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America’s Top 175 Alternative Romantic Destinations for 2023

We surveyed 3,000 couples to find out which lesser-known romantic destinations they would most like to visit this year. The rankings are below. 

1. St. Augustine, Florida

st augustine, florida

This captivating city offers a romantic ambiance like no other, with its cobblestone streets, quaint cafes, and a picturesque waterfront. 

Couples can take leisurely strolls hand-in-hand through the historic district, immersing themselves in the rich history of the city, visiting charming boutiques, and savoring delectable cuisine at intimate restaurants. 

The city’s scenic coastline provides breathtaking sunsets, pristine beaches, and opportunities for romantic walks along the shore. 

Additionally, St. Augustine boasts beautiful gardens, charming bed and breakfasts, and even horse-drawn carriage rides, adding an extra touch of romance to any couple’s honeymoon or romantic getaway.

2. Paia, Hawaii

paia, maui, hawaii

Nestled on the picturesque north shore of Maui, Paia offers a unique blend of natural beauty, laid-back vibes, and a thriving artistic community. 

The town’s enchanting atmosphere, characterized by its bohemian spirit and colorful storefronts, creates an idyllic backdrop for couples seeking a romantic escape. 

With its pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and majestic landscapes, Paia provides endless opportunities for couples to enjoy intimate moments together. 

Whether it’s strolling hand-in-hand along the breathtaking coastline, watching the mesmerizing sunset, or embarking on an adventurous hike through the lush tropical forests, Paia offers a sense of tranquility and seclusion that enhances the romantic experience.

3. Hilo, Hawaii

hilo, hawaii

Nestled on the eastern coast, Hilo offers a more authentic and local Hawaiian experience. The town is known for its lush tropical landscapes, including stunning waterfalls, botanical gardens, and black sand beaches. 

Couples can embark on romantic adventures such as visiting the magnificent Akaka Falls, exploring the tropical wonders of the Hawaii Tropical Botanical Garden, or taking a leisurely stroll along the picturesque Coconut Island. 

Hilo also boasts a vibrant farmer’s market where couples can sample fresh tropical fruits, local delicacies, and handcrafted goods. 

For a truly unique experience, couples can take a nighttime tour to witness the mesmerizing glow of the lava at the nearby Hawaii Volcanoes National Park.

4. Asheville, North Carolina

asheville, north carolina

Ashville captivates couples with its picturesque mountain scenery, vibrant arts scene, and cozy mountain town atmosphere. 

Nestled in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville offers breathtaking views and a serene natural setting. 

Couples can explore the Blue Ridge Parkway together, embark on romantic hikes in the surrounding mountains, or simply relax and enjoy the tranquility of nature. 

The town itself is known for its thriving arts and music scene, with numerous galleries, studios, and live music venues. 

Couples can indulge in cultural experiences by visiting the famous Biltmore Estate, a grand mansion surrounded by beautiful gardens and vineyards, or by exploring the River Arts District, where they can admire local artwork and even participate in pottery or painting classes. 

Asheville also boasts a diverse culinary scene, with farm-to-table restaurants, craft breweries, and cozy cafes where couples can savor delicious cuisine and enjoy intimate dining experiences.

5. Carmel-by-the-Sea, California

carmel by the sea, california

Located on the scenic Monterey Peninsula, Carmel-by-the-Sea offers a picturesque setting with its pristine white-sand beaches, rugged cliffs, and breathtaking ocean views. 

Couples can take leisurely walks along the beach, watch the sunset together, or enjoy relaxing at a luxury resort by the sea.

The town itself is known for its fairytale-like cottages, quaint streets, and storybook charm. 

Strolling hand-in-hand through the streets of Carmel, couples can explore numerous art galleries, boutique shops, and cafes that contribute to the town’s artistic allure. 

Carmel also boasts a thriving culinary scene, with a wide range of gourmet restaurants and cozy bistros where couples can indulge in delectable cuisine and fine wines. 

For nature lovers, nearby attractions such as Point Lobos State Natural Reserve offer opportunities for scenic hikes, wildlife spotting, and awe-inspiring coastal vistas.

Here are the remaining rankings:


Online panel survey of 3,000 adults based on age, gender, and geography. Internal data sources are used to obtain population data sets. We used a two-step process to ensure representativeness through stratified sampling and post-stratification weighting.