This Romantic New England Route Proves A Road Trip Is The Best Way To Spend Valentine's Day

Covered bridges have long stood as multifunctional structures that serve several purposes: a cute photo op, an aesthetic shelter from the climate, and an excuse to set out on a romantic road trip — take your pick! New England, in particular, is famous for each of its nearly 200 covered bridges. While most people plan to walk these tunnels under the cozy canopy of fall foliage, spring creates a canvas just as beautiful, teeming with wildflowers and the sweet aroma of honeysuckle. There's a reason covered bridges have become associated with a romantic element. Screenwriters and art critics alike have developed several interpretations of how covered bridges translate into a symbol of protection, tranquility, and peace. Put simply, Americans love to romanticize the idea of standing under a covered bridge alongside their one and true.

With springtime just beginning to make its way onto the horizon, New England's captivating landscapes and alluring spring season beckons the romantic traveler to venture on a journey that sweeps past some of the East Coast's most iconic 19th-century bridges. Rhode Island, Maine, Connecticut, and Massachusetts are just a few states this scenic road trip route cuts through the heart of. Highlighting a blend of old and new architectural designs, the covered bridges on this route will most likely leave you and your partner speechless. Lacking in anything but charm and rustic elegance, mark your calendars on February 14 for a Valentine-themed couples trip through the untamed wilderness of New England's backcountry.

Explore the covered bridges of Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts

This picturesque road trip route begins in America's smallest state with the only covered bridge in Rhode Island. Stretching across Hemlock Brook in Foster, Swamp Meadow Covered Bridge is a sight to behold in the middle of spring, surrounded by varying shades of green and the melodic sound of the babbling brook. The dark wood walls and cross-hatch windows make an adorable walkway to admire the flowing water below or take some Insta-worthy photos. Built in 1994, the 40-foot-long bridge demonstrates the craftsmanship of a volunteer team who constructed the bridge from wood foraging in the surrounding wilderness.

A wood picket fence and a red-covered bridge — is there anything more sentimental? Roughly a two-hour drive from Foster, Rhode Island, the Bridge at Southford Falls State Park is tucked within the lush forested grounds of Southbury, Connecticut. Constructed in 1972, the bridge's façade emulates a barn door, nodding to Connecticut's rural and agricultural communities. Between the quaint design and picturesque landscape, it's a popular spot for engagement and wedding photos.

Few things are more breathtaking than springtime in Massachusetts. Continuing north into the Bay State, Upper Sheffield Bridge stands apart from other bridges on this route. The white-washed paint coating creates an idyllic setting for springtime with a simplistic design portraying an eminent New England charm. The original bridge, built in 1837, was destroyed by arson, leading to the construction of the current-day Sheffield Bridge in 1996.

Experience the scenic backcountry of New Hampshire and Maine

Four hours from Sheffield, Flume Covered Bridge unites the river banks over Flume Gorge in Lincoln, New Hampshire. Located within Franconia Notch State Park, it's a sight to behold with its red-toned wooden planks and cross-hatch windows that date back to 1871. Spanning 50 feet in length, Flume Covered Bridge is one of the most unique bridges on this road trip route, possessing an intricate geometric shape built of Paddleford truss.

One of the prettiest and most aesthetically pleasing covered bridges in the state, Stark Bridge in New Hampshire creates a scenic walkway across the Ammonoosuc River. The white-washed exterior and cobblestone walls on either side of the bridge give it an enticing appearance. If you aren't sold yet, its nickname, "the most photographed bridge in New Hampshire," will seal the deal.

Capping off the journey in Newry, Maine, Sunday River Bridge is the last scenic icon on this road trip. An authentic, exemplary piece of art, the Sunday River Bridge (also known as the Artist's Bridge) gained its nickname from the artist John Enncking, who was frequently spotted working on his craft near the foot of the bridge. Built in 1972, the bridge is frequently sought after by photographers hoping to capture the essence of its charming appearance. It's a popular spot for fishing off the edge of the bank or spreading out a picnic blanket — a perfect end to this scenic Valentine's Day getaway