On a budget this year but still want to treat your honey to a great weekend away? We’ve got you covered. Here are our picks for the best budget* U.S. Valentine’s Day vacations from sea to shining sea!
Pacific Northwest: Portland, Oregon
Is lush, rainy Seattle the best city for lovers in the Pacific Northwest? Or does Vancouver take the prize? We’re gonna go with Portland for the win this year. Why? It’s got an utterly unpretentious, affordable, walkable city center, delicious dining options, and let’s face it – over the top quirkiness. One low-key Valentine’s Day itinerary might go something like this: Grab a cup of coffee with a whimsical treat at Voodoo Doughnut and head over to Powell’s Independent Bookstore for a morning perusing dog-eared copies of classic romantic poetry from Wordsworth, Pablo Neruda and Rimbaud. Close out the night with a Valentine’s Day dinner and “Under the Covers” concert at the Doug Fir Lounge. Accommodation: The Ace Hotel is still a fun, cool option. Junior Suites ($195/night) come with their own turntable and assortment of vinyl, private bath, and funky décor. The front desk loans out complimentary books and bikes for guests, and Clyde Commons next door is a fantastic place to unwind and dine on the cheap. **Getting there: Nonstop flights from San Francisco on Alaska Airlines for $152 and connecting flights from Austin on Delta for around $250.
Southwest: Phoenix, Arizona
With the rest of the country hunkered down in the endless winter of 2017, Phoenix remains a temperate oasis for active couples. There’s no end to top quality golf courses and there are literally hundreds of miles of hiking trails to experience together. Dining and entertainment options are varied and inexpensive. What’s not to love? With what you save on everything else, you can afford to go a little bit more luxe, with your hotel options. Accommodation: Go big and stay in a secluded casita at the cozy, picturesque Royal Palms Resort ($564/night) and get the Romance Package. **Getting there: Nonstop flights from Los Angeles on American for $127, from Chicago (ORD) on Frontier for under $100, and from New York (EWR) on Spirit for $243.
Midwest: Kansas City, Missouri
We love big cities that have a small town vibe and Kansas City is one of the best. With no huge must-see sights, snuggly couples can just enjoy one another against the backdrop of KC. Spend time sampling some of the best BBQ in the world, strolling around the Power and Light District, visiting the Nelson Atkins Museum of Art and rounding out the night on Valentine’s Day with a combination painting class and wine tasting at Pinot’s Palette! Accommodation: The Cedar Crest Lodge is an affordable, idyllic rural Bed & Breakfast an hour outside of Kansas City. Oversized, luxurious rooms come with king size beds and 2-person steam showers. Rooms are $195 for Valentine’s week and we recommend the “Little Romance” package (added to the regular room rate). You’ll get dinner for two, a couple’s massage and multi-course breakfast in the morning for just $205 more. **Getting there: Nonstop round trip flights from Chicago (ORD) on American for $223 and from Detroit on Spirit for $75.
New England: Litchfield Hills, Connecticut
When you’re thinking romantic getaway, do visions of a 330 year-old Connecticut manor dance through your travel dreams? Ours too! Winvian Farm in Connecticut might be just the ticket this Valentine’s Day if tranquil, patrician relaxation is your bag. Their website expressly states that at Winvian Farm, “every day can be as active or as idle as you wish,” and we think Valentine’s weekend is a great time to test that theory. A full service spa, fitness & yoga studio, wine cellar and farm to table dining room will not disappoint. Accommodation: A la carte cottages start at $599 a night for Valentine’s week and include breakfast. Try the Secret Society Cottage (sleep in a king size bed directly under a panoramic glass ceiling). **Getting there: It’s a 90 mile drive from LaGuardia and you can get flights from Washington D.C. (DCA) on Delta for $127.
The South: Asheville, North Carolina
You could go with the traditionally southern gothic destination of Savannah (that’s also a solid choice), but since Asheville is definitely having a moment right now we’d love for you to visit and see for yourself why it’s coming up. The town’s got a strong microbrew game, it’s smack in the middle of the dazzling Blue Ridge Mountains for your stomping pleasure, and friendly locals who’re happy to steer you toward delicious dining. We like the lavender French toast at the Over Easy Café on a lazy morning. Win, win and win! Accommodation: Stay at the Aloft Asheville Downtown and you’ll be in walking distance of everything, while also enjoying some slightly off the wall add-ons like the “Wild Food Foraging Adventure,” the “Culinary Passport,” or the “Wild Hiking” package. Prices vary but average around $300 per night for the eclectic experiences. Rooms are spacious, modern and nicely appointed. Kings from as low as $127/night. Getting there: Nonstop flights to Asheville are nonexistent, and connecting flights are kind of pricey. Fly into Greenville, SC (a 45 minute hop) and you’ll score nonstop service and save big. Flights from Atlanta on Delta are $122 and $231 from Dallas.
*Double accommodation and flights during Valentine’s week dates for under $1,500 total per couple
**Fares include taxes and fees and are valid as of 1/20/17 on select dates between 02/10/17 and 2/15/17. Lowest fare seats are capacity controlled and may not be available on every airline, flight, or date. Fares subject to change without notice.