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Couple playing in water in an alpine lake celebrating their anniversary

Best Anniversary Trip Ideas For An Epic Adventure: A Complete Guide

Why Adventure | Deciding Where To Go | Location Types

Mountains | Beaches |Canoeing | Waterfalls | Camping | Historical

Best Anniversary Trip Ideas: Where To Go For An Epic Adventure

Couple playing in water in an alpine lake celebrating their anniversary

Are you ready to start planning an epic couple’s getaway? In other words, are you wondering what the best anniversary trip ideas are? Well friend, I’m here to help you narrow down some great ideas and adventurous locations for your wandering hearts! 

Having been to over 32 states myself, I’ve compiled a list of anniversary trip ideas of where to go throughout the United States starting with different categories of places to visit for your anniversary. Whether it’s your first anniversary trip or your 25th wedding anniversary trip, I hope you find this article helpful. I will help you narrow down where to go and what to do to celebrate your beautiful journey in life together. 

Here at Celebrate Again I, Emmy,  highly value celebrations. I believe celebrations are a foundation in our lives that easily get neglected. Creating more anniversary celebrations in our culture is one shift I desire to make with Celebrate Again. Helping couples like you enjoy their anniversaries and anniversary trips. 

Emmy leaning against a railing on the edge of a ocean cliff side on her 10 anniversary trip

I love sharing my absolute favorite places with you all. It’s such a joy we live in such an amazingly beautiful country with SO much to explore! Who else is ready to get their wanderlust satisfied!? *raises hand*

I’m SO excited you’re here starting to plan your anniversary trip! Let’s get to dreaming! Here are my absolute best anniversary trip ideas.

This article may contain affiliate / compensated links. For full information, please see our disclaimer here.

How to Decide Where To Go For Your Anniversary Trip

Landscape photo of Boulder, Colorado with sweeping mountain views and blue skies

I’ll be the FIRST person to start daydreaming about places to visit and things to do for our own anniversary trip. In fact, we just celebrated 10 years ourselves! I’m so glad we took the time to plan out our own 10 year anniversary trip and had a beautiful time! 

Now, back to planning YOUR trip.

Step 1: Find out what type of place you’d like to go on your anniversary trip? I always love to think about the environment you’ll want to experience. Do you both enjoy warmer or colder places?

For example, my husband loves rainy climates where as I enjoy beaches. Therefore the Pacific Northwest is a popular spot for us.

What do you want the weather to be like? Do you enjoy sightseeing, exploring landscapes, unique adventures, or visiting historical places or a little bit of everything? 

Step 2: Do your research where you’d like to go on your anniversary trip! And here is where I can help you with all the places we’ll cover in this article. 

Here are my best anniversary trip ideas. These are some of favorites types of places to visit that are for the adventurous fun loving couples!

Need more help planning your anniversary trip? Check out this article I created with our top 5 best tips for planning your anniversary trip!

Celebrate-Again-What-To-Do-For-Your-Anniversary-photo within a p shaped object of feet on the shore of an alpine lake with snow capped mountains and cloudy sky next to image is a pink abstract shape

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Altitude That Takes Your Breath Away -Really – Exploring The Mountains On Your Anniversary Trip

couple holding hands walking on near the edge of a cliff in Boulder, Colorado that looks out to sweeping views

Sometimes I just get so excited about how big the United States are. And then, other times, I freak out because it’s SO HUGE that it takes forever to get across. But, then half way through the country you hit the Rocky Mountains. You roll down your window, breathe that fresh mountain air and your jaw drops at their majesty. You forget about all your worries. 

Have you ever stood at or near the edge of a mountain top seeing the rolling peaks cascading in the background as the sun flickers through the dynamics of each contour and specific shape? If you’re anything like me your heart explodes and every care you once had melts away.

Living in the Rocky Mountains my whole life I haven’t felt home in any other places because of the illustriousness they bring.

Rocky Mountain National Park

For all my adventure-loving couples, Rocky Mountain National Park is—I suspect—on the top of your list for anniversary trip ideas. Rightly so friend, rightly so. It is one of the most beloved national parks in the USA. It’s the second most visited one too.

Being a local Coloradian now for 10 years I’m here to share some of my favorite things about the park:

While many people flock here during the summer months, it’s just as magical no matter the time of year. Wear the right gear, pack/plan for emergencies and do your research on the specific areas you want to hike/explore. 

Here are some of my favorite must have items for handing the quick transitioning weather here in the Rocky Mountains. If you’ll be visiting anytime between the months of September through May or early June I highly recommend a good pair of crampons. They help give your feet traction in any icy conditions. Trust me it’s worth the cost vs hurting yourself slipping on ice.

If you can only visit during the summer months stay in Grand Lake vs Estes Park. The road into the park from Grand Lake is beyond gorgeous and will get you through more of the park than if you come through Estes. Not to mention Grand Lake is breathtakingly gorgeous. 

Plan for all 4 seasons in one day. Due to the altitude, weather can change quickly. Snow can happen in June or July at the peaks and the temperature can go from sunny and warm to legit thunderstorms in seconds. 

Practice Leave No Trace principles: The name gives it away, pack out what you take in and stay on the path. It’s a beautiful place and we want to keep it beautiful for many generations to come. But it starts with us today, to take responsibility for how we use and treat this amazing place. 

Boulder, Colorado

Rock formations in the foreground and sweeping mountain views in the background of Boulder, Colorado
Man lifting up female spinning her around in an intimate hug on the top of a mountain top near Boulder, Colorado with sweeping mountain views and blue skies in the background

Similarly to Rocky Mountain National Park Boulder is for all couples who love adventure but also a little bit of weird culture. Boulder is your best anniversary trip idea. The culture here boasts of its uniqueness and means to do things their own way. Throughout the summer months you’ll find wonderful flea markets with local artisans, farmers markets and festivities.

Don’t miss the beautiful Flatirons and some gorgeous hikes just a skip and a hop away from town.

Evergreen trees framing the boulder Colorado flatirons

You’ll find world class rock climbing, paragliding, repelling, and so much more for the adventurous hearts.

Couple rock climbing together in the rocky mountains, male is hanging upside down by rope and female is leaning in to give him a kiss
Couple rock climbing together in the rocky mountains, both at the same level off the rock wrapping their legs around each other touching each other affectionately.

Don’t forget to grab your inner tub in the summer months and take a cruise down the river. Check with the local shops about the current rapid levels and wear the appropriate safety gear. 

Skiing/Snowboarding Anniversary Trip Destinations

Ski lift in the summer time in Telluride, Colorado with mountains snow capped in the background

I cannot talk about the rocky mountain without mentioning our world class skiing and snowboarding destinations. If you’re more of a winter loving couple this may be a real consideration for your anniversary trip!

Colorado is peppered full of ski destinations. Some of the most popular locations being:

  • Telluride, Colorado
  • Vail, Colorado
  • Breckenridge, Colorado
  • Steamboat Springs, Colorado
  • Aspen, Colorado

Recommendation alert: If you’re going to be skiing these locations for longer than a few days I’d recommend getting an Epic Pass before the ski season starts to save a few extra bucks. They usually go on sale as early as September and stop selling by November.

Person jumping over lip while snowboarding with evergreens in the background
View of the gondolas at Steamboat Springs Ski Area

Being a Colorado local let me tell you about some of the lesser known ski hotspots that are just as epic:

  • A Basin- just outside of Keystone, Colorado near the beautiful towns in Summit County (Frisco, Dillon, Silverthorne)
  • Wolf Creek outside of Pagosa Springs, Colorado (known for its wonderful hot springs)
  • Monarch just outside of Salida, Colorado

My personal favorite is Wolf Creek which is actually down in Southern Colorado but well worth the visit and extra drive time. Fly out from Albuquerque, NM instead to shorten your drive time to 4.5/5 hours from 6/7 from Denver and explore the Rocky Mountains of the Southwest Desert instead!

Ski lift in the winter time in Telluride, Colorado with mountains snow capped in the background

If you aren’t a big ski/snowboarder I highly recommend you purchasing the right gear to actually enjoy your time there. Wearing the right layers is vital to actually enjoying your time verse freezing or sweating then getting cold again becoming absolutely miserable. Here are my favorite pieces of gear to make sure to have on your ski/snowboard trip!

Other Mountain Locations To Visit for Your Anniversary Trip:

  • Mount Rainier, outside of Seattle, WA
  • Mount Hood outside of Portland, OR
  • Blue Ridge Mountains Asheville, SC
  • Crested Butte, Colorado
  • Talkeetna, Alaska
  • Ketchum, Idaho
  • Toas, New Mexico
  • Albuquerque, New Mexico
  • Moab, Utah
  • Lake Tahoe, California
  • Sitka, Alaska

Beaches – Traveling Tropically

Maui, Hawaii

We have some AMAZING beaches in the USA. It also helps that we inhabit one of the most beautiful tropical islands in the world. Yep, you guessed it HAWAII. 

Ocean waves rolling in onto a beach with maui mountains in the background

If you’re looking for the ultimate romantic couples getaway in the usa, Hawaii may just be it. I know many people think of Hawaii and Maui specifically as the honeymoon-ers spot but it truly can be enjoyed for anyone one of any age. I think a perfect place for your anniversary trip! Not to mention that you can get a 5/6 hour non stop flight there from bigger airports like Denver International Airport!

Maui was one of my favorite places to visit this past fall. I can say that it is truly a magical place. From the east side of the island with its dreamlike beaches to the otherworldly rainforests located on the road to Hana, it truly is an enchanting place you won’t regret visiting. 

Ocean views as the sun beams, setting behind the Maui mountains

To have a more adventurous trip consider renting an airbnb or local stay instead of a resort. Consider doing some volunteer work while you’re there to get to know some locals and learn about the magic of the place!

Folly Beach, South Carolina

Best Anniversary Trip Ideas | Beaches: Folly Beach, SC

Having visited the east coast and west coast beaches throughout my childhood I can say by far Folly Beach, SC has been one of my favorites to actually get in and enjoy. I HIGHLY recommend it for any couple looking for a romantic anniversary trip idea!

Couple on anniversary trip in Folly Beach, SC standing on sand with grass near them and blue skies behind them
Couple on anniversary trip in Folly Beach, SC standing on sand with grass near them and blue skies behind them

If you haven’t been to both USA coasts then you’ll be surprised to learn the west coast is VERY cold until you hit Southern California in late summer. The cooler Southern California pacific ocean temperatures will be a relief from the desert heat. 

Even though the Atlantic ocean is very cold in the northern states it warms up quite well as you hit the southern states. 

Folly Beach, South Carolina is one of the most adorable towns with its own local culture, events, and generally easy going place. You’ll be surprised that this southern town doesn’t feel too southern but more west coast than you’d imagine for being in the heart of the south.

Couple on anniversary trip in Folly Beach, SC holding hands as they walk along the beach
Couple on anniversary trip in Folly Beach, SC holding hands as they walk along the beach

Want to plan your anniversary trip to Charleston? Check out the 10 most romantic things to do in Charleston, SC from some of my favorite locals!

Cannon Beach, Oregon

Heading to the west coast Cannon Beach just 1.5 hours outside of Portland, Oregon is my ALL time favorite west coast beach. It’s a beautiful romantic getaway for couples on the west coast. The best time to visit is early May or late September when you may still hit some wonderful non-rainy days in the Pacific Northwest but enjoy the area without the summer out of school rush.

Reflective beach water reflecting blue skies and puffy clouds with the mountains of Cannon beach in the middle ground a perfect beach location for an anniversary trip

The actual town of Cannon Beach is so quaint and homey for being a tourist hot spot.  The locals are friendly and the beach and nearby Ecola state park makes you feel like you stepped into a fairytale. Where, if you believe enough you may think you’ve seen magic yourself. 

Blue skies and cannon beach mountains in background as girl in raincoat is spinning having fun

What girl doesn’t love shopping for a new suit especially for a fun anniversary trip! Here are my favorite swim suits that I personally wear. I’ve recently fell in love the Seea Swimsuits because they are so adorable, keep me warm in fresh water or colder beaches, made in the US, and are made from recycled products! Score!

More Beaches To Visit For Your Anniversary Trip

  • Coast Guard Beach, Cape Cod, Massachusetts
  • Lighthouse Beach, Buxton, Outer Banks, North Carolina
  • Caladesi Island State Park, Dunedin, Florida
  • Surfrider Beach, Malibu, CA
  • Pfeiffer Beach Big Sur, CA

Canoeing + Paddling

If you’re not a fish in water but love water it’s better to be on it than in it, right? 

I absolutely adore water, but I’ll be the FIRST to admit I’m not the greatest swimmer and to be honest not a fan of being underwater without scuba gear on.

But, if there is water close by you’ll find me there, stream, river, lake, ocean —I’m drawn to these places like a magnet to a fridge. 

There is something so romantic about being on water together as a couple. The stillness or gentle raps the water makes against a boat in still or calm waters is so enchanting.

Red canoe sitting on the edge of an alpine lake

On the other hand there is nothing quite like the thrill of white water rafting or tubing down a river. 

Whichever rings true to your heart I resonate with you too. Water is such a beautiful experience. 

Couple on their anniversary trip in a canoe paddling as the moonlight twinkles on the alpine lake behind them
Couple on their anniversary trip in a canoe paddling as the moonlight twinkles on the alpine lake behind them

Some of my favorite places to enjoy being on the water include:

Dillon Marina

Although this is a popular place in Colorado it is a sanctuary for all of us water lovers  in our land locked state. Some could say that it’s not the same as lakes experienced in northern states like Lake Superior or Lake Michigan and of course nothing like the ocean itself but it does lack humidity (aka a billion mosquitoes) and has some of the most breathtaking mountains surrounding it in a 360 degree experience. 

You cannot swim in it, you can rent boats, go sailing, canoe and paddle board in the summer months.

With so many local towns nearby there’s no shortage of places to stay. You can camp, rent a home or stay in a local hotel. 

Alpine lake with mountains in hazy background and sail boats in distance
Alpine lake with mountains covered in snow in the background

Grand Lake, Colorado

Similar to Dillon Marina, Grand Lake is also a water lovers sanctuary, but it is bigger and you can swim in it in the summer months! It is a further drive from Denver, roughly 2 hours, but well worth the drive. 

Enjoy the beautiful lake, canoe down the different areas one day then hit up Rocky Mountain National Park the next or check out some equally epic adventures.

Couple on anniversary trip holding hands as they run into an alpine lake

Alternative beautiful places to canoe/paddle in the USA include:

  • Chesapeake Bay just outside Maryland and Virginia
  • The Colorado River (you’ll get to see the grand canyon!)
  • Tampa Bay outside of Florida
  • Prince William Sound in  Chugach National Forest, Alaska (A kayakers paradise)
  • San Juan River, Archuleta County, Colorado
  • Arkansas River,  Leadville, Colorado
  • Clearwater River Canoe Trail in Lolo National Forest, Idaho
  • Lake Tahoe in Lake Tahoe National Park California/Nevada 
  • Crater Lake, Oregon
  • Glacier Lagoon, Alaska
  • Lake Powell in Glen Canyon National Park
  • Grand Teton, Jackson Hole Wyoming

Hiking Waterfalls | Anniversary Trip Ideas That Get You A Little Wet

Growing up in the desert I’ve always been drawn to water. So, you can imagine how dumbfounded I was the first time I saw a legit waterfall. The wonders of them are absolutely unreal and so much fun to explore and see. 

Heading to a romantic getaway for your adventurous spirits could easily include exploring waterfalls.

View of waterfall framed by green plants

Pacific Northwest Wonders

When I think of waterfalls in the USA I first think of the Pacific Northwest specifically Oregon and Washington. If you’ve ever been here or seen the waterfalls in Portland or this region you’ll know the wonder of the area. With the luscious green grounds, moss growing on everything, and the most interesting plant species you’ll fall in love with this green paradise.

Visiting the Portland or Seattle area gives you easy access to some of the most beautiful waterfalls. Having visited a few of them in the past few years I can highly recommend both of these hip fun cities!

Here are some of the best waterfalls in Portland to hike!

Waterfall Locations within the USA Not Previous Listed

The road to Hana in Maui, HI has unreal waterfalls that are just a few steps from the road. I love how accessible they are! Keep in mind if it’s been super stormy to make sure to wear proper shoes, as the trail can be slippery!

  • Yosemite National Park Falls | Bridalveil Fall
  • Utah waterfalls
  • Fish Creek Falls in Steamboat, Colorado
  • Niagara Falls in Upstate New York
  • Shoshone Falls in Idaho
  • Havasu Falls in Grand Canyon National Park
  • Dry Creek Falls, North Carolina

Camping – Camping in the Switzerland of America | Camping Anniversary Getaways

Whether you are RV camping in your renovated RV for your anniversary trip, backpacking or pitching a tent, Colorado is known for some wonderful camping areas. My personal favorites include camping near Telluride, Ouray or the area also known as the Switzerland of America, and the alpine lakes outside of Leadville, Colorado. 

Switzerland of America

Have you ever been to the southwest part of Colorado? If you haven’t you must I’d immediately add it to your anniversary ideas list, especially if you’d call yourselves adventurous. 

Image of San Sophia mountains in Telluride Colorado with snow capped mountain tops and the city of Telluride at the base of the mountain valley.

In this part of Colorado are some of the most epic adventures are available. From world renowned white water rafting, rock climbing, ice climbing, skiing/snowboarding, hiking what we Colordians call fourteeners (hikes up mountain peaks above 14,000 feet—there are eighty-two of them in Colorado!), 4 wheel driving tours or trying it out yourselves and much more!

Telluride also is host to the wonderful Telluride Film Festival (usually late august) and Bluegrass festival (usually mid June) that carry it through fun summer festivities. So keep in mind to skip these dates if you want to avoid the crowds.

Sunshine Campground is 8 miles outside of Telluride and is a tent only facility but does include vaulted toilets, water, fire grills and picnic tables. 

Couple on their anniversary trip in Telluride Colorado standing on the top of a mountain with the snow capped San Sophia mountains in the background illuminated pink and purple by the setting sun.
Couple on their anniversary trip in Telluride Colorado standing on the top of a mountain with the snow capped San Sophia mountains in the background illuminated pink and purple by the setting sun.

Ouray is more of a rustic town and has a true mountain town feel. I love their local hot springs and access to some of the most epic 4 wheel driving you could ever imagine. If you’re not familiar with 4 wheel driving I’d HIGHLY recommend booking a tour. These roads are INTENSE and can be fatal if you don’t have good experience navigating rocky roads with narrow paths.  

Leadville, Colorado

Did you know that the peak altitude in the state of Colorado is Leadville, Colorado? This mountain town will take your breath away, for real. Nestled between Vail and Buena Vista you’ll find this rustic mountain town full of rich mining history and near some of the states most beautiful alpine lakes you can camp at. They are dry camping locations so keep in mind you’ll need to prepare yourself for not having hookups or water. 

Alpine lake with sun casting long shadows between mountains

Turquoise Lake and Twin Lakes are both beautiful camping areas. 

Other Places To Camp in Colorado for Your Anniversary Trip

The entire state is a camping haven and full of wonderful locations. Do keep in mind National Parks and State Parks fill up fast so plan a few months in advance if you can! Some other beautiful camping locations I’d recommend is:

  • Kenosha Pass (especially beautiful in September)
  • Blue Lakes Trail
  • Maroon Bells
  • Moraine Park – Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Big Creek Lakes Campground – Routt National Forest (Just outside of Steamboat Springs, CO)
  • Pinyon Flats Campground – Great Sand Dunes National Park
  • Chatfield State park (Great for RVS in the Denver Area)
  • Clear Creek RV Park (Great for RVS in the Denver Area)
  • Windy Point Campground, Heaton Bay Campground near Dillon Marina in Colorado
  • For more secluded locations browse the Colorado State Parks website!

History – Hitting Up History – A Romantic Getaway

I wish I was more of a history buff but I’ll proudly say that I passed that most failed AP test in high school you know the AP U.S. history test! Whoo, nonetheless my fascination for history has never stopped. So while exploring history usually means stopping into museums or guided tours through local historic homes I love that you can learn more about our heritage as Americans through experience.

Charleston, South Carolina – A Perfect Southern Weekend Getaway

One of my favorite places to explore our American history, sadly its darkest history but a huge piece of it nonetheless. 

Green historic home next to pink historic home next to yellow historic home in Charleston, SC

Charleston has one of the largest historical districts in the US. Its historical district is full of beautiful architecture and gives you a first hand taste into what life was like into Southern Colonial life. 

Pink historic home in Charleston, SC with tree framing its entry

Want to plan your anniversary trip to Charleston? Check out the 10 most romantic things to do in Charleston, SC from some of my favorite locals!

Head down to Folly Beach just 30 minutes outside of town for a little bit of a different adventure. Take surfing lesson, do yoga on the beach or just soak up some good ‘ole vitamin D.

Santa Fe, New Mexico – A Desert-Loving Couple’s Getaway

If you want RICH American history behind colonia history this is your town. Did you know Santa Fe, NM is actually one of the oldest settlements in the US. Settled in the 15th century by the spanish. Full of local artisans practicing the methods of their ancestors to create fine home goods and jewelry you’ll be taken to another world.

Sun creates angelic like rays from darkened storm sky casting beautiful pink colors and cactus southwestern desert plants in foreground shadows.

Don’t forget to visit the San Miguel Chapel, the oldest church in the U.S. Built approximately between 1610 and 1626.

Couple on anniversary trip standing before an old southwest stucco church in Santa Fe, New Mexico
Couple on anniversary trip standing before an old southwest stucco church in Santa Fe, New Mexico

Hit up the ski area in the winter, or enjoy some of the beautiful hikes around the area if you are more of an adventurous couples wanting to enjoy the southwestern desert. If you’re a fan of hot springs take an hour drive to Ojo Caliente Hot Springs! Or come in October and drive an hour south to Albuquerque to go on a Balloon ride!

Sandia (purple) mountains in the background with desert landscape and plans foreground.

Other rich history locations in the US include:

  • Washington D.C.
  • Boston, Massachusetts
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Williamsburg, Virginia
  • New Orleans, Louisiana
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About the Author

emmy on mountain to laughing
Hey, I’m Emmy, the main voice behind Celebrate Again. Here you’ll find ways to live the Celebrate Again lifestyle. I want to help you to embody the joy of life by learning to Celebrate Again in everything from the practice of intentional breath to taking on major life events. I believe your life should be full and be what you make it. Whether you’re joining me to plan your wedding, celebrate an anniversary, adventure around the USA, stay connected to your beloved, practice yoga or whip up a plant-based recipe, I’ve got you covered, friend.
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