While flying may get you to a chosen destination faster, road tripping can be a lot more fun. Even if you don’t have a destination in mind, driving with your significant other can open doors to unforgettable experiences. Whether you want your trip to be a romantic getaway, an action-packed adventure, or a relaxing respite from day-to-day life, we hope these road trip ideas for couples help set you on the path to delightful discovery!
Make Pitstops for Adventures!
While traveling the world with your other half, don’t forget to make time for special experiences. Adventures From Scratch: Date Edition is full of intimate conversation prompts and creative activities that can be done wherever you choose to roam. When you’re ready for a short scenic drive, a weekend getaway, or the best road trip of your lives, pack your copy and make time to uncover and conquer challenges together!
Reasons to Take a Couple’s Road Trip
Even though homeownership is part of the traditional American Dream, getting away from home even just for a few days provides meaningful benefits for individuals and couples. Getting away from home and exploring the outdoors can improve your ability to handle stressful situations, for example.
Taking a road trip can improve your communication with your significant other, too. When you’re on the open road, you can talk about what lies ahead instead of discussing mundane topics like household bills and daily work life. The sights, activities, and attractions you encounter and engage in with your partner can be the basis for future conversations as you recount your experiences in private and relay them to friends and extended family members.
Couple’s road trips help to keep things fresh for participants. You probably have an established, familiar routine for when you’re in your hometown. When you’re on the road, everything is new, from the places you’ll eat to the people you’ll meet and so much more. All that newness will invariably breathe new life into your relationship.
Hitting the road with your partner can foster teamwork between the two of you, particularly if you’re traveling on a budget. You two may need to work together to figure out how to stretch your dollars, or you might have to get creative to prepare a hearty meal with the limited ingredients you managed to scrounge up in the local grocery store you found along the side of the road.
Road Trip Ideas for Couples
Now that you’re familiar with the reasons why you may want to hit the road with your partner, it’s time to investigate some ideas for your next trip. No matter which idea you like the most, it’s wise to involve your significant other in the final decision about your upcoming adventure. Remember, it’ll just be you and your partner alone in your vehicle during your road trip, so you don’t want your SO harboring any resentment over being left out of the decision-making process.
Do you wish you could plan a road trip that includes plenty of natural beauty, a lot of fun adventures, and some of the coolest national and state parks in the US? As it turns out, you can if you plan a trip to Utah.
National Parks in Utah, USA
Utah has so many spectacular parks that it’s easy to assume the entire state is a giant natural play area. With so many parks to see, you can plan an entire trip around them. Here are some of the national parks that should be on your bucket list if you’re planning to visit Utah:
- Zion National Park
- Capital Reef National Park
- Canyonlands National Park
- Arches National Park
- Bryce Canyon National Park
- Natural Bridges National Monument
- Glen Canyon National Recreation Area
- Red Cliffs National Recreation Area
Tribal and State Parks in the Beehive State
Just as Utah is home to some of the nation’s most breathtaking national parks, the Beehive State is where you’ll find some incredible tribal and state parks. If you want to see some of the best natural wonders the state has to offer, visit the following parks:
- Snow Canyon State Park
- Dead Horse Point State Park
- Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park
- Sand Hollow State Park, St. George
- Goblin Valley State Park
Experience the State’s Nightlife
After you explore the Beehive State’s parks, we encourage you to get a literal and figurative taste of Utah’s nightlife with a layover in Salt Lake City. When you arrive in Salt Lake City, you’ll sense the city’s inclusiveness and progressiveness immediately. Named one of the Ten Queerest Cities in America by “Advocate” magazine, the city is home to one of the biggest annual Pride parades and festivals in the country.
Salt Lake City has many LGBTQ+- friendly bars, clubs, entertainment venues, and eateries that welcome everyone with open arms. No matter where you go in the city, you’ll feel right at home as you eat, drink, and dance the night away.
Regardless of how you identify, there are a few hotspots you should make it a point to visit, including:
- The Sun Trapp
- Club Try-Angles
- The Moose Lounge
- Beer Bar
- Poplar Street Pub
- Current Fish & Oyster
- The Aerie Restaurant & Lounge
- Copper Common
- Lake Effect
Going on a bar crawl is a fun way to experience the nightlife in Salt Lake City. You can elevate the fun you’ll have in the city by signing you and your partner up for Let’s Roam’s Sale Lake City Bar Crawl. This event will take you to some of the city’s most happening hotspots as the two of you complete some whacky challenges, drink tasty cocktails, and make new friends along the way.
Our app-led, interactive Salt Lake City Bar Crawl will make your adventure even more memorable. You and your significant other can wrap up the bar crawl in as little as an hour or you can stretch it out over several by lingering at each watering hole you visit. It’s all up to you! Sign up for our Salt Lake City Bar Crawl now.
Drive Along Route 66
Constructed in 1926, Route 66 was made to be the shortest pathway between the West Coast and Midwest. Stretching from Chicago to Los Angeles, the highway was decommissioned in 1985. That’s when the Route 66 Corridor Preservation Program stepped in to preserve the route and its iconic significance.
Taking a multi-day drive along Route 66 should be on every couple’s bucket list. While the route itself is fascinating as it cuts through eight states, the famous stops you can visit during your journey are just as intriguing. A few of the attractions you won’t want to miss include:
Located in Wilmington, Illinois, Gemini Giant is one of several “Muffler Men” you can check out as you travel along Route 66. Gemini Giant is a fine example of the oversized fiberglass statues that were used to advertise various products back in the 1960s. Don’t forget to have your camera ready to snap pictures of you and your partner when you visit, although you’ll probably need to ask someone to take a picture for you if you want to capture Gemini Giant in his entirety along with you and your SO.
Meramec Caverns, Sullivan, Missouri
Meramec Caverns is a 4.6-mile-long cave system. This system was originally used by Native Americans to provide shelter. Today, people visit Meramec Caverns to see mind-blowing rock formations that are truly mesmerizing.
Pops, Arcadia, Oklahoma
One of the newer attractions along Route 66, Pops is a diner that opened in 2007. Pops is hard to miss thanks to a huge neon, bottle-like sign that marks its location. This diner is a must-visit as it offers more than 700 different kinds of beverages and some tasty fare.
Cadillac Ranch, Amarillo, Texas
Cadillac Ranch is exactly what its name implies. It’s a ranch where you can see several art installations that consist of a Cadillac buried in the ground nose-first. In recent years, visitors have started spray painting the above-ground parts of the buried vehicles on their own. Just viewing the graffiti makes Cadillac Ranch worth a stop.
Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona
Once you reach the part of Route 66 that runs through Arizona, you’ll be treated to amazing desert landscapes that are ripe for photo ops. You can also visit the Petrified Forest National Park, which is the only federally funded park that contains part of Route 66. This park is home to gently rolling hills that are fun to drive through. Of course, the park is also where you can see petrified logs you can’t view anywhere else.
Santa Monica Pier, Santa Monica, California
If you’re going to travel Route 66 from beginning to end, your trip will either begin or end at the Santa Monica Pier. Constructed in 1909, the Santa Monica Pier was the first-ever concrete pier constructed on the West Coast of the United States. Home to the Looff Hippodrome, an iconic carousel that dates back to 1939, modern restaurants, shops, and talented street performers, the pier is an entertaining place for couples of all ages to visit.
See the Sights Along the Pacific Coast Highway
Also known as California State Route 1, the Pacific Coast Highway has long been known for offering one of the most captivating drives in the world. Stretching along The Golden State’s shoreline from San Francisco to the southern tip of the state, the highway takes you through cities, small towns, and overlooks that all make the trip well worth it.
With the highway taking you by so many interesting attractions, it’s wise to plan where you’ll stop before you hit the open road. If you don’t plan in advance, you’ll run the risk of missing out on some of the highway’s best spots. Planning ahead is particularly important if you only have a limited amount of time to travel along the highway.
Whether you’re going for a short weekend trip or your travels along California State Route 1 will consume a week or more, here are some of the must-see places you should add to your itinerary:
Muir Woods and Stinson Beach
Located outside San Francisco, Muir Woods is where you can see redwood trees that are more than 500 years old. The ancient trees stretch skyward and often reach heights that measure several hundred feet.
After you visit Muir Woods, head over to Stinson Beach. One of many small towns located along the highway, Stinson Beach has a historic lighthouse and panoramic views that will take your breath away.
Half Moon Bay
If you’re planning a romantic road trip, a layover in Half Moon Bay is an absolute must. You’ll have your choice of luxury hotels and romantic dining options when you visit this gem of a town. One of the oldest settlements in the county, Half Moon Bay boasts a historic downtown area, amazing bluffs, and beaches that visitors can often have all to themselves.
Many people will tell you that Big Sur is a destination on its own, and they’re right. This place is recognized as an American National Scenic Byway that’s popular among locals and tourists. Onlookers can often see whales, elephant seals, and other marine life when they visit this rocky, misty location. When you’re done watching the wildlife, take your partner on a hike at Julia Pfeiffer Burns State Park so you can see a beautiful waterfall that flows cliffside.
While Big Sur isn’t known for its amenities, it does have some fantastic camping sites. If you and your partner enjoy camping, consider spending a night or two under the stars when you visit.
Santa Barbara has long been known for its wonderful mountain views, outdoor activities, and fabulous shopping options. In recent years, the city has become the place for wine lovers to visit. The bustling yet laid-back city is home to various award-winning wineries and several annual wine fests that are simply a blast to attend.
Visitors are welcome to take guided tours of the local wineries and participate in wine tastings. If you want to share a unique experience with your partner, consider taking a self-guided tour of the city that’s based on the locations where the movie “Sideways” was filmed. There are plenty of places where you can grab a glass of locally made wine along the route for the self-guided tour.
Additional Places to Stop Along the Highway
As you can tell, the highway has a lot of compelling places for you to explore with your significant other. A few of the roadway’s additional attractions you may want to add to your itinerary include:
- San Simeon and Hearst Castle
- Crescent City
- Humboldt Redwoods State Park
- San Francisco
- Venice Beach
- Pismo Beach
- Los Angeles
- Dana Point
- San Diego
- Ocean Beach
- Point Loma
Even if you live in California and have your own automobile, you may want to rent a convertible for a road trip along the PCH. With a convertible, you’ll be able to put the top down, let the wind rustle through your hair, and enjoy the salty smell of the ocean throughout your trip.
Show Off Your Daring Side on the Beartooth Highway
Also known as US Route 212, the Beartooth Highway stretches 64 miles between Red Lodge to Cooke City, Montana. The highway will take those who are brave enough to travel the roadway through some of the most rugged and untouched terrain in the contiguous United States.
As you travel along Beartooth Highway, you’ll pass 20 glacier-capped peaks that are more than 12,000 feet high. If you make it to Heart Mountain just north of Cody, Wyoming, you’ll have arrived at a site that dates back more than 500 million years.
While driving along Beartooth Highway is an adventure in itself, you can take things up a notch by booking a stay at the historic Pollard Hotel. When you book your room, inquire about the available package deal that includes a thrilling white-water rafting trip.
Traveling along Beartooth Highway is often an exercise in pleasant isolation because you won’t see many cars if you see any at all. You will see a bunch of varied wildlife, however, that often includes:
- Mountain goats
- Black and grizzly bears
Beartooth Highway has a lot of zigs and zags, so traversing the highway isn’t for the faint of heart. If you are brave enough to tackle the highway, you and your partner will be richly rewarded with an adventure that may very well include a blizzard if your road trip is scheduled for any season other than summer.
Even after you cover the full length of the highway, you may want to extend your trip a bit. The highway ends or begins, depending on your perspective, at the eastern entrance to Yellowstone National Park. If you don’t do anything else at the park, at least visit Old Faithful with your significant other as it’s truly one of the world’s most romantic natural wonders.
Explore Key West
Key West is the southernmost point in the lower 48 and the state of Florida. While Florida is known for hotspots like Miami, Key West is unique because it’s an archipelago island city. Accessible from the mainland by the Overseas Highway, the city is known as a snorkeling, deep-sea diving, kayaking, beach-going, and fishing destination.
The city is also well-known as the former home of notable writers, which include Robert Frost, Tennessee Williams, and Earnest Hemingway. A lot of people don’t know it, but the city was often the getaway of choice for former President Harry S. Truman. As such, Key West has some historical treasures that are worth checking out, such as the Harry S. Truman Little White House and the Ernest Hemingway Home and Museum.
If you and your partner are interested in the paranormal, you should make plans to visit some of the city’s most haunted places during your stay on the island, which include:
- Key West Firehouse Museum
- The Porter Mansion
- Captain Tony’s Saloon
- Audubon House and Gardens
- Marrero’s Guest Mansion
- Fort East Martello House
- Eaton Street
The Key West Cemetery is also one of the city’s most haunted places. Even if you don’t believe in ghosts and ghouls, you should still visit the cemetery. Rather than traditional headstones, the cemetery’s markers bear epitaphs that reflect the city’s casual, laid-back vibe. The above-ground graves are often inscribed with humorous sayings like, “I told you I was sick” or “I’m just resting my eyes.” Most of the cemetery’s plots contain multiple people, making it reminiscent of cemeteries in New Orleans.
A stay on the island is a great time to break out your Adventures From Scratch book. Look through the more than 55 adventures in the book and pick one to do with your significant other. Whether you pick an adventure you can complete in your hotel room or Airbnb or one that will take you outside, you’re sure to have a great time.
If you don’t already have a copy, order the “Adventures From Scratch: Date Edition” now!
Frequently Asked Questions
Some of the best road trip ideas for couples include traveling Route 66 from Chi-Town to Santa Monica, seeing sights along the Pacific Coast Highway, and exploring Utah, Montana, and Key West.