Charlotte for Romantics

Our guide to great date nights in the Queen City.

Charlotte date ideas are as varied as the couples looking for them. Romantics can find easily find candlelit dinners and stunning skyline views over cocktails. Adventurers can grab a kayak for two and explore the rivers and the rapids. Thrill seekers can help each other find the way out of one of several escape rooms, or spend the day riding roller coasters together. Here are a few of our ideas for a memorable day together.


The exterior of The Fig Tree

Have an Elegant Dinner

An 1892 Victorian home is a gorgeous backdrop for a romantic dinner. McNinch House serves up elegant, seasonal dishes like Rosemary and Dijon Rack of Lamb, Sweet Potato Ravioli and Pumpkin Tiramisu. The Fig Tree, located in a 1913 Craftsman-style bungalow near Independence Park, offers seasonal cuisine influenced by Italian and French cooking. Settle into a table near one of the grand fireplaces and dine on elk chops, lobster or filet mignon complemented by the perfect glass of wine from an extensive wine list. 

For something a little more casual, Soul Gastrolounge serves up tapas, sushi and cocktails with a stunning view of uptown Charlotte, if you choose a patio table. At 10 pm, a DJ spins classic R&B and soul. Stoke Charlotte serves simple, rustic fare cooked over a wood fire, but its duck with red kuri squash, and scallops with fennel agrodulce and ham hock consommé are still special enough for a romantic evening out.  


Coffee and pastry from Amelie's

Sip Drinks

Settle in for a nightcap at The Punch Room at the Ritz-Carlton. Only 37 seats and no standing allowed gives it a very intimate feel. Fresh local fruits, herbs and vegetables are used to craft artisan punches and cocktails for a lovely end to a romantic evening.

Head underground to The Cellar at Duckworth's for the ambiance of the Prohibition era, a full tap list of craft beer and delicious cocktails that are updated versions of the favorite classics. Hungry imbibers can order small plates or a full steak or seafood dinner.

For a non-alcoholic and a sweet ending—or to start the day—amble over to Amélie's French Bakery for coffee and dessert. This unique coffee shop is famous for its salted caramel brownies, petit fours and croissants, as well as its relaxed ambiance.


Band at Evening Muse

Listen to Live Music

The Queen City offers plenty of options for enjoying some live music together. The Evening Muse presents acoustic music in a listing-room setting, while Visulite Theatre features performers across a wide variety of genres. The Neighborhood Theatre, housed in a refurbished 1945 theater, hosts local and national acts in the heart of the NoDa district. For a show under the stars, get a pair of tickets to the Charlotte Metro Credit Union Amphitheatre—acts gracing the stage have included the Barenaked Ladies, 2Cellos, the Goo Goo Dolls and Gov't Mule. 


NoDa neighborhood at night

Enjoy or Create Art

Art lovers should not miss the NoDa (North of Davidson) historic arts district. The area is filled with eclectic art galleries, music venues and restaurants, making it the perfect place to grab a bite, a craft brew and maybe his-and-her tattoos—or just a unique trinket to remember the night. 

Historic South End is retro yet contemporary, cool yet quirky and historic yet modern. It boasts the largest concentration of art galleries in town and was named the Best Artsy Place to Take a Date by Charlotte Magazine. Spend a romantic evening exploring the shops, restaurants and breweries in addition to fantastic displays of art. 

Grab a bottle of wine and some appetizers and spend the evening creating art at Wine & Design or Painting with a Twist. Or, grab a couple of craft beers and takeout and go to Cajun Canvas—special date nights feature paintings couples work on together. 


Rope courses and whitewater rafting

Get a Thrill

Thrill-seekers will find plenty in Charlotte to get their hearts pumping. Carowinds boasts some of North America's tallest and longest roller coasters— Fury is the longest steel coaster at more than 1.25 miles, while the Intimidator is one of the tallest at 232 feet and features seven extreme drops.

The U.S. National Whitewater Center offers a different kind of heart-pumping experience—rushing through the rapids on a whitewater raft, running a 5K, rock climbing, bungee jumping and navigating ropes courses 20 feet above ground. 

Try a little couple's problem solving at one of Charlotte's escape rooms. Exit Strategy has two locations and puzzle scenarios ranging from a Medieval quest to the jungle to a murder mystery. Black Out presents suspenseful missions like a zombie apocalypse, stopping a serial killer and escaping from a maximum security prison. Escape from granny's house, the elves' workshop or a creepy dollhouse at Escape Hour Charlotte. Codescape uses special and multi-sensory effects to create sets like a shipwreck and a paranormal investigation.


Visitors tour Charlotte on Segways

Tour the City

Take a tailored tour on a Segway with Queen City Segway Tours. Highlights include the Wells Fargo Cultural Campus, Frazier Park, Irwin Creek Greenway and the Historic Fourth Ward. Charlotte NC Tours offers additional unique options for exploring the Queen City with your sweetie. Segway tours are available daily through Uptown, the markets and museums, and the parks. There's even a haunted Segway tour. Not keen on Segways? There are Taste & Cycle tours that hit up all the best eats, bike tours to the best breweries and a haunted bicycle pub crawl.

Lisa Kaylor
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