Categories: CampingDestinations

10 Most Romantic Valentine’s Day Camping Destinations in America

Oh, Valentine’s Day. Love it or loathe it, it’s a timely moment to affirm one of our most prized emotions, and yet it’s often associated with over-the-top displays that can leave even the most earnest feeling kinda empty. Which is a shame, considering how genuinely wonderful it is to dedicate an entire day to the celebration of love! We should do that more, yeah?

Call us biased, but at Hipcamp we believe one of the best ways to connect—no matter who it’s with—is to simply get outside together. A walk in the woods, dinner by a fire, a stroll in the sand, or a night under the stars can infuse the magic of awe and wonder back into our relationships. What could be more romantic?

If you’re looking for plans, we’re here to share some of the most romantic camping destinations across the US, all based on where couples have booked Valentine’s Day Hipcamps in the past (including some great examples for inspiration).

Top trending Valentine’s Day camping destinations

1. Ocala, Florida

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Caroline Whatley at The Griffin Ranch, Fort McCoy, Florida

Florida might not be the first place people think of when they want to go camping, but Ocala makes a strong case for why that should change. For one, Ocala is the perfect destination for a romantic horseback riding adventure. This town is known for its equestrian activities, and campers have the chance to zip out of their tent in the morning at an area farm for an unforgettable ride across farmland and beneath live oaks. You can also try kayaking or SUPing in one of Ocala’s many waterways—including Silver Spring State Park. This crystal-clear, natural spring-fed river offers a chance to see manatees swimming right beneath your boat.

2. Santa Barbara, California

Photo by Hipcamp Host Harmony B. at Harmony’s Glamping, Santa Barbara, California

Santa Barbara is the perfect getaway for anyone seeking sun, surf, and adventure. In fact, this city boasts both mountain and beach activities—meaning you’ll get an equal dose of romance and adventure on your next camping getaway. The Santa Ynez Mountains offer hiking opportunities in supreme spots like Inspiration Point, which overlooks the coastline from 1,800 feet up. Santa Barbara also has a botanic garden and butterfly preserve, both of which put you close to rare species you won’t see on a typical camping trip. Lastly, Santa Barbara is the perfect place to whip out a bottle of wine, light a beach bonfire, and watch the sunset.

3. Austin, Texas

Photo by Hipcamp Host Sam H. at the Missing Hotel, Marble Falls, Texas

Austin is already its own brand of cool, and the Valentine’s camping trip opportunities aren’t any less exciting. The lush climate means there’s an abundance of nature, such as that in McKinney Falls State Park. Here, you can start your outdoor adventure by hiking to a waterfall or cuddling in the grass. Next, you can cool off at Barton Creek Greenbelt, a chill, shallow area for dipping and wading. If you’re up for a short road trip, you can also drive to Krause Springs or Hamilton Pool—two longstanding swimming spots surrounded by greenery. Whether you’re staying in a glamping yurt or an Airstream decked out with DIY string lights, an impromptu getaway outside Austin is a perfect gift for your loved one.

4. Oahu, Hawaii

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Liah Mc Pherson at Sun Farm Hawaii @ Koko Head, Honolulu, Hawaii

If your Valentine’s Day gift includes a trip to Oahu, we’re jealous! And we know you won’t want to miss the secret spots on this island. We recommend heading away from Honolulu for the North Shore, where you’re more likely to find uncrowded beaches. The waves here are big, so you can leave the surfing to the professionals while you sip on a coconut and canoodle from the shore (or head to the east side if you want to take some lessons). Oahu’s Hanauma Bay and Electric Beach are great spots to go snorkeling to see coral, fish, turtles, and other tropical species that can be hard to spot elsewhere. Once you’ve got your fill of the ocean, head to Haleiwa‘s historic old town to grab a bite to eat and support local artisan shops.

5. Joshua Tree, California

Photo by Cait MacHutchon at Lovelight Ranch, Joshua Tree, CA

Simply being in Joshua Tree National Park is magical (and romantic) enough, but there are also a few ways to make this camping trip even more unforgettable. Aside from walking around to enjoy its rare rock formations, head to Joshua Tree’s downtown to grab a bite to eat and soak up the local quirkiness. Come nightfall, Joshua Tree is certified as an International Dark Sky Park, meaning it has some of the least light pollution and some of the best views of the night sky (in the world!). You won’t want to miss the chance to heat up the camping stove, melt some s’mores, and watch for shooting stars from the comfort of your double sleeping bag.

6. Portland, Oregon

Photo by Ellen M. at Sweet Relief, Damascus, Oregon

Portland’s rainy weather makes it ideal for a days-long cuddlefest—but you’d be missing on some amazing adventure opportunities. The best hiking near Portland can be found in the Columbia River Gorge, a mecca for waterfalls and magical, moss-laden strolls. Punch Bowl Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, and Multnomah Falls are just a few in this string of stop-offs throughout the gorge, while hikes like the Trail of Ten Loops can give you a stunning view over Mount Hood, which gets a dusting of snow in February. For a coastal hike complete with redwoods, venture to Cape Falcon with your loved one.

7. Catskills, New York

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Meredith Moyer Bontrager at Catskills Le Petite Cabine, Narrowsburg, New York

The Catskills were once a well-kept camping destination, before the awesomeness of the area just couldn’t be ignored any longer. It helps that the hiking is top-notch—popular summer hiking trails like the Hunter Mountain Fire Tower and Giant Ledge can be trekked with snowshoes or cross-country skis when there’s snow on the ground. Kaaterskill Falls is another natural wonder—the highest waterfall in the state—that looks stunning (and is far less busy) in winter. If you’re a fan of folklore, check out the Rip Van Winkle Bridge and read Washington Irving’s short story to get a real (or spooky?) feel for this historic area. Needless to say, this isn’t your typical camping trip.

8. Denver, Colorado

Photo by Megan Kantor at Rustic Glamorous Artist’s Cabin, Bailey, Colorado

Denver is a mecca for outdoor recreation all times of year, but February brings magic to this mountain city. You can ski the Rocky Mountains at nearby resorts like Loveland, Eldora, or Breckenridge, or if you’re not a skier, snowshoeing is another great way to enjoy the terrain. There are tons of options for where to snowshoe, but we suggest taking your significant other to Rocky Mountain National Park for its greeting card-worthy views at every turn. We also love Golden Gate Canyon State Park for winter walks or simply driving around to enjoy the scenery. No matter what you do, be sure to check out Boulder’s Flatirons by day and enjoy Colorado’s ever-present sunshine—with a local craft beer, of course.

9. Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee & North Carolina

Photo by Hipcamp Photographers Miranda & Joshua Meyers at Twin Valley Horse Ranch, Walland, Tennessee

The Great Smoky Mountains boast a ton of natural beauty and a variety of outdoor adventures to go with it. In warmer months, the area around Great Smoky National Park is a great spot to go mountain biking, while in colder months, winter hiking is your best option. Laurel Falls Trail and Alum Cave Trail offer stunning views of the snowy mountains, and while winters here are generally mild, it’s a good idea to prep for any kind of weather. If you do get too chilly, simply heat up some hot chocolate (with marshmallows!), and huddle around your campfire to swap stories from your favorite moments together.

10. Phoenix, Arizona

Photo by Hipcamp Photographer Christie Lynn Caputo at CampWay Friendly Pines, Arizona, US

Phoenix’s desert climate makes for a warmer-weather Valentine’s Day camping trip, and we love all the outdoorsy things to do in this southwestern city. Go hiking at Camelback Mountain, South Mountain Park, or Echo Canyon Recreation Area, all excellent areas to discover the natural beauty around Phoenix. For a more urban nature adventure, consider the Desert Botanical Garden. And since Phoenix is known for its sunsets, you’ll want to pop out some camp chairs and settle in with some wine when the day starts to wane.

For even more inspiration on where to spend quality time with your favorite person this Valentine’s Day, check out our curated list of romantic campsites, glampsites, treehouses, and cabins across the country. #FindYourselfOutside.

Still got love on the brain?

Read up for more romance in the outdoors.

Michelle is a freelance writer and creative storyteller. Her work has appeared in Health, Bitch, Business Insider, Healthline, The Daily Beast, and more. In her free time, you can find her penning her memoir, reading a good book in the park, or traveling the world.

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