The slogan says “Virginia is for lovers,” but in a state that spans around 40,000 square miles, you may wonder: Which areas are the best for a romantic retreat? To help you plan the perfect dreamy escape with your significant other, U.S. News compiled this list of the top romantic getaways in Virginia.
No matter what type of vacation you are looking for in Virginia, these top Old Dominion getaways are guaranteed to help you unwind, reconnect and make memories with the one you love most.
(Note: Some of the following activities, attractions and locations may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. New policies may be in place, including capacity restrictions, reservation requirements or mask mandates. Check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of State and local tourism boards before traveling.)
Romantic Getaways in Virginia
(Courtesy of Primland)
Tucked away on 12,000 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Primland is a secluded Virginia resort about 300 miles southwest of Washington, D.C. Enjoy some one-on-one time in luxury in the main lodge, or book a treehouse or cottage for extra privacy. Rooms are equipped with everything you need for a romantic getaway, with perks like fireplaces, private balconies, soaking tubs, and plush robes and slippers (depending on the accommodations you choose). Recent guests recommend a couples escape to one of Primland’s treehouses for solitude and scenic mountain vistas.
Across the expansive property, travelers will find a full-service spa with couples massages, abundant nature trails, a scenic 18-hole golf course, and yoga and meditation classes, as well as guided stargazing sessions in the observatory. Twosomes can also bond while learning a new skill together – like archery or fly-fishing.
When it comes to dining, Primland impresses guests with organic, farm-to-table ingredients and tasty meals in each of the resort’s four on-site restaurants. Those who feel like getting fancy can head to Primland’s fine dining restaurant, Elements, to enjoy the mouthwatering menu filled with dishes like fried quail and cauliflower steak. Or, if you and your loved one would rather keep it casual, grab some hearty fare at 19th Pub or Stables Saloon. Primland’s newest dining option, the Schlumberger Wine Cellar, treats guests to a celebratory dinner or a wine tasting of vintages from the world’s first vineyards in a private, intimate setting. Recent visitors loved the variety of gourmet Southern cuisine at Primland, with many raving over the private cellar dinner and knowledgeable staff.
Situated on the Potomac River less than 10 miles south of the nation’s capital, Alexandria is an easily accessible destination for an amorous weekend jaunt. Spend your days strolling hand in hand along the cobblestone streets of Old Town, or hop on some rental bikes to glide past rows of charming, centuries-old buildings.
When it’s time to dine, you and your sweetheart will have your choice of more than 200 independent restaurants and boutiques, including French-inspired Bastille Brasserie & Bar or Magnolia, which serves up Southern comfort food. For an added layer of fun, consider signing up for a food and history tour, where you can learn all about the city while sampling local dishes.
Alexandria offers a number of pampering hotels where you and your partner can unwind. One option is the Lorien Hotel & Spa, which treats guests to cozy Frette linens, sudsy baths in claw-foot tubs and relaxing rainfall showerheads. When you’re ready to venture outside your room, head to the on-site spa for an invigorating couples massage or foot rub. Another romantic outpost, Morrison House, Autograph Collection, boasts Italian marble bathrooms, bathrobes and views of the historic city.
History-loving couples will have a blast exploring Charlottesville together. Situated about 70 miles northwest of Richmond, Charlottesville attracts vacationers to Monticello – Thomas Jefferson’s historic former dwelling – as well as quaint town squares, antique shops and bookstores. Centuries-old African American historic sites can be explored alongside Black-owned restaurants and boutiques with the digital Discover Black Cville Passport. The town is also home to the University of Virginia: the only university in the U.S. to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Lovebirds can take a leisurely stroll through the campus and admire the stunning architecture.
When you need a break from exploring, venture to local vineyards to wine and dine overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains. There are 40-plus wineries within 30 miles of Charlottesville, a stretch known as the Monticello Wine Trail. Some favorite vineyards among travelers include Jefferson Vineyards and Veritas Vineyard and Winery. An excellent way to experience a few different vineyards (and have a designated driver) is on a private wine tour.
Browse romantic hotels in Charlottesville like the massive Boar’s Head Resort and the Omni Charlottesville Hotel. For a more intimate setting, visit the Foxfield Inn, a small bed-and-breakfast located less than 10 miles from Charlottesville’s bustling downtown.
One of America’s first planned cities and now a top Virginia travel destination, the quaint Williamsburg was founded in 1699 and has a rich Colonial history. Today, the cobblestone streets, lush landscapes and beautifully restored buildings practically exude old-world charm.
Take a trip back in time with a romantic horse-drawn carriage ride around Colonial Williamsburg, enjoy a spooky nighttime ghost tour, or set up a picnic for two at Sunken Garden on The College of William & Mary campus. Better yet, get cozy together with a bottle (or two) of wine at the scenic 400-acre Williamsburg Winery, which offers tours and tasting flights. Adventurous duos can visit Busch Gardens Williamsburg for thrilling coasters or themed country lands – it’s easily accessible thanks to its location southeast of town.
What started as a small country inn in a converted garage in 1978 has since turned into a beloved staple among city dwellers and suburbanites alike. Best known for its three-Michelin-starred restaurant, The Inn at Little Washington is a romantic respite about 70 miles west of Washington, D.C., in a Virginia town also called Washington.
Couples can dine on innovative American cuisine – made with produce and herbs from the on-site farm – beneath the soft lighting emanating from silk lampshades. And don’t pass up the chance to share some wine from the restaurant’s award-winning 14,000-bottle cellar, which includes varietals from Europe, California and Oregon. Recent visitors highly recommend this culinary destination for its creative dishes and artful presentation.
Take the romance to the next level by booking a stay at the inn; you and your loved one will enjoy complimentary welcome cocktails, guaranteed nightly dinner reservations and guest rooms with luxury bath products. The property’s remote location in rural Virginia means cellphone signal may be limited, which promises the opportunity to reconnect with your partner without any distractions.
Nothing says togetherness like a camping or cabin trip in Shenandoah National Park. Spanning more than 200,000 acres, Shenandoah sits in the Blue Ridge Mountains about a 70-mile drive west of Washington, D.C. The park’s most beloved feature is Skyline Drive, a 105-mile stretch of road boasting 75 scenic overlooks. Roll down your windows and breathe in the crisp mountain air as you make your way through tall trees and around picturesque curves. If you’d like to hop out of your car and get your blood pumping, you’ll find more than 500 miles of hiking trails to traverse.
After a day of exploring together, pitch a tent, cuddle up in blankets and roast some marshmallows at one of five park campgrounds, such as Mathews Arm at mile 22.1 or Loft Mountain at mile 79.5. Or, couples can retire to one of many cabin rentals or lodges like Skyland and Big Meadows Lodge. On your drive back to the city, be sure to pick up a box of famous apple butter cinnamon doughnuts at The Apple House in Linden, Virginia; recent travelers say they are to die for.
Wild ponies running along the beach may sound like a scene out of a romance novel, but that’s exactly what you’ll find on Chincoteague Island. Situated on Virginia’s Eastern Shore around 100 miles north of Virginia Beach, Chincoteague is an idyllic escape from the hustle and bustle of regular life.
You won’t find any high-rise hotels, traffic or boardwalks on the island, but you will encounter one-of-a-kind opportunities to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Chincoteague’s sister island, Assateague. Spend your days kayaking, hiking and horseback riding together, or take a dreamy sunset cruise to spot dolphins, birds and wild horses. For the most romantic lodging on the island, consider a charming inn or bed-and-breakfast.
(Courtesy of Iris Inn)
Overlooking the Shenandoah Valley in the tiny town of Waynesboro, less than 100 miles northwest of Richmond, the Iris Inn is the perfect place to spend some quality time together. You and your sweetie will have your choice of a room in the main inn, a secluded cottage, or a cabin with views the valley or forest. Depending on the accommodation you choose, amenities may include an in-room fireplace, a king-sized bed, a private deck or a personal hot tub.
During your stay, dial up the romance with a special add-on like the “Sweetheart Package,” which comes with a dozen red roses, chocolate-covered strawberries and a bottle of Champagne with two flutes. Other options include the “Anniversary Package” – consisting of wine, strawberries, rose petals and robes – or the “Sip & Slip on Your Boots Package,” which features a gourmet picnic for two and maps of nearby hiking trails. Past travelers said the 19-acre property was the perfect place for a romantic escape thanks to the privacy of the rooms, the comfortable beds, the gourmet breakfast and the attentive staff. This Blue Ridge Mountain couples getaway is a favorite location for anniversary celebrations and romantic weekends away.
If a coastal getaway with your partner piques your interest, head to Virginia Beach, about 110 miles southeast of Richmond. Spend your days strolling down the 3-mile boardwalk along the beach and taking in the sounds of the waves, or unleash your inner children with a trip to the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center.
When it comes to accommodations, lovebirds might consider one of the city’s most iconic properties: The Cavalier Virginia Beach, Autograph Collection. This historic hotel overlooking the Atlantic Ocean has hosted U.S. presidents, famous musicians, movie stars from the Golden Age of Hollywood and more. Opulent amenities that you and your partner are sure to enjoy include a plunge pool, an on-site distillery, a beach club offering semi-private beach access and a seaside infinity pool; you can also indulge in the property’s restaurants and a full-service spa for couples massages. Recent guests loved the gorgeous grounds, first-class service and comfortable spots to relax while enjoying the many amenities.
Another romantic property that impresses travelers is The Founders Inn and Spa, Tapestry Collection by Hilton. The property’s manicured gardens and spa will ease the mind, while the fireplaces found in some suites set the scene for a cozy getaway. Recent travelers praised the inn’s landscaping and friendly staff.
(Justin Kriel/Courtesy of Salamander Resort & Spa)
Grab your sweetheart and head to Salamander Resort & Spa to rejuvenate the mind and body. Located in the peaceful town of Middleburg, the property sits on 340 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains amid what’s known as Virginia’s horse and wine country. The rooms and suites are equipped with private terraces, plush bathrobes and more; some even feature fireplaces.
Outside the room, you’ll find plenty of activities to occupy your time at this all-inclusive retreat. Spend your days horseback riding together through grassy fields, playing a friendly game of tennis, trying your hand at ax throwing, riding rental bikes through Middleburg’s Main Street or enjoying a wine tasting at a nearby vineyard. Better yet, book a “Time for Two” treatment at the spa to make the most of your experience with your partner.
Past guests raved about the clean, spacious and beautiful grounds of Salamander Resort, noting that although the property is only about 45 miles northwest of the nation’s capital, a stay at this romantic estate feels like being transported to another world.
Located about 165 miles southwest of Richmond, Roanoke is a prime getaway for couples looking for a little bit of everything. At its heart, Roanoke is a mountain town – in fact, it’s one of the few cities situated directly next to the Blue Ridge Parkway, and it’s touted as “America’s East Coast Mountain Biking Capital.” As such, visitors will have plenty of access to hiking trails, mountain biking adventures, motorcycle tours, horseback riding, kayaking and more outdoor pursuits across 70 different parks.
Twosomes can also enjoy art and culture on a trip to this Virginia city, as Roanoke boasts galleries, live music venues and museums. Or, you can sign up for a food and culture tour to discover beloved local restaurants and other hidden gems. Popular breweries like Big Lick Brewing Co. and Parkway Brewing Co. are favorites among beer enthusiasts, and no trip to Roanoke would be complete without visiting the iconic Roanoke Star atop Mill Mountain: a nearly 90-foot star statue overlooking the city. Recent travelers say the star and its panoramic views of the city are a must-see, especially at night.
When it comes to lodging, take a look at the majestic Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center. A Tudor-style gem dating back to 1882, this luxurious location offers several romance packages to ensure a romantic getaway. Recent couples liked the hotel’s spacious suites, friendly staff and delectable on-site restaurant.
(Courtesy of Omni Hotels & Resorts)
The elegant Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs has hosted almost two dozen presidents in its history – and with its abundance of luxurious amenities, it is no surprise why. The property sits on 2,000-plus acres in the Allegheny Mountains of Virginia, about 80 miles north of Roanoke. This Omni resort features a full-service spa with a Finnish sauna and the Serenity Garden, where guests will find a geothermal pool fed by the area’s hot springs. Other fun resort activities to enjoy together include horseback riding, fly-fishing and winter sports.
In your room, you and your loved one will find classic decor and amenities like down pillows and feather beds, as well as fireplaces and porches in select accommodations. Turn the luxury up a notch with the resort’s “Romance Offer”: This package will get you a bottle of sparkling wine, artisanal chocolates, late checkout and more. Couples who’ve stayed at the Omni have high praise for the property, complimenting the attentive staff and old-fashioned charm as well as the relaxing spa services. However, some noted that holiday weekends and school vacations often attract families with young children, so keep that in mind if you are looking for a quieter couples vacation. Even guests who stayed amid renovations on the property say it is still a relaxing getaway nonetheless.
Best known for its storied battlefield, Fredericksburg played a major role in the Civil War. But even visitors who aren’t history buffs can experience the charm of the Georgian-style brick mansion and gardens at Historic Kenmore, in addition to top-notch bakeries and antique shops in Old Town. Couples can also enjoy the outdoors across a number of parks and trails, hop on a downtown trolley tour, or visit George Washington’s childhood home at Ferry Farm. The town is located about 70 miles northeast of Charlottesville.
When hunger strikes, enjoy a romantic meal at La Petite Auberge, a bistro serving up French and regional cuisine for more than 40 years, including charcuterie boards, escargot, foie gras and other delicacies. Couples say the restaurant’s romantic ambiance will transport you to France and describe the service as friendly and accommodating – perfect for date night. Fredericksburg is also home to the A. Smith Bowman Distillery, which once earned Whisky Magazine’s “World’s Best Bourbon” award two years in a row.
At the end of the night, retire to Stevenson Ridge, a historic 87-acre inn with private cottages and cabins that sits a short drive from downtown Fredericksburg. The peaceful grounds – also a popular wedding venue – serve as a welcome escape from reality, and accommodations include wood-burning fireplaces, cozy linens and bathrobes. Stevenson Ridge caters to couples with a “Romance by Candelight” package, which comes with silk rose petals, local artisanal chocolates and more.
Surrounded by the rolling Blue Ridge Mountains, the small town of Abingdon provides couples with a pleasant mixture of outdoor activities, local breweries and performance art. In fact, this southwestern Virginia getaway – around 150 miles northwest of Charlotte, North Carolina – is home to the Barter Theatre, the state theater of Virginia; this institution opened in 1933 and is considered the longest-running professional theater in the U.S.
If hiking, biking, horseback riding or simply taking a leisurely stroll together is more your speed, lace up your comfy shoes and head to the Virginia Creeper Trail. Another popular attraction is the Abingdon Farmers Market, where you can pick out the best organic fruit, pastries and locally made jam. Hours and open days change by season at the farmers market, so be sure to check out their hours before you visit.
When picking somewhere to stay, consider The Martha Washington Inn and Spa, which is centrally located in town. The property is a member of the Historic Hotels of America and features period decor and artwork throughout its guest rooms, transporting couples to another time. Past visitors from near and far recommend the inn for a romantic getaway thanks to its friendly staff and perfect blend of historic charm with modern amenities.
(Courtesy of The Jefferson Hotel)
If the capital city of Richmond is your Virginia getaway of choice, look no further than The Jefferson Hotel for a memorable and luxurious stay. Opened in 1895, The Jefferson combines vintage decor and old-world opulence with modern amenities like bathroom mirror televisions and pampering Molton Brown bath products. Past couples spoke highly of the hotel’s impressive architecture and high standard of service, and noted that perks like large soaking tubs and cozy robes made their getaways especially romantic.
The property’s main restaurant, Lemaire, offers upscale American cuisine that changes seasonally, and the hotel’s afternoon tea service (available on certain days) is not to be missed. Away from The Jefferson, sweethearts can amble through Carytown, a boutique shopping area, or admire the lush Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden. To get the full Richmond experience, take a segway tour to see landmarks like Old City Hall and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, or hop in an open-air tuk-tuk to explore the city in style.
If you and your love enjoy good food, good nature and good company, look no further than Harrisonburg, Virginia. Known as the “Friendly City,” this quaint destination is home to Virginia’s first designated Arts and Cultural District and Culinary District. With access to Shenandoah National Park as well as the George Washington and Jefferson national forests, Harrisonburg offers the outdoorsy couple an abundance of exciting opportunities to explore Virginia’s natural beauty on a hike or bike tour. Couples looking for a more relaxed experience in nature can head to the Edith J. Carrier Arboretum on James Madison University’s campus.
When you’ve finished exploring the outdoors, downtown Harrisonburg will give you a taste of farm-to-table fare and delectable international cuisine with more than 80 locally owned restaurants. Visit the beautifully preserved Court Square Theater at the center of town to catch a local performance or indie film, or head over to the Forbes Center for the Performing Arts for performances by world-renowned artists. As the premier Shenandoah Valley arts destination, the Forbes Center provides all the benefits of a sophisticated evening with the casual comfort of a small town.
When deciding where to stay, look no further than the Friendly City Inn Bed & Breakfast or the Joshua Wilton House. Both locations are within walking distance of downtown Harrisonburg. At the Friendly City Inn, couples will find a charming mansion with exceptional staff, an abundance of special offers catering to couples, and what some travelers call the best breakfast around. The restored Joshua Wilton House is a gorgeous Victorian home featuring five historic bedrooms as well as one of the top restaurants in Harrisonburg.
(Charles King/Courtesy of Shadow Mountain Escape)
Shadow Mountain Escape brings the charm of European-style cabins to Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. This unique adults-only escape sits on 15 lush acres alongside the Shenandoah National Park, about 85 miles southwest of Washington, D.C. Inside the timber frame cabins, couples will find handcrafted joinery and old-world decor and antiques, as well as a deck and a kitchen or kitchenette (amenities vary by cabin). To spruce up your stay, book one of the property’s wine or romance packages.
Couples looking to explore the area have no shortage of entertaining activities just a short drive away. If you don’t mind crowds, schedule a stop at Luray Caverns: Recent travelers rave about the beautiful formations and say the Stalacpipe Organ is the highlight of the tour, but keep in mind this tourist destination can be busy. If you prefer the peace and quiet, head out for an easy stroll on Shadow Mountain’s nature trail or explore the more difficult hikes in Shenandoah National Park with the help of the complimentary hiking sticks in your cabin. If you’re hoping to dine off the property, be sure to check out the Blue Ridge Whisky Wine Loop, a cultivated list by the owners of Shadow Mountain Escape that showcases the area’s best dining and attractions. Try Gathering Grounds Patisserie & Café for fresh breakfast pastries or sample some British pub fare at Griffin Tavern and Restaurant.
No children, pets or party groups are allowed on the property, ensuring you and your partner will be able to soak in this tranquil paradise undisturbed. Travelers near and far agree these romantic cabins make for the perfect couples getaway.
(Courtesy of Lansdowne Resort and Spa)
Located on 500 acres around 35 miles northwest of Washington, D.C., Lansdowne Resort and Spa in Leesburg is a decadent escape with scenic views of the Potomac River Valley. The resort is home to nearly 300 guest rooms and suites; select options are equipped with amenities like a whirlpool tub or balcony, so choose accordingly. Boasting 45 holes of challenging championship golf, an abundance of outdoor offerings and a state-of-the-art spa, Lansdowne is the perfect spot for adventurous couples looking to pack their weekend getaway with fulfilling activities and relaxing evenings.
The resort fee added to your room rate will also give you access to the wide range of facilities and activities available at Lansdowne. You can make use of the property’s indoor and outdoor pools or visit the 24-hour fitness center and try one of the daily fitness classes. After you’ve worked up an appetite, grab a meal at one of the on-site restaurants. If you plan to dine at Piedmont’s, make sure you freshen up in your room before you arrive: As Lansdowne’s upscale dining option, this is a great spot for a romantic dinner, but guests must adhere to the Golf Club’s dress code – which means no T-shirts or bathing suits.
While Lansdowne Resort and Spa certainly offers enough on-site to keep anyone entertained, the surrounding area is not something to miss. Couples can venture to nearby Leesburg or Aldie for beautifully preserved historic buildings and quaint downtowns full of antiques and specialty shops. Or, drive less than 2 miles to the Lansdowne Town Center for a lifestyle shopping center with a few dozen restaurants and shops. Art-loving couples can stop by a theater or gallery in the area. Whatever you and your partner enjoy, Lansdowne’s beloved staff and accommodations are sure to make your romantic getaway one to remember.
(Courtesy of The Tides Inn)
Open since 1947, The Tides Inn in Irvington has been a peaceful retreat for couples for more than seven decades. Though it has a long history, redesigned rooms and new suites pair with the updated decor to cultivate a refined and modern getaway. Most guest rooms boast private patios, marble-feature bathrooms, and either waterfront views of Carter’s Creek or resort views of the gardens. If you’re looking to splurge, upgrade to one of the four suites, whose amenities span deep soaking tubs, wet bars or, in the case of the most luxurious option, sitting rooms that can be converted into an extra guest room.
When you venture out of the room, a fitness center, spa services and a specially designed golf course are all available to visitors. What really sets The Tides Inn apart are the luxuries you don’t typically find. Crafty couples can enjoy a casual date in the Maker Space, which offers hands-on instruction from local artisans and art workshops run by the resort’s art program manager. If you came to The Tides Inn for its proximity to the water, be sure to take a sunset cruise around Carter’s Creek. The wine, cheese, seasonal fruit and spectacular sunset vistas can deliver the romance you’re looking for. Nature-loving couples can learn about the local waterways and aquatic creatures by checking out the inn’s ecologist-led river tours. Afterward, head to the Fish Hawk Oyster Bar for the indoor raw bar and signature cocktails.
Recent travelers praise this beautiful historic property for its exceptional service and say it is the perfect location for a romantic getaway in Virginia. The Tides Inn can be found roughly 70 miles east of Richmond.
You might also be interested in: