Valentine’s Day Special: Romantic Road Trips for the Young at Heart
How will you spend Valentine’s Day this year? Dinner, roses, chocolates? Or are you up for something totally unique? Check out these romantic road trips.
Dinner and dessert—that’s how most couples will spend their Valentine’s Day this year. But you and your sweetheart aren’t like most couples—or at least you don’t have to be. This year, spend Feb. 14, and perhaps the rest of the week, on the open road taking in the beauty of America’s backyard.
Valentine’s Day: Romantic Road Trips
Pacific Coast Highway
Younger generations may know how to photograph their time in nature, but you know how to actually enjoy it. From the dense forests of Washington to the sandy beaches of Southern California, this two-lane highway will take you and your significant other on a 1,650-mile romantic ride.
Start at Olympic National Park, known for its glacier-capped mountains and wild coastline. Then head south through several old logging and fishing communities until you hit the Pacific Ocean off the coast Oregon. Consider finding some oceanside lodging, such as the Stephanie Inn in Cannon Beach, which was awarded the Traveler’s Choice 2017 Winner by Trip Advisor.
At the halfway point in northern California, you’ll pass through the Avenue of Giants, a collection of tall trees running through Humboldt Redwoods State Park. This scenic drive was one of the first to put the idea of road trips on the traveler’s planning map. Continuing south, make sure to stop off in Big Sur for incredible vistas and unique seafood grills before a long drive to the state’s capital city and finally, gorgeous Orange County.
The Appalachian Trail
While you might not earn the same accolades for driving it as you would walking it, traveling the Appalachian Trail is worth doing — even if not on foot. Winding from the north woods of Maine all the way to southern Georgia, this route allows you to experience the charm and beauty of both New England and the heart of Dixie. After a sojourn through northern Maine, a drive to the top of Mount Washington will put you in the heart of New Hampshire’s Presidential Range.
Head down toward Vermont’s Green Mountains, all the while enjoying colorful and charming towns. Beyond the Berkshires — a favorite vacation destination of New Yorkers nestled in a rural region of Massachusetts — you’ll find plenty of history, natural beauty and charm, making this road trip the perfect setting for a peaceful, romantic getaway.
These aren’t your only options, though. If you haven’t already, a road trip along Route 66 is an American rite of passage. This legendary highway includes some of the country’s most archetypal roadside scenes, including neon signs, middle-of-nowhere motels and kitschy Americana. With the help of a free online planning tool, such as RoadTripUSA.com, you can access directions and maps to all of the pit stops you’ll want to see along the way.
In addition to some pre-planning sessions (with or without your significant other, depending on if this trip is a surprise or not), you’ll also want to prep your vehicle for the long drive ahead. Consider getting an oil change and checking the tread of your tires to make sure they’re in tip-top shape. If they don’t past the penny test, invest in some new Continental touring tires to ensure that the only pit stops you make on your road trip route are romantic ones.
What’s your favorite way to celebrate Valentine’s Day?