Sometimes you want to take your date night to the next level – and what better way to do so than with a couple’s weekend? These ideas for cheap weekend getaways for couples will inspire you to make a quick escape from daily life – all without breaking the budget!
If you’re keen to step up your date night efforts by indulging in a night or two away but don’t want to break the budget, you might be thinking your options are limited.
You would be wrong!
From glamping to national parks, there’s a huge range of affordable options for the perfect cheap weekend getaway right here in the USA.
Live in Austin? Check out this in depth guide to cheap weekend getaways from Austin.
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Getaway to the beach
The beach would be one of my top picks of cheap weekend getaway ideas for couples due to its built-in romance.
Is there anything more romantic than walking down the beach, the touch of your husband’s hand in yours, the sound of waves crashing against the shore, and the sight of the sun descending into the waves?
I think not.
While most beaches are beautiful, some also have the benefit of being super affordable!
Perdido Key in Florida
If you’re looking for cheap weekend getaways at the beach, then Mary Beth from The Reluctant Mom recommends Perdido Key as the perfect destination.
For my husband and I, Perdido Key in Florida is one of our favorite weekend getaways (and I’m not just saying that because we eloped there)!
Just 20 minutes’ drive from downtown Pensacola, you’ll find sugar-white sand beaches and great sunsets with a fraction of the people.
It’s a very low-key area, so great for relaxing and connecting.
While there are few hotels there, the sharing economy is strong, so there are an abundance of Airbnb’s and VRBO rentals available. For about the same price as an average local hotel reservation, you can get an entire beachfront condo.
The surrounding amenities are on the cheap side, too. The restaurants are all locally-owned (no giant chains, here!) and well-priced.
I highly recommend the waterfront restaurant Sunset Grille for their sautéed crab claws and sunset views over the water. We go every day when we’re in town!
There is a state park that borders Perdido to the east where you can enjoy the beach relatively crowd-free.
For a little more adventure, there are plenty of watersports options available, from kayaking to boat rentals.
If you rent a boat, head over to Hub Stacey’s at Galvez Landing. It’s a local dive great for grabbing a drink – you’re likely to find live music there, too!
If you’re looking for a low-key oceanfront getaway, where you can enjoy white sand beaches and local hangouts, Perdido Key is where it’s at.
Want to take your dog with you? You might like: Traveling with dogs: Tips for weekend getaways.
Florida’s East Coast Beaches
Diana from The Elusive Family also loves Florida beaches!
One of the most amazing things about nature is that it is absolutely free. Enjoying the beauty of what it offers by getting outdoors is one of the best ways to have an affordable weekend getaway.
Florida’s East Coast beaches are among the most beautiful in the world, particularly among the West Palm Beach area.
A weekend getaway to a small town near the coast can be relatively cheap if you don’t look for beachside accommodation, especially since you don’t need to pay anything to go to the beach. Public beaches are in abundance and parking is plentiful.
Lake Worth beach has a lot to offer couples including a pier, restaurants, a beach complex and a chocolate and ice cream shop. The beach is several miles long and has plenty of room to spread out a blanket or chairs.
Ocean Reef Park is a great free diving and snorkeling beach, where the reef can be seen even during high tide.
Delray Beach is among the best beaches to visit for the ambiance, the art scene, and the beautiful stroll along its main street.
Delray Regional Park is a huge park with walking, hiking and biking trails and great place to picnic.
East Coast Florida beaches offer an amazing weekend getaway for couples, because they’re cheap, affordable and full of beauty right there on the Atlantic Ocean.
Getaway to a national park
If you’d like a little less sand and a little more nature, then a getaway to a national park is just the place to escape to.
There’s so much variety to be found in the USA’s national parks – from caves to mountaintops.
Mammoth Cave National Park
Diana from The Elusive Family rates Mammoth Cave National Park as the place to go for an affordable weekend vacation.
If you’ve been searching for cheap weekend getaways for couples that are unique, then Mammoth Cave National Park is definitely one for you.
The limitless caverns underground provide for amazing opportunities to explore one of the world’s most complex natural caving structures.
Exploring the caves is an all-day event. The National Park itself provides opportunity for hiking and camping, so you can easily spend a weekend above and below ground.
Entry to Mammoth Cave National Park is free, however visitors pay for camping if they choose to remain overnight.
There are also a variety of tours offered.
Tour prices vary from $8-$60. Tours are based on different experience levels, though the Wild Cave Tour is worth every penny.
The Wild Cave Tour is for adults only and provides hours of climbing, crawling, dirt, mud, dark and an abundance of new experiences.
From crawling through incredibly tight passageways, to circling your body like a snake through a hole, to crawling on your belly as your safety hat hits the millions of pounds of rock above your head, the Wild Cave Tour experience is unlike any other.
If you aren’t up for a Wild Cave Tour, there are numerous short tours available that showcase the breathtaking beauty of the caves.
Couples can easily pick tours where they can simply stroll along and enjoy the vastness of the caverns on the Frozen Niagara or Gothic Avenue Tour.
Out of the caves, Mammoth Cave National Park has a variety of options for camping and exploring the above ground part of the park.
Couples can walk along numerous nature trails through the forests or even go horseback riding.
Canoeing, kayaking and bicycling are also all great couple activities to partake in when visiting Mammoth Cave National Park.
Shenandoah National Park and Front Royal Virginia
If you are looking for a cheap weekend getaway from the DC area, then look no further than the Shenandoah National Park and Front Royal Virginia.
Spend the weekend exploring the national park with its beautiful views of the valley, a plethora of hiking trails and fun activities, or relax on the Shenandoah River in a river tube with a drink in one hand while soaking up the sun.
Ready to head down into the caverns to see unique geologic formations? Then don’t miss Skyline Caverns with a one hour guided tour.
If you are looking for a bit of romance, then be sure to visit one of the many wineries in the area for a sample and some of the best views.
After all of your adventures, you’ll need a few places to rest your legs and enjoy a bite to eat.
For breakfast, make sure you visit the Apple House and try their apple cinnamon donuts. They will melt in your mouth and beckon you for more.
Looking for another quick stop?
How about burgers and frozen custard at Spelunker’s in Front Royal?
End with dinner at PaceMint Taphouse and Grill.
Zion National Park
Another fan of national parks as cheap getaway ideas for couples is Allison from She dreams of Alpine.
Zion National Park is one of the most beautiful and iconic places in the United States.
Zion boasts of tall canyon walls, amazing camping, and epic hiking and backpacking trails throughout the park and can be visited nearly year-round due to its desert location and lower elevation.
There are many established campgrounds and free-camping options in and around Zion National Park, so depending on your budget there is always something available.
For example, if you wanted to go really frugal, all you would need to budget for is the entrance fee into the park (about $35 per vehicle for a 7 day pass).
It’s very easy to get around Zion National Park, because the park offers transportation to many of its iconic hikes and viewpoints.
There are many epic hikes and views throughout the park, but the Angels Landing hike and the Narrows Hike are probably the most well known.
To make the best out of a weekend, plan to do both! The Angel’s Landing hike is an out and back kind of hiking trail that is a steep uphill hike with breathtaking views of Zion’s National Park.
In order to reach these views though, you must be willing to hike over 2.5 miles (a 5 mile roundtrip) and 1,800 feet up a series of steeply graded switchbacks, and along a scarier narrow trail toward the final half of the hike.
However the Narrows is a more mellow (but equally unique) hike through a tall-walled canyon where you can hike for however long or little you want through the water of the Virgin river.
Whatever you do in Zion though, it’s bound to be a beautiful and breathtaking weekend getaway.
Cheap getaway ideas for foodies
If beaches or parks aren’t your thing, then maybe food is?
Planning affordable getaways for food lovers can be challenging, because of course, food can get expensive quickly – that is, if you don’t know where to look!
Baton Rouge Louisiana
If you love food and travel, then Amber Hoffman from Food and Drink Destinations thinks you’ll love Baton Rouge!
For people who love food and travel, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is the perfect value destinations for a weekend getaway.
Baton Rouge makes a great alternative to New Orleans, with great cajun food, craft beer, and loads of history, at a fraction of the cost.
Located on the banks of the Mississippi River, Baton Rouge is a city with fun nightlife and Southern hospitality.
It’s home to LSU, Louisiana State University, which means it’s a university town. If visiting in the fall, check the local football schedule.
During the rest of the year, learn about Louisiana’s most famous, or infamous, governor, Huey Long.
Visit the Old Governor’s Mansion, which is now a gorgeous museum that highlights Louisiana history, or see the Old State Capitol.
What makes Baton Rouge a great weekend destination, though, is the food. It’s a city known for cajun cuisine, including boudin sausage, crawfish, and some of the best oysters in the country.
For donut lovers, check out Tiger Deauxnuts and look for their donut, boudin, and fried egg sandwich. All of this comes at a fraction of the cost of a weekend in New Orleans.
Unique cheap weekend getaways
Just because it’s cheap, doesn’t mean it has to be cookie cutter.
There are so many unique places for you to adventure to on your next weekend getaway: from magical villages to oft overlooked places.
Jillian from Adventure Dragon thinks that Helen, Georgia is the best place for a couple’s weekend getaway. Love Helen? Here’s more things to do there.
At the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains just an hour north of Atlanta, you’ll find a charming fairytale village named Helen, Georgia.
This tiny, riverside dwelling houses just 430 full-time residents but is the third most visited city in the entire state of Georgia.
Helen’s popularity is due mostly to its Bavarian architecture and its quirky activities, making it the perfect spot for a weekend getaway for couples in the USA.
The buildings remind me of the Hansel and Gretel fairytales I used to read as a small child, and you can spend an entire weekend exploring them without needing to spend a single penny on your trip.
The shops in the main plaza host free entertainment. Local artisans perform free glass-blowing and pottery demonstrations.
Candy-makers make yummy treats right in front of you and will even let you sample them once they’re done. You can’t leave without trying some of the fudge! There are over 20 unique flavors, including my favorites–Amaretto Almond, Chocolate Raspberry, and Peanut Butter.
Once you’ve fully enjoyed everything in the main square, head to the waterfront to take a romantic stroll along one of the trails running alongside the Chattahoochee River. There’s a small park with a gazebo and waterfall nearby as well.
If you get hungry, I highly recommend the Troll Tavern. This riverfront restaurant lies under a bridge (as any troll should) and has an outdoor patio overlooking the water.
For accommodation, the village even has an inn designed to look like a castle or a real working windmill that you can sleep in!
Glamping in Maine
Amy Hartle from Two Drifters thinks the best cheap getaway involves glamping in Maine.
For those looking for a great affordable couples getaway in the Northeast, I highly recommend going glamping in the state of Maine.
In recent years, glamping has exploded in popularity, and with good reason.
It’s the perfect blend of wilderness and luxury, and is ideal for those who aren’t exactly on board with traditional tent camping.
Maine is a stunning place to do this with its hot summer days and cool summer nights.
One of the best glamping resorts in Maine is at Sandy Pines campground just outside of Kennebunkport, Maine.
Not only does Kennebunkport and the surrounding area make for a wonderful (and classic) coastal getaway, there’s so much to do right at Sandy Pines itself.
There’s a massive heated saltwater pool, plenty of spots to relax in comfy chairs, a convenient camp store filled with everything you need, and most importantly for a romantic getaway, some of the most epic glamping accommodation you’ve ever seen.
The traditional glamping tents at Sandy Pines were designed by professional decorators and it shows. Each tent boasts its own unique and luxurious theme where you will sleep in total comfort and peace.
If you want something a bit different, the campground also offers camp carriages, tiny A-frame cabins, and even the chance to sleep in a vintage airstream.
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Lake Tahoe is the place to be according to Lauren from The Down Lo, who has the ultimate 48 hour itinerary for this cheap weekend getaway location.
Lake Tahoe is one of those unicorn places. It has both mountains and water, and access to big city fun as well as space to roam – just in case you’re looking to get wonderfully lost or go off grid for a few days.
A great getaway year-round, it’s affordable because you don’t need a car (there’s a shuttle right from the Reno airport) and with nature aplenty, you could spend very little money on entertainment or paid attractions (although the casinos and Vegas-like shows are a big draw if that’s your thing).
Popular in both the summer and winter, rent a cheap Airbnb in the woods (there are plenty of adorable A-frames).
Spend your days suping or kayaking across the turquoise waters and hiking or snowshoeing Emerald Bay State Park.
Skiing isn’t the cheapest winter sport, but there are deals to be found if you know where to look.
Squaw Valley and Sierra-at-Tahoe both offer complimentary lift tickets the with proof of a same-day boarding pass to encourage you to hit the slopes the second you step off the plane.
Northstar Village also has a free ice-skating rink if you’d like to practice your Nancy Kerrigan spins.
The Well-traveled Nebraskan, LeAnna, has many reasons as to why Omaha is a great destination for a cheap getaway.
Omaha, Nebraska may be considered “Fly Over” country by most of the US, but many people are pleasantly shocked at all the Midwestern city has to offer, especially for a quick or cheap weekend getaway.
With easy flights into the city, it really should be considered by more! Even more surprising is just how perfect it can be for an affordable romantic weekend.
In the heart of Downtown alone, you could easily spend the whole weekend with your honey and have a fantastic time.
Omaha has an amazing arts scene, so whether you are into the latest Broadway shows, have a particular eye for sculptures and paintings, or love some great indie and underground music, Omaha has you covered.
If you’re a foodie, just stroll the cobblestone streets, hand in hand on your way to a high-end restaurant (don’t forget to window shop on your way!) and cap the night with a horse drawn carriage ride.
Or maybe you like trying your hand at new activities, like ax throwing.
Omaha has so much to offer.
Of course, you could also spend the day at the Heartland of America Park, picnicking on the lawn, watching the colored fountain dance in the night and even taking a gondola ride.
So, the next time you are debating on where to go for that next romantic, cheap weekend, don’t overlook the Big O!
Cheap weekend getaways for couples outside the USA
Having only a few days to escape with your loved one doesn’t mean you’re restricted to the USA.
Mexico is an easily accessible weekend location for many Americans.
Taking only two and a half hours’ flight time from Texas, Mar Pages from Once in a Lifetime Destinations recommends you check out Los Cabos, Mexico.
Los Cabos refers to a group of two cities plus the adjacent beaches, Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo.
Located at the tip of the California Peninsula, about two hours from San Francisco or Los Angeles by plane, the area is famous for Spring Break and for having some of the most luxurious hotels in Mexico following the 2014 hurricane which destroyed much of the infrastructure.
Because of its proximity to the US and its popularity, there are several flights a day and it is easy to snatch a deal for $200 return.
Once in Cabo, prices are really affordable and a few tacos will cost you just a couple of dollars.
Of course, if you wanted to splurge there are also an unlimited amount of options.
Los Cabos is a fantastic place to explore the underwater world with diving, albeit oftentimes only for the most expert divers, at the top of the list.
Here you can see the large marine animals such as whales or sharks in season as the Sea of Cortes is well known for attracting the larger pelagic animals.
On the ground, there are art galleries in San Jose del Cabo with art walks organised in the evenings, desserts with picture perfect cacti and sustainable farms to explore.
You can also head north towards Todos Santos, a Pueblo Magico, to visit Hotel California or the many beaches along the coast which are as wild as they are empty.
In town, in Cabo San Lucas, the beaches are packed with stalls where you can grab a tour to see Los Arcos, a rock formation, whales, from the comfort and dryness of your boat, or simply rent a sun bed to enjoy what you most probably came to Mexico for, all for just a few pesos.
You might also like: Traveling as a couple: Essential tips and advice.
From beaches to Mexico, this range of affordable couple’s weekend getaway ideas is sure to get your imagination going – if not your finger on the booking button!
Which one of these cheap weekend getaways for couples would you like to try to add more excitement and adventure to your relationship?