Romantic Road Trips for RVing Couples

Spend quality time together discovering the best of what roadside America has to offer

February has arrived and love is in the air! If you’re tired of the same old Valentine’s Day celebrations why not spice things up with a romantic road trip

Forget the cliched candlelit dinners and hit the open road with your special someone. After all, they say that couples who travel together, stay together (Okay, I may have made that up but it’s true). Imagine planning and exploring the most romantic destinations across America, hand in hand with your partner. It’s time to add some adventure to your love life; a road trip is the perfect way!

Whether you’re still in the honeymoon phase or you’ve been together for years, a weekend away—or longer—can seem like magic in its ability to rekindle that spark that first drew you to one another.

And if you’re looking for the perfect way to travel together while enjoying flexibility and convenience, RVing might be exactly what you’re after.

Think about it. Road trips already make for some of the best couples’ vacations. You’ve got all that driving time to simply sit and chat, catching up on those meandering conversations you might not have time or energy for over dinner after a busy day.

The U.S. is home to thousands of miles of scenic roadways with numerous national parks, state parks, beaches, and mountain vistas along the way.

For the ultimate bonding experience, gather your favorite (healthy) road trip snacks, sync your playlists, and embark on one of these romantic road trips for couples with many travel links to make trip planning easier.

May romance be rekindled with these suggestions!

Ferris Wheel on The Wharf © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

1. Alabama: Gulf Shores/Orange Beach

The Gulf Shores/Orange Beach area of ‘Bama had plenty of activities for you and your college friends but it also boasts plenty to do now that you’re an adult and attempting to impress someone not wearing an airbrushed tank.

You can ride the Ferris wheel on The Wharf, go mini-golfing on Adventure Island, take a glass-blowing class at the arts center, or, you know, lie on the beach together. But anytime you have the opportunity to eat and drink on a boat while watching dolphins, you should always take it—so make that a priority.

I’ve written several posts about the area if you’re interested in learning more:

2. Arizona: Phoenix/Scottsdale

Scottsdale’s entire raison d’être for the last several decades has been the art of rest. Lucky for you, all of that R&R has begotten a third R: romance. Aside from the bachelor and bachelorette parties romping through Old Town, there are plenty of more peaceful ways to celebrate love in this desert city: candlelit dinners, couples spa treatments at one of the more than 50 resorts around town, watching the sun set behind the mountains silhouetted against saguaros.

Here are some articles to help:

Savannah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

3. Georgia: Savannah

It’s impossible not to swoon at the Spanish moss in Savannah billowing over every street corner and park. The iconic Southern flora is just part of the charm of this hauntingly beautiful coastal city renowned for its Lowcountry cuisine and ornate architecture. For a small-ish city, there’s a ton to do here.

Itching for some fun in the sun? Take a day trip to Jekyll Island, a gorgeous barrier island in the Golden Isles with historic mansions, miles of unobstructed beachfront, and the majestic Jekyll Island Club Resort, a sprawling hotel that looks like a chic—and harmless—Hill House. 

4. Kentucky: Versailles

Lexington on its own is an ideal place for a romantic city getaway in the Bluegrass State: It’s home to more than 450 incredible horse farms, its fair share of bourbon distilleries, and some of Kentucky’s best restaurants for a special night out.

But what sweetens the deal is the opportunity to stay in a genuine castle during your stay: A short drive from the city in the aptly named Versailles sits the Kentucky Castle which is less Medieval Times and more fairytale hotel complete with high-end farm-to-table dining, a full-service spa, and a chance to unwind like royalty in the Bluegrass region. 

If you need ideas, check out:

Bird City © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

5. Louisiana: Avery Island

Nothing reignites a fiery romance quite like hot sauce, so get yourself to Avery Island, home of Tabasco. Your priority is Jungle Gardens, a 170-acre collection of azaleas, camellias, old Buddha statues, and the rogue croc or deer. If you’re a bird-watching couple, there’s a separate tour of Bird City as well.

After you’ve taken in all the pretty flowers, it’s time to tour the super-romantic Tabasco factory. The hot sauce company has an additional restaurant and Cajun-inspired food tour on Avery Island, just in case your date isn’t impressed with bottling operations. 

Read more:

6. New Mexico: Truth or Consequences

If you want to get away from it all—like really, really away from it all—head out into the desert about two hours south of Albuquerque to Truth or Consequences. Despite the bizarre, Western movie-sounding name, this tiny town is utterly serene. Surrounded by mountains, it was called Hot Springs thanks to the soothing mineral springs found throughout the area.

You’ll find plenty of options in the aptly-named Hot Springs District but the best of them is arguably Riverbend Hot Springs where you and your lover can lounge on the shores of the Rio Grande. Book a soak in the private pools for extra intimacy and be sure to stay until after dark when fairy lights strung along the water turn the riverbank into a sight resembling an ocean of stars. 

Medora © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

7. North Dakota: Medora

We’re obviously sending you to the Badlands—ignore the name, they’re good!—but specifically to historic Medora. The town is the gateway to Theodore Roosevelt National Park and you know if it’s got Teddy’s name on it, it’s a natural beauty. The town itself is a Wild West riot, especially in the summer when the famous Medora Musical goes full Broadway. For dinner, head to Theodore’s Dining Room to sample buffalo osso buco or indulge in the regional marvel that is Pitchfork Steak Fondue which just as the name suggests involves skewering steaks on a pitchfork and dunking them in hot oil. 

8. Rhode Island: Newport

Newport is so old money and it knows it. The town is home to so many Gilded Age manors, that there’s a separate mansions page on its tourism site. Once you’ve gawked at enough chandeliers (and tour guides in old-timey hats), book a massage at one of the town’s several spas or head to the Newport Vineyards’ tasting room which is also home to the excellent Taproot Brewing.

Learn more about Newport: Newport Cliff Walk: Ocean Views, Mansions and more

Sylvan Lake © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

9. South Dakota: Black Hills

Set your compass toward Spearfish, South Dakota, and get ready to be amazed at the grandeur of the Black Hills. Make haste for Spearfish Canyon whose 1,000-foot walls snake along a roaring river then head to Sylvan Lake home to a shimmering mirror lake.

The spoils of the Black Hills await whether you’re interested in the extraterrestrial wonders of nearby Devils Tower, the majesty of the Badlands National Park, the cowboys-and-casinos delights of Deadwood, or, the kitschy charms of the world’s greatest tourist trap, Wall Drug. All are within an hour or two of Spearfish although you’d be forgiven for snuggling up and enjoying nature by fireside instead of venturing out, too.

By the way, I have a series of posts on the Black Hills:

10. Tennessee: Gatlinburg

The Smoky Mountains setting allows for hiking, horseback riding, and skiing (Ober Gatlinburg is the state’s only slope). Spending the day at Cades Cove is a must for every visitor to the Smoky Mountains,

And the fact that it’s in Tennessee means you can drink moonshine at several distilleries. There are also wineries and breweries if you prefer something lighter.

Here are some helpful resources:

More fun and romantic RV trip ideas for couples

Looking for more romantic road trip ideas?

RVing getaways help create romantic memories by putting you in the driver’s seat of your own adventure. It’s all about helping you restore your relationship with the outdoors while strengthening your relationship as a couple.

If you are ready to plan that long-deserved romantic RV vacation then here are more road trips and great locations that are worth visiting. Because it’s never too soon to start mapping out your next great getaway!

Edisto Island, South Carolina © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

If you need ideas, check out:

Worth Pondering…

Where there is love there is life.

—Mahatma Gandhi

The History of Valentine’s Day and How It Became a Lucrative Holiday

Americans will spend nearly $26 billion on Valentine’s Day despite inflation and recessionary risk

Valentine’s Day occurs every February 14. Chocolates, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint and where did these traditions come from? Find out about the meaning and history of Valentine’s Day from the ancient Roman ritual of Lupercalia that welcomed spring to the card-giving customs of Victorian England.

Roses overlooking Okanagan Lake near Kelowna, British Columbia © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Where did Valentine’s Day originate from? The history of the holiday and the story of its patron saint are shrouded in mystery. We do know that February has long been celebrated as a month of romance and that St. Valentine’s Day as we know it today contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman traditions. But who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite?

The Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.

Chocolates for Valentines? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

According to one legend, an imprisoned Valentine actually sent the first valentine greeting himself after he fell in love with a young girl—possibly his jailor’s daughter—who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter signed from your Valentine, an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories all emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic and—most importantly—romantic figure. By the Middle Ages, perhaps thanks to this reputation, Valentine would become one of the most popular saints in England and France.

While some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine’s death or burial which probably occurred around A.D. 270 others claim that the Christian church may have decided to place St. Valentine’s feast day in the middle of February in an effort to Christianize the pagan celebration of Lupercalia. Celebrated at the ides of February, or February 15, Lupercalia was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

Chocolates for Valentines? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The Pagan holiday of Lupercalia is described by History as “a bloody, violent, and sexually charged celebration awash with animal sacrifice, random matchmaking, and coupling in the hopes of warding off evil spirits and infertility.” No one knows the exact origin of Lupercalia but it has been traced back as far as the 6th century B.C.

Its true Valentine’s Day uses some of Lupercalia’s symbols intentionally or not such as the color red which represented a blood sacrifice during Lupercalia and the color white which signified the milk used to wipe the blood clean and represents new life and procreation.

Like many ancient traditions, there’s a lot of haziness surrounding the origins and rituals of Lupercalia and how they influenced Valentine’s Day. Lupercalia is no longer a mainstream holiday.

Chocolates for Valentines? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Lupercalia survived the initial rise of Christianity but was outlawed as it was deemed un-Christian at the end of the 5th century when Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine’s Day. It was not until much later, however, that the day became definitively associated with love. During the Middle Ages it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds’ mating season which added to the idea that the middle of Valentine’s Day should be a day for romance. The English poet Geoffrey Chaucer was the first to record St. Valentine’s Day as a day of romantic celebration in his 1375 poem Parliament of Foules, writing, “For this was sent on Seynt Valentyne’s day / Whan every foul cometh ther to choose his mate.” Hence the phrase, love birds!

Chocolates for Valentines? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages though written Valentines didn’t begin to appear until after 1400. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written in 1415 by Charles, Duke of Orleans, to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. (The greeting is now part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England.)

Who Is Cupid? Cupid is often portrayed on Valentine’s Day cards as a naked cherub launching arrows of love at unsuspecting lovers. But the Roman God Cupid has his roots in Greek mythology as the Greek god of love, Eros. Accounts of his birth vary; some say he is the son of Nyx and Erebus; others, of Aphrodite and Ares; still others suggest he is the son of Iris and Zephyrus or even Aphrodite and Zeus (who would have been both his father and grandfather).

Chocolates for Valentines? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

According to the Greek Archaic poets, Eros was a handsome immortal played with the emotions of Gods and men using golden arrows to incite love and leaden ones to sow aversion. It wasn’t until the Hellenistic period that he began to be portrayed as the mischievous chubby child he’d become on Valentine’s Day cards.

In Great Britain, Valentine’s Day began to be popularly celebrated around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th it was common for friends and lovers to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes and by 1900 printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology.

Chocolates for Valentines? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began selling the first mass-produced valentines in America. Howland, known as the Mother of the Valentine made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons, and colorful pictures known as scrap.

Today, according to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated 145 million Valentine’s Day cards are sent each year making Valentine’s Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year (more cards are sent at Christmas). 

Sweets for Valentines? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

In modern days, Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for businesses to arouse feeling of romance to convince people to spend money to express love.

Americans are expected to shell out roughly $25.9 billion on Valentine’s Day marking one of the highest spending years on record despite inflationary pressures and the looming possibility of a recession according to a survey from the National Retail Federation (NRF).

Chocolates for Valentines? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

The average lovebird will spend $192.80 on their significant others marking a 10 percent increase from $175.41 last year and the second-highest figure since the group began tracking spending on the holiday nearly two decades ago. Roughly $14 of the $17 rise in spending per consumer will be used for pets, friends, co-workers, and teachers.

Valentine’s Day shopping peaked in 2020, one blissful month before the depths of the pandemic began with a record $27.8 billion spent.

Chocolates for Valentines? © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Candy (56 percent), greeting cards (40 percent), and flowers (37 percent) are the most popular gifts. Around 31 percent state they plan to go out this year up from 24 percent in 2021 which should add $4.3 billion to the recovering hospitality sector. Around 22 percent said that they plan to purchase jewelry and the NRF predicts $6.2 billion will be spent marking the highest amount spent on jewelry in the survey’s history. These figures only represent what will be spent in the U.S. but Valentine’s Day is celebrated by consumers across the world.

Worth Pondering…

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.

―Charles M. Schulz

Make Today Romantic by Putting the iPhone Away

Today is a wonderful day for a luxury RV resort getaway

Okay, so I’ve done some research and St. Valentine was a real dude who died sometime around A.D. 270.

Well, it’s more complicated than that since there were a bunch of different St. Valentines. A lot of them were martyrs and one was beheaded. You can see a flower-adorned skull of one of those St. Valentines in Rome (if you are so inclined). The official St. Valentine is the patron saint of beekeepers and epilepsy (Kill two birds at once, eh!).

Pecan pie at Friday’s Fried Chicken in Shiner, Texas © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Many people believe that the genius medieval poet Geoffrey Chaucer is who officially invented the holiday when he wrote a poem called “Parliament of Foules” (sounds like a great title for my memoir!) which links the St. Valentine’s feast day to “courtly love,” aka an extramarital affair between a married noblewoman and a knight like Garth Brooks sang in one of his many hits, “The Thunder Roars”.

Rebecca Ruth Chocolates in Frankfort, Kentucky © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Okay, phew, I’m exhausted from all that history! My point is, you can make Valentine’s Day about whatever you want it to be about. If you want it to be about love and Godiva, so be it! If you want to make it about being a martyr and complaining, that is your right! Or if you just want to say, today is about bees, epilepsy, and medieval poetry—I think that could be a fun twist on the usual parade of candy hearts and red roses. I commend you!

Tremblor Brewing in Bakersfield, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Looking to history can be really helpful sometimes because it reminds us that most of the things that we think mean one thing now actually meant a completely different thing a long time ago so why not embrace the mess of time and the confusion of meaning!

Shiner brews at the brewery © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

As always, I’m here to help with lots of different ideas for how to think about today. Want to bliss out with something deeply satisfying in Shiner, Texas. Prosit! That’s what ought to come out of your mouth before the refreshing goodness that is a free beer goes into it. (It’s a toast that means “good health.”) I have just the article for you!

Savannah © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Want to imagine you’re the protagonist of a romance novel set in Savannah, Georgia? Savannah wears its Southern charm like its majestic oak trees wear soft Spanish moss—with pure, old-fashioned elegance. You’ve come to the right place! What’s more romantic than a carriage ride around Savannah? Savannah is enchanting after dusk as you meander under age-old live oaks draped with moss, listening to the soothing sounds of the clip-clop of the horse. Countless love stories in Savannah’s history started with a carriage ride.

Related: Savannah: Southern Charm, History & Spanish Moss

Sedona © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Searching for a romantic getaway? If the red-rock cliffs that preside over Sedona don’t make you pause, it’s time to book a trip to Mars, because Earth has nothing left to offer. In the early evening, the spires reflect a reddish-purple hue that no photo could ever hope to do justice. Whether or not you subscribe to New Age beliefs, it’s easy to understand why people say there’s an energy here that’s different than anywhere else on the planet.

KatySweet pecan pralines © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Looking for pecan pralines for Valentine’s Day? Search no more! KatySweet offers three different styles of pralines: Original Creamy, Texas-Style Chewy, and No Sugar Added. These Texas-style chewy pralines are made with rich, buttery caramel, fresh organic Southern pecans, and natural maple syrup. Mmm, delicious. Don’t you deserve to feel good about what you eat? This savory candy will dazzle the senses.

Related: Pecan Pralines a Sweet Tradition

Flavored pistachios © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

Want a nutty treat? I’ve got you covered. McGinn’s PistachioLand, the nuttiest place in New Mexico, offers an array of gift packages. The unique high desert conditions in Alamogordo produce exquisite tasting pistachios. They have also created their own unique blend of spices and flavors and roast the pistachios in many varieties like garlic, Habanero Limon, black pepper, lemon-lime, ranch, spicy ranch, barbeque, red chili, green chili, and classic salted. Their pistachio candies including Pistachio Brittle and Atomic Hot Chili Pistachio Brittle are unique and delicious. Into roadside attractions, McGinn’s is home to the World’s Largest Pistachio, a one-of-a-kind mammoth outdoor sculpture.

Related: Announcing the Absolutely Best Campgrounds and RV Parks for 2022

And finally…the very best in luxury RV resorts for that Valentine’s Day getaway? Yes, please.

The MotorCoach Resort in Chandler, Arizona The MotorCoach Resort in Chandler, Arizona

A luxury RV park or a motorcoach resort sparkles and catches the eye of every RVer who pulls onto the supersized sites. Depending on the resort, upgraded RV sites offer numerous amenities that may include long driveways, casitas, patios with propane grills and outdoor furniture, grass-lined concrete pads, outdoor lighting, gas fire pits, and even fenced-in areas for dogs. Luxury sites almost always have full hookups, shade trees, satellite or cable services, and quality Wi-Fi.

Bella Terra of Gulf Resorts, Alabama Gulf Coast © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

And yes, I’ve got you covered.

Whether you want to look to the past for answers, the present for romance, or the future for spring road trips, I hope RVing with Rex can help. If you’re snuggling up with your loved one today, bless you! If you’re courting someone new, godspeed. If you’re alone and loving it (or hating it), I hope you remember that St. Valentine didn’t get beheaded so that you could feel lonely! Call a friend, write a medieval poem to Chaucer (he is listening), or make awkward small talk with your Uber Eats delivery guy!

Related: 10 RV Parks across America that are One Step above the Rest

The Springs at Borrego RV and Gulf Resort in Borrego Springs, California © Rex Vogel, all rights reserved

As the candy hearts say: “Fax Me”!

Worth Pondering…

Valentines Day

All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.

―Charles M. Schulz