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10 Romantic Getaways in North Carolina

With cozy mountain towns to the west and stunning beaches to the east, and plenty of interesting cities mixed in between, it’s no surprise that there is no shortage of romantic getaways in North Carolina!

Whether you’re dreaming of a romantic mountain cabin for two or a house on the beach, we’ve rounded up the best weekend getaways in NC for couples here.

Cape Lookout Lighthouse NC as seen from behind sand dunes

Romantic Getaways in North Carolina at the Beach

Wilmington

From Julie of More than Main Street

Looking for a small, coastal town that is one of the best romantic weekend getaways in North Carolina? Wilmington, NC is the perfect year-round destination to spend some quality time with your love!

Wander the streets of downtown together popping in and out of the unique boutique shops, explore the Riverwalk, and watch the sunset over the beautiful Cape Fear River. Grab a table for two on the quaint little balconies with a water view at Floriana or indulge your foodie desires at the award-winning Pinpoint restaurant.

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Want a getaway that’s a little more relaxed? Soak up some sun at Wrightsville Beach. Play in the waves, search for seashells and take in the views from Johnny Mercer’s Fishing Pier. Walk the Loop with your love, grab an ice cream cone from the Original Ice Cream Stand, and do not miss the sunset on the south end of the island.

Prefer a more active vacation? Head to Carolina Beach! Enjoy a day at the beach where you can try kayaking, surfing, or stand up paddleboarding. Explore historic Fort Fisher together or get in a little hiking at Carolina Beach State Park. Finish your day with a romantic meal at Saltfish.

Whether you’re looking for a low key weekend or like to stay busy, there is something for every couple in Wilmington.

Historic 5th street in Wilmington NC in the spring, one of the best NC romantic getaways

Rodanthe

So romantic that even Nicholas Sparks himself used it as a setting, the classic Outer Banks town of Rodanthe makes a fantastic weekend getaway in NC for couples.

In addition to enjoying the beautiful beach with its crashing waves and gorgeous sunrises and sunsets, a trip to Rodanthe can also include a visit to Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, a trip to the Chicamacomico Lifesaving Station, and time spent at the Pea Island Wildlife Refuge.

Don’t forget to snap a photo with the famous Nights in Rodanthe house, used when filming the movie adaptation of Sparks’ novel.

fishing pier at sunrise in rodanthe, one of the best travel destinations in north carolina for couples

Bald Head Island

From Ally of Ally Travels

If you’re looking to enjoy some quiet time in nature with your partner, Bald Head Island is one of the best romantic getaways in North Carolina for you. 

It’s only a twenty-minute ferry ride across North Carolina’s Cape Fear. You and your partner will love how isolated it feels from the outside world.

There are no cars allowed on Bald Head, so everyone must travel via a golf cart or bike. 

Out of its 12,000 acres, 10,000 are home to untouched beaches, nature preserves, charming little neighborhoods, and local shops.

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Popular spots to check out include their golf course, country club, beaches, spa, and historic lighthouse. 

The lighthouse, named Old Baldy, was built circa 1817 and is the state’s oldest lighthouse. There have been many proposals here over the years, specifically during the epic sunsets. 

You’ll absolutely want to book a spot at one of the marina’s many outdoor restaurants. It’s quite romantic sharing fresh seafood under the stars, the sounds of the waves crashing in the distance, and the moon shining brightly above you. 

Afterward, if you’re feeling adventurous, there are plenty of private beaches to have a late-night swim or make-out session at.

The best time on the island is naturally during the summer months, just get insurance on your trip as summer is hurricane season.

couple standing on a sand bar on bald head island, one of the most romantic getaways in nc

Beaufort

This gorgeous small town on the Crystal Coast features historic architecture, beautiful coastal views, and plenty of romantic things to do.

Located on the Beaufort Inlet rather than directly on the ocean, Beaufort is quiet and charming (though it does get incredibly busy with day-trippers during the summer), and absolutely one of the most romantic getaways in NC.

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While you’re there, be sure to stroll Front Street hand-in-hand, try to spot the wild horses on nearby Carrot Island (or take a boat out to Shackleford Banks), learn about Beaufort’s history with pirates, and stay in a beautiful bed and breakfast.

To hit the beach, hop over a couple of bridges to nearby Atlantic Beach, where you can enjoy the waves and also tour historic Fort Macon.

Fun Things to Do in Beaufort NC: Girl on bench in front of boutique with blue shutters

Couples Getaways in NC in the Mountains

Boone

From Allison of Eternal Arrival

One of the most adorable and romantic towns in North Carolina is beautiful Boone. Located right off the Blue Ridge Mountain Parkway, this beautiful town is a great place to visit with a partner, especially in the romantic fall season when the trees are ablaze with color.
 
Wondering what to do with your partner while in Boone? Think romantic walks in the Blue Ridge mountains, gorgeous sunsets from scenic overlooks, and strolls through the charming Daniel Boone Park.
 
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For a romantic sunset viewing spot, hop on the Blue Ridge Parkway and stop at one of the many overlooks or head to Blowing Rock for a beautiful view over the Blue Ridge Mountains as the sun sinks into the horizon.
 
For a romantic day out, head to Grandfather Mountain State Park just 30 minutes away. This is a great place to take a day trip while staying in Boone. While there, take a walk and cute couple photographs on the Mile High Swinging Bridge, and go on some hikes in the area. The Rough Ridge trailhead offers some of the prettiest views in the state! Pack a picnic for some extra romantic bonus points (and even more bonus points if you grab a bottle of wine from the local winemaker Grandfather Vineyard & Winery on the way!).
 
Boone NC as seen from above in the fall, one of the most romantic getaways in North Carolina
 

Asheville

From Stephanie of Explore More Clean Less
 
Asheville, North Carolina is nestled in the Blue Ridge mountain range. Full of lush waterfalls and mossy trails, it’s a lovely romantic getaway for couples. With weather and events that make it a popular destination year-round, it makes for an easy day trip up through a full week of exploring the area. There is something for every couple with a wide range of activities and price points!
 
Hiking trails and outdoorsy activities are one of the biggest draws; couples will enjoy hiking up to see breathtaking views from the Max Patch trail or stunning waterfalls in Dupont State Forest.
 
Cruise up to a spa in nearby Hot Springs for a couple’s massage to relax and spring water soak to re-energize.
 
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Many visitors opt to blend culture and hiking by visiting romantic Biltmore Estate, one of the main attractions in the area. Stroll in the gardens, explore the majestic house, eat dinner, and cap it off with a horse-drawn carriage ride.
 
Foodies will enjoy the thriving independent restaurant scene, and there are several craft breweries and wineries to choose from. Live music is common and plentiful alongside several art galleries and regular theater performances.
 
Visitors can spend a whole day exploring the River Arts District, where small studios display local artists’ wares and sometimes showcases them at work. The murals alone are a treat to drive by and look at! For more inspiration, check out this list of Asheville date ideas beforehand.
 
Skyline of Asheville NC at sunset with Blue Ridge Mountains in the background, one of the best weekend trips in the south

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

You can visit Great Smoky Mountains National Park from Asheville, Maggie Valley, or any number of other romantic towns in North Carolina, of course, but this stunning national park deserves to be mentioned individually.
 
Whether you’re an outdoorsy couple looking for fantastic hikes, or simply looking for a few easily-accessible waterfalls and a chance to admire the endless views, Great Smoky Mountains National Park is one of the most romantic getaways in NC.
 
While the park is beautiful year-round, it’s particularly romantic during the fall, when the foliage is brilliant enough to take your breath away.
 
View of the Great Smoky Mountains during fall foliage season in the southern USA

Lake Santeetlah

From Rai of A Rai of Light
 
Lake Santeetlah lies in north-central Graham County, just under 100 miles west of Asheville. Its beauty, and serene location away from the city, completely surrounded by mountains and protected forests, makes it a popular choice for a NC romantic getaway.
 
Located along the Indian Lakes Scenic Byway, over 3,000 acres of translucent waters lie waiting to be discovered. Facilities in the region consist of a swimming beach, boat ramp, and campground and some of the best recreational activities include hiking, swimming, kayaking, and canoeing.
 
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As part of the Nantahala National Forest, the majority of the region remains undeveloped with clear blue waters, living up to its name meaning “blue waters.”
 
Couples, in particular, enjoy the ample camping and picnicking options on offer in addition to the peace and quiet offered by the encompassing nature. The clear waters offer good fishing while boats and kayaks are available to rent at Santeetlah Marina to explore the lake.
 
Often considered to be one of the most picturesque lakes in the country, Lake Santeetlah comes highly recommended as one of the best vacation spots in the United States.
 
lake santeetlah north carolina as seen from above

More Romantic Getaways in NC

Chapel Hill

From Tegan of Why Not Walk
 
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, one of the most beautiful college towns in the United States, is a fabulous place for a North Carolina romantic getaway. Neoclassical architecture, sprawling green spaces, and mild winters make it a lovely place to visit year-round, but it is at its most romantic with fall foliage or spring blooms.
 
The UNC campus itself is lovely for a stroll, with many buildings dating back to the 1700s, and interconnected quads, an arboretum, an outdoor amphitheater, and a historic belltower to explore.
 
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Make sure to snap a selfie at the Old Well, the symbol of campus, and stop by the nearby Davie Poplar: rumor has it that any couple who sits on the stone bench underneath it will be together forever, happily ever after. You can stargaze together at the Carolina Skies show at the Morehead Planetarium (also located on the quad) or visit the Ackland Museum of Art to enjoy some artwork together.
 
When you’re ready for a bite to eat, Chapel Hill is a foodie destination bar none. For Southern comfort food, check out brunch at Crook’s Corner. If you’re seeking a cozy lunch spot, the BLTs at Merritt’s are world-famous. For the ultimate fancy dinner experience for two, Il Palio is definitely worth the splurge.
 
If you’re in the mood for an after-dinner drink or two, the views of Franklin Street from the patio at Top of the Hill can’t be beaten. 
 
Stone gazebo in a garden in Chapel hill, one of the most romantic places to visit in NC

Elkin

From Anna of Paddling Space
 
Elkin is a small town in the heart of the Yadkin Valley Viticulture Area where there are about three dozen wineries. It’s a trail town with three different sanctioned trails converging in the area, the Mountains to Sea Trail, Yadkin River “Blue Water Trail”, and the Overmountain Victory Trail. You and your partner can spend a gorgeous few days exploring the outdoors and winery hopping.

Some of the best wineries in the area are Carolina Heritage, Elkin Creek Vineyard, and Grassy Creek Vineyard & Winery. Carolina Heritage was NC’s first organic certified vineyard and they have a beautiful tasting room up on a hill perfect for sunsets.

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Elkin Creek Vineyard is housed in a rustic chateau and on Sundays, they serve delicious pizzas on sourdough crust. Grassy Creek is an old dairy farm turned into a winery. The tasting room is in what once was the horse stables.

When you’re ready to get outside for some fresh air, you’ll have plenty of options. If none of the trails already mentioned suit you, then head to Pilot Mountain State Park, about 30 minutes from Elkin. Hiking isn’t your only option though.

You can go kayaking down the Yadkin River (the blue water trail), biking, or even take a hot air balloon ride which is a fantastic way to top off a visit to one of the most romantic getaways in North Carolina! 

4 photos of north carolina: wilmington, blue ridge parkway, couple on a cabin porch, cape lookout. black and pink text on a white background reads "9 romantic getaways north carolina"

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