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Affordable Valentine's Day Weekend Trips You Can Still Book in the US

United States Romance Insider Guides Holidays
by Tim Wenger Jan 27, 2022

If the mere mention of Valentine’s Day sends a chill down your spine, we feel you. If you haven’t planned anything romantic yet and are running out of time, we have a few places to go for Valentine’s Day to help you impress your partner. Check out these seven options for an affordable last-minute Valentine’s Day getaway that won’t break the bank or put you in the doghouse.

We hope you love the places to go for Valentine’s Day we recommend! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

1. Aphrodisiac oysters and chocolate — Portland, Maine

Fort Williams Lighthouse in South Portland Maine in Winter

Photo: John A. Anderson/Shutterstock

Maine is already on the radar of seafood-loving and nature-appreciating couples, but you’ve probably only visited in the summer, a common mistake that until now you could be forgiven for.

There are two primary reasons why you and your honey should get up to the Pine Tree State for Valentine’s Day: Oysters are an aphrodisiac, and Portland certainly doesn’t shut down when the snow falls. You may not be fishing off the coast or camping in Acadia National Park, but a mid-February weekend is the perfect time to drown yourself in craft beer and sensual seafood, minus the crowds and prices of the summertime rush.

If you’re already on the East Coast and road-tripping up to Maine, this romantic getaway will be a bargain. The regions best Airbnbs are much cheaper this time of year. You can stay in a private home right in Maine for around $50 per night. For a romantic and sustainably-sourced dinner head to Fore Street Restaurant after checking the brewery out — though you’ll need to show up right at 5:00 PM to snag seats at the bar on the big night itself.

2. Star-and-moon-gazing on the coast — Glendale/Los Angeles, California

Hermosa Pier

Photo: Graeme Somerville/Shutterstock

If you’re itching for a mid-winter beach session, Valentine’s weekend is prime for heading to Los Angeles. Flights into LA are famously cheap from most major US cities, including from New York where they’re right around $150 round-trip that week. Set the mood with a creative painting class at a private gallery. This unique event is guided by a professional artist to create a painting with your partner. Tickets are $45.

After dinner, head just up the street to The Chained Rabbit for a craft cocktail, or head down to Hollywood. February is awards season, which means star-gazing is at its finest throughout La La Land right now. Even if you don’t see “The Gos” lounging at a nightclub off the strip, you can still hit Hollywood Boulevard and make your way down the Walk of Fame for the budget-friendly cost of $0.

3. The wine-soaked weekend getaway — Fredericksburg, Texas

People sampling and tasting wines in vineyard

Photo: nd3000/Shutterstock

Yeah, yeah, Texas isn’t Napa Valley. But Fredericksburg, an hour and a half due west of Austin, is under the radar of all but the hardiest wine connoisseurs in the US.

Over Valentine’s weekend, the Flat Creek Estate are welcoming guests to experience all the season’s best wines and a decadent four-course menu with handcrafted chocolates. The wine tasting costs from $125 per person and rooms at hotels and lodges in Fredricksburg are available for under $100 per night on Valentine’s weekend.

4. The hunny bunny ski trip — Salt Lake City, Utah

Man and woman skiers keeping hands and enjoying beautiful mountain landscape on a winter resort

Photo: Mny-Jhee/Shutterstock

Ski trips are expensive. Once you compiled the cost of lift tickets, flights, lodging, and overpriced resort food, the sum can be enough to momentarily jolt your heart rate. At the ticket window, you’re often looking up to $200 per day just to get yourself on the mountain — and that’s if your partner stays barside in the lodge.

It doesn’t have to be this way. If you really need a mountain getaway this Valentine’s, the cure for this wallet buster is the Ski City Super Pass. Included are a lift ticket and ground transportation from Salt Lake City to one of four mountains nearby — Brighton, Snowbird, Alta, and Solitude — for no more than $110 per person per day. The pass also gets you discounted gear rental in case you aren’t equipped upon touch down in Salt Lake. The catch is that you have to book at least three days, but Valentine’s Day is on Monday, so this is just an excuse to extend your weekend.

Lodging doesn’t have to break the bank, either, as staying in a big city means you’re escaping resort hotel rates. The centrally located and hyper-romantic Little America Hotel has a $150 per night special on Combine these offers, along with round-trip flights into SLC for $300 depending on your starting point, and skiing Utah powder is actually affordable. You’ll save enough to enjoy that après-ski session, and nothing brings a couple closer together than a mug of peppermint schnapps and hot chocolate after a cold day on the mountain.

5. You-know-what on the beach — Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Sunset on Hilton head Island

Photo: PETER LAKOMY/Shutterstock

Your partner will never forget the time you texted to say, “Honey, we’re going to Hilton Head Island next month.” Even if they haven’t heard of Hilton Head, they’re going to be stoked — the island just off the South Carolina coast is the best beach destination in the American South. It’s driveable from Atlanta to Richmond, meaning regional couples can get there for the cost of a few tanks of gas. And, when the romance moves indoors, the all-inclusive Sonesta Resort is offering a three-night special with 30 percent off.

The resort looks out over Shipyard Beach and is adjacent to the scenic Coligny Beach Park, the perfect place to end a long walk on the beach as the sun sets over the island on Valentine’s night. To occupy the rest of your trip, take a stand-up paddleboard out on the water, and if you do need to escape the resort, head over to Harold’s Diner for the best milkshake you and your partner will ever taste.

6. Flying high in the Midwest — Kansas City, Missouri

J.C. Nichols Memorial Fountain

Photo: Wallace Weeks/Shutterstock

You may already be tired out of hearing about Kansas City, but hear us out. KC brings two things to the dating game that most cities don’t have — world-class dining at unbeatable prices and a romantic Valentine’s Day sunset zip line tour. You read that correctly — on this most romantic of evenings, you and your partner could sail across the Kansas River with ZipKC as the sun sets over the plains.

Afterward, wine and dine with your beloved in the Power and Light District at County Road Ice House for the best of KC-style barbecue, craft beer, and good vibes. KC is among the few big cities in the United States where you can dine in a trendy spot and not have to worry about your heart skipping a beat when the bill comes.

7. Finding rhythm — Missoula, Montana

View of Missoula from Mount Sentinel

Photo: Jon Bilous/Shutterstock

Montana is defined by big skies, wide open land, and romance. Okay, we may have added that third one, but you can prove it true by taking advantage of cheap flights from the West Coast, coming in between $200 and $333 from cities like Los Angeles and Seattle. Book a room at the Residence Inn Missoula Downtown — only $199 per night that weekend — and forget everything you thought about long-term stay hotels. This one is both welcoming and romantic. It took over the old Mercantile building, once a hub for local commerce whose finer points are now preserved in the lobby via a collection of local art exhibits.

For dinner, make a reservation at the Pearl Cafe for Montana fare (local meat and roasted vegetables) and a solid wine menu with options for cocktails.

A version of this article was previously published on February 2, 2019, and was updated on January 27, 2022.

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