Unlock Romance in the Tar Heel State: The Best Things to Do in North Carolina for Couples

Unlock Romance in the Tar Heel State: The Best Things to Do in North Carolina for Couples

North Carolina, also known as the Tar Heel State, offers a wide range of romantic possibilities for couples looking for adventure and relaxation. 

From the rugged peaks of the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains to the serene shores of the Outer Banks, the state’s diverse landscapes provide the perfect setting for unforgettable romantic getaways.

Whether you’re strolling through vibrant fall foliage, enjoying the peaceful beaches, or exploring charming small towns, North Carolina offers a versatile backdrop for love to flourish.

So pack your bags and get ready to explore the rich variety of experiences that make North Carolina an ideal destination for couples looking to ignite or rekindle their romance.

👉Book your flight with Skyscanner to Asheville and discover the romantic Biltmore Estate with its beautiful gardens and winery.

Asheville: Art and Mountain Air

City of Asheville, North Carolina

Nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, North Carolina offers a unique blend of natural beauty and vibrant culture, making it a perfect retreat for couples.

The city’s artistic spirit and breathtaking landscapes create a romantic setting that’s hard to find elsewhere.

Known for its historic architecture, Asheville also boasts a lively arts scene and some of the best culinary experiences in the South.

What Makes Asheville Great for Couples:

  • Scenic Beauty: The surrounding mountains offer a picturesque backdrop for any romantic getaway, with opportunities for quiet moments overlooking sweeping vistas.
  • Artistic Flair: Asheville’s bustling art scene, filled with galleries, street performances, and unique installations, inspires creativity and shared experiences.
  • Culinary Excellence: The city is a haven for food lovers, with an emphasis on farm-to-table dining that ensures every meal is fresh and memorable.

👉Stay in a historic inn in Asheville near the Biltmore Estate for easy access to one of America’s largest homes.

Things to Do in Asheville:

  • Explore Art Galleries: Delve into the vibrant arts district, visiting galleries like the River Arts District where you can watch artists at work.
  • Dine at Farm-to-Table Restaurants: Enjoy a romantic meal at places like Curate or Rhubarb, where the focus is on locally-sourced, high-quality ingredients.
  • Stay at the Grove Park Inn: Treat yourselves to a stay at this historic inn, known for its stunning views, luxurious spa, and golf course.
  • Visit the Biltmore Estate: Tour America’s largest home, with its beautiful gardens and winery, perfect for a leisurely day of exploration.
  • Hike the Blue Ridge Parkway: Spend a day hiking trails that offer panoramic mountain views and secluded spots for picnics.
  • Attend a Live Music Event: Asheville’s music scene is eclectic and vibrant, offering everything from bluegrass to jazz, ideal for an evening out.

Asheville’s combination of art, culture, and natural beauty makes it an ideal destination for couples seeking a blend of relaxation and adventure in a romantic setting.

👉Find flights to North Carolina on Skyscanner and enjoy a sunset cruise along the scenic Outer Banks.

Outer Banks: Seaside Serenity

Outer Banks, NC

The Outer Banks of North Carolina is a series of barrier islands that stretch over 100 miles along the Atlantic coast.

Known for its wild beaches, the Outer Banks (OBX) offers a peaceful getaway with stunning ocean views, making it an ideal destination for couples looking for both relaxation and adventure by the sea.

What Makes the Outer Banks Great for Couples:

  • Natural Beauty: The pristine beaches and dramatic dune landscapes provide a tranquil and intimate setting.
  • Rich History: From the legend of Blackbeard the pirate to the pioneering flights of the Wright Brothers at Kitty Hawk, the area is steeped in American heritage.
  • Exclusive Privacy: Many areas of the Outer Banks are less commercialized, offering couples the chance to enjoy quiet moments together away from crowds.

👉Book a beachfront hotel on the Outer Banks for sunrise views and sandy strolls right outside your door.

Things to Do in the Outer Banks:

  • Stroll Along the Beach: Walk hand-in-hand along miles of sandy beaches, especially beautiful during sunrise or sunset.
  • Visit Historic Lighthouses: Explore iconic lighthouses like the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse or the Bodie Island Lighthouse, which offer panoramic views of the coast.
  • Horseback Riding on the Beach: Experience the romance of riding horses together along the surf, particularly in areas like Hatteras Island.
  • Stay in a Cozy Beachfront Cottage: Opt for a private cottage or a charming bed and breakfast right on the water.
  • Kayak in the Sound: Paddle together through the peaceful waters of the Pamlico Sound, spotting wildlife and enjoying the serene environment.
  • Explore the Shipwreck Diving Sites: Dive into adventure with a visit to the Graveyard of the Atlantic, home to numerous sunken ships.
  • Tour the Wright Brothers National Memorial: Learn about the history of flight where the first airplane took to the skies.

With its combination of beautiful natural settings, rich historical sites, and intimate accommodations, the Outer Banks provides a uniquely romantic backdrop for couples to explore and create lasting memories together.

Lake Lure: Quiet Lakeside Charm

Beautiful Day with Lake Lure Tours

Nestled in the heart of North Carolina, Lake Lure is a hidden gem with serene waters and a picturesque mountain backdrop.

The area exudes a quiet lakeside charm and is known for its role in famous films like “Dirty Dancing.”

This tranquil retreat offers couples a perfect blend of relaxation and outdoor activities, surrounded by the gentle beauty of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

What Makes Lake Lure Great for Couples:

  • Scenic Beauty: The lake itself, with its clear waters and surrounding lush forests, provides a peaceful and romantic setting.
  • Secluded Environment: Unlike more crowded tourist destinations, Lake Lure offers a more intimate experience for couples looking to escape the hustle and bustle.
  • Variety of Outdoor Activities: With the mountains and lake at your doorstep, there are countless ways to enjoy nature together.

👉Use Skyscanner to plan a trip to Charlotte for an evening of fine dining and live jazz music in the vibrant Uptown district.

Things to Do in Lake Lure:

  • Boat Tours on Lake Lure: Take a relaxing boat tour to explore the lake’s beauty and learn about its history and wildlife.
  • Hike in Chimney Rock State Park: Embark on scenic hikes that offer breathtaking views of the lake and surrounding mountains. The Hickory Nut Falls trail is a must-see.
  • Stay at the Gideon Ridge Inn: Experience the elegance and tranquility of this charming inn, known for its excellent service and stunning mountain views.
  • Picnic by the Water: Pack a lunch and enjoy a quiet picnic by the water, perfect for a relaxing afternoon.
  • Explore the Flowering Bridge: Visit the nearby Lake Lure Flowering Bridge for a stroll through beautifully landscaped gardens on an old bridge.
  • Water Activities: Engage in water-based activities such as paddleboarding, kayaking, or swimming in designated areas of the lake.
  • Golfing: Enjoy a day of golf at one of the local courses, offering lush landscapes and a relaxed pace.

Lake Lure’s combination of natural beauty, cozy accommodations, and a plethora of activities makes it an ideal spot for couples looking for a peaceful retreat with plenty of opportunities to connect with each other and nature.

👉Find a chic boutique hotel in Charlotte’s Uptown area, close to nightlife and fine dining options.

Unique Date Ideas in North Carolina

File:Pritchard Park Asheville Ghost Tour.jpg

Photo by: Placesandhistoryexplorer

Couples seeking a date night beyond the typical dinner and a movie can find a variety of unique experiences in North Carolina that are sure to create lasting memories.

From soaring through the sky to sipping wine in a treehouse, these one-of-a-kind activities provide the perfect mix of adventure, relaxation, and romance.

Hot Air Balloon Rides Over the Blue Ridge Mountains

Hot Air Ballooning from Asheville

Take in the magic of North Carolina from a new perspective with a hot air balloon ride over the stunning Blue Ridge Mountains.

This exciting adventure offers spectacular panoramic views and provides a serene and intimate setting, making it perfect for a memorable date.

Drift above the rolling hills and lush forests, and raise a toast to love and breathtaking beauty in the peaceful silence of the skies.

  • Champagne Toast: Celebrate your adventure with a traditional champagne toast upon landing — a perfect cap to a magical ride.
  • Sunrise or Sunset Flights: Choose between a serene sunrise flight for early risers or a romantic sunset flight for golden hour beauty.
  • Capture Stunning Photos: Don’t forget your camera to capture the spectacular scenery and special moments from this high-flying adventure.

👉Secure your flight with Skyscanner and escape to the peaceful Blue Ridge Mountains for a cozy cabin retreat.

Wine Tasting at Treehouse Vineyards

Treehouse Vineyards

Indulge in a delightful wine tasting experience at Treehouse Vineyards.

Here, you can explore an array of fine wines made from locally grown grapes. 

Nestled in a picturesque setting, this vineyard offers a unique twist with its charming treehouses where guests can relax and sip wine.

It’s an ideal setting for couples seeking a relaxed yet enchanting date surrounded by nature.

  • Tour the Vineyard: Take a guided tour of the vineyard to learn about the wine-making process from grape to glass.
  • Relax in a Treehouse: Enhance the experience by relaxing in one of the vineyard’s rentable treehouses, offering a cozy and unique vantage point.
  • Live Music Events: Check the schedule for live music events at the vineyard, providing the perfect backdrop for your wine tasting.

👉Choose a secluded cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains for a private getaway surrounded by nature.

Historic Downtown Asheville Ghost Tours

asheville night road 3

Explore the eerie and captivating history of Asheville by taking a ghost tour through its historic downtown area.

These tours combine the charm of Asheville’s past with the thrill of ghost stories and paranormal tales associated with its oldest buildings.

It’s a fun and intriguing way to wander through the city’s streets and hidden alleys, ideal for couples who enjoy a bit of mystery and a dash of spine-tingling adventure.

  • Engaging Storytelling: Enjoy stories from knowledgeable guides who bring Asheville’s spooky history to life.
  • Experience Asheville’s Nightlife: After the tour, take the opportunity to explore Asheville’s vibrant nightlife, including its many bars and eateries.
  • Interactive Fun: Participate in an interactive experience that might include using ghost-hunting equipment to add an element of thrill to your date.

Each of these activities offers a different way to explore the beauty and history of North Carolina while adding a touch of adventure to your romantic outings.

👉Fly into Raleigh with Skyscanner and explore the art galleries and trendy cafes in the Warehouse District.

Luxurious Spa Retreats for Two

Couples seeking relaxation and rejuvenation can find luxurious spa retreats in North Carolina that combine serene settings with indulgent treatments.

Whether it’s the sophisticated ambiance of European-style spas in Raleigh or the natural tranquility of mountain view spas in the Blue Ridge, these retreats provide the perfect escape for couples looking to unwind and reconnect.

European-Style Spas in Raleigh

Experience the elegance of European-style spas, known for their meticulous attention to detail and classic treatments.

  • Couple’s Massages: Enjoy a side-by-side massage in a private room, designed to relax and sync you and your partner’s stress levels.
  • Luxury Amenities: Take advantage of amenities such as saunas, steam rooms, and hot tubs, which enhance relaxation and provide a luxurious experience.
  • Personalized Treatments: Opt for personalized spa treatments that cater to your specific needs, from rejuvenating facials to detoxifying wraps.

👉Secure a trendy loft in Raleigh’s Warehouse District to be close to art and culinary hotspots.

Mountain View Spa Experiences in the Blue Ridge

Relax with treatments in spa centers that offer stunning views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, enhancing the soothing experience.

  • Outdoor Therapies: Engage in unique outdoor therapies such as yoga sessions or meditation classes that incorporate the serene mountain environment.
  • Hot Stone Treatments: Benefit from a hot stone massage where heated stones are used to ease muscle stiffness, perfect after a day of hiking.
  • Private Cabins: Some spas offer private cabin stays where treatments can be received in the comfort of your own tranquil space, surrounded by nature.

For those looking to blend romance with relaxation in North Carolina, here are some top spa recommendations that offer not only top-tier pampering but also fun atmospheres for couples:

  • JW Marriott Charlotte, Uptown – Located in vibrant uptown Charlotte, the JW Marriott offers the “Couple’s Escape” spa package which includes an 80-minute massage, scalp treatment, and finishes with a signature cocktail and dessert, making it a perfect urban retreat.
  • The Ballantyne, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Ballantyne – This luxurious spa at The Ballantyne in South Charlotte blends sophistication with relaxation, offering tailored couples massages and an elegant atmosphere with a cozy fireplace.
  • The Ritz-Carlton, Charlotte, Uptown – In the heart of Uptown, The Ritz-Carlton features a high-end spa with skyline views, offering a bespoke Charlotte couple’s massage and access to a unique Aqua Lounge for poolside relaxation.

👉Book through Skyscanner for a journey to Wilmington and stroll hand-in-hand along the historic Riverwalk, lined with charming shops and cafes.

  • Palestra Boutique Spa, SouthPark – Palestra Boutique Spa, a family-operated spot in SouthPark, offers a personalized spa experience with treatments ranging from reiki sessions to herbal body wraps in a warm and welcoming setting.
  • Grand Bohemian Hotel Charlotte, Autograph Collection, Uptown – The Poseidon Spa at the Grand Bohemian Hotel specializes in customized treatments in a serene setting with candle-lit rooms, ideal for couples seeking a tranquil escape in the city.
  • Urbana, Carmel Village – Urbana features the “Escape for Two” massage, offering customizable treatments and special sessions that include treats like chocolate-covered strawberries, perfect for a romantic date night.
  • Bambù Massage & Spa, Prosperity Village – Bambù Massage & Spa focuses on sustainability with eco-friendly products and offers a cozy, intimate setting with private rooms for couples seeking a unique and personalized spa experience.

Each spa provides a distinctive blend of romance and relaxation, tailored to create memorable moments for couples.

👉Opt for a cozy riverside room in Wilmington for romantic walks along the Cape Fear River.

Adventurous Activities for Couples

Cascade on the East Fork French Broad River

For couples who love adventure and exploration, North Carolina offers a variety of thrilling activities that are perfect for creating lasting memories together.

From the mountainous terrain of the Great Smoky Mountains to the picturesque shores of the Crystal Coast, each location provides unique opportunities for adventure and bonding.

Zip-lining in the Great Smoky Mountains

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A post shared by Smoky Mountain Host (@visitsmokies)

Experience the exhilaration of zip-lining in the Great Smoky Mountains, where you can glide above lush forests and enjoy breathtaking mountain views.

This thrilling adventure offers couples a unique way to see the natural beauty of the area while sharing an exciting experience.

  • Stunning Scenery: Soar through the treetops and over the lush landscapes of the Great Smoky Mountains, enjoying spectacular views.
  • Shared Thrills: Experience the rush of adrenaline together, enhancing your bond as you zip from platform to platform.
  • Variety of Courses: Choose from different levels of difficulty and lengths, catering to both beginners and thrill-seekers.

👉With Skyscanner, reach the quaint town of Blowing Rock for a day of boutique shopping and dining with mountain views.

Golfing at Premier Golf Courses

Pinehurst No. 8

Tee off together at some of North Carolina’s premier golf courses, which boast beautifully landscaped greens and scenic vistas.

Whether you’re seasoned golfers or just looking for a fun, leisurely activity, golfing provides a blend of relaxation and gentle challenge that’s perfect for couples.

  • Scenic Settings: Play on some of the state’s top-rated golf courses, set against the backdrop of mountains or coastal views.
  • Relaxing yet Challenging: Enjoy a relaxing day on the greens while also engaging in some friendly competition.
  • Luxury Clubhouses: Many courses feature clubhouses where you can unwind and enjoy a meal or drink after your round.

👉Discover a charming bed and breakfast in Blowing Rock for a personal touch and local hospitality.

Kayaking and Water Sports on the Crystal Coast

Crystal Coast | Cape Lookout, NC

Embark on a maritime adventure with kayaking and other water sports along the stunning Crystal Coast.

Explore tranquil bays, vibrant marine life, and beautiful shorelines, making for a perfect day of sun, sea, and shared memories for adventurous couples.

  • Explore Marine Life: Paddle through the clear waters of the Crystal Coast, spotting dolphins, sea turtles, and other marine life.
  • Variety of Water Sports: Choose from kayaking, paddleboarding, and jet skiing to tailor your aquatic adventure.
  • Sunset Paddles: Rent a kayak or paddleboard for a romantic sunset paddle, creating a picturesque and memorable experience.

These activities not only fuel the adventurous spirit but also strengthen connections, making them perfect for couples looking to add a bit of excitement to their getaway.

👉Find your flight to North Carolina on Skyscanner and unwind with a couples spa day in the tranquil settings of Pinehurst.

Culinary Experiences for Foodie Couples

For couples who enjoy exploring diverse and exquisite cuisines, North Carolina offers a rich tapestry of culinary experiences that are sure to tantalize the palate.

From traditional French fare to inventive new American cuisine, each restaurant provides a unique dining atmosphere that’s perfect for a romantic evening out.

Here’s a taste of what the Tar Heel State has to offer for those couples who love to dine in style.

Caprice Bistro – Wilmington, North Carolina

Enjoy Chef Thierry Moity’s classic French cuisine at Caprice Bistro, featuring a fusion of northern French and central provincial flavors.

With experience in some of Europe’s and New York City’s top kitchens, Chef Moity brings authenticity and a personal touch to every dish.

The Fig Tree Restaurant – Charlotte, North Carolina

Located in the charming Elizabeth neighborhood, The Fig Tree Restaurant is housed in a beautifully restored 1913 bungalow.

It offers seasonal cuisine with Italian and French influences, an affordable wine list, and options for romantic fireside dining or al fresco meals, making it a versatile and enchanting choice.

👉Select a luxury resort in Pinehurst for golfing, spa days, and high-end amenities.

The Gamekeeper – Boone, North Carolina

Experience gourmet dining with a blend of elegance and rustic mountain charm at The Gamekeeper.

This renowned restaurant offers an engaging atmosphere and a unique menu that celebrates the local region and its traditions, providing the perfect setting for a memorable dining adventure.

Ryan’s Restaurant – Winston-Salem, North Carolina

Ryan’s Restaurant offers stunning views of nature. You can dine at window-side tables overlooking oak trees and a rolling stream, or choose a cozy spot by the fireplace for a romantic winter meal.

The setting is as splendid as the menu, providing a serene dining experience.

Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern – Raleigh, North Carolina

Dine at the historic Victorian Dodd-Hinsdale House at Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern, where history meets gourmet cuisine.

Exceptional service and a memorable atmosphere complement a menu that blends traditional and innovative dishes.

Webb Custom Kitchen – Gastonia, North Carolina

Webb Custom Kitchen is located in the historic Webb movie theater, offering a unique combination of cinematic flair and local dining.

This distinctive setting provides an ideal atmosphere for enjoying craft beers, premium wines, and a unique menu that enhances the overall dining experience.

👉Book your flight with Skyscanner to Asheville and discover the romantic Biltmore Estate with its beautiful gardens and winery.

Cultural Attractions and Arts

Rodin Courtyard,  North Carolina Museum of Art,  Raleigh NC

North Carolina has a lively cultural scene that is attractive to couples seeking immersive experiences and artistic discovery.

From the historic streets of Raleigh to the eclectic ambiance of Asheville, the state offers a variety of cultural attractions that can add a touch of creativity and local flair to any romantic getaway.

Visit Museums and Galleries in Raleigh

Explore a variety of museums such as the North Carolina Museum of Art, which offers an impressive array of exhibitions ranging from ancient artifacts to contemporary art pieces.

  • Interactive Exhibits: Engage with interactive exhibits at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences or the North Carolina Museum of History, making for a fun and educational day out.
  • Art Walks: Participate in Raleigh’s First Friday Art Walk, where galleries and art studios open their doors to the public for a night of art, music, and mingling.

Live Music and Performances in Downtown Asheville

Asheville’s streets come alive with music ranging from street performers to live bands at venues like The Orange Peel, known for its eclectic lineup.

  • Theater Performances: Catch a play or a musical at the Asheville Community Theatre, offering high-quality productions in an intimate setting.
  • Festival Atmosphere: Enjoy the lively atmosphere of festivals like the Asheville Music Festival, where local and national artists perform in a celebration of music and culture.

👉Stay in a historic inn in Asheville near the Biltmore Estate for easy access to one of America’s largest homes.

Craft Fairs and Local Artisan Markets

Visit local craft fairs and artisan markets such as the River Arts District Artists’ Market in Asheville, where you can find one-of-a-kind handmade items—from pottery to jewelry.

  • Meet the Artists: Talk directly with local artisans, learn about their crafts, and perhaps even watch them at work, adding a personal touch to your visit.
  • Seasonal Events: Look out for seasonal markets and fairs, particularly around holidays, which offer special themed crafts and goods, perfect for finding unique gifts or souvenirs.

These cultural activities offer not just entertainment, but also opportunities for couples to bond over shared interests and new experiences, making them perfect for those seeking to enhance their romantic journey with art and culture.

👉Find flights to North Carolina on Skyscanner and enjoy a sunset cruise along the scenic Outer Banks.

NC Travel Tips

Raleigh North Carolina Skyline

When planning a romantic getaway in North Carolina, it’s helpful to have insider tips and information.

Here are some frequently asked questions that can help you make the most of your trip to this diverse and charming state.

What are the best times to visit North Carolina for a romantic getaway?

  • Spring (March to May): Enjoy mild temperatures and blooming flowers, perfect for outdoor activities and garden visits.
  • Fall (September to November): Experience the stunning fall foliage that North Carolina is famous for, ideal for scenic drives and hiking.
  • Avoid the peak of summer and winter to skip the extreme temperatures and crowded tourist spots, unless you’re heading to the mountains for skiing or to the coast for beach time.

What are some top travel tips for couples visiting North Carolina?

  • Book Accommodations in Advance: Popular destinations like Asheville and the Outer Banks can get busy, especially during peak seasons, so book early to secure the best spots.
  • Explore Beyond the Beaten Path: While famous spots are a must-see, North Carolina is full of hidden gems like small mountain towns or secluded beaches.
  • Consider a Rental Car: North Carolina’s attractions are spread out, and having a car will give you the flexibility to explore at your own pace.

These FAQs cover essential aspects of planning a romantic trip to North Carolina, ensuring that couples can enjoy a smooth and memorable experience.

Whether it’s your first visit or you’re returning to rediscover the charm of the Tar Heel State, these tips and activities will enhance your journey.

👉Book a beachfront hotel on the Outer Banks for sunrise views and sandy strolls right outside your door.

Discover North Carolina’s Charms Together

Uptown Apartment

North Carolina offers a captivating blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and diverse experiences, making it an ideal destination for couples seeking romance and adventure.

From the serene beaches of the Outer Banks to the majestic peaks of the Blue Ridge Mountains, and the vibrant cultural scenes of Raleigh and Asheville, there is something to capture the heart of every couple.

The state’s scenic landscapes and charming towns offer the perfect backdrop for romantic strolls, intimate dinners, and adventurous outings.

Every corner of North Carolina is waiting to add a chapter to your romantic adventures, ensuring that your experiences together are as unforgettable as the settings in which they unfold.

👉Use Skyscanner to plan a trip to Charlotte for an evening of fine dining and live jazz music in the vibrant Uptown district.

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