PSA: Valentine’s Day is coming up very fast. With prices seemingly at all-time highs, many couples are probably wondering how to make an extravagant trip work this year. However, all hope is not lost. Why not go the local-but-no-less-lovely route and consider a romantic staycation? A romantic stay-what, you might ask? 

A staycation is a mini vacation closer to home — or it could even be literally at home — involving fun day trips to local attractions as well as evenings spent embracing the nightlife. 

Read on to help you decide if you’re happier having Valentine’s Day at home, or if an out-of-state trip is more suitable for you. Either way, set that email to an “out-of-office” reply, because the only thing on your upcoming agenda will be a lot of lovin’ on a Valentine’s Day break to remember.

Romantic Staycation Ideas

You may not be booking that trip to Paris, but you can still have fun planning your Valentine’s Day adventure — whether it’s in your home country, home state, or on the home front itself. Here’s a roundup of romantic tips so that you can prioritize the romance itself. 

1. Check-in at a Local Hotel or Rental

Woman in a white bathtub at a hotel.

For a romantic and luxurious staycation, check in to a local hotel or rental. Choose a hotel or rental with a spa, indoor pool, or hot tub to make your experience that much more special. Some hotels even offer Valentine’s Day packages, complete with dinner and champagne, so be sure to research in advance to find the perfect option for you.

When booking your stay, consider the location of the hotel or rental. Opt for one that is conveniently located in the city center, or choose one that is surrounded by nature for a more peaceful and serene experience. If you’re looking for privacy, consider booking a room with a private balcony or hot tub.

To make the most of your stay, be sure to spend some quality time together. Order room service, watch a movie, or simply relax in the comfort of your room. If you’re feeling adventurous, head to the hotel spa for a couples’ massage or a relaxing soak in the hot tub.

2. Have a Nice Dinner at a Fancy Restaurant

White tablecloth dinner table at night with a reserved sign.

For a romantic and intimate dinner, choose a fancy restaurant with a special Valentine’s Day menu. Look for a restaurant with a beautiful view of the city or the sunset, or choose one with a cozy ambiance, complete with candlelight and soft music.

When making your reservations, request a table with a view or a private booth. To make the most of your dinner, opt for a shared plate or a tasting menu, allowing you to try a variety of dishes together. And, of course, don’t forget to order a bottle of wine or champagne to toast to your love!

For a more intimate experience, consider a private dining room or a chef’s table. Here, you can enjoy a more personalized dining experience, with a dedicated waiter and a menu crafted especially for the two of you.

3. Visit a Local Museum or Art Gallery

Couple sitting together at a museum.

If you’re looking for a more cultured and educational experience, visit a local museum or art gallery. Explore the collections hand-in-hand and admire the beauty of art together.

Before your visit, research the exhibitions on display and choose one that interests both of you. If you’re looking for a more hands-on experience, consider a museum that offers interactive exhibits or workshops.

For a more personal touch, consider a private tour of the museum or art gallery. With a private tour, you’ll have a dedicated guide who can share their knowledge and insights on the exhibitions, making your visit even more special.

4. Have a Picnic at the Park

Couple having a picnic together in a park.

To ratchet up the intimacy, pack a basket of your favorite snacks and drinks and head to the local park for a picnic. Spread out a blanket and enjoy the peace and quiet of your surroundings.

When choosing your park, consider the scenery and location. Opt for a green space with a beautiful view or one that is surrounded by nature for a more serene experience. If you’d rather be more active, choose a park with hiking trails or a lake for a scenic walk.

For a more romantic touch, consider bringing along a bouquet of flowers or a bottle of wine to share. And, of course, don’t forget a blanket and some comfortable pillows to lounge on together.

5. Go Camping

Marshmallows roasting on an open fire.

Camping is an excellent way to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life and reconnect with your partner. Pitch a tent in your backyard or find a nearby park to spend the night under the stars. Enjoy a campfire, cook dinner together, roast marshmallows, and take a romantic walk.

This is a nice occasion to unplug, unwind, and spend quality time together. The lack of distractions will allow you to focus on each other and create an intimate atmosphere.

6. Do a Couples’ Workout

Two people doing yoga.

Start the day with a fun workout to get the blood flowing and release endorphins. Choose a physical activity that both of you enjoy, such as yoga, jogging, or a dance class.

This is the perfect opportunity to bond, have fun, and feel great both during and after. Exercising together will not only improve your physical health but also strengthen your emotional connection.

7. Explore a Hiking Trail

A couple sitting together on a mountain top.

Get outside and enjoy nature’s beauty by exploring a nearby hiking trail. Hand in hand, enjoy the stunning scenery, fresh air, and each other’s company. Whether you’re a seasoned hiker or a beginner, this is a fun and active way to spend the day together.

Find a scenic trail near your home, or drive to a nearby state park. Don’t forget to capture the memories with photos along the way!

8. Go to the Movies

Movie theater concession lit up with neon lights.

For a low-key evening, take a trip down memory lane and head to the theater, either to see a new movie or a new play or musical. Another good idea is to watch a classic romantic movie or modern rom com at home, where you can order takeout to complete the experience.

Either way, snuggle up with some popcorn and enjoy a cozy night basking in each other’s company.

9. Go Cycling or Skating

A couple sitting together after biking enjoying the view.

Rent or bring your own roller skates or road bikes and enjoy a leisurely ride or skate around town. Bonus points if you rent a tandem bike! Whatever you choose, this is a fun and active way to spend the day together.

Hitting the pavement will allow you to explore your city or surrounding nature, make memories, and get a little exercise in together.

10. Get a Couples’ Massage

A couple getting a massage together.

Treat yourselves to a relaxing and rejuvenating experience with a couples’ massage. Look for a spa offering this service or consider hiring a mobile massage therapist to come to your home. A massage is the perfect way to unwind and relieve stress, and doing it together will make it even more special.

Let the Sparks Fly with the Right Venue

A couple watching the sunset on a balcony.

Do you both see yourself clearing the decks for a romantic setup at home, or do you want to book a bed and breakfast out of town? Playing tourist at home can be a sweet idea and save you some money. A local hotel or a vacation rental can also inspire some intimacy. If spoiling your significant other is on the romantic agenda, here are some incredible staycation destinations in all 50 U.S. states that will light you up inside. 

Plan Your Staycation Surprise

Now that your Valentine’s Day staycation is starting to take shape, you can start skimming VacationRenter to lock down the perfect place to stay (or not, if you opt for a romantic staycation at home). No matter what you end up doing, we promise your sweet staycation will leave you both full of memories, and remind you of what really matters.