While Charlotte, North Carolina is a prominent vacation destination packed with exciting things to do and see, sometimes you might crave a change of scenery and pace. Perhaps you want to experience the famed Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, or head to Atlanta, Georgia to admire the skyscrapers. After booking a stay at one of many Charlotte vacation rentals and exploring the city for a day, head to one of the other top romantic getaway spots in the region.

1. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Make Myrtle Beach your vacation destination so you can enjoy the sun from a beach towel or splash in the surf at the end of your 3.5-hour drive. For a view that can’t be missed, the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel rises more than 180 feet in the air, letting you see the city and the ocean for miles in any direction. In the early evening, stroll along the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, and duck in and out of the shops to select a souvenir of your romantic weekend. For a romantic evening, book a table at Aspen Grille known for its upscale Southern dishes.

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2. Asheville, North Carolina

Source: Flickr/Jeremy Mikkola

Enjoy the scenery during your two-hour drive to the mountain town of Asheville, tucked away in the Blue Ridge Mountains. This little town, known as a haven for artists, has a distinctly hip vibe. Put on your walking shoes and grab your sweetheart’s hand as you walk the Asheville Urban Trail, a self-guided, 7.1-mile tour through town that takes you to see 30 landmarks and a glimpse of the town’s history and architecture. Spend all day Saturday at the Biltmore Estate. Tour the home and gardens before stopping by the Biltmore Estate Winery to enjoy a wine-tasting together.

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3. Blowing Rock, North Carolina

In nearby Blowing Rock, it’s a snap to find a vacation rental with a deck to enjoy your morning cup of coffee, less than two hours away from Charlotte. Pack a picnic lunch for an afternoon at the Moses H. Cone Memorial Park, and then stroll along the walking paths talking about the future. Bring the fun back to your relationship with a day at the Tweetsie Railroad amusement park, which features a Western theme with a gun battle every afternoon. Board the Tweetsie train, and cuddle together as you ride slowly around the park. Enjoy a romantic dinner at the Bistro Roca with its upscale American classics and wood-burning oven pizzas.

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4. Atlanta, Georgia

In less than four hours, you and your sweetie can check into your vacation rental in the heart of Hotlanta. Start your weekend off with a view of the entire city from the 20-story Ferris wheel, SkyView Atlanta, in Centennial Park. On a warm day, run through the fountains in the park to cool off, or grab some grub from a food truck to enjoy an impromptu picnic. Reserve tickets to see a Broadway musical at the Fox Theater, or for a romantic meal, head over to Pitty Pat’s Porch for Southern cooking, complete with a mint julep.

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5. Wilmington, North Carolina

Source: Flickr/bobistraveling

Founded by the British in Colonial days, Wilmington offers a rich history along with its prime location on the beach, and it’s less than four hours from Charlotte. Stroll hand-in-hand through the historic area, and check out the gorgeous buildings and locally-owned shops and cafes. Take a tour of the Bellamy Mansion, an antebellum home dating back to the early 1800s, to learn more about life during that period. A tour of the USS North Carolina (BB-55) details what life was like for the men who worked on this ship in WWII. Add a little spice to your romance with dinner at Indochine Restaurant, where tables are nestled in a garden or gazebo setting for an intimate feeling.

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6. Calabash, North Carolina

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Work up an appetite on your 3.5-hour drive from Charlotte, so you’re ready for some of the freshest seafood you’ve ever tasted cooked in the Calabash style. After eating your fill, grab your fishing gear, and find a spot on the Sunset Beach Fishing Pier to fish together. If you need bait or lures, the store on the pier has you covered. Take a tour of the Silver Coast Winery to learn more about winemaking, and spend some time together enjoying new blends in the sampling room. The Boundary House Restaurant offers upscale dishes including lobster, steak, and prime rib.

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7. Maggie Valley, North Carolina

Source: Flickr/Thomas Wolff

Hit the ski slopes in less than three hours when you spend a winter weekend in Maggie Valley in the winter months. The Cataloochee Ski Area features a variety of ski trails for you to enjoy even if you’re just a beginner, with lessons to help you improve and ski equipment available so you don’t need to bring your own. After a day on the slopes, return to your vacation rental, and snuggle up in front of the fireplace. If skiing isn’t your thing, check out the Wheels Through Time Motorcycle Museum to see the evolution of this form of transportation.

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