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7 Off-the-Beaten-Path Romantic Vacations Under $1,000

Plan an epic, off-the-grid trip escape at an unbeatable price.

U.S. News & World Report

7 Off-the-Beaten-Path Romantic Vacations Under $1,000

Romantic Alfama Sunset
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Slip away to these enchanting locales, near and far.

If you're eager to explore off-the-grid places that offer the right balance of activity, seclusion, relaxation and the chance to realign with your better half, you'll find plenty of alluring, outside-the-box destinations. Whether you're clamoring for candlelit dinners and inspiring sunsets by the ocean, a jaunt to a cozy New England cottage or a lesser-known wine-country escape, it's easy to skip town for a dreamy break without cutting corners. Start packing your bags for these under-the-radar locales that offer romance-kindling experiences, few tourist crowds and wallet-friendly rates.
Glacier National Park is located in the U.S. state of Montana, bordering the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia. The park encompasses over 1,000,000 acres and includes parts of two mountain ranges (sub-ranges of the Rocky Mountains), over 130 named lakes, more than 1,000 different species of plants and hundreds of species of animals.
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Whitefish, Montana

When planning an off-the-beaten-track romantic escape, pick a place that's not only secluded, but also convenient and within easy reach, says Robert Firpo-Cappiello, editor-in-chief of BudgetTravel.com. He points to Montana as a top place for active couples craving an unforgettable weekend escape spent hitting stunning trails and bonding over great meals with awe-inspiring scenery in the backdrop. Good Medicine Lodge offers a "charming gateway to Whitefish Mountain [Resort] skiing and Glacier National Park, a winter wonderland," he says. The bed-and-breakfast offers nightly rates starting at $135. What's more, you can enjoy mood-setting surprises such as complimentary flowers, chocolates or a three-course breakfast for Valentine's Day weekend.
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Slip away to these enchanting locales, near and far.

If you're eager to explore off-the-grid places that offer the right balance of activity, seclusion, relaxation and the chance to realign with your better half, you'll find plenty of alluring, outside-the-box destinations. Whether you're clamoring for candlelit dinners and inspiring sunsets by the ocean, a jaunt to a cozy New England cottage or a lesser-known wine-country escape, it's easy to skip town for a dreamy break without cutting corners. Start packing your bags for these under-the-radar locales that offer romance-kindling experiences, few tourist crowds and wallet-friendly rates.

Whitefish, Montana

When planning an off-the-beaten-track romantic escape, pick a place that's not only secluded, but also convenient and within easy reach, says Robert Firpo-Cappiello, editor-in-chief of BudgetTravel.com. He points to Montana as a top place for active couples craving an unforgettable weekend escape spent hitting stunning trails and bonding over great meals with awe-inspiring scenery in the backdrop. Good Medicine Lodge offers a "charming gateway to Whitefish Mountain [Resort] skiing and Glacier National Park, a winter wonderland," he says. The bed-and-breakfast offers nightly rates starting at $135. What's more, you can enjoy mood-setting surprises such as complimentary flowers, chocolates or a three-course breakfast for Valentine's Day weekend.

Lisbon, Portugal

Pastel-washed buildings, intricate glazed ceramic tiles, narrow streets and contemporary cafes make Portugal's capital perhaps one of the easiest European destinations to fall for. But unlike more popular European cities such as Paris and Rome, Lisbon's charms can be experienced on a shoestring budget. Carve out some time to explore Lisbon's alluring surrounding areas, like Sintra, which is located about 20 miles northwest of city and is the place Lord Byron once characterized as "glorious Eden" for its meandering hills and enchanting villas. Best of all, affordable accommodations and cheap flights from popular U.S. destinations abound between November to February. Google Flights currently shows round-trip flights from New York City airports in February starting at around $405.

Mystic, Connecticut

A charming coastal New England town, Mystic features picturesque trails, quaint antique shops, eclectic galleries and even a maritime museum, Mystic Seaport. When you're not enjoying leisurely seaside strolls, sit down for seafood at Abbott's Lobster in the Rough in nearby Noank, where you can also take in enchanting views of Noank Harbor. If you love romantic comedies, pop into Mystic Pizza, the backdrop of the 1988 blockbuster "Mystic Pizza" with Julia Roberts. Firpo-Cappiello recommends booking a stay at The Whaler's Inn for a quintessential New England retreat. The property offers nightly rates starting at less than $150, along with a variety of romantic perks, including local chocolates, sparkling wine and floral arrangements, Firpo-Cappiello adds.

Puerto Rico

If you're yearning for a warm-weather escape that won't break the bank, consider Puerto Rico, says Bailey Johnson, Lonely Planet's Central America and Caribbean destination editor. With plenty of cheap flights from the U.S. – right now you can score round-trip tickets for less than $500 – Puerto Rico offers a convenient getaway. Google Flights currently shows round-trip flights from District of Columbia airports for less than $400 and round-trip flights from Chicago hubs for less than $500 in February. Make sure to explore less-trodden areas beyond San Juan, Bailey says. Stroll along Sun Bay in Vieques, before getting your heart racing with a hike through the lush El Yunque rainforest.

The Grand Canyon

With striking natural topography, scenic hiking trails and picturesque drives, the Grand Canyon is the quintessential retreat for adventure-seeking duos. Plus, there are plenty of attractive accommodation and attraction offers that will keep you, your partner and your wallet happy. Firpo-Cappiello highlights the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel as an ideal choice for price-sensitive pairs. The hotel is offering a discount this Valentine's Day on a "gorgeous, 90-minute ride across high desert plains, arroyas and ponderosa pine forest from Williams Depot to the Grand Canyon Depot, a short walk from the South Rim," he says. A two-night Railway Getaway Package starts at $385.10 (excluding tax).

Finger Lakes Wine Country, New York

If you're longing for leisurely wine tastings across colorful vineyards but don't have the funds to fly to Tuscany or Bordeaux, rest assured that you can still pop top-tier bottles without booking an international flight. In fact, you can turn up the romance (and still have enough money for memorable meals) with a trip to upstate New York. The area offers more than 100 wineries, not to mention striking lake views and distinguished Riesling varieties. Atwater Estate Vineyards is a lesser-known destination along Seneca Lake with varieties such as Gewurztraminer and Riesling. Best of all, there are plenty of bed-and-breakfasts across the region offering nightly rates for less than $200.

Belize

If you want seclusion, serenity and the chance to disconnect, Belize is an ideal choice. "The Northern Cayes in Belize are honeymoon gold," Bailey says. And while getting to Belize can be more expensive than more cost-effective Central American destinations, it still offers a high value proposition, Bailey adds. Ambergris Caye offers an excellent jumping-off point for snorkeling and soaking in the laid-back vibes at oceanfront restaurants and hotels and exploring the unspoiled Caye Caulker. Best of all, bargain hunters can score affordable airfares. Google Flights currently shows round-trip routes from New York City hubs for less than $400 and round-trip flights from Chicago airports for less than $550 in February.
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