Make your relationship stronger than ever by traveling! Well, maybe not specifically travel, but shared experiences.
“Romantic partners who experience a stronger sense of shared reality feel closer and more committed to their partner and feel that they have ‘merged minds.’ Further, once romantic couples have established a strong sense of shared reality, they are motivated to uphold and protect it” (PsyPost).
This Valentine’s weekend, we wanted to offer some places to travel across the country to satisfy a variety of interests—because all couples are different!
Star-gazers, nature lovers, or just really big fans of The Shining will love Estes Park, CO. The Estes Park Memorial Observatory hosts group lectures for astronomy, cosmology, and astrophotography and offers group events for astronomical events! When your neck is tired of looking up, look down to see the view while in the Rocky Mountains.
Another great nature spot is Park City, Utah. Between boating, fishing, and paddling in the warmer season and skiing and snowboarding in the winter, you can work up a sweat any time of year! The added perk of this spot is that it’s only 30 minutes from Salt Lake City, Utah—one of the top ten cities for live music in the US! According to google analysis, residents trend #1 across ALL genres in SLC, with more venues per capita than most cities and lower ticket prices.
For the couple that enjoys experiencing more quirky and charming stops, drive up the Oregon Coast line! Not just jam packed full of abundant nature, but this 363 mile coast line is full of unique museums like the Tillamook Air Museum, Camp 18 Museum, Whale, Sea Life and Shark Museum (that also has its own Air BNB underneath), and the Oregon Film Museum: a must-see for Goonies fans!
For a natural wonder with a touch of history, check out Antelope Canyon in Arizona. Located in the Navajo Nation, take a tour to see it for yourself. This one is something that can only really be described with a photo:
Speaking of history, head across the country to the city settled in the 1600’s, Portland, Maine. From sailboats to lighthouses, this city is known for a warehouse district that has been transformed into an entire brewery district!
Though it isn’t close, another far northern city in the US that is perfect for couples is Mackinac Island, MI on Lake Huron. Cars aren’t allowed on this 80% nature and hiking trail town, making it the perfect getaway for the pair that wants to experience something truly different from their every day lives.
Our little bonus outside the connected US had to be included because if there’s one thing I know a couple needs on occasion, it’s a getaway where you really get away from everyone. If that’s what you’d like to do, then hello, Borealis Basecamp, AK (slightly north of Fairbanks). Stargazing in a sauna in the Arctic wilderness? Now that’s a getaway.
Now that we’re halfway through our list, let’s move to the lower half of the United States and warm up with the complete opposite of a getaway with a “get into” in Las Vegas. Maybe not the first thought for a “romantic” trip, but when it comes to having new experiences, Vegas is known for perpetually having new shows of all kinds! Take a hotel tour, fly over the city in a helicopter or a hot air balloon, and try any of the myriads of buffets for something different every mealtime.
Ha Ha Tonka isn’t just a laugh and a toy truck—it’s a fascinating park in Missouri with bridges, caves, and a scenic lake. The local lore and story behind the stone ruins of a castle built on a bluff give this place an air of mystery!
Speaking of mystery, if you checked out our Haunted Roadtrip, you remember Savannah,
Georgia. Not only known for the stunning beauty of Spanish moss and historical buildings, but rumor also has it that this entire city is haunted. Don’t just stay in a haunted hotel: check out all 37 of Savannah’s most haunted locations! Our cover image is also of Savannah: if that enticed you to click, then it speaks for itself!
Now a confession: I’ve saved my personal favorite for last—New Orleans, LA. Everyone says that the best spots are the French Quarter, and sure! The food, bars, nightlife, live music, local artwork, and everyone dressed to the 9’s—there’s always something new to see, taste, and experience in New Orleans. Plus, with so much history, it also satisfies the ghost-hunting couple! The city is so much more than the French Quarter, though, and the best food is often found in the little spot that caught your eye on the way back to your hotel.
Whatever you do this Valentine’s day weekend, remember that it’s all about love: for each other, yourself, and the wonderful world we live in and get to experience—so take advantage of having new experiences! For those of you traveling, remember to stay safe, and we’ll keep guiding the way. _________________________________________________________________________
Here's a bird's eye view of all the locations mentioned:
Here's one if we include Alaska and the bird is in space: