October 1. The perfect day to start planning a little weekend getaway with your S.O. What better way to start than by Scoop’s recommendations? My latest post will have you itching to get packing.
There is always something to do in Charlotte, which is why we publish a popular Things To Do This Weekend feature every single week. But sometimes, the road beckons. Charlotte is in the perfect location to head out for a short trip to so many different options. Whether you choose to go north, south, east or west, here are all the places we love best. Consider this your all inclusive list to choose the perfect mini getaway. Why not make a date of it this weekend?
Our “Go-To’s” and Standards:
Distance 129 miles, 2 hours
Why? Because what sounds better than a visit to North Carolina’s Asheville castle? The Biltmore is so much more than just a house tour. Take a romantic stroll through the property gardens, hop on horseback and explore the extensive acreage and finish your evening at a wine tasting on site at the Biltmore wineries. Romantic Asheville’s Insider Guide has everything you need to tackle the Biltmore like a pro.
Pro Tip Purchase tickets online 7 days in advance to save $10.00 per ticket
Distance 251 miles, 3 hours 30 minutes
Why? Any city that can remain quaint while still delivering countless options of fun activities deserves a spot on our list. Savannah is one of the most pedestrian friendly coastal cities – this, plus the constant breeze and historic architecture are just the beginning of it. Savannah is known as a foodie heaven, a historian’s dream, and a family friendly getaway. Needless to say, there is something for everyone to love.
Pro Tip Savannah Food & Wine Festival is coming up November 7-13, 2016 so if you’re taking a Savannah trip seriously, I highly recommend this weekend.
Distance 100 miles, 1 hour, 30 minutes
Why? Their slogan is “Yeah, That Greenville” for a reason. Extremely underrated and just a quick drive outside Charlotte you’ll find the most perfect escape for shopping, dining and entertaining. Greenville’s city was designed with people in mind. Whether you’re strolling through Falls Park or catching a show at the Peace Center, count on Greenville to make the perfect date.
Pro Tip Want a unique way to explore the city? Take advantage of Bike the Rabbit’s Bicycle Rentals and Tours.
Distance 92 miles, 1 hour 30 minutes
Why? As North Carolina’s 3rd largest city, Greensboro is perfect for the couple who wants to get out of town and still feel at home. Greensboro is loaded with history and art museums that will keep you learning all weekend long. While you’re there, make sure to visit their Antique Market Place, a vintage shopper’s dream come true.
Pro Tip Check out what’s on the calendar at the Greensboro Coliseum and catch a globally touring show while you’re there.
Distance 80 miles, 1 hour 15 minutes
Why Winston Salem boasts itself as a city of “arts and innovation.” For a low key getaway that can be enjoyed by busy bodies and relaxed individuals alike, Winston has a constant list of varying town activities to keep you and your date busy all weekend. Grab a cup of coffee at Twin City Hive Coffee Lounge then stroll over to Reynolda Village for some of the best shops the town has to offer.
Pro Tip While you’re there, take the time to stroll around Wake Forest University’s campus. Known as one of the most beautiful in the nation, a pretty afternoon walk will not disappoint.
Distance 140 miles, 2 hours
Why? Start your day off with a stroll along the Riverwalk, 1.8 miles of paved, easily accessible greenway. Then, make your way to the North Carolina Planetarium to geek out over the high tech programs they offer each day. Finish your evening off with a drink at Top of the Hill, Chapel Hill’s famous distillery known for TOPO Vodka, Piedmont Gin, and Carolina Whiskey.
Pro Tip Chapel Hill is home of many nationally acclaimed festival’s – make sure to check their city’s calendar of events to make sure you don’t miss one.
Distance 200 miles, 3 hours
Why? Three hours isn’t so bad when you know you’re headed to the coast! Stroll along the battery, through the marketplace, and down King street for three different feels of the historic city. Impress your significant other with reservations at Poogan’s Porch and, though cliche, book a Charleston carriage ride for a guaranteed insider guide to the city and it’s rich culture.
Pro Tip AirBnB is a great option when booking a place to stay. Whether it’s an apartment on King Street or a historic house on the battery, it’s worth the time to search for a home for your stay.
Distance 200 miles, 3 hours 30 minutes
Why? Whether you choose to rent a house on Figure 8 Island or stay in a hotel on Wrightsville Beach, Wilmington has so much to offer a couple in search of a date weekend. Spend your time on Wrightsville beach then head downtown for Kilwin’s Ice Cream and a stroll along the dock. People are continuously amazed by the quaint little getaway Wilmington has become.
Pro Tip Make reservations for Catch Restaurant. The owner is a local chef Keith Rhodes, Bravo TV’s Top Chef and 2011 James Beard Nominee. With a rotating menu, the cuisine is made up of dishes you won’t want to miss.
Distance 230 miles, 3 hours 30 minutes
Why? Deemed “the happiest seaside town in America” by Coastal Living Magazine, Kiawah is the perfect vacation for the romantic couple looking for some down time this weekend. There are local shops, oyster roasts, bike rentals, and top notch golf for him that gives you some alone time by the ocean all day.
Pro Tip Even if you aren’t staying at Kiawah’s famous resort, The Sanctuary, doesn’t mean you can’t spend some time there. Make reservations at one of their accredited restaurants or book a day in their second to none spa for an experience you won’t regret.
Distance 250 miles, 3 hours 45 minutes
Why? If you think Charlotte’s got a lot, wait until you get your hands on Atlanta. There is so much to explore it might take a couple of date weekends to fit it all end. Spend time at Sweetwater Brewery, grab a couple of tickets to a Braves game or channel your inner “kid” at the unique Coca Cola museum. Atlanta is perfect for the couple who wants to make the most of their getaway.
Pro Tip Housed at the Atlanta History Center is the Centennial Olympic Games Museum. Relive these summer games with an interactive exhibit that walks you through the games step by step.
When You Need Something New
Distance 114 miles, 2 hours
Why? I bet you didn’t know there was somewhere you could go to paraglide and learn to ballroom dance in one weekend. Sky Retreat is literally just that – a retreat within the comforts of our own state that offers “extraordinary fun away from ordinary life.” Personal cabins start at just $49.00 a night. The hardest part about this weekend will be deciding which of the seemingly endless activities to invest your time in.
Pro Tip You don’t have to go at learning to dance alone! Grab a glass of wine, meet some friends, and sign up for one of Sky Retreat’s group classes that run at just $10.00 per class.
Distance 26 miles, 50 minutes
Why? Experience the Napa Valley of NC this weekend at our closest vineyard, Treehouse. Tours and tastings begin on the hour every hour and run at just $6.00 a person. Want more? Treehouse also offers story based tours on Saturdays and Sundays at the top of each hour with a wine making tour as a finale. Treehouse also offers live music on Friday and Saturday nights.
Pro Tip Nothing is more romantic than a picnic at a vineyard. Pack up your basket & blanket and find a spot for you and your date to take in the wonders of an original NC winery.
Grove Park Inn
Distance 130 miles, 2 hours
Why? Most people can’t help but gasp when they experience the beauty that is the Grover Park Inn. More than a hotel, the grounds offer local artistry, hiking trails, and world class dining options. Whether you book a round of golf or spend the afternoon in downtown Asheville, there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Pro Tip Book an appointment at the famous Grove Park Inn Spa. I don’t know why you would need any more convincing but the Inn boasts their guests can “step out of the worries of the world and into pure relaxation.” Just reading it makes me relaxed.
Distance 177 miles, 3 hours 15 minutes
Why? Eat, Stay, Play in the North Carolina Highlands. Shop at the local village, grab your hiking boots to hit the local trails, and finish the evening off at one of their many recommended restaurants (like Madison’s Wine Garden or Bistro on Main). If you want a low key getaway to enjoy your date’s company in one of North Carolina’s finest this is where you need to visit.
Pro Tip The Highlands Chamber of Commerce created a convenient App to make your stay both easy to plan and execute. Download it here.
Distance 22 miles, 30 minutes
Why? Easy to get to and easy to impress, Davidson is one of NC’s most underrated escapes. What used to be a simple lakeside town has turned into a family friendly, business booming opportunity. Looking for a Saturday afternoon activity? Try their highly rated Tour De Food.
Pro Tip Prior to your trip, make reservations for Kindred, famously noted as one of the best restaurants in North Carolina and arguably the United States.
Distance 85 miles, 1 hour 30 minutes
Why? All American Asheboro is a diamond in the rough and I can’t think of a more fun weekend date than a stroll through North Carolina’s top rated Zoo. Not into animals? Embark on one of Asheboro’s Canopy Tours. Don’t forget to indulge in a brew from Four Saints Brewing Company while you’re in town!
Pro Tip The North Carolina Zoo has events going on almost every weekend. Check their calendar so you don’t miss out.
Distance 144 miles, 2 hours 15 minutes
Why? If there has been one city in NC that has transformed over the past 5 years it’s the Bull City. Durham has morphed into the trendy NYC cousin that North Carolina needed. Grab some tickets to a Durham Bulls game 0r forego the sports and snag tickets to a local show at impressive DPAC instead. Whatever your personal interests, Durham has you covered.
Pro Tip Not in to baseball but don’t want to miss out? Grab a patio table a Tobacco Road and enjoy the game over dinner.
Distance 215 miles, 3 hours 15 minutes
Why? The only thing better than Sullivan’s Island during the summer is Sullivan’s Island in the off season. Isle of Palm’s neighbor brags quaint history in a relaxed atmosphere perfect for those who just need to get away. Sullivan’s 3.3 miles of beach boats big personality impossible to match.
Pro Tip Locals will tell you not to miss the famous Poe’s Tavern. Inspired by Edgar Allan Poe’s time at Fort Moultrie, this local tavern serves up one of the best burgers you’ll get your hands on.
Distance 160 miles, 2 hours 30 minutes
Why? Growing exponentially, experience Cary before it turns into one of NC’s biggest cities. With an adorable downtown (stop at Ashworth’s Pharmacy counter for a pimento cheese sandwich for lunch) and a world class hotel and spa (Hello, Umstead), it is an easy trip to plan and enjoy.
Pro Tip It’s easy to make a whole day of Cary’s Umstead Hotel & Spa. Book a day of treatments and and joy their expansive acreage encompassing endless miles of beautifully landscaped trails.
Distance 180 miles, 3 hours 15 minutes
Why? There is so much going on in Roanoke its hard to choose where to begin. Prepare to make decisions if you and your SO choose this destination. Are you more into the shopping scene? More a foodie? How about spending time outdoors? Roanoke has it all. Regardless of how you spend your time, don’t miss the iconic Roanoke Star & Overlook.
Pro Tip Choosing what to do for an entire weekend can leave you asking, “Where do I even begin?” Luckily, Roanoke’s travel website has you covered with pre-planned itineraries based on your weekend “theme.”