and unwind, and museums, galleries and live theater for the art aficionados. One particularly popular – and romantic – thing to do is take a ferry cruise along New Jersey’s southern coastline.
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