What’s your perfect romantic getaway? A city to explore walking hand-in-hand with your loved one? A hotel escape complete with indulgent delights? A trip to the countryside to unwind in nature and refocus on each other?
Here’s a look at three routes to reconnect with Cupid around The Triangle of North Carolina, where new hotel offerings are growing in natural, urban and luxurious settings.
Treat your partner to the pleasures of The Durham, 21c Durham and Aloft Durham Downtown, avant-garde boutique hotels in downtown Durham, then explore the nearby American Tobacco District with its trendy restaurants and bars. Walk to nearby Durham Performing Arts Center or Carolina Theatre to see a locally produced or Broadway show. For cocktails, head to the cozy Bar Virgile or Alley Twenty-Six.
For a vintage stay, book into the The King’s Daughters Inn, an award-winning 1926 bed and breakfast inn across the street from Duke University’s East Campus. Take a three-block stroll to Brightleaf Square, where you’ll find a wide choice of eateries and shops flourishing in renovated tobacco warehouses that open out to a romantic courtyard.
Two miles from downtown Durham, the Washington Duke Inn & Golf Club offers luxurious accommodations and the feel of a traditional English country inn. It sits on 300 acres of pines and rolling countryside on the Duke University campus. Walk across campus to the neo-Gothic Duke University Chapel and don’t miss the beautiful Sarah P. Duke Gardens. Savor the romance packages or play a game on the Robert Trent Jones-designed, 18-hole championship Duke University Golf Club.
Explore downtown Raleigh by staying at the Sheraton or Marriott hotels, conveniently located in the heart of the city. Enjoy a romantic dinner at Second Empire, a circa 1879 Victorian home that combines gourmet cuisine, history and elegance. Venture over to the nearby Glenwood South District for a mix of trendy restaurants and bars or hop on a Raleigh Rickshaw for a cozy tour of downtown, from the state Capitol to the Executive Mansion. Beer lovers might enjoy a local brew at Crank Arm Brewing or Trophy Brewing, which also serves specialty pizzas, small plates and desserts. Both breweries feature outdoor seating.
Explore the Person Street and historic Oakwood districts near downtown, and check out Standard Foods, a new restaurant that serves locally sourced fare. Next door, Wine Authorities specializes in small vineyards, so patrons can sit and enjoy charcuterie plates while sampling a variety of wines. Catch a show at Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts.
Opened in 1924 on the University of North Carolina campus, The Carolina Inn in Chapel Hill exudes Southern hospitality and features romance packages. The hotel’s Crossroads Restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, dinner and Sunday brunch and explores Carolina cuisine and meticulously handcrafted cocktails. Take a walk along historic Franklin Street—just a block away—to browse shops, art galleries and restaurants.
Dine at Lantern, known for 2011 James Beard award-winning chef Andrea Reusing; Elaine’s on Franklin, for upscale dining; and Crook’s Corner Café and Bar, awarded a James Beard “American Classic” title for its famous shrimp and grits.
Stroll across the UNC campus to check out the “Battle Park Trail” near the historic outdoor Forest Theatre and “Campus to Garden” trail into the North Carolina Botanical Gardens. Take in dinner and movie at the new Silverspot Cinema in University Place.
Located 1.5 miles from downtown Chapel Hill and UNC-Chapel Hill, Siena Hotel in Chapel Hill is a luxury hotel that offers date night and romance packages. Dine at its Tuscan villa inspired Il Palio restaurant.
Prefer to stay in one place and indulge your senses?
The Umstead Hotel and Spa in Cary offers a full-service spa and locally sourced cuisine at its Herons restaurant. Hotel amenities include a 3-acre lake with a quarter-mile walking/jogging trail and complimentary bicycles, helmets and trail maps to explore neighboring Umstead State Park.
Be among the first to try The Mayton Inn in Cary, a boutique inn in the heart of downtown Cary that opened mid-February 2016. This Georgian-style hotel will feature green technologies and a full bar and restaurant featuring locally-grown and produced foods, when possible. At the hotel’s Verandah Restaurant you can enjoy fresh, Southern-inspired cuisine while the Tonic Remedies Spa features local essential oils and local coffee.
Head out of the Triangle for bucolic bliss at the Fearrington House Inn located in Fearrington Village near Pittsboro, where Belted Galloway cows graze serenely in the rolling pastures. The Relais & Chateaux property features a spa, and its Fearrington House Inn Restaurant offers seasonal menus and farm-to-fork cuisine through partnerships with local farms.
Step outside to wander through the charming village shops, which include eatieries and independent bookstore McIntyre’s Books. The inn features a variety of packages, including a Winter Getaway.
Stay in the Inn at Celebrity Dairy in Siler City for the simple pleasures of farm life, including its award-winning goat cheese. The inn’s main living room is a pre-Civil War log cabin, while the guest rooms—named for the farms much-loved goats—are part of a Greek Revival addition. Gather for a communal breakfast to sample the farm’s famous chèvre as well as omelets and frittatas made from the eggs of free-range chickens wandering the premises.
Sit on the porches overlooking pastures to watch the sun set and deer approach. The farm’s trails invite bird-watching and mountain bike riding. You can also watch as goats are milked every day at 6 am and 6 pm.
For a bucolic escape that is just a 15-minute drive from downtown Durham, check out The Arrowhead Inn, a historic plantation estate bed and breakfast on 6 acres of gardens and lawns. The circa 1775 inn features a variety of romance packages. Guest rooms have spa whirlpool tubs and fireplaces.
Whether you opt to commune with nature, indulge your senses or explore new terrain, here’s hoping romance blossoms wherever you go.