Being a newlywed can be a stressful and exhausting time in your life, not to mention expensive! Weddings take a toll on both your checkbook and your energy levels, so now it’s time to find a way to affordably relax. We shared our tips on having a date night on a budget for before the wedding, and now we have compiled the best budget weekend getaways for after! The South is chock-full of beautiful locations for the two of you to get some much-needed relaxation, so pack your bags and get ready for a romantic weekend with your sweetheart!
1. Amelia Island, Florida
This island off the coast of Florida may be small, but it is bursting with beauty, quiet beaches, and fun activities! A short 8 hour drive from East Tennessee, Amelia Island is the perfect location for you and your spouse to have a secluded weekend getaway. If you’re looking for adventure, Amelia Island has that as well! There’s an abundance of options, such as horseback riding on the beach, dolphin and whale watching, fishing, and distillery tours!
2. Asheville, North Carolina
Asheville is quickly becoming a favorite for weekend getaways, probably due to its stunning location and quirky-yet-cool vibe. And, there’s so much to do! Make sure you check out the incredible Biltmore Estate, and the amazing Biltmore Winery. There’s also tons of hiking nearby, and the city of Asheville itself is so cute and fun! You and your S.O. will have a great time just walking down the streets hand in hand and making pit stops at the plentiful coffee shops, like the popular High Five Coffee.
3. Bowling Green, Kentucky
A quick one hour drive north of Nashville is the off the beaten path town of Bowling Green, and it’s totally worth a visit! The slower pace will give the two of you a chance to kick back and relax, but after you’re all rested up you can go tour Mammoth Cave National Park, which is the longest cave in the world, and then check out the National Corvette Museum! It may be a small town, but Bowling Green sure has a lot to offer!
4. Charleston, South Carolina
The historic city of Charleston (it’s the oldest city in South Carolina!) is truly a gem. It is bursting at the seams with culture, history, and amazing food. It’s an easy drive from most places in Tennessee, and it is soo worth it! Not only are the beaches stunning and clean, but the city itself has so much to offer. Take a walk in Battery Park to drool over the colorful mansions, and then take a look at the City Market to buy handmade wares from local artisans!
5. Cumberland Island, Georgia
For the more adventurous couple, Cumberland Island is such an amazing experience! You can’t drive to the island; instead, you take the Cumberland Ferry from the small town of St. Mary’s, GA. There is an inn on the island, but take advantage of the lovely campground to get the full experience! Your days will be filled with hiking through the palm fronds, walking down the beach, exploring the Carnegie mansions, and watching the wild horses play! The relatively small amount of people on the island allows plenty of alone time for you and your beloved.
6. Emerald Coast, Florida
You can’t go wrong with visiting the Emerald Coast, which is the name for the stretch of beaches that incorporate Destin, Okaloosa Island, and Fort Walton Beach. It was named top 10 “Best of the US” by Lonely Planet in 2017, and for good reason! Not only is the whole area stunningly beautiful, but there is so much to do! Spend your days lounging on the white sand and swimming in the stunning emerald green waters (it’s easy to see where it got the name “Emerald Coast”!), and then enjoy the vibrant nightlife and array of amazing seafood.
7. Folly Beach, South Carolina
Though steadily gaining popularity in the last few years, Folly Beach is still a bit of a hidden gem. It combines small town feel with pristine beaches, as well as being quite close to Charleston if you want to do some big-city activities. Rent a house on Folly’s beachfront and enjoy the simply stunning view of the sunset over Folly. Take a walk to Folly Beach Pier, which is the second longest pier on the east coast! I can guarantee you won’t be disappointed in the beauty that is Folly.
8. Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Tennessee
The Smoky Mountains are close to home, but easily one of the best getaway locations on this list. Book a private cabin from Outrageous Cabins so the two of you can spend some time in the hot tub while gazing out at the gorgeous view of the mountains. There’s nothing more romantic than that! Then, to fulfill your adventurous spirits, explore Gatlinburg, go for a long hike, or spend the day at Dollywood!
9. Jekyll Island, Georgia
You can never go wrong with a trip to Jekyll Island, there’s just so much to see and do! It is a relatively undeveloped island, meaning you get to enjoy it’s natural beauty with no interruptions. There are, however, a number of resorts and hotels on the island where you can relax and be pampered after spending a day on the lovely beaches and golf courses. You are also close to other attractions, such as the picturesque Okefenokee Swamp on the Florida-Georgia border, which is the perfect place to see an abundance of wildlife, including alligators!
10. New Orleans, Louisiana
If you and your S.O. are looking for a fun getaway, New Orleans is the place to go! Spend your weekend drinking, dancing, listening to music, and eating amazing food! Of course there is a lot of history in New Orleans as well, so there’s still plenty to do even if you aren’t into the party scene. And don’t forget to stop in for a beignet from the world famous Café du Monde!
Being a newlywed can be hard work, and the two of you deserve a relaxing getaway to spend some quality time together! There’s an abundance of beautiful places in the Southeast for the two of you to spend a romantic weekend together, so get packed and get on the road!
Did your favorite getaway make our list? Let us know in the comments!
National Park Service
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