Just west of New Orleans, Louisiana you will find a romantic route known as the Bayou Cruise. This route will take you through the low-lying lands along the lower part of the Mississippi River. Couples can enjoy scenic views that are filled with garlands of Spanish moss, mighty oak and cypress trees. Sounds of herons and alligators can be heard splashing around in the swampy lagoons along the route, which will take you down Highway 31.
While enjoying the Bayou Cruise, stop by the Breaux Bridge and explore the area. Café Des Amis is a great place to experience the Cajun culture, including both music and mouth-watering crawfish.
Blue Ridge Parkway
Spanning from Virginia to North Carolina, the Blue Ridge Parkway offers a leisurely road trip that spans 469 miles. Running atop of the Appalachian Mountains, this route gives couples a great view of Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park and the Great Smoky Mountains. Couples will be swept away by the panoramic views alternating between forests and meadows throughout the entire ride.
While driving the Blue Ridge Parkway, make sure to take a break at Grandfather Mountain. This peak is more than 5,830 feet high, offering a fabulous view of the mountains and the Mile High Swinging Bridge. It’s definitely a romantic spot for a picnic or a photo together.
Columbia River Scenic Highway
There is nothing more romantic than exploring everything Mother Nature has to offer. The Columbia River Scenic Highway in Oregon offers just that, taking couples through winding paths that were constructed when automobiles were first introduced and past gorgeous waterfalls. You can see all of this, plus the breathtaking sights of the Columbia Gorge, which is located just east of Portland.
While taking a leisurely car ride along the Columbia River Scenic Highway, take time to stop at the Vista House. This historic rest stop sits on a stony cliff 700 feet above the Columbia River. The Vista House is also a memorial to early Oregon pioneers.
Couples can find romantic scenery just about anywhere in the Florida Keys. While in the Keys, couples can enjoy time lounging on the beaches while surrounding themselves with turquoise waters that are crystal clear. Many of the resorts in the area offer landscaped gardens that are perfect for a romantic stroll or an afternoon picnic.
When visiting the Florida Keys, take time to stop on Little Torch Key, where you can enjoy the white sandy beaches and many Florida-themed activities, including scuba diving, fishing and couples massages in your private outdoor cabana.
Built in the hopes to tempt drivers to explore the national parks, Going-to-the-Sun Road is a breathtakingly beautiful drive that will take you 50 miles across Montana’s Glacier National Park. Knowing it was built back in the Roaring 20s, this road will take you back in time as you drive past deep-blue alpine lakes and lush forests. This road is even more beautiful in the winter, especially after a fresh snowfall. However, be prepared for the road to close due to heavy snowfalls.
Take a break from driving at Logan Pass, which is located at an elevation of close to 6,650 feet high. Many of the meadows below are filled with wildflowers and if you sit long enough, you may see a herd of wild mountain goats pass through.
Golden Gate Bridge
For decades, the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California has offered a romantic setting where couples can dine, relax and explore. Many couples enjoy watching the sunset behind the bridge while sipping on champagne and sharing chocolate-covered strawberries. Couples can also rent a paddle boat for views of the bridge from the waters below.
Travel along the scenic Hana Highway through some of Maui’s most beautiful landscapes. This winding highway will take you through more than 600 twists and turns and then over several bridges. Driving together along this highway will be the most romantic three hours spent traveling at an extremely leisurely pace through 52 miles along Hawaii‘s coast.
At the end of your travels, make plans to spend the night in the Travaasa Hana where you will be able to enjoy the fresh air and turquoise ocean waters. This resort is set amongst some of the most breathtaking views the island has to offer, including lush tropical forests.
Kancamagus National Scenic Byway
Fall is the best time to take a romantic drive along the Kancamagus National Scenic Byway in New Hampshire. This 26.5-mile drive along Route 112 will take couples between the towns of Conway and Lincoln, where you will see some of the most amazing fall colors. This ride will definitely take you back in time as you drive past colonial farmhouses, evergreen forests and scenic bridges.
While driving along the Kancamagus National Scenic Byway, stop the car and take time to walk hand-in-hand through some of the covered bridges found along the way. This is definitely a romantic way to spend an afternoon in the fall. Sabbaday Falls also offers a romantic place to stop and explore as the two of you take a romantic stroll to a picnic spot that has been popular since frontier times.
Turn a romantic drive into a cross-country road trip with a drive along the historic Route 66. This 2,000-mile highway will take you from Illinois to California, with plenty of romantic spots to stop for lunch or to have a roadside picnic. There are also many places through the mountains where couples can enjoy a romantic night at one of the hotels and resorts found along the Grand Canyon and Colorado River.
When taking this romantic road trip, take time to stop at Cool Springs Station in Kingman, Arizona. This rest stop is a popular place for travelers and offers breathtaking views of the area and a small museum to explore.
The next time you are looking for something romantic to do, make plans to get out of the house and explore some of the country’s most scenic views. There are many places near these scenic views where you can enjoy a picnic, go fishing, explore local culture and spend time alone together.
Heather Landon is a freelance writer with more than 20 years of experience. She has combined two of her passions – writing and travel – to share her experiences with others. You can read more of her articles at Examiner.com.