The slogan says “Virginia Is for Lovers,” but in a state that spans almost 43,000 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.
Idyllic wineries abound in Charlottesville and Middleburg, while outdoorsy twosomes can take in the wonders of nature at Shenandoah National Park or Chincoteague Island. If you feel happiest near the water, hop in the car and head to Virginia Beach for some seaside rest and relaxation. Or, if luxury is your love language, book a stay at secluded Primland or Salamander Resort & Spa to indulge in opulent amenities.
No matter what type of vacation you are looking for, these 15 Old Dominion getaways are guaranteed to help you unwind, reconnect and make memories with the one you love most.
Romantic Getaways in Virginia:
- The Inn at Little Washington
- Shenandoah National Park
- Chincoteague Island
- Iris Inn
- Virginia Beach
- Salamander Resort & Spa
- The Omni Homestead Resort
- The Jefferson Hotel
Primland: Meadows of Dan
(Courtesy of Primland)
Tucked away on 12,000 acres in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Primland is a secluded resort about 300 miles southwest of Washington, D.C., and about 70 miles southwest of Roanoke. 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 with mountain views and plush robes and slippers (depending on the accommodations you choose).
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, such as archery or fly-fishing.
When it comes to dining, Primland impresses guests: Chefs use organic, farm-to-table ingredients to create tasty meals in each of the resort’s four on-site restaurants. If you feel like getting fancy, head to the main dining room, where jackets, collared shirts and dresses are required to enjoy the mouthwatering menu filled with dishes like steak and foie gras. Or, if you and your loved one would rather keep it casual, grab some hearty fare at 19th Pub, Stables Saloon or Woodland Grill. Recent guests called Primland the perfect place for a romantic getaway thanks to its quiet surroundings and abundant activities for couples.
Situated on the Potomac River just 8 miles south of Washington, D.C., 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 through rows of charming, well-preserved 19th-century buildings.
When it’s time to dine, travelers will have their choice of more than 200 independent restaurants, including French-inspired Bastille or Magnolia’s on King, 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.
As far as lodging goes, Alexandria offers a number of pampering hotels where you and your partner can unwind. One option is the Kimpton 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 rubs and Champagne. Another romantic outpost, Morrison House, Autograph Collection, boasts Italian marble bathrooms, luxurious bedding, bathrobes and views of the historic city. For additional options, see the Best Hotels in Alexandria.
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 former dwelling turned historic museum – as well as quaint town squares, antique shops and charming bookstores. The town is also home to the University of Virginia, which is the only university in the U.S. to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Couples 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 30-plus wineries within 30 miles of Charlottesville, a stretch known as the Monticello Wine Trail. Some favorite vineyards among travelers include Jefferson Vineyards and Blenheim Vineyards. An excellent way to experience a few different vineyards (and have a designated driver) is on a private wine tour.
One of America’s first planned towns, Williamsburg was founded in 1699 and has a rich Colonial history. Today, the quaint town’s 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 320-acre Williamsburg Winery, which offers tours and multiple tasting rooms. Furthermore, adventurous duos can visit Busch Gardens Williamsburg – it’s easily accessible thanks to its location in the southeast portion of town.
The Inn at Little Washington: Washington
What started as a “simple 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-starred Michelin restaurant, The Inn at Little Washington is a romantic respite about 70 miles southwest of Washington, D.C.
Couples can dine on delicacies like pepper-crusted duck breast and wild mushroom Bolognese beneath the soft lighting emanating from silk lampshades. And don’t pass up the chance to share some wine from the restaurant’s 14,000-bottle cellar, which includes varietals from Bordeaux, California and Burgundy.
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 cozy bathrobes, plush linens and 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.
Shenandoah National Park
Nothing says togetherness like a camping or cabin trip in Shenandoah National Park. Spanning 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 many 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, including Mathews Arm at mile 22.1 and Loft Mountain at mile 79.5. Or, retire to one of many cabin rentals or lodges like Skyland Resort or Big Meadows Lodge, which both offer a Skyline Sweetheart Package that includes a bottle of Virginia wine, etched Shenandoah wine glasses, chocolates and breakfast vouchers. On your drive back to the city, be sure to pick up a box of famous apple butter cinnamon doughnuts at The Apple House Restaurant & Gift Shop in Linden, Virginia.
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 approximately 105 miles north of Virginia Beach and around 170 miles southeast of Washington, D.C., 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 find one-of-a-kind opportunities to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and 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.
Iris Inn: Waynesboro
Overlooking the Shenandoah Valley in the tiny town of Waynesboro, about 95 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 overlooking the valley or forest. Depending on the accommodation you choose, amenities may include an in-room fireplace, a king-sized bed, a screened-in deck or a personal hot tub.
During your stay, dial up the romance with a special add-on like the Chocolate Lovers Package, which includes chocolate-covered strawberries, hot chocolate and mugs, caramels and more; the Anniversary Package, consisting of wine, rose petals and robes; or the Sip & Slip on Your Boots Package, featuring 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.
If a coastal getaway with your partner piques your interest, head to Virginia Beach, about 110 miles southeast of Richmond and approximately 250 miles south of Baltimore. 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, consider one of the city’s most iconic properties: The Cavalier Virginia Beach, Autograph Collection. The historic 85-room hotel has hosted 10 presidents and overlooks the Atlantic Ocean. Opulent amenities that you and your partner are sure to enjoy include a resort-style pool, an on-site bourbon distillery, a private beach, three restaurants and a full-service spa for couples massages. Past guests loved the beautifully decorated rooms, comfortable beds and first-class service.
Salamander Resort & Spa: Middleburg
Grab your sweetheart and head to Salamander Resort & Spa to rejuvenate the mind and body. Located in the peaceful town of Middleburg – known as Virginia’s horse and wine country – the property sits on 340 acres in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. All rooms and suites include private terraces, plush bathrobes, coffee makers and iPod docks to play your favorite love songs.
Outside the room, you’ll find plenty of activities to occupy your time. Spend your days horseback riding together through grassy fields, playing a friendly game of tennis, riding rental bikes through Middleburg Main Street or enjoying a wine tasting at a nearby vineyard. Better yet, book a treatment at the spa to make the most of your experience.
Past guests raved about the clean, spacious and beautiful grounds of the Salamander, noting that although the property is only about 40 miles northwest of Washington, D.C., 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. 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.
Still, twosomes can enjoy art and culture on a trip to this Virginia city as well, as Roanoke boasts art galleries, live music venues and museums. Or, couples can sign up for a food and culture tour of Roanoke to discover beloved local restaurants and other hidden gems. Popular breweries like Big Lick Brewing Company and Deschutes Brewery Tasting Room are favorites among beer enthusiasts, and no trip to Roanoke would be complete without visiting the iconic Mill Mountain Star, an 88-foot, man-made star statue overlooking the city.
When it comes to lodging, take a look at the majestic Hotel Roanoke & Conference Center, a Tudor-style gem dating back to 1882. Recent couples liked the hotel’s spacious suites, friendly staff and delectable on-site restaurant.
The Omni Homestead Resort: Hot Springs
The elegant Omni Homestead Resort in Hot Springs has hosted 23 presidents in its history – and with its abundance of luxurious amenities, it is no surprise why. The property sits on 2,000 acres in the Allegheny Mountains of Virginia, about 80 miles north of Roanoke. It features a full-service spa with a Finnish sauna and a 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, luxurious linens, coffee makers and fireplaces and porches in select accommodations. Recent couples who stayed at the Omni had plenty of positive things to say, praising the secluded sitting areas sprinkled throughout the property, 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 getaway.
Best known for its storied battlefield, Fredericksburg played a major role in the Civil War. While a history of combat and bloodshed may not exactly inspire feelings of love, the Georgian-style brick mansion and lush gardens at Kenmore Plantation & Gardens, and the top-notch bakeries and antique shops in Old Town have a certain charm to them. Couples can also enjoy the outdoors across a number of parks and trails or take a tour of George Washington’s childhood home at Ferry Farm. The town is located about 65 miles northeast of Charlottesville and 60 miles north of Richmond.
When hunger strikes, enjoy a romantic meal at Le Petite Auberge Restaurant & Lounge, a French bistro serving up charcuterie and cheese boards, escargots bourguignon, duck confit and other delicacies. Couples describe the restaurant as cozy and inviting, and the service as warm and friendly – perfect for date night. Fredericksburg is also home to the A. Smith Bowman Distillery, which earned the “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 nine private cottages a short drive from downtown Fredericksburg. The peaceful grounds – also a popular wedding venue – serve as a welcome escape from reality, and rooms include wood-burning fireplaces, cozy linens and bathrobes.
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 – just 155 miles northwest of Charlotte, North Carolina, and 135 miles southwest of Roanoke – is home to the Barter Theatre, which opened in 1933 and is the longest-running professional theater in the United States.
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 and munch on pastries with locally made jam.
When picking somewhere to stay, consider The Martha Washington Inn & 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 sophisticated ambiance.
The Jefferson Hotel: Richmond
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, Nespresso coffee makers 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, and the hotel’s afternoon tea service, which is available on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, is not to be missed. Away from The Jefferson, sweethearts can stroll 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.