5 Romantic Winter Road Trips You'll Love

winter road trip

A pair of puffer jackets and a trip to the gas station might not be your idea of a romantic couples' getaway, but we're about to change your mind. Whether it’s a change of scenery, culture or climate that revs up your engine, it will be hard not to fall in love or deepen your bond on one of these whimsical excursions that are perfect for winter.

1. Route 100: Vermont  

Route 100 travels for 200 miles through the picturesque state of Vermont where the fall foliage remains stunning into the colder months and the maple syrup is just as good any time of the year. Driving through the state, you’ll cross a series of beautiful bridges, including the Big Eddy and the Lincoln Gap, overlooking the river and mountainside. Halfway through the journey, you’ll come up on Romance Mountain, a perfect spot to take a break and cuddle up outdoors or watch the stars.

2. U.S. Route 1: Maine

Hop in the car and drive northeast for a thrilling tour through Maine along U.S. Route 1, where you and your S.O. will discover a series of small towns that beg for romance, including the famous Kennebunkport. Here you’ll discover seaside mansions and charming bed & breakfast spots that once were homes to U.S. sailors. When you’re hungry, drive up to Portland where foodies go to eat (we recommend Hugo’s, if you’re feeling experimentative). Stay on the road a little longer for blueberry barrens and the saltwater falls. We couldn’t make this trip up if we tried.

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3. State Highway 60: Wisconsin

Wisconsin is flooded with beautiful forests and rustic roads. Take Highway 60 for the 100-mile drive along the Lower Wisconsin River through some charming neighborhoods. Stop in Prairie du Sac for wine tasting or Spring Green for architecture and art. If you’d like to add some additional romance to your trip, stop in the American Players Theater that specializes in Shakespeare. The route is said to be scenic the entire way through with gorgeous valleys and views of the Mississippi. You’ll be sure to come across a few breweries on your way too.

4. Yosemite National Park

Drive through the stunning natural wonder of Yosemite, which alone covers more than 760,000 acres of land in California. Start out in the Yosemite Valley where one-way roads will take you along your journey through landmarks, cascading falls and gorgeous rock formations. In the winter months, the park is quieter and begs for alone time for the two of you. While year round Yosemite offers amazing pathways, several roads are closed during the winter months so check your itinerary before you head out. If you’re feeling adventurous, try some of the trails by foot instead, interact with the wildlife or go rock climbing! Nothing says love like risking it all.

5. Pacific Coast Highway: California

This list would not be complete without including America’s favorite route, the Pacific Coast Highway, which runs 550 miles along California’s coast. We recommend driving the route from north to south (say, San Francisco to Santa Barbara), which will place you oceanside the entire way down. The best part is you’ll forget it’s winter! California never gets too cold and will be one trip where you can have your windows down and take a walk along the beach. When you reach the town of Big Sur, you and your passenger can make a stop at Nepenthe Restaurant, where the two of you can enjoy the views atop a cliff with meal and wine in hand.

Tell us your favorite road trip route!