Romantic Getaways East Coast Style: 16 Ideas For 2024

The Getaway Mavens like to be ahead of the curve when it comes to discovering – or rediscovering – destinations worthy of a first or second look: especially for couples seeking an off the beaten path getaway within a short drive of home. The following 16 Romantic Getaways on the East Coast might be unfamiliar to you, but each has what it takes to be a romantic destination.

The Getaway Mavens work in tandem with local tourism boards to find out firsthand why we should recommend their towns to our readers. And, why now? Does your region have something singular to offer? A beguiling natural or iconic feature? A new attraction? A new or newly renovated romantic hotel, inn, or B&B? Has it been transformed as of late?

We personally visit each town, and then choose our favorites for our end-of-year roundup for our Romantic Getaways East Coast Style. Try one or all from the following list, arranged by US States from North to South. Just follow the link to each town for the ultimate romantic experience.

Romantic Getaways East Coast Style: Small Town Charmers to Visit in 2024

Marblehead MA historic district late afternoon

Marblehead MA

Everyone seems to know about witchy Salem, next door to this classic boating town. But Marblehead MA, 30 minutes north of Boston, is one of those New England seafaring villages that locals like to keep secret. Deeply hued Colonial-era homes, most built in the early 1700’s – 1800’s, line narrow streets filled with shops, restaurants, and historic sites. Walk the historic streets, sit on one of the gazillion benches that pepper parks and cemeteries, duck into Maddie’s Sail Loft for a drink to get to know the locals, see the original Spirit of ’76 painting, and converse with independent shopkeepers. There is no better – or other – place to stay in Marblehead’s historic district than the Harbor Light Inn. Speaking even more romantically, it’s the only inn on the North Shore of MA with Jacuzzi tubs.

Johnny Irion performing at Apple Tree Inn Lenox MA

Lenox MA

Lenox MA in the MA Berkshires, isn’t exactly under the radar, but if you haven’t been here in a few years, you’ll be surprised. Edith Wharton’s home, The Mount, has gone through a massive garden restoration. And the Gilded Age stunner, Ventfort Hall, continues its own restoration – and thus improves on its visitor experience – as funds become available. Stay at the Apple Tree Inn. Recently renovated and under new ownership, this beaut on the hill has become a center of indie music and dining excellence.

Interactive exhibit - Patriots fan with life-size players at Patriots Hall of Fame Foxboro MA

Foxboro/Patriot Place MA: Sportiest Romantic Getaway, East Coast

If you and your main squeeze are sports fans, stay where the action is in Foxboro MA at Patriot Place – a mixed use shopping and entertainment development, with Gillette Stadium as its centerpiece. Even if you don’t know the first thing about football, though, Patriot Place has a few surprises in store. For one, the stadium sits right next to a fully operational Ocean Spray Cranberry Bog and nature trails, so even when a game is in full swing, you can enjoy a peaceful interlude in the woods. For the ultimate romantic gesture, take a quick elevator ride to the top of “lighthouse” for a drone’s eye view over Gillette Stadium, and a free video of you two, taken from across the field. Best of all, you can stay at the Renaissance Patriot Place Hotel. Walk right out the door to Gillette Stadium and a bounty of shops, eateries, a bowling alley, ax throwing, movie theater, art galleries, and more.

Hobbit House at The Preserve RI Richmond

South County RI

A getaway to South County RI places you immediately in a heavenly, sandy shores state of mind. With water all around – on Sounds, Bays, Rivers, and Ocean – this southern portion of the USA’s smallest State encompasses towns on the Atlantic Ocean, inland farm towns, and small resort towns kicking it up with great new restaurants and shops. We unpack the treasures of this largely rural section of Rhode Island that oft-times get lost in the rush to Newport. The splendiferous South County includes some of the most romantic lodgings in New England. Choose between our top four picks: the splurgy, splashy Ocean House; The Preserve – an exclusive sporting club on thousands of acres; the newly renovated haunted Colonial-era roadside tavern – General Stanton Inn; and the Shelter Harbor Inn – a newly renovated boutique country inn with a nauti-Casbah vibe.

Five Islands Park boardwalk span New Roc NY

New Rochelle NY

New Rochelle NY in Westchester County on Long Island Sound, a mere half-hour train-ride into NYC, might be just the ticket for an offbeat romantic escape. The city’s revival is more vertical than horizontal (read: new office and residential towers popping up by the week). So, stay far from all the construction zones and position yourself closest to several waterfront parks at the newly renovated and rebranded boutique Hotel NoMA (North of Manhattan). Let us tell you, it’s got one sexy restaurant, with a video wall that can transport you to your own private paradise. From NoMa, walk to the waterfront and jump on a fishing charter, take an LL Bean kayaking class and guided paddle. Or, our very favorite, catch a sunrise over Long Island Sound from one of three exquisite County parks.

Library designed by Bobbi Brown at her hotel The George Montclair NJ
Library designed by Bobbi Brown at her hotel The George Montclair NJ

Montclair NJ

The NYC skyline seems close enough to touch from the rooftop bar of hotel MC Montclair in Montclair NJ. That’s because it nearly is – and it’s just a quick 25-minute train ride into Penn Station. Sure, Montclair is a commuter town for resident celebs like Stephen Colbert, but it’s also a dining and arts powerhouse with two boutique hotels, a risk-taking art museum, and heartwarming history of one of the first YWCA’s in the region for African American Women. Stay at either the MC Montclair or the uber-cool boutique inn, The George, owned by cosmetic industry trail-blazer, Bobbi Brown and her husband, Steven Plofker.

Ironbound Farm truck Asbury NJ in Hunterdon County

Hunterdon County NJ: Flemington, Lambertville, Frenchtown

If the two of you consider a weekend full of charming main streets, vineyards, tubing or paddling on lazy rivers, and dining at drool-worthy farms and restaurants (one at a small-plane airport), romantic, Hunterdon County NJ – an hour from both Philly and NYC – makes for the perfect nearby getaway. Hug goats. Tour a world-class contemporary art museum founded by the former owners of Applegate Farms. Most of the things to do in Hunterdon County with its largest towns of Lambertville, Flemington, Stockton, and Frenchtown – center on visiting Delaware River towns that are not yet as well-known as those, like New Hope, on the PA side. Stay at the Woolverton Inn. How romantic is this country inn? French food impresario, Julia Child, married her beloved Paul here in 1949. Naturally, the inn has been updated and luxed up since then.

Biking along Spring Creek sunset Bellefonte PA

Bellefonte PA in Happy Valley

The part of Central Pennsylvania that encompasses State College, Bellefonte, Boalsburg, and Pine Grove Mills, is known as Happy Valley PA for good reason. With 15 producers of alcoholic drinks (beers, wines, ciders, liquors), it’s a fun, spirited, and even romantic place. Bellefonte PA is especially dreamy: A fly-fishing river actually runs through it. Plus, old gristmills have been repurposed into the industrial-chic Gamble Mill Inn, a distillery, and for you stamp collectors out there – headquarters for the American Philatelic Society. For a romantic overnight, choose to stay in said repurposed mill, or one of half a dozen small B&B’s – each with its own charms.

Stained Glass art piece of the Inn on Market hangs in solarium room, New Wilmington PA

New Wilmington, New Castle PA: Lawrence County PA

Lawrence County PA, with its towns of New Castle and New Wilmington in Western Pennsylvania near the Ohio border, has done a pretty good job keeping its growing foodie scene and cool attractions a secret. Home to Westminster College, the very first Warner Brothers Theater (now a museum, where you’ll learn the story of the immigrant Warner Bro’s rise from moneyless to moguls), an Old Order Amish community, some restless spirits who haunt an abandoned institution, and innovative chefs who’ve set top restaurants in chicken coops and churches, Lawrence County PA won’t be that hidden getaway much longer. Stay at the adorably romantic Inn on Market in New Wilmington. In private hands until 2021, the downtown property was renovated and expanded it into a 4-guest room, two apartment luxury inn, and opened in 2022.

Kinzua Bridge State Park view of destruction PA

Kane PA In The Allegheny National Forest aka the “PA Wilds”

Rivaling the more famous Adirondacks in New York, Pennsylvania’s Allegheny National Forest aka the “PA Wilds,” is a stunning, overlooked area of our country. But there are other reasons to visit the PA Wilds besides camping and recreation. This region is home to the Victorian-age engineering marvel-destroyed-by-nature Kinzua Bridge, the Zippo Lighter Museum, what’s left of Bradford’s “Billion Dollar Oil Field,” breweries, distilleries, a Marilyn Horne Museum, and several luxury inns. Stay in Kane PA, at Kane Manor, which was originally commissioned by Elizabeth Kane, the doctor/photographer wife of town namesake, Civil War General Thomas Kane after his death in 1897. Three generations of Kanes lived here: lastly, the colorful Elisiah “Sashy” Kane III, who opened it to guests in 1931. Since 2020, new owners have breathed new life into this stately mansion: now a distinguished luxury inn.

Ganoga Falls at Ricketts Glen State Park PA

Bloomsburg PA And Columbia-Montour Counties

In Bloomsburg PA and the surrounding landscapes of Columbia-Montour Counties, you’ll find, in large concentrations, some of the most romantic natural and man-made attractions you’ll find anywhere. Together, the counties maintain the third largest concentration of still-existing covered bridges in the USA (25). Ambitious couples can visit all 25 using this Covered Bridge Map as guide. And/or, strap on your hiking shoes for a 7 mile huff around Ricketts Glen State Park to see all 24 named waterfalls. For the ultimate romantic escape, stay in the town of Bloomsburg, where you’ll find two enchanting inns. The in-town Elmdale Inn features common rooms draped in the trimmings of a well-to-do early 20th century home. The charming Inn at Turkey Hill, just outside downtown on a former farm, also houses one of the best restaurants in Central PA.

Downtown York PA Mural - The Kiss

York PA

York PA has been called the Snack Food Capital of the world – with its multitudes of potato chips and pretzel factories. But there are motorcycle and violin makers, clothing designers, and mural artists here as well. In fact, discovering new and outdoor mural art is but one reason duos in love should visit York. Another is the reopening of the most iconic, historic hotel in town. Now under the Hilton umbrella in the luxury Tapestry Collection, the renewed Yorktowne Hotel, by virtue of its design elements, fantastic art, nods to the past, great rooftop lounge, and pristine luxury bathrooms, is one of the sexiest and most romantic lodgings in Pennsylvania.

Fenwick Island State Park Beach at sunset DE

Fenwick Island DE And Inland Delaware Farmland

Fenwick Island DE, abutting the Maryland State border, is the least developed, and most laid back of all the Delaware Beach Towns. On a narrow sliver of land, you can sprint from Little Assawoman Bay across to the Atlantic Ocean in under a minute.  Rent a kayak or arrange for a sail on a small catamaran with Coastal Kayak – the only kayak outfitter on Fenwick (bay side). If you tire of the beach, drive a bit inland to meet innovative farmers, walk an alpaca, catch a live performance outdoors, and/or visit one the best new Botanical Gardens in the country, with one section designed by the landscape architect who floral-arranged the Highline in NYC. Eat at the unassuming but exemplary One Coastal, owned by a James Beard nominated chef.  Stay at the new nautical-chic Fenwick Shores Hotel, Tapestry By Hilton. From there you can walk a block to the endless Fenwick Island State Park beach, right behind the hotel. It’s exceptionally beautiful as darkness descends, when you have the place nearly to yourselves.

Bikes for guests to use at the Wildset Boutique Hotel St Michaels MD

St Michaels MD

Remember the reception scene from the Wedding Crashers where the boat glides by and you wonder how there could be a real place so fantastically picturesque? It was filmed in St Michaels MD, a Chesapeake Bay yachting town known for its superior Maritime Museum, charming main street shops, and yes, THAT VIEW. Most lovebirds know about the high-end waterfront Inn at Perry Cabin. But last year, the undeniably Zen-ish The Wildset and on-site restaurant, Ruse, opened in town to wild acclaim. Don’t let the main road setting deter you. Decorated in earth tones, with bedding so plush you can disappear into it – The Wildset resembles a dreamy Scandinavian spa.

Walkway to wedding venue at Old House Winery Culpeper VA

Culpepper VA

There are romantic things aplenty to do in Culpeper VA, just over an hour from Washington DC. Watch a classic movie- for free – in a theater built within inches of the oldest and most historic films and audio recordings in the country, preserved by the Library of Congress deep inside a mountain. Spend an afternoon at a multi-acre compound that includes a brewery, winery, and distillery, with an achingly beautiful wedding “island” and love lock bridge. Amtrak (5 ½ hours from NYC, 1 ½ hours from DC) drops you off right in a downtown brimming with cool restaurants and indie-shops. Stay a couple of blocks from the train station at Botanical Oasis – a two-bedroom-two-floor ultra-cool Airbnb. Or a bit out of town in your own private Garden Suite at Trees and Bees Farm.

Romantics ask for this room at Heritage Hills BnB Waynesboro VA

Waynesboro VA

Waynesboro VA sits where the Blue Ridge Parkway, the Appalachian Trail, the Shenandoah National Park, and Skyline Drive meet. So, things are happening here for outdoor adventurers and foodies. Kayak or fly-fish in a river that runs through town. Hike into the darkness of a mid-1800’s train tunnel – now a public park. Shop in new indie boutiques, dine in top-shelf restaurants and raise a glass in a couple of breweries – one dedicated to kombucha! Stay at the antique-filled Heritage Hills B&B. Imbued with romance, the setting itself, with its undulating lawn overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains, is stunning enough to attract a growing number of lovebirds.

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Author

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  • Malerie Yolen-Cohen

    Malerie Yolen-Cohen is the Author of the cross-country travel guide, Stay On Route 6; Your Guide to All 3562 Miles of Transcontinental Route 6. She contributes frequently to Newsday, with credits in National Geographic Traveler, Ladies Home Journal, Yankee Magazine, Shape.com, Sierra Magazine, Porthole, Paddler, New England Boating, Huffington Post, and dozens of other publications. Malerie’s focus and specialty is Northeastern US, and she is constantly amazed by the caliber of restaurants and lodging in the unlikeliest places.