In the land of slow-living, fireflies, and sweet tea, you are sure to find romance. There are so many terrific romantic Southern getaways to be had in the region, from Virginia down to Georgia and across to Louisiana and Arkansas. In these states, and everything in between, you’ll discover the best romantic getaways in the South. We’re bringing them to you here in this list, with spots selected by travel experts.
If you’re looking to plan a weekend getaway in the south, for two, you can’t do better than these destinations. Whether you’re after sand and sun or the charm of a sweet southern city, these are the best romantic getaways in the southeast.
You’ll want to be sure to check out these posts, too:
- 27 of the Most Romantic Places in the USA that Couples Will Love
- The Most Romantic Places in the World: 10 Epic Destinations for Couples
- 21 Incredibly Romantic Airbnbs Around the World
Heading North? Discover more of the best romantic getaways on the east coast: 20 Romantic Getaways in New England
17 Super Romantic Getaways in the South for Couples
One of the best things for couples to do in Savannah is to simply take a romantic stroll through the historic district. Start by grabbing a refreshing frozen daiquiri from Wet Willie’s on River Street and then make your way down through the Historic District (yes, you can take your drink with you!), stopping at the beautiful historic squares and taking in the ornate antebellum architecture. End your stroll at Forsyth Park, home to Savannah’s beautiful and frequently photographed fountain. Weddings are often held here, making this a very romantic spot!
There’s nothing better on a getaway with your partner than a nice, romantic dinner. Make reservations at The Olde Pink House – one of the city’s top restaurants. Here you’ll be able to sample delicious Southern cuisine and unique cocktails – don’t miss out on the fried chicken, collard greens, or the specialty “Pink Lady” cocktail. For a fun dessert after dinner, walk down to Leopold’s Ice Cream. It’s worth the wait, and the line moves rather quickly.
Savannah is home to several romantic accommodation options. Consider staying at the Dresser Palmer House, a gorgeous bed and breakfast, or the Andaz Savannah, a wonderful luxury hotel in the Historic District.
Submitted by Ashley Hubbard
What better romantic Southern getaway is there than the ‘wedding capital of the South’ and one of the most popular honeymoon destinations in this region of the country. Gatlinburg is an incredibly accessible location – 60% of the country’s population can arrive there for their romantic getaway within one day, making it one of the best southeast vacation ideas for couples!
Gatlinburg has something for everyone, no matter what type of couple you are. There are hundreds of things to do in Gatlinburg. For adventure and outdoor lovers, you have access to the most visited national park in the country, ziplining, white water rafting, ATVs, and much more.
If shopping is the thing that gets you both excited, there are a ton of small and unique shops in Gatlinburg and even more if you head to nearby Pigeon Forge.
In terms of food, have a romantic dinner at The Melting Pot or check out a more casual spot at Ole Red or Mellow Mushroom – you’ll find options for dietary restrictions at all of them.
While in Gatlinburg, you can choose to stay close to town where you can walk to all of the wine and moonshine tastings or you can head further into the mountains and stay at a remote and romantic cabin or chalet.
For all these reasons and more, Gatlinburg is the perfect option for a romantic weekend getaway away for couples.
Submitted by Nicole Sunderland
Little Rock, Arkansas
Submitted by Lori Blalock
While Little Rock might not be the first city that springs to mind when you think about romance, it should be. Its location on the Arkansas River gives couples with a variety of interests plenty to do or not do if that’s the choice.
Let the romance begin downtown at the Capital Hotel, a quintessentially Southern hotel that even has its own front porch. Rooms are spacious with four-poster beds and bathtubs big enough for two. For couples that want to stay in, the hotel has two restaurants on-site. One Eleven and the Capital Bar & Grille, both serve one of a kind food, handcrafted cocktails and decadent—essential for romance—desserts.
The Hotel is just steps from the beautiful riverfront that’s perfect for wandering hand in hand with your love. The Vogel Schwartz Sculpture Garden, Riverfront Park and the River Market together, have over 100 works of art to search out. Continue to stroll along the river and the bridges, which are colorfully lit up at night, take on a dreamy romantic glow. The bridge at the Clinton Presidential Park is a pedestrian bridge perfect for romance and great views of the city.
Couples can wrap up the evening with a nightcap at 42 Bar and Table. Located on the ground floor of the Clinton Library, that’s also on the riverfront, the restaurant has views like nowhere else in the city. It’s a cozy, intimate setting and another reason that makes Little Rock a perfect Southern city for romance.
Eastern Shore, Virginia
Submitted by Megan Starr, Absolute Armenia
Even though it’s now part of Alabama, in many ways Mobile is like a smaller version of New Orleans in Louisiana. And in fact, it was the original capital of the French Louisiana territory, which explains the similarities and the French-inspired architecture. While New Orleans has a well-deserved reputation as a wild and raucous party town, Mobile is more mellow. This makes it an ideal alternative not only for families but also for couples looking for a quiet, romantic getaway.
Start your explorations with the downtown area, where the streets are shaded by huge oak trees strung with Spanish moss. Lining both sides of Dauphin Street, George Street and other downtown thoroughfares are huge antebellum mansions, a few of which are still furnished with period furnishings and are open to the public for visits. When touring these homes, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped onto the set of Gone With the Wind.
The best time to visit Mobile is in the spring when the weather is not too hot and the city is filled with pink and white azalea blooms. There’s even a local festival to mark the occasion, called the Azalea Trail Festival. Local high school girls are chosen to represent the city as “Azalea Trail Maids”. They dress up in pastel-colored hoop skirts with matching parasols and play the part of the hospitable Southern belle. Mobile also has plenty of great restaurants, featuring seafood as well as a growing number of veggie options.
Submitted by Julie McCool of FuninFairFaxVA.com
Perched on a ridge in Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, Primland is one of the most dramatic and romantic places to stay in the greater Washington DC region. The resort offers luxurious accommodations in a stunning natural setting and a wealth of fun activities for outdoor-loving couples.
Guests at Primland can choose a spacious suite in the main lodge, a cottage room at the edge of a gorge, or a suite near the resort’s award-winning golf course. Couples willing to splurge should book one of the three stunning Tree Houses that seem to float over the surrounding mountains. The Tree Houses are more rustic, but the setting is hard to beat. Our favorite rooms for romance are in the Pinnacle Cottages, which boast a wall of windows and private porch with dramatic mountain views.
When you’re ready to leave the room, there are some uniquely fun ways to enjoy Primland’s 12,000-acre property. Get your adrenalin pumping with an RTV ride over rocky dirt roads to a mountain viewpoint. Take a leisurely horseback ride, or try your hand at sporting clays, archery, mountain biking, and other outdoor activities. When you’re ready to relax, head to the spa for an indulgent treatment. At night, gaze at distant planets in Primland’s onsite observatory. Whatever diversions you choose, Primlan’s natural setting provides a beautiful backdrop to romance.
Submitted by Bret Love & Mary Gabbett of Blue Ridge Mountains Travel Guide
With its gorgeous natural surroundings, forward-thinking environmental consciousness, charming atmosphere, fantastic foodie scene, and array of outdoor recreation activities, Asheville is arguably the ultimate Blue Ridge Mountain town for couples. But the city’s current status as the Portland of the South is even more impressive when you consider the fact that much of downtown Asheville verged on the cusp of demolition just a few decades ago.
The city has exploded in popularity in recent years thanks in part to its countless stylish boutiques, art galleries, hip breweries, and live music venues. But you can still find deals on romantic mountain cabins in the surrounding hills (including many with open-hearth fireplaces, hot tubs, and stunning scenic views). Then head into town to sample some of the best restaurants in Asheville, including Bouchon, Posana, 12 Bones Smokehouse, Plant, and more.
Just outside of town, you’ll find hiking trails for all skill levels in Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Linville Gorge, Mount Mitchell (the tallest peak east of the Mississippi), Pisgah National Forest, and all along the Blue Ridge Parkway. Also, be sure to check out the uber-romantic Biltmore Estate, the largest home in America, which has 250 rooms, 8,000 acres of gardens and trails, and the nation’s most-visited winery.
Submitted by Debra Schroeder, Traveling Well for Less
Don’t let the name fool you, Lynchburg, Virginia is an unknown secret, a hidden gem if you will, and one of the most romantic places in the South.
Start your romantic Lynchburg getaway with an easy stroll on the River Walk Trail. The trail winds through Riverfront Park, historic downtown Lynchburg, ending on Percival’s Island.
After your walk, check into the Craddock Terry Hotel, a former shoe factory, now a luxury waterfront hotel. Offering views of the James River, the Blue Ridge Mountains, or historic downtown Lynchburg, the elegant rooms include daily continental breakfast.
Relax over dinner at Shoemakers. Then pop into the Academy of the Arts to enjoy a performance, listen to a talk or take an art class. Perhaps recreate the pottery scene from “Ghost.”
Enjoy a relaxing 60-minute couples massage in the therapeutic Salt Cave at London’s Salt Spa. The minerals and salts, imported, from the Himalayas and Poland, remove toxins and impurities out of the body. You’ll walk out (more like massage coma stumble) feeling refreshed and relaxed. The spa is a short 18-minute drive from Lynchburg.
Add a little spice to your evening with salsa dancing every Thursday night from 9pm to 11pm in downtown Lynchburg. Never danced the salsa or a little unsure of your footing? Come early at 8pm for lessons. A $5 cover charge (cash only) applies. This fun, inexpensive evening is bound to encourage a night of passion and romance.
From romantic riverfront walks to salsa dancing, consider visiting Lynchburg, Virginia for your next Southern romantic getaway.
Upstate South Carolina
Submitted by Brooke & Buddy of TrailingAway.com
Strolling through the vineyard, picking your own fruit, and getting happily tipsy as you watch the sunset over the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains. Can it get more romantic? Oh yea, you get to sleep on the property in a cute tiny home and wake up to the sound of chickens clucking and the smell of a hot, fresh breakfast cooking just up the hill. Chattooga Belle Farm is one of the hidden gems of the upstate South Carolina area – owned by a sweet couple who really go out of their way to offer a special experience. It is a great place to spend a weekend away as a couple – with a restaurant, distillery, small cabins, and RV sites available as well.
Located in Long Creek, SC, Chattooga Belle is close to lots of hikes, waterfalls, lakes, and other great outdoor activities. If you’re wanting to check out other wineries, head east about an hour to try out Victoria Valley Vineyards or hop the state line over to Georgia for plenty of other options within an hour, like Tiger Mountain Vineyards and Yonah Mountain Vineyards. Have time for a longer trip? The pretty little city of Greenville, SC; the unique German-themed town of Helen, GA; and the waterfall-heavy county of Brevard, NC, are all within a 1.5-hour drive!
Read more about our romantic visit to this mountain hideaway here.
Submitted by Maggie DQ
Nashville is a great city for a romantic getaway due to its food scene, nightlife, and overall ambiance. Nashville is definitely considered a “foodie city”, and makes for the perfect spot for a couples weekend trip. There are many Southern food variations of their signature hot chicken, barbeque, and biscuits at restaurants around the city. At night, head on over to Broadway’s bars and lounges to grab a few drinks and listen to country music or cover bands.
If you and your significant other are country music fans, then Nashville is the place to visit. It is considered the birthplace of country music and tourists can visit famous locations such as the RCA Recording Studios, the Grand Ole Opry, and Ryman Auditorium.
The Belle Meade Plantation is another place to stop to soak in some history, and if you enjoy a glass of wine or beer, there are breweries and a winery around the city as well. Some other things to do are to visit Vanderbilt University and take a tour of the Hermitage, Andrew Jackson’s home. A weekend getaway in Nashville is perfect for those who would like to kick back, eat, drink, listen to music, and enjoy each other as a couple for a few days of peace.
Submitted by Charles McCool of McCoolTravel.com
I have 99 praises and the beach is one. Coastal Mississippi is incredibly easy to love and is a perfect romantic US Gulf Coast destination—with phenomenal beach sunsets to fun outdoor adventures to remarkable meals.
Create very special private memories for your anniversary, date, or romantic trip in superior relaxed luxury romantic lodging, like The Roost or Inn at Ocean Springs or Bay Town Inn. When the time comes to leave your cozy suite, enjoy the incredible beauty of the soulful and prevalent live oak trees, especially the Avenue of Oaks (featuring Friendship Oak) at USM-Long Beach and along Washington Ave in Ocean Springs (and on the adjacent streets).
In Ocean Springs, visit various art galleries and craft shops, hold your honey’s hand while exploring the Walter Anderson Museum of Art, attend a festival or the farmers market, and pop into Vestige for an elegant lunch or dinner.
At the New Orleans end of Coastal Mississippi, Bay St Louis is another romantic small town, offering a different but empowering vibe, with frequent festivals, locally-owned shops and restaurants, and a waterfront setting (perfect for sunrises and sunsets). Also catch majestic and romantic sunsets from Henderson Point, Front Beach, Ocean Springs pier, Blind Tiger Biloxi, or pretty much anywhere out on the water. Sweet Coastal Mississippi adventures range from spa treatments to kayaking from Pascagoula River Audubon Center to a fun hands-on experience with Biloxi Shrimping Tour.
Durham, North Carolina
Submitted by Christina Riley
Durham, North Carolina is a city that was built on rustic tobacco is easily a swoon-worthy destination for reconnecting with your partner. The city is filled with reminders of its past- from retro tobacco signs to the iconic Lucky Strike tower at the American Tobacco Campus, the Bull City has a charm of its own.
Dress to the nines and hit the town for world-class cuisine at St. James Seafood followed by craft cocktails in the basement lounge of Kingfisher for an intimate evening. One of the most popular romantic things to do in Durham is to catch the sunset from the rooftop cocktail bar at The Durham hotel. Clasp hands and breathe in each other as you enjoy the retro midcentury modern décor, fresh oysters, and stunning cityscape.
Looking for a more laid-back way to rekindle your love? Some of Durham’s casual restaurants are so delicious that you might dream of moving here with you sweetheart! After filling your bellies with some Southern staples and laughs, hit Boxcar Arcade to duke it out together over some Mortal Combat. When you’ve run out of coins head next door to Urban Axes and have some laughs seeing who is better at throwing axes.
Durham, North Carolina also has incredible outdoor activities. From wandering the rose bushes at Sarah P. Duke Gardens to hiking the trails along the Eno River, opting outside is one of our fondest romantic things to do. On these trails is where we dream about our lives together while watching the river slowly float by.
Charleston, South Carolina
Submitted by Theresa McKinney, Fueled By Wanderlust
Couples who visit Charleston enjoy plentiful restaurant options that pack tons of ambiance and delicious menus. The most famous restaurant for a memorable date night is Husk, which specializes in modern takes on traditional southern favorites. Two more great choices are Fig, which comes just as highly recommended as Husk, and Circa 1886, especially if you are staying onsite at the dreamy Wentworth Mansion.
Charleston also offers the perfect opportunity to slow down and simply stroll together under the palmetto trees. It’s easy to fall in love with the rows of colonial-era stucco-covered homes, painted in various shades of cheerful pastels. The unique patina on some of these facades, where the stucco is peeling away from the brick underneath, really sends the charm over the top. Finally, it would be remiss to ignore Charleston’s Waterfront Park, which offers beautiful scenery along the Cooper River and views of landmarks like Fort Sumpter in the distance.
For the ultimate romantic experience in Charleston, stay at a historic bed and breakfast, such as the delightful 1837 Bed and Breakfast. These places abound in quiet intimacy, while offering a peek into Charleston’s history.
Submitted by Talek Nantes
Memphis is the perfect town for a romantic getaway. This vibrant city sits on the Mississippi River and exudes southern charm. It is one of the more historically significant cities in the south with a culture build around music, cuisine and hospitality.
To plan your perfect Memphis romantic adventure, first pick a romantic hotel. The Peabody Hotel, in downtown Memphis is a legendary landmark in the city. It manages to effortlessly combine old world charm with modern conveniences. The rooms are recently renovated, and the restaurant offers classic gourmet French cuisine at Chez Philippe.
The best part of staying at The Peabody is the March of the Ducks. Every day, twice a day a flock of trained ducks troop from a fountain in the lobby, down a hallway and into an elevator that whisks them to their home on another floor. All this accompanied by marching music. It is certainly unique.
Tear yourself away from the hotel and head to nearby Beal Street to listen to some of the best Blues around. The street is lined with Blues clubs where a musically inclined couple could club hop and indulge to their hearts’ content. Nearby are jazz and blues museums.
Other can’t miss activities in Memphis include tasting the local BBQ and craft beer, a perfect combination.
Don’t leave Memphis without visiting Graceland, the home of local-boy-done-good Elvis Presley.
Top off your romantic getaway with a visit to the fabulous Memphis Botanic Garden because, what’s more romantic than a rose garden?
New Orleans, Louisiana
Gulf Shores & Orange Beach, Alabama
Submitted by Chris and Heather Boothman from A Brit & A Southerner
If you are looking for the perfect romantic getaway, look no further than the beautiful coastal area of Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, Alabama. Both of these destinations may not be the first places you think about visiting but if you are looking for a relaxing, romantic break, there are not many places we would recommend ahead of this gorgeous Gulf Coast area.
Whether you are newly married couple or simply looking to rekindle a little romance in your relationship, Gulf Shores and Orange Beach offers an eclectic blend of attractions, local restaurants offering decadent cuisine options and a collection of awesome accommodation
options to satisfy every budget.
When it comes to the best things to do in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach, head over to The Wharf for a hands-on experience making your very own bathroom products at High Cotton Bath Company. Alternatively, perhaps you want to showcase your artistic skills by visiting Sandcastle University to create a memorable masterpiece. Regardless of whether you hit the beach for this experience, you won’t want to miss spending some time on the 32 miles of pristine sandy beaches.
Stay at the incredible Turquoise Place by Spectrum Resorts to enjoy a jacuzzi hot tub on your private balcony overlooking the Gulf, while the list of local restaurants to choose from is endless – a couple of favorites include Sunliner Diner for a retro-themed experience dating back to the 1950s and GT’s on the Bay for a romantic meal overlooking Wolf Bay.
End your visit to Gulf Shores and Orange Beach by taking an evening cruise into the Gulf to enjoy what we consider to be one of the most incredible sunsets.
Which of these romantic vacations in the south is going to be your next trip?
Amy Hartle is the co-founder and owner of Two Drifters, where she blogs about romantic and couples travel, relationships, honeymoons, and more. With a Master’s in English and a BA in Musical Theatre, Amy loves to write quality content as well as to entertain, and she hopes to do a bit of both here on the blog! Amy is happily married to her husband Nathan, and when not working on their sites, Amy & Nathan can be found cuddling, reading, and enjoying delicious lattes.