Pennsylvania is for Lovers: Discover 7 Enchanting Getaways for Unforgettable Romantic Escapes

Pennsylvania is For Lovers: Discover 7 Enchanting Getaways for Unforgettable Romantic Escapes

Photo courtesy of Chester County Conference & Visitors Bureau

By Kalena Thomhave

August 9, 2023

Need some inspiration for your next couple’s weekend? Check out these romantic destinations.

A romantic getaway in Pennsylvania might evoke thoughts of heart-shaped tubs in the old honeymoon resorts of the Poconos. While heart-shaped tubs do sound kitschy and fun, there are many more opportunities for romantic getaways across our state, from forest escapes to city and small town adventures.

We’ve put together a list of seven romantic experiences in Pa., both urban and rural, to serve as inspiration for your next couple’s weekend.

Ride the Rails – Ronks

Pennsylvania is For Lovers: Discover 7 Enchanting Getaways for Unforgettable Romantic Escapes

Photo courtesy of Discover Lancaster

The countryside passing by open windows, the character and atmosphere of a vintage train: rail travel is undeniably romantic. And because railroads are significant to the history of Pennsylvania, it’s not surprising that you can still ride historic steam trains in our state.

One such experience is the train ride via the Strasburg Rail Road, where you can ride a steam train like those that were ridden in the early twentieth century. The railroad has five steam engines that take passengers on 45-minute trips through the Amish countryside of Lancaster County. Besides a regular coach tour, you could also book a ticket for the Murder Mystery Train Experience, which seems perfect for Agatha Christie fans, or a more luxurious train car reserved for first class passengers. Our favorite, Le Train Cabaret, is a train ride featuring live musical entertainment.

For lodging in the Lancaster area, you could stay in a historic inn like The Limestone Inn, which was built in Strasburg in 1786. You could also book a cool stay like a romantic treehouse in Mount Joy.

Fall in Love With Fallingwater – The Laurel Highlands

Pennsylvania is For Lovers: Discover 7 Enchanting Getaways for Unforgettable Romantic Escapes

Photo courtesy of larkspurlazuli

Fallingwater, the architectural marvel built by Frank Lloyd Wright, was intended to be a forest retreat for the wealthy Kaufmann family of Pittsburgh. Nowadays, with the area open for tours of the house as well as the stunning grounds, it inspires thousands to take a rural retreat in the Laurel Highlands of southwestern Pa.

The romance of Fallingwater is obvious due to the remote location and its construction atop a Bear Run waterfall—a romance, in some way, between the house and the natural world. Book a tour in advance so that you can learn about the history of the site and also explore the rooms as the Kaufmann family lived in them.

Continue the natural theme by dining at the nearby Tree Tops Restaurant, where you can feast on delicious foods that are paired with a lovely view of the forest. For the ultimate romantic experience, book a Tree House Dinner to eat in a private dining pod that makes it feel like you’re eating in a treehouse.

Stay in a Yurt – Pennsylvania State Parks

A yurt is a charming alternative to a cabin, but still an opportunity to escape to the forest. They’re round, tented structures with walls; in Pennsylvania, they often include modern conveniences like refrigerators. If you’ve never stayed in a yurt, which have been used for thousands of years by groups in Central Asia, it might be time to plan an overnight trip to a Pennsylvania state park. More than a dozen of our state parks rent yurts alongside other lodgings like cabins and campsites. At a state park, you can pair a weekend in a yurt with hiking and other outdoor activities.

One of the parks with yurts, Gifford Pinchot State Park in northern York County, is an easy weekend drive from both Harrisburg and York metropolitan areas. While the yurts actually sleep five, you’ll simply have more space as a twosome. Each yurt has a stove and fridge as well as camping necessities of an outdoor picnic table and fire ring. If you plan your romantic getaway for the winter months, good news: the yurts are heated.

Depending on the season, plan for a romantic hike and picnic on a trail like Gifford Pinchot State Park’s Lakeside Trail, which loops around Pinchot Lake. During the warmer months, you can also swim in Pinchot Lake.

Trek Through Lake Erie Wine Country – Erie

Lake Erie Wine Country makes up roughly 50 miles of Lake Erie shoreline, extending from Harborcreek in Erie County to Silver Creek in New York State. On the Pennsylvania side, 13 of the trail’s 20 wineries are located within a 13 mile stretch, including 6 Mile Cellars (producing wine as well as hard cider) and Heritage Wine Cellars (specializing in fruity, sweet wine). You can quickly plan a couple’s getaway to explore this lakeshore area and taste all sorts of local wine.

Many wineries also serve snacks or have full-service restaurants, while others allow you to bring your own picnics for a romantic outdoor meal. All you need to do is book your driver so you don’t need to worry about imbibing too much, and book a place to stay. Lakeview on the Lake is a hotel on the Lake Erie waterfront that actually has cute cabin accommodations they call “romantic suites.”

Take a Sunset Cruise – Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh’s three rivers — the Monongahela, the Allegheny, and the Ohio — meet near the city’s downtown. The Gateway Clipper fleet of boats tours all three rivers. A sunset boat cruise on the Clipper serves not only as an excellent introduction to Pittsburgh but as a fun and romantic way to enjoy dinner on the water.

The Gateway Clipper’s sunset dinner cruise sets off each Friday during spring, summer, and fall (and Sundays in the summer). On the two-hour tour, passengers are treated to a dinner buffet and can purchase drinks at a full-service bar. You’ll also get an incredible view of the city skyline at sunset.

After your cruise, you might continue the theme of great city views and book a room at the Sheraton Station Square, right near the Gateway Clipper dock. Ask for a room with a view and you’ll enjoy a waterfront view of the Monongahela River. You’ll also be steps from the Monongahela Incline, a cable car which can take you to the top of Mount Washington for yet another spectacular view of the Pittsburgh skyline.

Explore Longwood Gardens – Kennett Square

Located in the Brandywine Valley, Longwood Gardens is made up of more than 1,000 acres of botanical gardens. The complex is home to ornamental gardens, a greenhouse, meadows, woodlands, and more.

You can plan a romantic getaway centered around Longwood Gardens in Chester County’s Kennett Square, which is just about an hour from Philadelphia. You can expect to walk vibrant, colorful trails with your significant other, while also planning for a sweet treat at the garden café appropriately named The Café. Alternatively, make reservations for dinner at the more upscale 1906 restaurant, which offers seasonal, locally sourced fine dining (and is priced accordingly). If you’re ordering off the summer menu, be sure to try the Kennett Square mushroom soup—Kennett Square grows more than half of all mushrooms produced in the U.S.

Visit a B&B in the Pocono Mountains – Jim Thorpe

Pennsylvania is For Lovers: Discover 7 Enchanting Getaways for Unforgettable Romantic Escapes

Photo courtesy of Khush

The Pocono Mountains are much more than the heart-shaped tubs and champagne towers of yesteryear (though if that’s what you’re looking for, they’re still available at Cove Haven Resort and sound extremely fun), but they remain a beautiful and romantic place for a quick getaway. While you can always book a romantic package at area spas and resorts, there’s something special about staying in quaint, historic bed and breakfasts—especially in Jim Thorpe, the “Switzerland of America.”

While admiring the way the town seems to have been built into the mountains, just like towns in the alps, you can experience a charming weekend at bed and breakfasts such as The Gilded Cupid or The Bella Victoria. Both of these bed and breakfasts are Victorian-era homes that have been lovingly restored for guests to enjoy, and both, offer exquisite, homemade breakfasts.

Jim Thorpe, with its walkable downtown and easy-to-access outdoor activities, is about an hour south of Scranton and about an hour and a half northwest of Philadelphia.

 

READ MORE: 8 Cool Vacation Rentals in Pennsylvania

 

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