Travel

15 Underrated But Totally Romantic Beach Destinations

Your S.O. won't say no.
05/30/2017 04:01pm ET

Bali, Fiji, the Maldives... When it comes to romantic beach trips, the options can seem surprisingly overdone, overcrowded or overpriced ― especially if you’re craving someplace that’s not in the typical playbook for a honeymoon or couple’s vacation.

Below are 15 coastal destinations you may not have considered before, ranging from domestic shores to far-flung islands. Most can be experienced on budgets big or small, and all are epically romantic. Bon voyage!

1
San Sebastian, Spain
Photo ?Tan Yilmaz via Getty Images
This culinary capital is famous for pintxos, little single-serving snacks like calamari, seafood skewers and an orzo version of risotto. A number of local bars have elevated their pintxos to the level of gourmet creations designed to be enjoyed with beer, wine or cocktails. Boom, a perfect date night.
2
Antigua & Barbuda
This pair of perfect islands is worth a visit if you're into romantic seclusion in the Caribbean. Barbuda is especially remote, with just a few lodging options and some downright mind-blowing beaches.
3
The Algarve, Portugal
Inacio Pires / EyeEm via Getty Images
In the southernmost region of Portugal, this craggy coastline with glittering water attracts travelers and expats alike. Travel + Leisure recommends the laid-back fishing town of Salema, with its quaint main street and white stucco houses, as a pleasant place to stay.
4
Encinitas, California
Art Wager via Getty Images
One of San Diego County's more northern cities, Encinitas has the laid-back Cali vibe that's gotten harder to find in Los Angeles. It's perfect for the pair who wants to check in to an Airbnb beach cottage then enroll in surf school.
5
Bermuda
dimarik via Getty Images
If the Caribbean is too much of a haul, try Bermuda on for size. Just a couple hours' flight off the East Coast, this easy getaway offers spas, golf, pink-sand beaches and a British-infused culture all its own.
6
Viña del Mar, Chile
Image Source via Getty Images
Locals from Santiago head to this Chilean beach town for much-needed city breaks. If you’re a couple that likes to peruse museums and gardens by day, hit the beach at sunset and party by night, look no further.
7
Todos Santos, Mexico

A post shared by lizaveta13 (@lizaveta13) on

Lace up your espadrilles and hit the streets in this artsy little village, often considered a charming alternative to wild 'n' crazy Cabo San Lucas. Lovebirds will adore exploring Insta-worthy shops, hotels and restaurants.
8
Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam
@ Didier Marti via Getty Images
Lovers who want an alternative to Thailand’s party islands will dig this Vietnamese paradise, which comes loaded with relatively untouchedwhite-sand beaches. There's a good chance you'll ride a motorbike or go snorkeling in sweet seclusion.
9
Isle of Palms, South Carolina
As one of many barrier islands surrounding Charleston, Isle of Palms is especially enticing because of its resort-like feel. Wild Dunes Resort features golf, tennis and upscale cottages for rent, though you can also enjoy proximity to the island's cafes, boutiques and beaches from an inn or standard rental house.
10
Polignano a Mare, Italy
Eliana Guida / EyeEm via Getty Images
Trade the buzz of the Amalfi Coast for this little town near the heel of Italy's boot. A treasure trove of stone streets, charming piazzas, mysterious sea caves and a restaurant in an ocean grotto, it's the place for amore.
11
Killcare, Australia
It's a 90-minute drive from Sydney to this forested village with walking trails, beaches and art shops. The Bells at Killcare is a local resort famed for its luxurious spa, but more laid-back couples may prefer to simply walk the grounds or grab a drink at the bar.
12
Samoa
Getty Images
Forget Bali and Fiji: This spot has all the vine-swinging, heart-pounding, cliff-jumping adventure you and your significant other could want. Try hiking to a waterfall or diving in an ocean trench for a romantic adrenaline rush.
13
Fernandina Beach, Florida

A post shared by Marisa Flynn (@flynnmarisa) on

If you prefer your beach with a side of quaint main street, this is the town for you. Named one of the best places to live on the coast, Fernandina's horse-drawn carriage rides and 13 miles of calming waterfront make for a dreamy visit.
14
Lanai, Hawaii
iShootPhotosLLC via Getty Images
It’s hard to believe travelers flock to Maui when this little stunner lies a mere 25-minute flight from Honolulu. The island's beachfront campsites and Four Seasons properties are equally romantic places to stay.
15
Tofino, Canada
© Cyrielle Beaubois via Getty Images
If cozying up in a cabin sounds like the romantic beach trip of your dreams, then head to this rugged surf town on Vancouver Island. Misty mornings and mild afternoons might include stand-up paddleboarding, spa treatments, whale watching or simply chilling out.
Dr. Beach's Best U.S. Beaches, 2017
Suggest a correction