5 NC destinations for a romantic Valentine’s Day getaway

NC has plenty of destinations for romance. Here are five guaranteed to help you snuggle up. (Shutterstock)

By Leah Sherrell

February 1, 2024

North Carolina is a place for lovers (move over Virginia), and this guide takes you on a tour of 5 cities built for romance.

The Valentine’s Day countdown is on. Feb. 14 is a day of love, and if you live in North Carolina, there are destinations aplenty to celebrate.

From the mountains to the sea, the Old Tarheel State has views, inns, and activities for anyone looking for a little romance. The options can be overwhelming when you’re not sure where to start–and that’s where we come in.

Here’s a list of 5 romantic cities across North Carolina and starter ideas for a night out or weekend getaway.


Whether you’re looking for a scenic mountain getaway or a bustling downtown and arts district, Asheville is the place for romance. This place is so full of love that one of the most well-known tourism pages is called ‘Romantic Asheville.’

Downtown Asheville offers boutique hotels like The Restoration puts you right beside Asheville’s only food hall, a five-minute walk from NC chef Katie Button’s Curaté, and in walking distance to the Fine Arts Theatre.

If you plan on staying in, a weekend at the Omni Grove Park Inn may be what you’re looking for. According to Condé Nast, the historic inn is one of America’s top resort spas where guests can enjoy subterranean mineral pools, steam rooms, wellness packages, and fireside lounges. Their day pass option is open to everyone 18+ if you’re only planning a day trip.

And of course, we can’t talk about Asheville without mentioning the Blue Ridge Parkway. Visitors can drive to scenic lookouts or stop along the drive and go hiking on one of the many trails.

Bryson City


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Take your romantic getaway to a place in the Great Smoky Mountains surrounded by nature and small-town charm.

When you search for ‘Bryson City’ on Airbnb, the result is a seemingly endless selection of cozy cabins with a view of the mountains, many with the added perk of a hot tub. There are endless opportunities for hiking and waterfall chasing, as well as horseback riding. You can also make the short drive to the Oconaluftee Visitor Center to spot grazing elk in the morning and evening.

Downtown also has its charm with local shops, bakeries, and restaurants like Pasqualino’s Italian Restaurant.



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Jumping out of the mountains and into the city brings us to Charlotte.

North Carolina’s largest city is bursting with romantic potential. There’s fine dining, rooftop bars, and endless unique date ideas.

If there’s one thing you’ll love about the city, it’s the mobility. Neighborhoods like NoDa, Southend, and Uptown are walkable, and if you want to explore different areas of the city, you can hop on the light rail.

If you’re looking for rooftop bars, Uptown is the place to be with popular spots like Fahrenheit Charlotte. The city is also the place to be for food. Check out the Goodyear House in NoDa, Alexander Michael’s in the 4th Ward, or Barcelona Wine Bar in Southend.

In terms of activities, Charlotte has everything from candlelight concerts, indoor skydiving, nature trails, cooking classes, and more.


Winston is for those who want a weekend getaway with a hint of the city experience inside of a tranquil stay.

Graylyn Estate is a historic estate built on 55 acres of land. With 85 guest rooms, on-site fine dining, and experiences like the ‘Romantic Getaway Package,” this getaway was voted #5 on USA Today’s Readers’ Choice Awards for ‘Best Boutique Hotel.’

Walking distance from Graylyn Estate is Reynolda Village, a charming area with a botanical garden, a “Beauty and the Beast”-esque coffee shop, a day spa, and locally-owned shops and restaurants.

For amazing restaurants and breweries explore downtown Winston-Salem, where you’ll find places like Cowboy Brazilian Steakhouse, Sweet Potatoes Restaurant, and 6th & Vine Restaurant and Wine Bar.

Wrightsville Beach

Even in the winter, the beach is a place for love. For those who want to stay near the water, the Lumina Hotel is in a great location to see early sunrises and evening sunsets. In the morning you can grab a coffee from SUNday’s café and wander along the pier. In the evening you can drive to a romantic seafood and steak dinner at The Bridge Tender.

If you decide to cross over to Wilmington, downtown is a beautiful place to explore. The Riverwalk is a romantic spot for sunsets, and restaurants like Floriana and Savorez are just around the corner.


  • Leah Sherrell

    Leah Sherrell is a multimedia reporter for Cardinal & Pine. A graduate of UNC-Wilmington, she's a resident of Kernersville with a background in video production and communication. Leah uses many forms of media to explore the multifaceted lifestyles and cultures present in North Carolina.



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