10 Romantic Getaways for Couples That Won’t Break the Bank
Just because you’re working with a tight budget doesn't mean you can't escape to somewhere dreamy. These beautiful vacation spots are easy to get to, offers tons of local restaurant and bar options, and are primed for self-guided activities—all at a price you'll both love.
Monterey County, CA
Stretching from Pebble Beach to Big Sur, this rugged stretch of California’s central coast is as scenic and relaxing as it gets. Post up at Monterey’s Spindrift Inn, which puts you within striking distance of tandem kayak tours at Lovers Point (keep an eye out for otters, harbor seals, and sea lions) and wine tastings on Carmel-by-the-Sea’s Wine Walk. During the latter, you’ll sip vintages at tasting rooms from Monterey’s top wineries, all within walking distance of one another—and the beach.
With its lush mountains and canopied rainforests, you might forget you’re in the Caribbean when flying in over Jamaica—but snorkel the reef-lined waters off The Caves and you’ll immediately feel those island vibes. This low-key area of Negril allows couples to dig into the local scene, especially on Wednesday and Saturday nights when The Sands Bar is the place for be for live music and jerk chicken.
Arguably the hottest city in the South right now, Nashville is all about live music and a good time. The youthful culture and party-centric neighborhoods of Downtown and Midtown are chockfull of talent and $2 beers. (Meaning you can line your pockets for extra servings of hot chicken from Hattie B’s.) Post up at the just-debuted Dream Nashville, which has 168 Art Deco-inspired rooms within walking distance of Broadway, or at the Hutton Hotel, where aspiring singer/songwriters perform at the on-site music venue and record hits at the hotel’s own studio. (You know that song “The Middle” that you had stuck in your head for all of 2018? Zedd and Maren Morris recorded the hit at the Hutton’s Writers Studios.)
Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico
While Los Cabos and the Riviera Maya can often be over-touristed, Mexico’s burgeoning wine region Valle de Guadalup offers an affordable alternative to the beaches with top-notch viticulture (that some say rivals California). Whether you opt for the eco-lofts at Encuentro Guadalupe, the vineyard-adjacent cabins at Cuatro Cuatros, or the clear bubble domes at Campera Hotel Burbuja, your accommodations will be Insta-ready. But don’t sleep in: there are more than 100 wineries and farm-fresh al fresco restaurants such as Malva, Deckman’s, and Tras Lomita to fill your days—and bellies.
San Juan, Puerto Rico
With plenty of direct flights from major U.S. cities and no passport required for entry, Puerto Rico is the easiest Caribbean getaway for American travelers. Start at the just-debuted O:LV Fifty Five, a super-sleek adults-only hotel in the buzzy Condado neighborhood with a standout restaurant, Raya. After a few days dining on its Asian-spiced adobo kurobuta ribs—as well as next-gen Puerto Rican flavors at star chef José Enrique’s namesake restaurant downtown—make for the golden shores of Rincon, where Tres Sirenas Beach Inn offers a secluded base for daily surf lessons, horseback trail rides along the beach, and SCUBA diving trips to Desecheo Island.
Bustling cities, picturesque colonial towns, golden-sand beaches, verdant wine country—Portugal has literally every kind of vacation experience on offer, making it the perfect destination for any couples (especially if you like the beach but your S.O. prefers the country). Start on a quiet stretch of the Costa de Prata at Areias do Seixo, a design-centric boutique hotel located just an hour outside Lisbon. Then, move inland to the wine country of Duoro River Valley, where Six Senses Duoro Valley overlooks miles of vines from a renovated 19th-century manor house.
Nosara, Costa Rica
Whether you prefer the “cowabunga” or “namaste” state of mind, the quiet beachfront village of Nosara has you covered. At Harmony Hotel, surfers and yogis are as welcome as the white-faced monkeys and iguanas you’ll spot roaming the property. Double down on privacy by booking Bungalow 26, which has a completely private patio. It's impossible not to feel those pura vida vibes after hanging 10 in the waters off Playa Guiones.
It might be far flung, but this Southeast Asian nation is chockfull of value-driven hotels, restaurants, and experiences, giving couples with PTO to spare a major bang for their buck. After a few days in Bangkok at the Mandarin Oriental, Bangkok, hop a quick flight to Koh Samui—a less-touristed alternative to Phuket. At Six Senses Samui, rooms come with generous square footage and their own plunge pool. Prepare an offering at a local temple before a day trip to Ang Thong Marine Park, where limestone mountains rise over 1,000 feet out of the ocean.
The exotic vibes of North Africa will sink in the moment you arrive at Scarabeo Camp, an otherworldly tented resort just 45 minutes outside Marrakech, where days are filled with desert dune buggy tours and half-day guided treks that end with a scenic picnic lunch—with nothing and no one for miles. Couples who prefer city buzz can check into Heure Bleue Palais, a charming riad–style hotel inside the Medina of Essaouira. Explore local art galleries and take a stroll along the beach before dining on plates of freshly caught king prawns at the hotel’s oriental-style salon restaurant.
St. Vincent & the Grenadines
Because no one wants to risk hurricanes on their couples’ getaway, head way south to the Caribbean’s buzziest island group, St. Vincent and the Grenadines. On the chillaxed island of Bequia, couples can ride in the back of a souped-up Land Cruiser taxi from the charming Bequia Beach Hotel to Jack’s Beach Bar, a rosé-all-day kind of place set on the quiet Caribbean shores of Princess Margaret Beach (which was named after the British royal famously took a dip there on her honeymoon).
- America’s Best Island Vacations (No Passport Required)
- The 10 Best Affordable All-Inclusive Resorts in the Caribbean
- 9 Dream Romantic Getaways
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