Get Weak in the Knees on these Romantic National Park Getaways

October 12, 2017Katherine RivardNPF Blog
5 Irresistible Ideas that will Make Your Park Lover Swoon

When you’re shamelessly in love, you don’t need a holiday to celebrate each other – you create opportunities to adventure together year-round. Keep the spark alive by making new memories at one or more of these national parks.

Catch the first sunrise

Sun rising over the ocean in the horizon, lighting up the rocky shore with a white lighthouse at Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park is renowned for its beauty. This is the place for the lovers that want to revel in the Northeast’s stunning scenery – with rugged coastlines so spectacular that you’ll want to snap a shot recreating that scene from “Titanic.”

Plan to catch the first sunrise on Cadillac Mountain with your beloved. A 3.5-mile road leads up to the peak and is open between April 15 and November. Once the sun is up, hop on some bikes and explore along the park’s carriage roads, or slowly walk along the coast and see all the amazing ocean life visible in the tidepools.

If you opt to visit in the fall, bring your camera along to take pictures of the forest’s changing leaves.

Jordan Pond House is the perfect place to stop once you realize you can’t live on love alone. Whether you want to pop by for high tea or something heartier, they have you covered. If you’d rather stay outdoors, pack a picnic and dine together at one of the park’s 6 picnic areas.  

Views that’ll give you goosebumps

The snow and glacier-covered mountains behind a blue bay at Glacier Bay National Park

Unexplored, icy beauty that also comes with bragging rights for once you’re back at work.

This is for the couple that loves to do what others haven’t.

Take a cruise through Alaska’s waters in order to see all its natural beauty, including Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve. Cruises leave from major northwestern cities and are an excellent way to see many areas of the state in one trip.

For those who prefer to stay for an extended time and push their physicality to their limits, visit the Fairweather Range and the coastal mountains – some of the least visited mountains of their elevation in North America. Stormy weather can make these treks difficult and time consuming, but with the right partner it may be worth the venture.

For the less fearless, kayaks are one of the best ways to visit the park, though all kayakers are strongly recommended to check for available guided tours first. Whether hiking or kayaking, this cool destination will have your partner guessing whether you’re blushing or your cheeks are just ruddy from the cold!

Proclaim your love from the top of the mountain

Aspens in Rocky Mountain National Park

Majestic and remote, you’ll be swept off your feet.

This is for the outdoorsy couples that have matching calf muscles, proving the mountains they’ve already climbed together.

No need to wonder if “He loves me… he loves me not…” at this Coloradan gem. If your partner has taken you to Rocky Mountain National Park, there’s a good chance you are loved!

Spend half a day driving along historic Trail Ridge Road to get jaw-dropping views at all elevations. This path was constructed in the early 1930s and referred to as a “scenic wonder road” for good reason.

If you’re prone to car sickness or just prefer to move a little slower, you can both hop on a horse and explore the park on horseback. Later, have a picnic at one of the numerous picnicking sites throughout the park.

If you’re visiting in the winter, fear not! There are plenty of snowy activities to keep you and your honey busy. Try sledding, snowshoeing, or cross-country skiing to explore the area and frolic in the snow.

For the couple that wants it all

Three family members sit on a rock enjoying a sunset at Olympic National Park
Maribel Torres, Share the Experience

There’s a reason Washington state was the setting for “Sleepless in Seattle.” And “Twilight.”

This is for the pair that wants to quietly walk through life, hand in hand.

Olympic National Park has it all – snowy mountains, sandy beaches, rainforests. Choose your own adventure (mountains, forest, or coast), or all three if time is not of the essence. A favorite among lovebirds is a stay at Lake Crescent Lodge. In the evening, you’ll be ready for the sunset over Lake Crescent. Hor d’oevres or chocolates are an unwritten requirement as the sun gradually sets over the lake and you slowly lean in towards your lover.

Besides popping chocolate covered strawberries into one another’s mouths while watching the setting sun, other favorite activities include: visiting Sol Duc Hot Springs, home to a resort offering three mineral hot spring soaking pools as well as a swimming pool; and exploring Quinault Rain Forest loop. As its name suggests, this road circles Lake Quinalt and offers glimpses of bald eagles, cougars, elk, and other wildlife.

In the summer months, make sure to spend an evening star gazing, either with a Master Observer or just with your partner. The only thing more enchanting than their presence will be the thousands of stars, galaxies, and planets you’ll be able to see from the ground.

Where the rhythm will match the beat of your heart

The brass second line marching outside under blue skies at New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park
Joe Stolarick/NPS

Smooth jazz and amazing cuisine will set the mood for any romantic rendezvous.

This is for the Fitzgerald-esque couple that prefers to be where the action is.

Though certain times of the months will have special events, New Orleans Jazz National Historical Park  is a perfect vacation any time of the year. Almost daily concerts and the magic of the French Quarter will have you feeling the love.

Many of the concerts hosted by the National Park Service take place in the historic old U.S. Mint Hall. Head to an event early and take some time to learn about the history of jazz at the venue’s museum, located on the second and third floors.

During the day, stretch your legs on one of the walking tours of the area as you explore the various jazz neighborhoods. When visiting the birthplace of jazz, be ready to eat some of the best Creole food in the country and to spend your evenings swaying to jazz, cheek to cheek with your partner.

Winter, spring, summer, or fall, all you need is a #FindYourPark/#EncuentraTuParque adventure to fuel your passion for each other. Need more ideas on where to go and what to do? Download our free “I Heart Parks” guide.

Comments

I've asked him to light my fire and marry me at Volcanoes National Park on the shortest day of the year!
Emeline
Renz
I've been to 3 of the national parks mentioned above... on solo trips. I guess my tripod counts as my Valentine :-) PS: The picture of Bass Harbor Light at Acadia is actually a sunset! I'm pretty sure because I drove there from Blackwoods two hours before sunset just so I could get the right light. (Note to self: Next time... camp at Seawall!)
John
DSouza

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