Summer is the time for romance, whether you’re looking for the perfect first date idea or you want to surprise your significant other with a weekend away. Stressing about the bill can put a damper on your romantic plans, so we’ve compiled a list of the best budget-friendly weekend vacations for making priceless memories.
For The Traditionalists in San Francisco
For an intimate afternoon with your loved one, pack a picnic and head to the Presidio. The park sprawls across San Francisco, offering a range of gorgeous views of the sea, the city, and the infamous Golden Gate Bridge. Pack your picnic basket, blanket, and a bottle of something bubbly to enjoy, along with the scenery and sunshine in this peaceful park.
Hours: 24 / 7
For The Night Owls In Pennsylvania
For an unforgettable evening under the stars, head to Cherry Springs State Park in Pennsylvania. This park has a “Gold Level Dark Sky Park” designation from the International Dark-Sky Association. That means it is free from urban light pollution, making it the perfect place to see the night sky. Pack a blanket to sit on, a bottle of bubbly or thermos of hot chocolate, and be prepared for a quiet, cuddly night under the stars.
Hours: 24/ 7
For The Cool Cats in New Orleans
What’s more romantic than jazz? New Orleans is the place to be for dancing, drinking, and live music. Take your partner out for a sensual sampling of oysters – a known aphrodisiac – at one of the many local seafood spots. Then stroll by the New Orleans Jazz Museum where you can learn about the history of the genre and dance to live music almost every night of the week. Check here to see what’s happening tonight!
Hours: Tues – Sun 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
For The Thrill Seekers in New York
For a fun-filled day and romantic evening, check out Coney Island’s Luna Park. Admission is free but you will need to buy a wristband that allows you access to rides such as the Coney Island Cyclone, The Slingshot, and all of the fairground games. After a long day of play, grab yourself a scoop of gelato from Coney Cones and enjoy the Friday night fireworks!
Admission: Free, Thrill-Seeker Wristband $40.00
Hours: Vary depending on the date and weather, check here before you go.
Fireworks – 9:30 pm Friday Night
For The Nature Lovers in Chicago
If love is in bloom and you have butterflies in your belly: it might be appropriate to take your significant other to Chicago’s Botanic Garden. Admission to the garden is free. And if you decide to take a romantic stroll or cycle, you can avoid the parking fees & preregistration altogether. For only $8, meander through the magical “Butterflies & Blooms” exhibit which features lovely, fluttering butterflies from around the world.
Admission: Free, Parking Fees – weekdays $25, weekends $30
Hours: June 7 – Sept 6; 8:00 am – 8:00 pm
For The Beach Bums In California
Romantic sunset stroll on the beach? It may seem cheesy, but it is a classic date idea for a reason. Nothing is more charming than a picturesque stroll in the sand on one of the West coast’s idyllic beaches. Near Malibu, El Matador State Beach offers some of the most beautiful sunset scenery on the coastline. Enjoy the view from their cliffside picnic tables and stroll along the soft sandy beach among the colossal rock arches.
Admission: Free ($1 for parking using the app here)
Hours: Parking Lot open 8:00 am – sunset; 7 days/ week
For The Art Enthusiasts In Arkansas
The gorgeous Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art offers interesting installations and exhibitions for the artistically inclined. Walk along the nature trails wreathed with wildflowers and filled with statue art, springs, and natural rock pools. In the evening, enjoy an intimate experience inside the Forest Globes. Curl up under the twinkling lights, help yourself to a selection of savory and sweet foods, and take in the fairy-tale setting with a hand-crafted cocktail, wine, or beer.
Admission: Free, Forest Globes Experience $89 (2.5 hr, incl food & drinks)
Hours: Mon 11:00 am – 6:00pm; Tues Closed; Wed-Fri 11:00 – 9:00 pm; Sat & Sun 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com