6 Destinations to Beat the Post-Breakup Blues

Getting away can present a welcome distraction and the chance to try new things

A hiker on the trail in Sedona
Thomas Roche / Getty Images

We’re dedicating our February features to romance travel. A destination has the ability to steal our hearts, but many magical and memorable experiences abroad can be closely tied to stories of love. From traveling after a breakup to compromising trip planning with multiple partners and prioritizing individual interests on a couple’s trip, we’ve put together a collection of inspiring stories that display just how closely our romantic relationships relate to our worldwide adventures.

Time might heal all wounds, but let's be real: distance can too. Regardless of if you're battling a romantic breakup or the end of a long friendship, just getting away can present a welcome distraction as well as the chance to try new things, heal, and grow. Even the experts say it works: "Whether you’re exploring new terrain, meeting new people, or simply trying to master a few words in a new language, travel has the potential to boost cognitive functioning,” Dr. Jessica O’Reilly, a sex and relationships expert, told Culture Trip in 2017.

But not all destinations are created equal—we spoke to a few travelers who mastered the art of post-breakup travel to round up a list of the six best places to mend a broken heart and have some fun along the way.

01 of 06

Jackson, Wyoming

Backpacking in the mountains.
Jordan Siemens / Getty Images

When you're surrounded by wildlife and some of the most stunning scenery in the U.S., it's hard to be too sad. A hotspot for the jet-set, Jackson offers the perfect balance of outdoor activities and leisure with a surprisingly robust dining and nightlife scene.

With 200 miles of trails, avid hikers can spend their entire trip alone with their thoughts in Grand Teton National Park, while wintertime visitors can shred on the more than 120 named trails at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.

At the end of the day, warm up from the chilly mountain air at The Rose, the town's first speakeasy-style bar, a brainchild of Jackson native David Kaplan and Alex Days, owners of Death & Co., the famed Manhattan bar. You'll find a lively bar scene with a mix of locals and visitors.

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02 of 06

Sedona, Arizona

L'Auberge creekside cottage

Courtesy of L'Auberge

A long-standing popular destination known for its stunning red rock vistas and a vibrant arts community, Sedona is the perfect spot to heal a broken heart.

Red Rock State Park is full of trails that wind through canyon walls and pine forests, creating great opportunities for picnicking or birdwatching. Meanwhile, the popularity of this destination means you'll never have to worry about hitting the trail solo—a huge plus for safety-concerned family and friends.

If you need a bit of sybaritic healing to rest your aching muscles (and heart), Sedona is home to some of the best spas and resorts in the country. A stay at the famed L'Auberge de Sedona includes a cozy, lodge-style room, as well as a rotating schedule of activities, ranging from nature talks to photography lessons. When you're ready to hit the spa, L'Apothecary's wide range of treatments, from massages to facials, are inspired by Sedona's natural beauty and rely on local botanicals from the area.

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03 of 06

San Francisco, California

Reflections at the Palace of Fine Arts
jeremyborkat / Getty Images

Eric Clapton sang about the San Francisco Bay Blues, but you'll be anything but blue after some alone time in the Golden City.

With a mild climate year-round, the city is excellent for roaming and wandering without a specific itinerary—start your day snapping sunrise photos at the picturesque Palace of Fine Arts before hopping on a sightseeing cruise or watching the San Francisco Giants play at Oracle Park.

Then, sample some of the area's culinary delights at the famed Ferry Building or ride a cable car to North Beach, the city's Italian neighborhood, where you can enjoy a big bowl of cioppino at local stalwart Sotto Mare. (Plus, the friendly bar service will take the sting out of dining alone.)

If you need some literary inspiration, nearby City Lights is one of the most revered bookstores in the country, selling thousands of titles since its founding by beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti in 1953.

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04 of 06

Nashville, Tennessee

Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee in daylight
nashvilledino2 / Getty Images

If music and booze sound like the best way to cure heartache, book your ticket to Nashville. This hip Southern city boasts excellent restaurants, dazzling new hotels (plus a few classics), and enough entertainment and nightlife to fill weeks on end.

Sing your heart out at the famed Ryman Auditorium, which celebrates its 130th anniversary in 2022, or catch a show at the Grand Ole Opry before heading to Corsair Distillery, Nashville's first since prohibition, for a tasting of their award-winning whiskeys. The distillery, which has two locations in town, also makes excellent pot-distilled gin if the brown stuff isn't to your liking.

Finally, sample some of the cuisine Nashville is known for. You can't go wrong with long-standing favorites like Prince's Hot Chicken Shack. Still, newer eateries, like Lou, a low-key, natural wine bar serving California-inspired cuisine, are turning pre-conceived notions about the Music City on their head.

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05 of 06

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona Casa Batllo Passeig de Gracia Gaudi houses panorama Spain
fotoVoyager / Getty Images

Lace up your walking shoes, as there are few cities better for aimlessly wandering than Barcelona.

Start your trip by walking around the Gothic Quarter and El Born, where seemingly endless alleyways flanked by historical buildings will draw you in. You'll also find some of the best restaurants and watering holes are hidden down these little paths—perfect for making new friends, trying new foods, and indulging Priorat, the heady red wine from the nearby eponymous region.

Architecture buffs may enjoy strolling between the city's many Antoni Gaudí-designed buildings. The famed architect's playful Catalan modernism is on full display throughout the city—you can't miss La Sagrada Familia. Still, Casa Batlló is equally breathtaking, as is the lesser-known Casa Vicens.

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06 of 06

Train Travel

Amtrak Coast Starlight (Los Angeles - Seattle) powered by P42DC locomotives at Moorpark, California
Laser1987 / Getty Images

Want to spend a month riding the rails from place to place? Amtrak's surprisingly affordable USA Rail Pass offers the chance to do just that. For $499, rail-pass users have 120 days to use 10 segments onboard Amtrak trains.

The possibilities are truly endless—ride Amtrak's Coast Starlight line between Seattle and Los Angeles before hopping on the Sunset Limited from L.A. to New Orleans. Then, if you're still not sated by a thorough dose of Americana, head north on the Crescent line, which runs between New York and the Big Easy.

The days onboard are long for sure, but being alone with your thoughts, a good book or journal, and stunning scenery sounds like a cathartic way to say goodbye to love lost.