Planning a romantic getaway for Valentine’s Day? There’s no reason you can’t do it frugally without romance suffering. We’ve found some of the most romantic things to do on a dime while visiting the five of the most climate-friendly of Kiplinger’s 10 Cheapest Cities You’ll Want to Visit. In any of these cities, you’ll find a wide range of Hyatt accommodations to select from, so you’re sure to find a hotel that fits your budget.
1. Tampa, Florida
What’s so cheap about it? According to Kiplinger, Tampa is so attractive because airfare is less expensive than to other hot Florida destinations.
What’s so romantic about it? You can settle in for a romantic dinner at the Columbia Restaurant Cafe for a surprisingly low-price. The authentic Spanish eatery is located in the Tampa Airport itself, yet it gets high scores for ambiance. There are also locations in the Ybor City Historic District, and the Tampa Bay History Center.
P.S. In Tampa, you’ll be hanging out on a Floridian beach for free. What’s more romantic than beautiful sunsets?
2. Richmond, Virginia
What’s so cheap about it? Snuggled into the beautiful mountains by the James River, Kiplinger lists hotel prices in Richmond below the national average.
What’s so romantic about it? Aside from the setting (Virginia is for lovers, afterall,) Richmond is also a hub for live theater. This Valentine’s Day, you can catch a day-time showing of Romeo and Juliet at Richmond Center Stage for as low as $20 a pop.
3. Raleigh, North Carolina
What’s so cheap about it? With competitive airfares and hotel prices, Raleigh is a fun city to visit for couples into history, culture, and all things educational.
What’s so romantic about it? If you’re the type of couple that enjoys art, you can visit The North Carolina Museum of Art, home to thought-provoking exhibits both indoors and out, for free. Because this is North Carolina we’re talking about, you’re likely to be comfortable visiting outdoor exhibits with the appropriate coat. The climate is going to be cold, but likely not frigid, even in February. The area also hosts no shortage of free wine tastings at local vineyards.
4. Birmingham, Alabama
What’s so cheap about it? Hotel prices are competitive, but meal prices are well below average.
What’s so romantic about it? Super romantic Italian restaurant Amore not only gets rave reviews…it’s also extremely budget. For Olive Garden prices, you get some of the best, most authentic food you’ve ever had.
Couples can also visit the scenic Railroad Park, which manages to bring nature and stunning city views together effortlessly. Nearby is one of Birmingham’s campaigns to clean up the city: the “You Are Beautiful” graffiti wall.
5. Charlotte, North Carolina
What’s so cheap about it? While comparatively one of the more expensive options, Charlotte’s hotel and food options are still way cheaper than other traditional area travel destinations according to Kiplinger.
What’s so romantic about it? In Charlotte, you can stroll the UNC Charlotte Botanical Gardens or any one of numerous gorgeous parks for free. This clean and walkable city tends to have free events every time you turn a corner, from energetic concerts in the street to festivals at the US National Whitewater Center.