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10 Romantic Road Trips to Take This Valentine’s Day

BY: Adam Karner
Excited couple enjoying music in the car

This Valentine’s Day, consider taking a memory-making road trip along one of these breathtaking routes across the USA. From coastal drives with gorgeous ocean views to journeys through wine country and the heartland, read about these ten romantic escapes that have something for every couple.

Pack your bags, add a travel app to your phone, fill up the gas tank, and turn on your favorite driving playlist. But save the hand-holding for your destination; keeping a good grip on the steering wheel is vital to safe driving!

#1 Pacific Coast Highway, California: From San Francisco to Los Angeles

The winding Pacific Coast Highway is quintessential California, offering stunning sea vistas, quirky attractions, and glamorous and romantic destinations. This legendary route is also known as PCH to locals and also carries the Highway 101 name.  Hugging the continent’s edge from San Francisco through Big Sur to Los Angeles and points south, this epic road trip treats lovebirds to pounding surf, hidden beaches, seaside villages, and a nonstop parade of postcard-perfect views.

One must-see stopover is Big Sur, a marvel known for its sheer cliffs and other natural wonders. Here, you’ll get lost (in a good way) wandering redwood forests, rolling vineyards, and flower-filled valleys. You’ll also want to have your camera ready for Instagram-worthy photos of the iconic Bixby Bridge and McWay Falls.

Even if the weather isn’t perfect, there’s so much to see during your romantic getaway. Watch in awe as giant waves crash against the rocks during winter storms, and keep alert for whales migrating from Alaska to Baja. The greatest challenge is nature’s distractions while you’re driving!

Be sure to schedule extra time to see offbeat attractions like the Mystery Spot, purported to defy gravity and the laws of physics — about 70 miles north of Big Sur. As the day comes to a close, catch a spectacular sunset at a scenic overlook before heading to a cozy retreat like Ventana Big Sur with memorable views of the Pacific.

Further south, you’ll encounter Santa Barbara’s Urban Wine Trail to sample vintages grown right in town. Finally, stroll through star-studded Malibu and Santa Monica, where boutique shops and seaside dining stretch from the mountains to the pier’s iconic Ferris wheel for another chance to take in the setting sun.

#2 Blue Ridge Parkway, Virginia/North Carolina: A Scenic Mountain Drive

Prepare to be awe-struck by the majestic Appalachians along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Often called “America’s Favorite Drive,” this national park route stretches 469 miles across Virginia and North Carolina’s picturesque landscape. Over 75 overlooks provide Instagrammable panoramas of purple ridges that fade into the horizon. With luck, you’ll notice a magical “blue haze” caused by plant emissions interacting with sunlight. It’s the phenomenon that gives these storied peaks their name.

From outdoor experiences like hiking and biking to simply cozying up fireside together at a mountain town lodge after an activity-packed day, the Blue Ridge Parkway offers endless romance. While glamping might be a stretch this time of year, numerous rustic cabins and historic inns throughout the region are ready to welcome an adventurous couple.

From start to finish, traveling the Blue Ridge Parkway takes 10-12 hours. But half the fun is the stopovers. Check out Grandfather Mountain for a view of the Appalachians from 6,000 feet. If thrill-seeking is in order, you can walk along the Mile-High Swinging Bridge, the highest suspension footbridge in the country. History buffs can enjoy the sites with visits to the Biltmore Estate in Asheville and Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello close to Charlottesville.

#3 The Florida Keys: Island Hopping from Miami

Trade the hustle of Miami for flip-flops, frozen cocktails, and breathtaking scenery as you road trip south along the Overseas Highway connecting the Florida Keys. This 113-mile engineering marvel features 42 bridges spanning crystalline waters teeming with aquatic life. Spend lazy days beach-hopping, snorkeling vibrant reefs, then toasting fiery sunsets from oceanside cafés. Romance flourishes here thanks to warm breezes and island vibes.

This warm-weather drive concludes at Key West, the ultimate tropical escape. Each evening at Mallory Square, travelers gather to join a quirky sunset ritual featuring street performers, artists, and musicians. As the sun sinks slowly into the sea in a vibrant splash of color, you’ll hear applause and whoops from the crowd. Enjoy a playful, celebratory backdrop while cozying up to your sweetie at a harborfront table to watch this spectacular nightly show.

When the morning arrives, take in the sights like a trip to the Hemingway Home and Museum (yes, the six-toed cats are real) or Smathers Beach. Of course, no trip to Key West is complete without getting a picture at the marker for the “Southernmost Point of the Continental U.S.A.;” it’s a quick jaunt from Old Town.

#4 Route 66, Illinois to Missouri: A Historic Journey

Turn back time cruising Route 66, the “Mother Road,” and America’s first all-pavement highway connecting Chicago to Santa Monica, California. Towns still reminiscent of the 1920s line this iconic route, now replaced by Interstate 40.

Add the song “Get Your Kicks on Route 66” to your playlist to get in the spirit. It’s a tune performed over the years by numerous artists and groups, including Bing Crosby, Nat King Cole, Chuck Berry, The Rolling Stones, and Depeche Mode. So, there’s a version for everybody.

Meanwhile, neon signs, retro motels, classic cars, and old-fashioned diners will transport you to the 1950s or the Cars movie universe. Wander hand-in-hand through nostalgic towns filled with quirky roadside attractions.

Don’t miss photo ops at famous Route 66 landmarks like the Gemini Giant statue outside Chicago, the Cadillac Ranch sculptures in Amarillo with once-glorious luxury cars planted nose-down in a dusty field, and the teepee-shaped rooms at Arizona’s Wigwam Motel. But most of all, soak up couple-time in Americana-filled towns. This outing is also an ideal opportunity to explore mom-and-pop eateries along the route, with proprietors happy to see new generations still embracing this iconic slice of the country’s past.

#5 The Oregon Coast: Rugged Beauty from Portland

Ditch busy highways to discover the wild and romantic elements along the Oregon Coastal Highway (also known as U.S. Route 101). Head south from Portland and let the twisting cliff-hugging road reveal stunning landscapes as you meander toward Coos Bay and Gold Beach.

Along the way, spend time at Thor’s Well to see nature’s fury transformed into jaw-dropping beauty (tip: this cliffside waterfall is best seen at high tide). Your journey has to include stops along the Samuel H. Boardman Scenic Corridor, a 12-mile state park marked by a craggy coastline and infrequent sandy beaches. Braving the chilly temperatures will be worth the memories and epic photos. Besides, with numerous inns and resorts along Route 101, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to get warmed up.

Just inland, scenic Willamette Valley offers a splendid wine-tasting detour. Snuggle close in Adirondack chairs while sampling Pinot Noir (Oregon’s signature red vintage) and other varietals. It’s a region ripe with vineyard tasting rooms and rolling hill overlooks. At the same time, don’t miss farm-to-table bistro dining highlighting ultra-fresh local produce and creative cuisine.

#6 Finger Lakes, New York: Wine Country Excursion

Trading the busy Big Apple for New York’s peaceful Finger Lakes is the perfect change of pace for romantic relaxation. On the shores of glacier-carved lakes like Seneca and Cayuga, acclaimed wineries, including Dr. Konstantin Frank and Hermann J. Wiemer, pour exceptional Rieslings in stunning settings. The brisk winter weather doesn’t have to hold you back. It’s just an opportunity to bundle up and share a bottle.

Beyond exceptional vineyards are charming towns and inns tucked around the region; finding an idyllic home base to unwind is easy. Enjoy an unrushed morning as you awake in a B&B before wandering hand-in-hand in quaint villages like Skaneateles and Ithaca. Let the slow pace and crisp winter hikes work their magic, easing all tension from your Valentine’s getaway. Return to your home away from home for a relaxing bath, a crackling fire, steaming mugs of cocoa, and serious cuddling under the stars.

#7 Hill Country, Texas: From Austin to Fredericksburg

Meandering country backroads connect bustling Austin to pastoral central Texas Hill Country. Here’s your chance to get away from the city buzz by kicking back at tiny cafes housed in old service stations. It’s another month before the bluebonnets bloom, but the region’s rolling fields are still excellent locales for romantic walks. When the mood strikes, two-step like locals to live bands playing at ranch dancehalls. Among these settings is Luckenbach, a bucket list village with 500-year-old oak trees, an iconic general store, and inspiration for Waylon Jennings’ epic song.

With an undisputed German heritage, a day trip to a town like Fredericksburg, with beer gardens and cuckoo clocks, transports you to old-world Europe. The Alpine hats and beer steins also set the mood. If breweries aren’t your thing, family-run vineyards like Becker and Pedernales do wonders with grapes. You’ll find impressive European Viogniers and Cabernet Sauvignon. When it’s time to settle in, welcoming inns and resorts are at the ready with featherbeds and roaring fireplaces.

#8 Sedona, Arizona: Desert Beauty and Spiritual Retreats

Known for spectacular Martian-like landscapes, Sedona provides a dramatic natural backdrop for reconnecting in nature’s beauty and each other’s arms! Get your hearts aligned while hiking areas rumored to produce spiritual awakenings and healing due to the reported magnetic energy. These towering red sandstone formations contrast sharply with dark green pine forests. After these encounters with Mother Nature, it’s time to take in another kind of beauty: the artwork, jewelry, and pottery featured in downtown shops and galleries.

Treat yourselves to soothing couples’ massages, herbal wraps, and private outdoor soaks at five-star hideaways like L’Auberge de Sedona. Nestled dramatically amid the red rocks along babbling Oak Creek, many resorts offer guided meditation hikes and spiritual counseling should you feel inspired.

#9 The Great River Road, Mississippi: Following the Mighty Mississippi

Absorb yourself in blues lore, Southern hospitality, and engaging river panoramas as you take a road trip along the Mighty Mississippi. Hop between river hamlets and historic ports of call from Memphis to New Orleans. In places like Clarksdale, Helena, and Natchez, time seems to stand still. These towns look much the same as when 19th-century paddle wheel river boats docked here.

Go further into Southern culture by putting another 45 on the retro diner jukebox while sharing mouthwatering regional BBQ, po’boys overflowing with fried oysters, gumbo ladled from bubbling cauldrons and tall slices of pecan pie. Tour the Delta Blues Museum in Clarksdale, where the grand mansions of Natchez and Vicksburg represent the tumultuous history of the antebellum era.

#10 Coastal Maine: From Portland to Bar Harbor

Leave the suburbs and cities behind to take in the natural beauty of Maine’s jagged coastline. Your road trip along the Acadia All-American Highway (also known as Route 1) offers an opportunity to cast aside everyday worries for the timeliness and peace of these unique New England surroundings. Explore granite cliffs polished by ancient glaciers or visit secluded beaches accented offshore by spouting humpback whales. Adventurers can pay homage to generations of mariners by visiting Maine’s numerous lighthouses, like the West Quoddy Head Lighthouse. With its distinctive candy-striped tower, this two-century-old landmark is America’s easternmost lighthouse.

Wander through salty fishing ports and maritime art galleries in Rockland, Camden, and elsewhere as Maine’s commercial fishing culture comes alive. February isn’t peak season for seafarers, but don’t worry, lobster is caught year-round. Once you’ve had your fill of seafood, continue to Bar Harbor, the gateway to breathtaking Acadia National Park. This national treasure boasts 64 miles of protected coastline and a unique setting where woodlands and shore combine.

Vehicle Protection While on the Road

Enjoying a unique Valentine’s Day getaway includes ensuring your car is protected against breakdowns and surprise repair bills. No one wants to worry about automobile trouble during a romantic outing, but having an extended car warranty can minimize the disruption if the unthinkable happens.

At Endurance Warranty, our vehicle service contracts (also known as extended warranties) have standard benefits that are well-suited to weekend getaways and road trips. All Endurance customers enjoy 24/7 roadside assistance (with towing coverage and lockout assistance), rental car reimbursement, and trip interruption support. In addition, plan holders can choose from any ASE Certified mechanic or shop for covered repair work.

To learn all the advantages of an Endurance extended warranty, call (800) 253-8203 to speak with a plan advisor, request a FREE quote, or visit our online store for instant price and plan details.

Discover more on the Endurance blog for insightful articles about car care, maintenance tips, DIY advice, and make and model reviews.

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