Situated less than a four hours’ drive from Raleigh, North Carolina are an abundance of scenic cities and towns, as well as the states of Virginia and South Carolina. These iconic Southern areas are ideal for a romantic weekend getaway. Tour the Birkhead Mountain Wilderness area in Asheboro, North Carolina, or soak up Richmond, Virginia’s rich history with a museum day. Starting from a Raleigh vacation rental, these romantic cities are just a short road trip away.

1. Asheboro, North Carolina

trees in fall

An hour- and a -half drive puts you and your sweetheart in the quaint city of Asheboro, where you can admire the mosaics, murals, paintings, and sculptures at the North Carolina Zoo together. Opt for adventures together with a Saturday afternoon at the Richland Creek Zip Line Canopy Tour, and see the scenic trees and the Mendenhall Falls while riding along the cable that features 14 stations. If your significant other is a history buff, stop in at the North Carolina Aviation Museum or thrill the gear head with a tour of the American Classic Motorcycle Museum. The Birkhead Mountain Wilderness area is the perfect spot to walk hand-in-hand and see the blooming spring flowers or fall foliage before enjoying a romantic dinner of Italian fare at Positano. Top off your evening with some cocktails and local brews at Four Saints Brewing Company.

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2. Topsail Island, North Carolina

Topsail beach
Source: Flickr/gardener41

Water-filled adventures await you and your partner with a romantic weekend getaway in Topsail Island, featuring 26 miles of coastline. The two- and a -half hour trek from Raleigh puts you and your loved one in a beachfront vacation rental and a weekend full of kayaking, canoeing, and jet skiing with outfitters such as Surf City Jet Ski Rentals. Take a romantic evening cruise on the water with Tiki Tours, or share a gentle kiss on the Surf City Pier and Boardwalk. When you want to see wildlife together, opt for a wildlife tour with Paddle North Carolina before getting in some rest and relaxation with a couple’s massage at Inis Spa. Pick up some gifts for each other when shopping at the Topsail Island Trading Company, and then retreat back to your cozy vacation rental for some one-on-one time.

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3. Winston-Salem, North Carolina

salem square
Source: Flickr/Nicolas Henderson

A three-hour car ride from Raleigh puts you in the charming city of Winston-Salem, home to historic attractions that put you and your love into the life of 18th-century Moravian settlers. Tour the Reynolda House Museum of American Art, housed in a 1917 mansion, and then spend a few hours exploring the stunning gardens on the estate’s property. If you want to explore nature, head to the SciWorks Science Center to hike or walk the nature trails or see underwater creatures at the on-site planetarium. The two of you can also tour the city on Segways with Triad ECO Adventures or rent bikes for a self-guided weekend exploration of the city. Catch a romantic comedy at the Grand 18-Winston-Salem after enjoying an intimate dinner at the River Birch Lodge.

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4. Richmond, Virginia

bronze lincoln statue

Head to the capital of Virginia for your romantic getaway and spend the weekend taking in the history of one of America’s oldest major cities. After a two- and a half -hour drive from Raleigh, spend a Friday or Saturday afternoon in the Court End touring the American Civil War Museum, the White House and Museum of the Confederacy, and the federal-style mansions, such as the Maymont. When you make Richmond your vacation destination for the weekend, you both can take in the beauty of the Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, take a walk down Monument Avenue, or take a cooking class together with River City Food Tours. Pledge your love to each other while canoeing James River, and then stop in at Lemaire Restaurant for a romantic dinner.

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5. Pittsboro, North Carolina

harris lake park
Source: Flickr/bobistraveling

If you love antique shopping and sight-seeing in a historic town, then Pittsboro is the perfect vacation destination for your romantic weekend getaway. With travel time just under an hour, you don’t have to delay taking in the attractions of Harris Lake Park, or browsing the masterpieces at Paynes Antique Stained Glass shop. Add some excitement to your weekend with a stop in at the Carolina Tiger Rescue area, or browse the fresh produce at the farms of Fearrington Village. When it’s time to relax, enjoy a glass of chardonnay or Merlot at Silk Hope Winery.

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6. Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

south carolina beach

A vacation rental in Myrtle Beach gives you and your significant other a chance to soak up the sun, ride the waves, and take romantic boat cruises. In just over three hours, begin your weekend adventures viewing the city on the Myrtle Beach SkyWheel or fishing off the Second Avenue Pier. Make a splash and see the underwater creatures with a tour hosted by Myrtle Beach Safari, or enjoy a romantic boat ride with Waccamaw River Tours. The nightlife in Myrtle Beach allows you to catch a performance of the Legends in Concert or the Motor City Musical. Top off a weekend evening with dancing at the Malibu Surf Bar, or enjoy the live country music at The Bowery.

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7. Greensboro, North Carolina

greensboro
Source: Flickr/Nicolas Henderson

Greensboro is a mecca for live entertainment, so if you and your sweetheart enjoy theater and musical performances, this is the ideal vacation destination for your romantic getaway. Travel an hour and 15 minutes to put yourself in seats at the Triad Stage on a Friday or Saturday evening, or reserve tickets for dinner and a show at the Barn Dinner Theater. Get wet and wild together at the Wet ‘n’ Wild Emerald Pointe water park, or take a leisurely walk through the Greensboro Arboretum. Bog Garden at Benjamin Park is the perfect place for a picnic lunch, or savor some European fare together at the Green Valley Grill.

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