Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton is a beautiful National Park in Wyoming and perfect for a cheap romantic getaway. This amazing NP offers an abundance of wildlife, pristine lakes, of course, the imposing Teton Range. There are no less than eight peaks in this majestic mountain chain that are over 11.000ft high, with Grand Teton being the tallest one at 13770ft.
This extraordinary park attracts fewer crowds than neighboring Yellowstone but has plenty to offer. Grand Teton is perfect for hiking and there are many trails suitable for any fitness level. You can opt for a 1-2 hike such as the Taggart Lake Trail or a strenuous 2-day hike to Hurricane Pass.
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What’s more, a visit to Grand Teton National Park can be very cheap if you plan it well. Before you enter the park, stock up on groceries at the supermarket so you can cook your own meals instead of eating at the cozy but expensive lodges.
The entrance fee for the park is $35.00 for a private vehicle, however, if you already have the National Parks Pass it’s free. Bring camp gear and pitch a tent at one of the campgrounds for just $30-$36 per night. Alternatively, find a cheap Airbnb.
By Lotte from Beste voor Kids
Lake Placid, New York
Tucked away in the Adirondack region of northern New York is Lake Placid, the site of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. It’s also a cozy little town where outdoorsy couples can enjoy a cheap, romantic getaway in the United States.
So, when you’re not sitting in your room at the Brookside Motor Inn, you can take a stroll through the center of town and admire all of the charming, log-cabin style eateries and souvenir shops that line the main thoroughfare.
Next, take a picturesque stroll around Mirror Lake and enjoy some of the sweeping, panoramic views of the Adirondack Mountains. Afterward, enjoy a fun game of mini-golf at Boots and Birdies, followed by a pint of your favorite local draft beer at the well-priced, Lake Placid Pub and Brewery.
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And if you’re looking for a bit more hgh energy fun, you can always go for a brisk hike up Whiteface Mountain or savor some stunning, sunrise views from atop nearby Mount Marcy, the highest peak in all of New York state.
Although, if you and your partner have a keen interest in history, you could always visit the John Brown Farm State Historic Site. Once there, you can learn all about the home and final resting place of abolitionist John Brown, enjoy a nice picnic lunch, and take a scenic stroll along one of the area’s many beautiful trails.
By: Kelly of Girl with the Passport
El Paso, Texas
El Paso doesn’t have the same glamour associated with it as other Texas cities but it has a lot to offer for adventurous couples. It’s also half the cost of more well-known destinations, so you can splurge on a five-star hotel for a three-star price.
The compact downtown also makes it easy to enjoy your evenings out with dinner and drinks, no driving required if you walk or take the old-fashioned streetcar.
Spend your days touring the El Paso Art Museum or Chihuahuan Desert Garden. For more of a challenge, tackle one of the many outdoor things to do in El Paso, like biking in McKelligon Canyon or day-tripping to Guadalupe Mountains National Park. Once you’re back in the city, you can enjoy a romantic sunset together from the overlooks on Transmountain Road and a celebratory beer on the patio at DeadBeach Brewery.
By Becky, SightDOING
Asheville, North Carolina
A great affordable weekend getaway is the artsy mountain town of Asheville, NC. Renowned for being the place to go for foodies and craft beer lovers, the city is also a fantastic weekend choice for couples who want time to rejuvenate in nature.
Skip the overpriced hotels in downtown Asheville, and find yourself a stylish and economical Airbnb in Asheville that will be half the price. Some great neighborhoods to stay in are West Asheville, The Montford District, and the nearby town of Black Mountain.
Some fun, cheap things to do in Asheville are driving out to see one of the hundreds of waterfalls that reside in Pisgah National Forest. You can visit Looking Glass Falls, a stunning waterfall that can be viewed from a lookout along the road. Or you can opt for Moore Cove; a 1.5 miles walk leads you to a beautiful waterfall that’s particularly adventurous because you can walk behind the falls.
If you’re an art-loving couple, a great thing to do is check out the River Arts District. What was once a dilapidated section of Asheville is now a creative hub where 200 artists live and showcase their work.
If you want to get a taste for Asheville’s happening food scene but don’t want to burn a hole through your wallet, make sure to check out White Duck Taco for the funkiest tacos around and 9 Mile for Caribbean inspired cuisine with a modern twist.
By Christina, Live A Wilder Life
Yosemite National Park
When you are looking for a cheap weekend getaway in the USA for couples, you cannot skip Yosemite from your bucket list. The breathtaking views of the Sierra Nevada mountains, magnificent waterfalls, scenic hiking trails, picturesque valleys, and pristine lakes made this National Park one of the most romantic places in the United States for couples.
You may think that Yosemite could break your bank, but if you research well in advance, it’s very possible to visit Yosemite on a budget. From the gorgeous rock formation to lively waterfalls, and picturesque meadows, Yosemite offers endless natural beauty to its visitors.
The best time to visit Yosemite National Park is from May to September when most of the park is accessible and the temperature is pleasant. But if you are looking for a cheap weekend getaway, I will recommend visiting Yosemite in winter (November to February) when you see the least crowd and find some amazing deals on flight and hotel booking.
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Yosemite is such a great place that can be visited at any time of the year. Surprisingly, if you are driving your own car, you’ll find a good number of free things to do in Yosemite. The most popular sightseeing is Tunnel View which offers jaw-dropping views of majestic Yosemite Valley. You shouldn’t miss taking a couple of selfies with splendid Half Dome and gorgeous El Capitan in the background.
Another popular viewpoint in Yosemite National Park is Glacier Point which is about a 1-hour drive from the Valley Floor. Enjoy the fantastic panoramic views of Half Dome, Nevada Falls, and Yosemite Valley together.
Adventure loving couples must go for the Lower Yosemite Falls hike and Mist trail. Lower Yosemite Falls drops from 320 feet and it is very easy to hike, whereas, at Mist trail you have to climb up 600 steps of rocky staircase to get the breathtaking view from a distance.
By Trijit from BudgetTravelBuff
Kansas City, Missouri
A great weekend getaway for couples on a budget is Kansas City, Missouri. There are a lot of fun things to do in Kansas City, many of which are free! And although it is a big city, Kansas City has a small town feel, giving it a lot of charm and appeal.
If you’re an art lover, head over to the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. It’s free and has amazing pieces, both inside and on its grounds. Other free attractions include the Money Museum inside the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City and the Hallmark Visitors Center.
Union Station is also a popular stop. Inside is a science center, planetarium, extreme screen theater, and traveling exhibits. However, if you don’t have the budget for any of these, we still recommend visiting. The architecture and detail inside the station is gorgeous and you could wander around inside with your honey while enjoying some coffee.
We think the most romantic thing to do, though, is spend time walking along the river at Country Club Plaza. There are brightly lit up shops and restaurants as well as ornate fountains and sculptures. But the best part is the river. There are walking paths and bridges that are perfect for spending time together.
By Vicky, Buddy The Traveling Monkey
Red Rock Canyon, Nevada
Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area is a spectacularly beautiful park approximately 35 minutes drive from the Las Vegas strip. It is a very easy drive mostly on the highway, is inexpensive to enjoy, and offers endless trails to hike and be awash in nature.
Red Rock Canyon lies in Nevada’s Mojave Desert. Accordingly, it is filled with beige sand, green cacti and enormous red sandstone and brown limestone peaks.
If you are staying at one of the hotels on the Las Vegas strip, rental cars are easy to find and cheap to rent, even at the last minute. The park costs $15 to bring in a vehicle, or $5.00 per person. You can park your car outside Red Rock Canyon and walk in, but I would not recommend that. There is a gorgeous 13 mile one way scenic drive through the park which you will want to take to not only see everything, but also to access all of the hiking trails.
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Red Rock Canyon is a lovely way to spend time together and also enjoy beautiful sites and an amazing easy, medium or hard hike, which you prefer. One of the most interesting things to see while there are ancient petroglyphs carved into the rocks by prehistoric people.
By Nicole, Go Far Grow Close
Zion National Park
If you’re looking for a magical outdoor destination, Zion National Park is the perfect cheap weekend getaway for an adventurous couple. Located in southwestern Utah, Zion sits at the junction of the Mojave Desert, Colorado Plateau, and Great Basin, creating a unique landscape that will take your breath away. You’ll encounter epic sandstone cliffs, canyons, mesas, towers, and hoodoos as you wander around the park.
While hikings trails abound in Zion, the Angels Landing hike is the ultimate must-do during your weekend getaway. This iconic hike offers spectacular views of the surroundings, but it is definitely a little scary. Near the summit, the trail narrows significantly, and you’ll need to watch your footing and hold onto chains to steady your body and your nerves. But reaching the summit is an exhilarating accomplishment!
After you explore during the day, you can spend a romantic night under the stars in Zion. Tent campsites are quite affordable at only $20 a night. If you can’t snag a campsite, you can also find cheap accomodations in St. George, the town closest to the park. The fee to enter the park is $20 per person or $35 per vehicle, but that gives you access for an entire week. There is also a $1 shuttle service from the south entrance to popular points around the park during the busy season. And the memories you’ll make in Zion National Park are truly priceless!
By Allison, She Dreams of Alpine
Hudson Valley, New York
The Hudson River Valley, north of New York City, is the perfect place for a cheap weekend getaway for couples. There are plenty of Airbnbs in the area that are inexpensive places to stay. The Hudson Valley area has loads of great hiking trails that are free or cheap to access. Some areas like Minnewaska State Park cost $10/ vehicle, but many places are free.
On the east side of the river there are several large Gilded Age mansions and other historic homes that provide house tours for a small fee, but the grounds are completely free. Walking through wooded lanes down to the river’s edge or to viewpoints overlooking the river and the Catskill Mountains is incredibly romantic. Highlights include Vanderbilt Mansion, Staatsburgh State Historic Site and Locust Grove.
There are also wineries and cider houses where you wander through the vines or apple orchards then sample their wines or ciders. Some, like Brooklyn Cider House (in New Paltz, not Brooklyn) serve wood-fire pizza next to the orchards along with their cider. You can also spend time exploring the antique shops in Hudson, visiting historic stone houses in New Paltz and Hurley, and enjoying the restaurants down by the Kingston waterfront.
This is the perfect place for a weekend getaway that won’t break the bank.
By James, Travel Collecting
Couples who love art, history, outdoor fun, and hip neighborhoods should book a budget weekend getaway to Washington DC. The nation’s capital is full of unique things to do, and most of them are completely free.
Couples can explore an amazing collection of Smithsonian Museums, watch animals play at the National Zoo, or catch the sunrise from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, all without spending a dime. If the museums are closed you can still visit the free outdoor memorials and gardens that line the National Mall.
Spring is one of the most romantic times for a DC getaway when the famous Washington DC cherry blossoms are in bloom. Look for a boutique hotel offering cherry blossom specials, or book outside the city in Virginia and take the Metro in. If you visit the Tidal Basin early or late in the day you can enjoy the blossoms and monuments without the crowds. June and July are also nice in DC as school groups are gone and the weather is usually mild.
To keep expenses down, skip the trendy restaurants and head to DC neighborhoods for iconic finds like Ben’s Chili Bowl on U Street. When you’re ready for a nature break, hit the trails in Rock Creek Park. Or head to the Virginia side of the Potomac River for a walk or ride on the Mount Vernon Trail.
By Julie, Fun in Fairfax VA
One of the best places for couples to visit in the USA is Niagara Falls. This is a great romantic getaway with mesmerizing views of the colossal falls and sheer natural beauty.
Niagara Falls consists of three falls – the American falls, Bridal Veil and the Horseshoe falls. The falls are straddled between US and Canada and both sides have its advantages.
In the US, they can be accessed through the Niagara Falls State Park. There are many things to do in Niagara Falls and the best way to experience the beauty is to walk around the State Park. The spectacular views of the water gushing down, and the rainbows made by the mist. It is a delight to watch the falls even in the night when they are illuminated with a medley of colors.
There are many activities that are ticketed that let you experience the falls up close. The most popular are the Maid of the Mist and the Cave of the Winds. Maid of the Mist is the iconic boat ride that goes deep into the gorge close to the Horseshoe Falls. The mist flying from the falls, the might of the water, the nature’s wonder leaves you awestruck. It is so romantic to be able to watch this and get drenched in this mist.
Niagara region is famous for its wineries, so spend a romantic evening with glasses of wine to end a beautiful day.
By Neha, Travelmelodies
Big Sur, California
Big Sur is one of the most beautiful areas of California. It’s a great destination for a couple’s getaway on a budget, because the best things to do in Big Sur are free! Cruising along the Pacific Coast Highway and soaking in the scenery are some of the best ways to enjoy this area.
The region of Big Sur is located in Central California – about 5 hours from Los Angeles, or 3 hours from San Francisco. There are a few hotels and campgrounds in Big Sur to choose from. However, if your trip is more last-minute and lodging in Big Sur is booked up, you can always find an affordable Airbnb or hotel in neighboring towns of Carmel-by-the-Sea or Monterey.
During your weekend in Big Sur, you definitely can’t miss the Bixby Bridge. This bridge (that you might know from HBO’s Big Little Lies) has one of the most iconic views of Big Sur and makes for a great photo-op!
Another amazing spot is McWay Falls. After following a half-mile trail, you’ll reach an overlook where you can view the falls cascading over the cliff onto the sandy ground below. It’s truly breath-taking! As the sun starts to set, enjoy a romantic picnic at Pfeiffer Beach. Check out this Big Sur itinerary for the full list of the best things to do on your weekend getaway.
By Lauren, Ready, Set PTO
Savannah is known for being a fun destination for couples, thanks to its charming B&Bs, incredible restaurants, and an ever-expanding list of romantic things to do.
If you’re considering a getaway, the first step is to decide the best time of year to visit. Spring is the most popular season, thanks to all of the beautiful azaleas in bloom, but fall and the weeks surrounding Christmas are also really magical.
A few free date ideas include strolling hand-in-hand through the Historic District to see the city’s beautiful squares and mansions, catching a sunset while enjoying the musicians and giant cargo ships along River Street, or having a romantic picnic near the Forsyth Park fountain.
If you prefer to check out the restaurant scene, The Olde Pink House and Elizabeth’s on 37th are two classic date-night destinations. For a nightcap, head to Peacock Lounge for a speakeasy type of vibe or opt for one of the city’s many rooftop bars.
Finally, it’s practically a Savannah tradition for couples to get spooked on a late-night ghost tour. Did you know it’s considered one of the most haunted cities in the US? If you’re really brave, you can even try staying in a haunted B&B in Savannah! That’ll make you snuggle a little closer to your partner. (In all seriousness, Savannah’s bed and breakfasts are incredibly beautiful and are known more for their Southern hospitality than their “spirits”, so it’s all in good fun!)
By Erin, Savannah First-Timer’s Guide
Springfield is the state capital of Illinois and the home of Abraham Lincoln, the nation’s 16th president. Noted American poet Vachel Lindsay was born and died hereand the cituy has been named in DK Travel’s 20 of America’s most underrated towns and also one of the best cities to live in due to the low rate of crime.
As the city is full of museums such as Lincoln’s early days home, and the Capitol, it is perfect for couples who are much interested in history and politics. The museums and library show you a glimpse of Lincoln’s life and how he became President. Not only this city is noted for Lincoln’s museums and home but also many great poets and authors lived here such as noted American poet Vachel Lindsay . You can also take their home tours if you love literature.
There are many gardens and specifically Botanic gardens, colorful mural arts over the walls which makes the whole atmosphere very romantic for couples. Not only the city vibes are romantic but this lies on historic Route 66 so you can soak up some more American history on a classic road trip together. The best time to visit is between May to September for perfect sunny weather. The nearest International airport is Chicago.
By Yukti, Travel With Me 24×7
Generally San Francisco vacation is not considered a cheap vacation. But that’s a mistake, as San Francisco has so much to offer that completely free. The most iconic sights such as Golden Gate Bridge, Palace of Fine Arts, Twin Peaks, Chrissy Fields, Painted Ladies and the beautiful mosaic steps of San Francisco are all free.
You can easily spend a day or more in the massive Golden Gate park. It has many free sections such as the bison paddock, beach, windmill and many parks. Golden Gate Park also has ticketed attractions such as the Japanese Garden, SF botanical gardens, Conservatory of Flowers which are quite inexpensive.
The more popular Pier 39 and is filled with restaurants, attractions and sailing options in all price ranges. It’s fun to hang out and just watch the tourist actions as well as the seals and sea lions basking in the sun. If you’re a chocolate fan, head to the Ghirardelli square and load up on indulgent chocolate creations.
An inexpensive and culturally rich neighborhood that one must visit is the China Town, one of the oldest, largest and most vibrant China towns in the US. It has some awesome places to eat authentic Chinese SF food. But if you’re there, be sure to check out the famous hole in the wall that makes the fortune cookies. You may get great fortune as your treat!
By Jyoti, Story at Every Corner
Broken Bow, Oklahoma
One of the best and most affordable couple’s trips in America is a romantic getaway to Broken Bow, Oklahoma. The beautiful natural landscape makes the area an ideal backdrop for a long weekend or even a week-long getaway. Broken Bow is nestled in the forested hills surrounding Beaver Bend State Park in southeast Oklahoma. The gorgeous landscape is due to its location at the convergence of Mountain Fork River and Broken Bow Lake, the gateway to Beaver Bend State Park.
Couples can easily find a romantic Airbnb in Broken Bow, most have luxurious fireplaces, jacuzzi tubs, outdoor fire pits, and hot tubs. Some of the cabins in Broken Bow rival five-star couples resorts and the gorgeous surroundings of the pine forest is unbeatable. If camping is preferred, there are endless cozy campgrounds, RV Parks, and trail camping options.
Outdoor activities are among the most popular reasons to visit Broken Bow. A romantic boat ride is easy to plan on the lake with kayak, canoe, and boat rentals in the charming town. There are also wineries and breweries to host an inexpensive date night. One of the best is Girls Gone Wine on Route 259.
At under a three-hour drive, Broken Bow is easily reached by car from Dallas or Tulsa and it attracts visitors from these cities and parts beyond. For a budget-friendly and memorable trip in one of the most beautiful regions of the country, Broken Bow is a couple’s dream getaway.
By Derek & Mike, Robe Trotting
Santa Cruz, California
Looking for a great weekend getaway in the USA that won’t break the budget? While California may seem too expensive to be on this list, there are a few places in California that won’t break the bank quite so much while still offering all the best of the Golden State.
One such place is Santa Cruz, California: beloved by surfers and hikers alike, this small city on the ocean has it all. While accommodations in Santa Cruz can be a bit pricy on the beach, there are plenty of options inland which make it more affordable to spend a weekend in Santa Cruz. The best part about a Santa Cruz getaway though is that virtually all of the best attractions are free (save for parking expenses)!
There are several great redwood groves just a bit outside the city, including Big Basin State Park and Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, great for a romantic walk through the world’s tallest trees. There’s also the beautiful rock formations of Natural Bridge State Beach (and the monarch butterflies who call the eucalyptus trees here home during the winter!), as well as Shark Fin Cove a short drive away, great for capturing beautiful beach memories with your partner.
Besides that, there’s the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, which has free admission (rides and games cost, obviously!) so it’s a great place for a stroll day or night, as well as the beach right in town. Finally, don’t miss the colorful and romantic seaside town of Capitola just a short drive away, great for a romantic pier walk!
By Allison, California Crossroads
Fredericksburg is a charming, romantic town in the Texas Hill Country. Settled by German pioneers, this Texas small town has striking architecture, cultural attractions, and pleasant weather. It is also surprisingly budget-friendly and makes a perfect weekend getaway from Houston, Austin, or Dallas.
There are many amazing things to do in Fredericksburg. Take a stroll along the historic Main Street and admire the buildings. Step into an antique store to look for treasures or buy cowboy boots at a western-themed store. See the Pacific War Museum and the historic church.
No visit to Fredericksburg is complete without visiting the Texas Hill Country wineries. There are several wineries, vineyards, distilleries, and breweries in the area. You can go wine tasting right on Main Street or take the wine shuttle around the neighboring areas. Overall, Fredericksburg is the perfect place to spend a romantic weekend alone with your loved one.
By Kay, Enchanting Texas
Chincoteague Island, Virginia
A great cheap weekend getaway for couples is the beautiful Chincoteague Island in Virginia. Located about two hours north of Virginia Beach, Chincoteague is a more affordable (and less crowded) option for travelers.
Chincoteague and its neighbor Assateague are a great mixture of nature and relaxing beaches. One of the best things to do in Chincoteague is to see a sunrise at the beach. While the sunsets are also gorgeous, to see the sunrise above the water is truly breathtaking. It’s a free activity and since the beaches aren’t crowded you’ll be able to have some romantic time with your partner.
For nature-loving couples, there are a few places to explore other than the beach. The Wildlife Loop Trail is a great paved path for biking. You can see a variety of birds on the trail but also the Assateague Ponies. These ponies are unique to the island and are the stars of the top annual festival – the Annual Pony Swim! This event is held in July to raise funds to take care of the herd. You can even get a beautiful view of the area at the Chincoteague lighthouse.
By Pamela, The Directionally Challenged Traveler
One American destination that really is a fantastic getaway for couples looking for a cheap trip is Boise, Idaho. While Idaho may not be on most radars, the sheer number of natural activities and parks in Boise and its surrounding area is enough reason alone to visit the Idaho capital city!
Since Boise is the largest city in Idaho, finding affordable accommodation is no problem as there are several opportunities of where to stay ranging from hotels to Airbnbs to camping.
For active couples, it is imperative to check out the Boise River Greenbelt, a green park with a famous trail that winds along the river. Another popular thing to do for those looking for cheap and memorable things to do is to head to Bogus Basin Mountain Recreation Area.
While the city has a lot to do, the real perk of visiting Boise is the incredible places located nearby that you can jaunt off to! There are plenty of incredible Boise day trips, including several hot springs like Boat Box Hot Springs (close to Stanley) and Kirkham Hot Springs. Also within two hours of Boise are the Boise National Forest, Bruneau Dunes State Park, and Idaho City.
There are many affordable things to do in Boise for those looking for a getaway in the Pacific Northwest.
By Megan, Megan & Aram
I hope you found your perfect trip with these suggestions for cheap weekend getaways for couples in the USA, I know there are a lot of new plaes on my to-go list after this!
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Just to let you know, this post may contain paid or affiliate links, which help to maintain Tales of a Backpacker and give me the chance to keep travelling, and to keep creating awesome content for you! I only recommend goods and services I believe are useful and reliable.Last updated: January 9, 2021