Romantic Things To Do In Asheville For Couples (Date Ideas!)

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Picnic next to a cascading waterfall, watch Shakespeare under the stars, sip champagne in a bookstore, and savor decadent truffles. Spice up your date night with these romantic things to do in Asheville for couples. The Blue Ridge Mountains make for the perfect romantic getaway.

Featured Article, Romantic Things To Do In Asheville For Couples, image with Christine and Tom - a white brunette male and female - embraced in winery vineyard
Photo of us by Sarah Resta Photography

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Free Romantic Things To Do In Asheville

Whether you are on a budget or embracing the great outdoors, these are our favorite free romantic Asheville activities. Of course, you might want to spend a little money on food and drinks or add on a guided tour.

Watch a radiant Blue Ridge Mountain sunset

For jaw-dropping sunsets, take a nearby romantic hike at Max Patch, Craggy Gardens, Craggy Pinnacle, Black Balsam, and Bearwallow Mountain. Not to mention those rooftop bars (more below) like The Montford and C’apella on 9.

Or, experience breathtaking Blue Ridge Mountain sunsets at The Omni Grove Park Inn, a top destination in Asheville year-round. Besides the fall and holiday season, it is free to park and walk the property. Enjoy the romantic ambiance overlooking Downtown Asheville and Mount Pisgah from Sunset Terrace. While you will have to pay to park around Christmas, their National Gingerbread House Competition is also free and one of the most unique date ideas in Asheville.

Or, splurge for that sunset: Enjoy a sunset at the Grove Park Inn at our favorite restaurant, Edison. If you didn’t have a chance to make OpenTable dinner reservations, sip seasonal cocktails and snacks at The Great Hall Bar, one of the city’s most scenic bars. An insider tip: while the first level is reserved for Sunset Terrace dining reservations, the second level is first-come, first-serve Great Hall Bar seating.

Stroll around a garden, park, or lake

Exploring the quaint parks and gardens is one of our top recommended things to do in Asheville for couples. Our favorite date night itinerary: Enjoy a romantic dinner at Nine Mile in Montford, followed by a stroll around the charming neighborhood filled with historic Bed & Breakfasts and Free Little Libraries.

Before dusk, explore Riverside Cemetery, a Victorian-style resting place with literary greats like O. Henry and Thomas Wolfe, known for its unique history. It’s a little haunted. Many people also like this budget-friendly guided Downtown Asheville ghost tour.

A few more romantic places to stroll around Asheville:

  • North Asheville’s 2.1-mile perimeter trail around Beaver Lake
  • French Broad River and Carrier Parks
  • The RAD Riverwalk in the vibrant River Arts District with bars, artist studios and art galleries, murals, restaurants, and breweries along the way (dine at RosaBees!)
  • Western North Carolina’s gorgeous lakes like Lake Junaluska and Lake Lure

Watch Shakespeare in the Park under the stars

From May to October, literary enthusiasts can enjoy one of our favorite romantic things to do in Asheville for couples: Outdoor Shakespeare in the Park at Hazel Robinson Amphitheater in Montford District. As the sun begins to set, listen to beautiful Shakespeare verses as the magical summer fireflies descend upon the crowd.

Monford Park Players offer contemporary twists on Shakespeare classics like Macbeth and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, featuring music, dance, and a touch of cheesy sparkle (body glitter!). While not Broadway-level, these performances are uniquely entertaining.

Performances are free, but they collect donations at intermission and for the (optional) use of their chairs. We bring a blanket or our camping chairs. Spice up the experience with a picnic or purchase ice cream and local craft beer from vendors. There are on-site restrooms.

For families with teens and mature kids, Montford Moppets and Montford Park Players present earlier shows like The Sword in the Stone and The Little Prince.

Chase a cascading waterfall or 360-degree view

Chase Asheville’s most beautiful waterfalls. The Pisgah National Forest and Brevard boast must-visit spots such as Looking Glass Falls, Moore Cove Falls, and Daniel Ridge Falls. DuPont State Forest is our favorite, known for multiple waterfalls and scenic picnic spots, featured in films like The Hunger Games and The Last of the Mohicans.

For romantic hikes and an outdoor adventure, hit the North Carolina Blue Ridge Parkway (BRP) trails like Mount Pisgah, Craggy Pinnacle, and Fryingpan Mountain Tower, providing stunning 360-degree views. Experience the beauty of fall foliage at Graveyard Fields and Black Balsam.

Mingo Falls, en route to the Smokies, offers a short and misty hike, while Rainbow Falls near Sapphire promises a chance to witness a rainbow. If you prefer guided tours, sign up for this BRP waterfall and hiking tour.

Celebrate Love Under $20

These are our favorite budget-friendly things to do in Asheville for couples that are usually under $20.00. Of course, you may spend more or less.

Enjoy a romantic picnic

Tom, a white brunette male in black fleece and cargo shorts, grilling burgers on charcoal grill at Craggy Gardens for a picnicPin
Craggy Gardens

Take advantage of the fantastic picnic spots in the Asheville area, including the free Botanical Gardens at UNC-Asheville. Enjoy nature walks, picturesque bridges, babbling brooks, and serene nooks perfect for a blanket and book. It’s Asheville’s The Secret Garden with the chance to spot endangered wildflowers and rare birds.

However, if you are looking to get out on the famous Blue Ridge Parkway, we love packing up food and grilling at the Craggy Gardens Picnic area. Or, pick up takeout from our favorite sub diner, Apollo Flame.

We are members of The NC Arboretum, and we picnic here frequently. There is a small parking fee if you are not an annual member. At the arboretum, enjoy gardens, bonsai trees, the bistro (sandwiches!), and hiking trails. We also attend their Winter Lights holiday light festival every year, which is perfect for a winter date night in Asheville to get in the holiday spirit.

Grab a lit cocktail while listening to music

Battery Park Book Exchange Asheville NC with white brunette male and female sitting on a couch outside and the male has his arm around her; they are smilingPin
Photo of us by Sarah Resta Photography

I’m not kidding when I say that one of the reasons we moved to Asheville is the Battery Park Book Exchange located in the historic Grove Arcade. Along with Malaprop’s, this is my favorite bookstore in Asheville (I have my MLIS degree and am a rogue public librarian).

Along with a champagne bar serving literary cocktails and boasting an extensive wine list with charcuterie, catch live music, special events, poetry readings, and more, all amongst the backdrop of used books. This is one of our favorite things for couples to do in Asheville on a Sunday afternoon.

Savor decadent desserts (even for vegans!)

Cap off your romantic dinner in Asheville (top picks coming soon) with a sweet treat. Explore the city’s dessert bars and chocolate shops promising truffles, gelato, hot chocolate, and coffee.

Our top four spots for dessert in Asheville for couples:

  • French Broad Chocolate Lounge, an iconic spot in Pack Square Park, features a variety of chocolates, including vegan and gluten-free options. Check out their River Arts District location for a factory tour. I love their vegan affogato and bonbons.
  • Asheville Chocolate, Tom’s top pick, promises gelato, teas, and handcrafted chocolates in the shape of Scottie dogs and Egyptian Pharaohs.
  • Crave Dessert Bar is perfect for late-night dates in Asheville, offering people-watching, hookah, and creative cocktails and desserts like the smokin’ Old Fashioned or a gummy bear concoction. We love their DJ’s music selection.
  • Old Europe Pastries is perfect for Hungarian pastries and a selection of gluten-free and vegan treats.

We are lactose-intolerant and Tom has Celiac’s, so these spots are great for us.

Attend a workshop or special event

Asheville is full of workshops, events, festivals, and unique things to do for couples. While we cannot possibly name them all, create a charcuterie board at one of Asheville Charcuterie Co’s pop-up events. Or, attend a glass-blowing workshop or class at the gorgeous NC Glass Center. We’d like to think that we have a little Chihuly inside us all.

Asheville also offers unique cooking classes, and the breweries and wineries host fun arts and crafts events. We especially enjoy once-a-month mimosa yoga at pleb urban winery with Funky Flow Yoga. For Christmas, wear that fun holiday sweater or dress up for Halloween.

Eat charcuterie at a wine bar

Another one of our favorite romantic things to do in Asheville, enjoy the most enchanting wine bars. In West Asheville, Leo’s House of Thirst has a charming wine garden with a diverse menu of tapas, handhelds, and entrees. Bottle Riot in the River Arts District boasts wine glasses the size of your face, cocktails, and exceptional charcuterie boards.

In Downtown Asheville, WALLS Wine Bar and 5 Walnut are must-visit spots. WALLS combines a stunning art gallery with a wine dispenser for trying fancier wines in small pours.

And, if you are a fan of Cúrate, the James Beard award-winning restaurant, don’t miss their newest addition, La Bodega, a cozy and fairly priced Spanish cafe, market, and wine bar. We just love those Spanish small plates.

Go on an old-fashioned movie date

Christine and Tom, white brunette male and female, taking a selfie in a pink, life-size Barbie box at the Grail Moviehouse in Asheville, NCPin

One of our favorite old-school Asheville date ideas involves catching a movie at the Grail Moviehouse in the River Arts District. They show indie, new releases, and classics at terrific prices in a kitsch setting, concession stand with local beverages included.

If you appreciate newer theaters with recliners, we also enjoy Regal Biltmore Grande in Biltmore Park Town Square, which is perfect for date night with its plethora of surrounding restaurants.

Enjoy an art or interactive museum

Estes-Winn Antique Car Museum in Asheville blue Eldorado Cadillac on wooden showroom floor with white male wearing hat and blue shirt with cargo pants standing in front of itPin

Enjoy a romantic date discovering Asheville’s vibrant museum scene. The newly renovated Asheville Art Museum features a broad collection of 20th and 21st-century American art in bright, modern galleries.

Car enthusiasts will enjoy the free Estes-Winn Antique Car Museum in Grovewood Village, showcasing rare vehicles like the 1957 Cadillac Eldorado Brougham and Asheville’s 1922 American LaFrance fire truck.

For interactive and fun Asheville date ideas, head to the Asheville Pinball Museum, where you can spend the day playing vintage arcade, video, and pinball games. Just don’t forget the hand sanitizer!

Plan a Sunday brunch and coffee date

Christine, a white brunette female in a white hat with green jacket and purple shirt drinking a latte at a table at Rowan Coffee in Downtown Asheville, NCPin

For the most intimate and cozy Asheville coffee shops, we suggest Rowan Coffee, Double D’s, and Trade & Lore. Rowan sits inside a gorgeous historic building, and Double D’s is that unmissable red double-decker bus in the heart of Downtown Asheville. Trade & Lore promises whimsy and serenity.

Or, grab coffee at Asheville’s romantic and stellar brunch spots like our go-to Sunday brunch date spot, The Social Lounge. We also champion Gemelli, ELDR, and Jerusalem Garden Cafe.

Treat-Yourself Date Night & Anniversary Ideas

Whether you are celebrating your anniversary in Asheville or a special occasion, or want to treat yourself, these are our top luxury things to do in Asheville for couples.

Dine at a romantic restaurant

Of course, one of the most romantic things to do in Asheville for couples is enjoying dinner at one of Asheville’s unforgettable restaurants. This is Foodtopia after all, and Tom and I are massive foodies. We’ve eaten at hundreds of Western North Carolina restaurants.

For fine dining in Asheville, we recommend:

For romantic restaurants for couples or double dates, we suggest:

  • Edison (American)
  • Jargon (Southern)
  • Glass Onion (Global Italian)
  • Limones (Mexican-French)
  • ELDR (American)
  • Bone & Broth (Meats)

If you are dining in Downtown Asheville, consider taking an insider’s walking tour too.

Relax in the Asheville Salt Cave

Christine and Tom, a white brunette male and female, in front of community salt cave with orange lighting at the Ashevilel Salt CavePin

If you asked me if I would ever get Tom into a salt cave and completely hook him on the experience, I’d just laugh. But, here we are, and I swear one of the most relaxing Asheville things to do for couples is a visit to the Salt Cave in North AVL.

While we enjoy the community salt cave filled with 30 tons of pure pink salt and water features (starting at $24 on non-peak days/times), book a couples massage, sound bath, and self-service Hammam. It’s heavenly.

Visit Biltmore Estate during the holidays or for blooms

Biltmore is one of the most romantic Asheville icons – even featured in a Hallmark movie – especially around the holidays. As America’s largest home, originally owned by George and Edith Vanderbilt, there is so much to see and do on the Estate.

We have been Biltmore annual passholders since moving here and have tons of guides on our website. A few of the top romantic things to do at Biltmore include:

  • Wine tasting at Biltmore Winery or grabbing a glass from the wine bar
  • Attending Candlelight Christmas evenings with live music and blazing fireplaces
  • Enjoying a special exhibit or event
  • Dining on the Estate at Village Social or Cedric’s Tavern
  • Taking photos together in the Walled Garden with those gorgeous blooms

Wine taste at the Hendersonville wineries

For the best things to do for couples in Asheville, be sure to wine taste at the Hendersonville and Flat Rock wineries. In 2019, the Crest of the Blue Ridge was named an American Viticultural Area (AVA). Marked Tree, Souther Williams, and Stone Ashe Vineyards are three of our favorites and make for a great day trip at around 30 to 45 minutes by car.

Outside of Hendersonville, Tryon Hills has gorgeous wineries including Overmountain, Mountain Brook, and Parker-Binns. While a typical wine tasting is just under $20, we spend quite a bit tasting, ordering glasses, and taking bottles home.

Stay overnight at a Bed & Breakfast or boutique hotel

For a romantic weekend in Asheville, many people enjoy the area’s cabins, hotels, and Bed and Breakfasts. A few we suggest include:

  • The Foundry Hotel Asheville – The Foundry Hotel tips its hat to Asheville’s industrial history while exuding character and decadence. Their restaurant, Benne on Eagle, features a famous Appalachia-style menu.
  • Haywood Park Hotel – Isa’s Bistro is iconic in engagement and wedding photos. This is a centrally located Downtown Asheville hotel.
  • Grand Bohemian Hotel Asheville – Situated in historic Biltmore Village, outside of Biltmore’s entrance gates and famous for the Red Stag Grill, enjoy a gorgeous, luxurious, and romantic Asheville weekend.
  • The Omni Grove Park Inn – Asheville – Sleep in Asheville like F. Scott Fitzgerald. This luxury resort boasts a world-class spa, multiple rooftop restaurants with sunset views, and a nearby antique car museum.
  • Blind Tiger Asheville – We loved our staycation at this boutique hotel in the historic Charlotte Street area with romantic restaurants close by (Bone & Broth!).
  • Village Hotel – During Passholder Appreciation months, we’ve stayed at this gorgeous Biltmore Estate property with on-site restaurants in Antler Hill Village.
  • Asheville Cottages – With a central location to the Blue Ridge Parkway, Downtown Asheville, and Biltmore Estate, these luxury cottages promise fireplaces, grills, hot tubs, and a home away from home.
  • Black Walnut B&B Inn – Designed and built by Richard Sharp-Smith — Biltmore’s supervising architect — in 1899, two of the eight rooms are pet-friendly.
  • 1898 Waverly Inn (Hendersonville) – The 1898 Waverly Inn is a sweet B&B with the best hosts and happy hour. This accommodation is also within walking distance of Downtown Hendersonville. We stayed here while house hunting.

Soak In The Views At A Rooftop Bar

For more romantic things to do in Asheville, look up; hiking those mountains and the city’s rooftops are the best ways to catch vibrant Asheville sunsets. A few of our favorite rooftop restaurants and bars include:

Enjoy a luxury spa day

Christine's white legs in a large tub of water with rose petals and bubbles and gray armchairs with gold pillows in the background at Wake Foot Sanctuary Asheville, NCPin
Wake Foot Sanctuary in the Grove Arcade

Are you craving a couple’s massage or spa day? One of the best things for couples to do in Asheville, The Spa at Omni Grove Park Inn is Asheville’s most coveted and talked about luxury.

The spa was named one of Condé Nast Traveler’s top resort spas in North America with 20 water features, including mineral-based and waterfall pools. The spa also boasts a lap pool covered with over 6,500 fiber-optic stars and underwater music. Find sauna and steam rooms, massage treatments, a nail salon, and more.

Because of the high demand, though, The Spa at Omni Grove Park Inn only accepts reservations for overnight guests and books reservations months in advance (occasionally they let non-guests in).

For more accessible spa, massage, and wellness options, be sure to check out Asheville Salt Cave, Shoji Spa and Retreat, and Wake Foot Sanctuary. I love a foot soak paired with a massage at Wake Foot.

Our Top Five Date Ideas

As four-year Asheville locals and a couple that has been together for over 13 years, we know how to do romance right. We also know it’s pretty hard to choose what to do with so many options. If we had to pick our top 5 things to do in Asheville for couples, we’d start with:

  • Relaxing in the Asheville Salt Cave
  • Enjoying a romantic dinner out (Bouchon or Edison)
  • Sipping cocktails at a wine or rooftop bar to the sunset (The Montford)
  • Watching Shakespeare in the Park under the stars
  • Picnicking at Craggy Gardens
Christine and Tom, a white brunette male and female taking selfie and she is in a black dress and he is wearing a plaid shirt at Edison Restaurant at the Grove Park Inn in Asheville NCPin

Before You Go…

We’d love to know your favorite things to do in Asheville for couples. Let us know in the comments.

Christine and Tom selfiePin

Christine Frascarelli

Christine (pronouns: she/her) is the owner and lead writer of Uncorked Asheville. After falling in love with those gorgeous Blue Ridge Mountains, Christine and her husband Tom decided to call Asheville, North Carolina home. When her pointy Italian nose isn’t stuck in a book, Christine is adopting all of the kitties, getting lost in the forest, and drinking an ESB. She has a BA in English and History from Smith College, her MLIS from USF-Tampa, and is a former U.S. Fulbright Scholar - Indonesia. Christine also owns The Uncorked Librarian LLC with books and movies to inspire travel.

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