A state as scenic as North Carolina has plenty to offer lovebirds in search of a cozy spot to coo. Whether you want to be wined and dined or treated to a grand view at the end of a trail, theres something to impress even the hardest of hearts. Do a little planning, pack your most flattering outfit, and check out these ideas with romance in mind.
Whether youre celebrating decades of marriage or wooing a first date, its hard to go wrong in Asheville. What better backdrop for romance than the majestic Blue Ridge Mountains? You can dine in fine restaurants or charming dives, revel in the luxury of Biltmore House or get your feet muddy on the hiking trails, catch live music, shop for handmade crafts or wow your sweetie with your good taste at your choice of art galleries. Asheville manages to be hip and down-home at the same time, appealing to every taste and budget.
Info: 828-258-6101 or exploreasheville.com
N.C. Symphony Summerfest
Booth Amphitheatre, Cary
Catch some classical music lit by dusk and fireflies at the N.C. Symphonys annual Summerfest series. The serious classical music fan will appreciate offerings such as Rachmaninoffs Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, but theres plenty of lighter fare, too, including a concert devoted to music from Oscar-winning movies and a collaboration with the Classical Mystery Tour band that offers a new take on Beatles favorites. Bring a blanket and a picnic to make it a date to remember.
Info: Ticket prices vary. All eight concerts in the Summerfest series begin at 7:30 p.m. (gates open at 5 p.m.) at Booth Amphitheatre, 8003 Regency Parkway, Cary. 877-627-6724 or ncsymphony.org/summerfest
Various locations, statewide
The elegance of a winery visit and some good old-fashioned Southern hospitality might just be the perfect pairing. North Carolina has more than 100 wineries, many of them in the Yadkin Valley, and more are sprouting up all the time. Muscadine grapes, native to North Carolina, are a popular base, but more mainstream varieties of wine, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Chardonnay, are made here, too. Wineries offer visitors a glimpse into the winemaking process as well as a chance to taste and purchase the fruits of their labor. Take your sweetheart on a road trip in virtually any direction, and youre bound to find a winery that offers a friendly, romantic setting that might just go to your head a little.
Info: Find a map of all the wineries in the state, along with info about background, hours, costs and locations, at ncwine.org/wineries
Various locations, statewide
We love the arts in North Carolina, and we love to be outside. So why not combine the two? In summertime, outdoor dramas tell the story of our state under the stars, offering a more relaxed and dare we say it, romantic? atmosphere than a dressy theater. The Lost Colony in Manteo is the states most famous and the nations longest-running outdoor drama, but there are plenty more to choose from. See the full list at the website below.
Fearrington Village pairs luxury with simple, pastoral pleasures for a romantic getaway that doesnt involve going too far out of the Triangle. An afternoon of coffee and cake, a stroll over to the amazing bookstore and a gander at the Belties and the goats makes for a lovely afternoon, said Amanda Charest of Chapel Hill. If you can end the day with dinner on site, youve gone to heaven. If youre not quite ready to end the day, book a room and maybe even a spa session at the Fearrington House Inn, 32 rooms of English country-style luxury with an emphasis on Southern hospitality.
Info: 2000 Fearrington Village Center, Pittsboro. 800-277-0130 or fearrington.com