When you’re seeking a warm and exciting destination for a quick weekend retreat, venture to the cities and towns surrounding Tucson, Arizona. From spacious houses tucked away in the suburbs to trendy lofts in the heart of downtown, there are many Tucson vacation rentals to choose from that are situated near the American Southwest’s top romantic getaway spots. Check out the most picturesque destinations in the area.

1. Bisbee, Arizona

Homes on mountainside
Source: Flickr/zombieite

A brief two-hour drive puts you in the small town of Bisbee, along the border with Mexico. This town has a rich heritage as a mining community, and you can learn more about that history at the Bisbee Mining and Historical Museum. After leaving the museum, take a stroll hand in hand through the historic downtown area, and take note of the Copper Queen Hotel. It’s known as one of the most haunted hotels in the state. It’s also famous as a favorite place to stay for actor John Wayne. At the end of the day, enjoy a romantic dinner at the Quarry Bisbee.

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2. Lake Havasu, Arizona

Bridge over water
Source: Flickr/Michael Theis

Hop in the car, enjoy a three-and-a-half-hour drive to Lake Havasu, and end the afternoon with a walk across London Bridge. The original London Bridge found a home in Lake Havasu after the British rebuilt it. Now, you and your sweetie can walk across this iconic bridge and take a few pictures to remember your trip. Rent a boat from AZ Watersports, and spend some time on the lake. In the evenings, try your luck at the Havasu Landing Casino, and if you’re craving something more than the casino’s buffet dinner, head over to Cha-Bones for an upscale dining experience.

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3. Jerome, Arizona

Homes with mountain in background
Source: Flickr/chrisinphilly5448

In a little less than four hours, you can trade in the big city of Tucson for the charming small town of Jerome. The downtown area offers an array of historic brick buildings, narrow alleyways, and friendly locals. Make sure to stop by Nellie Bly Kaleidoscopes. This small shop sells handmade kaleidoscopes created by local artists, and there’s something available for every price range, so choose one to take home. For some excitement, head to the Gold King Mine and Ghost Town, where you can wander among the derelict buildings and abandoned trucks. Then enjoy a romantic dinner with a gorgeous view of the valley at Grapes Restaurant and Bar.

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4. Clarkdale, Arizona

View of river with plants
Source: Flickr/Coconino National Forest

Wind your way through the gorgeous scenery during your three-hour drive to the charming small town of Clarkdale. In this sleepy little town, you’ll find a collection of galleries to explore. Visit the Arizona Copper Art Museum on the town’s main street. This small museum reminds visitors of the town’s copper-mining past by displaying artworks made from copper. Enjoy an afternoon of hiking near the Tuzigoot National Monument. Here, you can gaze up at the ruins of a Native American village that was once two or three stories tall. For a bit of fun, enjoy a romantic dinner on the patio of Old Town Red Rooster Cafe while indulging in their selection of craft beers.

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5. Cottonwood, Arizona

Big clear sky
Source: Flickr/Alan Levine

In a little over three hours, you and your honey can celebrate your love with a glass of wine in the sampling room of the Alcantara Vineyards and Winery in Cottonwood, Arizona. Then drive over to Dead Horse Ranch State Park for a day of fresh air. Choose between hiking, swimming, fishing, and a host of additional outdoor activities. Pack a picnic lunch before leaving your vacation rental, and spend the entire day. In the evening, stroll through the historic area of Old Town Cottonwood, and check out the quaint stores, then enjoy a quiet dinner at Cottonwood Restaurant and Bar, which is located in a historic lodge.

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6. Las Cruces, New Mexico

Small houses with big mountains behind
Source: Flickr/David Herrera

Leave Arizona behind and arrive in Las Cruces, New Mexico, in just four and a half hours. This small town is well-known for its numerous footprints—prehistoric footprints. At the Prehistoric Trackways National Monument, you can see the fossilized prints of a variety of animals. Get a trail map, and learn more about this prehistoric treasure at the visitor center. At the Massage Club, unwind with a couple’s massage. Learn more about New Mexico’s past and the daily life of a farmer at the New Mexico Farm and Ranch Heritage Museum, featuring cool exhibits and artifacts. Share a meal and tapas at the Cafe de Mesilla; it’ll add a little spice to your evening.

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7. Flagstaff, Arizona

Trees with snowcapped mountains behind
Source: Flickr/Bill Kuffrey

Spend a romantic weekend in front of a roaring fire after a day of skiing with a vacation rental in Flagstaff. In about four hours, you’ll arrive in this mountain town and can hit the slopes at the Arizona Snowbowl. Leave your skis behind, and rent equipment from the shop at the resort. Meteor Crater is a short drive from Flagstaff and gives you a chance to see where a rock from outer space impacted Earth. This protected area includes a small museum to learn more about this meteor strike. Before heading home, be sure to see the remains of prehistoric Pueblo Native American villages at the Wupatki National Monument.

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