The Southwest United States provides beautiful romantic experiences for a couple’s getaway, honeymoon, or anniversary. With mild winter temperatures and amazing resorts, you’ll want to consider one of our five romantic places in the Southwest, all with a wow factor, for your next romantic getaway.
San Antonio’s River Walk
Strolling hand in hand, perhaps with a margarita, down San Antonio’s beautiful River Walk is romantic whether it is an early morning walk or a late evening dining adventure. The River Walk, hidden below the streets of San Antonio, is a lush paradise with tropical plants, romantic bridges, and even an island where your wedding vows can be exchanged. It's easy to understand why this is one of our top five romantic places in the Southwest.
You can walk along and hear the strains of Mariachi music and Peruvian flute ensembles. At night, musicians serenade you from boats floating down the river.
When you tire of walking, grab lunch at a riverside bistro or take one of the narrated river cruises.
To complete your romantic getaway, stay at one of the hotels right on the River Walk. The Omni La Mansion del Rio is a very charming historic hotel. Nearby, find the Menger Hotel, a historic hotel across the street from the famed Alamo. Other Wander favorites in San Antonio include Hotel Valencia Riverwalk and The St. Anthony.
Want to know more about San Antonio? We have more articles on Wander about our favorite things to do in San Antonio.
Texas Hill Country
The Texas Hill Country is full of Romantic B&Bs and Inns, making it another ideal choice for one of our top five romantic places in the Southwest. You’ll find historic homes dotted on the ranch property of Texas Ranch Life. You can rent a historic house and even get married in their little chapel.
Texas Ranch Life is located between Houston and Austin and is a real working ranch that is home to quarter horses, American bison, and one of the country's largest registered Texas Longhorn herds.
If you want to stay where you can dine, shop, and enjoy some small-town atmosphere, I’d suggest Fredericksburg, which was founded by German settlers and retains a European atmosphere. Fredericksburg is close to the Texas Wine Country and the romantic wineries offer tastings and opportunities for romantic picnics. Becker Vineyards is a great stop where you can combine a visit to the lavender fields with a wine luncheon.
Fredericksburg offers many interesting little places to stay in town or in the country. You can find a romantic stay in Fredericksburg that best suits your needs.
While you are in Fredericksburg, shop their historic main street, visit the world-class WWII museum, or take a trip out to Wildseed Farms to stock up on wildflower seeds and tour the gardens.
If you are lucky enough to be in Fredericksburg during the wildflower season, you’ll be amazed at the show of flowers. The nearby wildflower drive, Willow City Loop, can be bumper to bumper as it is one of the most noted places for wildflowers in the state of Texas.
Another fun place to stay in the Hill Country is The Trois Estate near Enchanted Rock Park. It’s fun to wander the grounds which will remind you of a Tuscan village. Breakfasts are provided in a basket for your room. After breakfast, consider hiking Enchanted Rock in the state park which is just across the road. Be sure to check out more great Texas destinations on Wander.
The red rocks of Sedona are made for lovers, so it definitely is one of our top five romantic places in the Southwest. With majestic rock formations, mystical vortexes, fine dining, upscale resorts, and quaint shopping areas, you’ll enjoy a getaway to remember.
There are some very nice resorts in Sedona that, coupled with their spa services, ensure a romantic retreat. Try L’Auberge de Sedona Resort and Spa right on Oak Creek. L’Auberge has a fine dining restaurant and on warm days, you can be seated right next to the creek!
While in Sedona, enjoy spending an afternoon at Tlaquepaque Shopping Village. The setting is reminiscent of Old Mexico.
There are many good art galleries in Sedona. I particularly like The James Ratliff Gallery at Hillside Plaza and, for authentic Native American art, check out Garland’s on 89A across from Tlaquepaque.
As far as fine dining, you’ll have so many choices. Reds Sedona Grill at the Sedona Rouge Hotel has excellent fresh cuisine and a wine list featuring local wines. Mariposa brings the beauty of the Sedona red rocks inside to an elegant setting serving Latin American-inspired cuisine by noted chef Lisa Dahl.
During the day, you can tour the nearby Verde Valley Wine Trail and taste some marvelous local wine.
For a fun experience, drive to the top of Airport Mesa, enjoy the sunset over Sedona and stop by the Mesa Grill for a casual bite to eat where the pilots dine.
One of the best ways to experience those red rocks of Sedona is on a Pink Jeep Tour. This is a great way for the two of you to get into the beautiful Arizona wilderness and experience the magic of Sedona.
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Santa Fe, “The City Different,” is steeped in history and romance and is an easy choice for our top romantic places in the Southwest. Some of the top places to stay are located around the historic Plaza and all are romantic retreats. Of this list, I would say that La Posada de Santa Fe tops my list for the most romantic.
The resort is filled with curated original art, much of it for sale. There is an on-site spa and marvelous places to dine. A wonderful gathering place is the lounge at The Staab House. Located within the Inn’s main building, this historic home has a warm and inviting lounge with fireplaces and scheduled live music.
With fine restaurants, top-notch shopping, and art galleries, you may never want to leave the Plaza area of Santa Fe.
Wander writers love Santa Fe, so be sure to see more of what you can see and do during your visit to the romantic town of Santa Fe, NM.
Tucson Mountain Resorts
Tucson, Arizona provides a myriad of romantic escapes for golf lovers, wanna-be cowboys, and those who just want to soak in the desert beauty and warmth. After you make a visit to this beautiful desert escape about two hours south of Phoenix, it's easy to see why we include Tucson in our list of the top romantic places in the Southwest.
The beautiful Ritz-Carlton Dove Mountain is an ideal place for a romantic getaway. With superior service, you will be pampered from the beginning to the end of your stay. The Ritz-Carlton has several excellent restaurants… the CORE Kitchen and Wine Bar and Cayton’s Burger Bistro at the resort’s Jack Nicklaus-designed golf course provide guests with a range of choices.
The Ritz-Carlton Spa is designed to bring the healing aspects of nature indoors and promote relaxation in a serene environment. The spa has 14 indoor and outdoor treatment rooms (including suites for couples and small groups), a marvelous serenity spa pool, a clothing-optional outdoor spa tub with a fireplace and courtyard, and the ever-present views of the mountains.
Loews Ventana Canyon Resort is an older resort and, like the Ritz-Carlton, takes advantage of the desert setting and view. The resort is in the Catalina Mountain foothills, yet you can be in downtown Tucson within a half-hour or take a hike in beautiful Sabino Canyon nearby.
If you want to experience the old West and retain all the luxury and romance of the finer resorts, try a stay at a romantic guest ranch. Also located in Tucson is the White Stallion Ranch.
You can ride in the desert with your sweetie and end the day in the resort’s saloon where the bar is surrounded by real saddles doubling as bar stools. The resort’s ranch-style rooms are more than comfortable and treatment at their day spa will soothe your aching muscles.
When You Head for Romantic Places in the Southwest
A trip to the Southwest U.S. is romantic in itself. With history, culture, and natural beauty, you’ll enjoy exploring the lands and historic cities of the Southwest. If you have your loved one at your side, that exploring can bring even more joy. For more information on romantic places in the Southwest and beyond, see these stories by Wander writers.
As is common in the travel industry, the writer was provided with complimentary meals, accommodations, and entrance to attractions for the purpose of review. While it has not influenced this review, the writer believes in full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest.