Kansas City, Missouri is home to plenty of date night hot spots, but sometimes you might want to get out of town for an especially romantic getaway. As part of the Midwest, Kansas City is surrounded by charming communities and small towns. When you stay at one of many Kansas City vacation rentals, you can easily drive to other phenomenal cities like Branson, Hermann, and Omaha. Here are the most romantic weekend getaway spots from Kansas City.

1. Des Moines, Iowa

des moines
Source: Flickr/Phil Roeder

A short drive up I-35 lands you in Iowa’s capital city. Much smaller than Kansas City, Des Moines offers big-city attractions like day spas and museums with a more intimate feeling. Downtown Des Moines is a hub of dining options like the upscale American menu at Alba, seafood selections at Splash, and the fine dining steakhouse option at 801 ChopHouse. During the summer months, check out the popular downtown farmer’s market, and cook up your own romantic meals in your vacation rental. Wander the Pappajohn Sculpture Garden hand-in-hand to contemplate the modern works of art. If you visit during chillier months, the Des Moines Art Center offers an indoor option with a focus on modern and contemporary art. Stroll through the East Village for eclectic offerings including boutiques, restaurants, and bars. Try Up-Down, a bar/old school arcade, where you can challenge your sweetie to games from your youth. If you prefer a quieter option, stop by East Village Spa for a couple’s massage.

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2. Hermann, Missouri

hermannhof
Source: Flickr/Roland Klose

Soak in the rich German heritage of Hermann, and explore the more than 100 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, including the popular Hermannhof Winery, where you can enjoy tastings and tours. Explore the area’s history at museums like the Historic Hermann Museum, Hermann Farm, and Deutschheim State Historic Site. Many of the historic sites close in the winter months, so visit Hermann during the summer if you’re interested in history. Treat your muscles to a massage at Hermann Hill Spa after exploring the town on foot. Then, enjoy a unique wine country experience with fresh ingredients at Alpenhorn Gasthaus, or enjoy an intimate experience with steak, handmade pasta, and fresh ingredients at Black Walnut Bistro.

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3. Omaha, Nebraska

joslyn art museum
Source: Flickr/S C Hargis

Trade in one metropolitan area for another with a weekend trip to explore Omaha’s Old Market area and beyond. Stroll the quaint brick streets while you explore the shops, restaurants, and bars in the Old Market area. Joslyn Art Museum greets you with a beautiful Art Deco building, which is filled with art from around the world spanning many time periods. If you prefer general history, visit Durham Museum housed in the Art Deco Union Station. The Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge is a romantic spot at night and lets you walk between Nebraska and Iowa. Spend some time at the Henry Doorly Zoo if you and your sweetie love animals. Satisfy your appetite at Kitchen Table, featuring a menu dominated by scratch-made modern comfort foods made with locally sourced ingredients. The Grey Plume is another popular fine dining restaurant serving seasonal local dishes in an art-inspired atmosphere.

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4. Branson, Missouri

branson landing
Source: Flickr/Branson Convention and Visitors Bureau

Beyond the tourist spots and numerous musical theaters, Branson offers a beautiful Ozark setting full of quiet, romantic spots. Explore that beauty with your love at Dogwood Canyon Nature Park, which features waterfalls, forests, and fields along with walking trails. See the Ozark Mountain foothills without breaking a sweat on the Branson Scenic Railway, with options for four-course dinner trips during the warmer months. Dine in a rustic Ozarks setting at Osage Restaurant at Top of the Rock to enjoy sweeping views of the mountains and Table Rock Lake. Back in the city, check out Branson Landing after dark, where you can enjoy a fire, light, water and music show along the shores of Lake Taneycomo. Branson is a popular summer destination, but the city takes on a magical quality with numerous holiday light displays in winter, including Branson’s Gift of Lights and Trail of Lights at Shepherd of the Hills.

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5. Eureka Springs, Arkansas

spring and center street split
Source: Flickr/Clinton Steeds

Head south to Eureka Springs for a romantic Arkansas getaway including an artistic culture, historical buildings, and spooky history. Ghost tours give you a reason to snuggle up to your sweetie while learning about haunted spots like the Barefoot Ballroom and the Crows Nest. Explore the crystal clear waters of nearby Beaver Lake on foot, or go out on the water with a narrated tour of the rocky shorelines aboard the Belle of the Ozarks. The Great Passion Play and the Christ of the Ozarks statue are popular options for visitors. Get an up-close look of the Ozark Mountain scenery, and get your hearts racing at Ozark Mountains Ziplines. Dine at Cat House for casual pub-style dining, or eat at FRESH for a farm-to-table experience.

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6. Wichita, Kansas

exploration place
Source: Flickr/Garett Gabriel

Southwest of Kansas City, Wichita offers a mix of options, from performances at the elegant Orpheum Theatre to historical and cultural stops like the Wichita Art Museum. Travel the city on foot while enjoy soothing river views along the Arkansas River Trail, connecting you to numerous museums and shops. Take in Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie Style at Allen House, a home many consider to be one of his best designs. Oldtown, in the heart of Wichita, transports you back in time for a historic perspective through the mid 19th-century warehouses, shops, and other buildings now serving as modern boutiques and restaurants. Taste local offerings at Central Standard Brewing Company, where you can tour the facilities and try a variety of beers.

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7. Hannibal, Missouri

hannibal MO
Source: Flickr/Carl Wycoff

Known as Mark Twain’s boyhood home, Hannibal embraces its historic river roots with haunted ghost tours and excursions on the Mark Twain Riverboat. Get an overview of the city with a mode of transportation that matches the historic destination aboard the Hannibal Trolley Company trolleys. Pose with your sweetie by monuments like the Mark Twain Memorial Lighthouse, Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn Statue, and Village of Ilasco Memorial. Explore the Mark Twain Cave for underground romance. For an elevated option, tour the Gilded Age Rockcliffe Mansion overlooking the Mississippi River on a limestone bluff.

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