Romantic Getaways in the Southeast Vacation Ideas for Couples

15 Romantic Getaways in the Southeast – Top Vacation Ideas for Couples

Last Updated on August 29, 2022

Looking for the best romantic getaways in the Southeast USA? Discover some of the top vacation spots to kindle some romance and spend some quality time with your partner.

From romantic getaways near you to awesome places to plan a trip to, you’ll find listed below a wide array of destinations for all tastes. Whether you want to spend your time outdoors hiking, spend some time relaxing on a tropical beach, or visiting some cities, the Southeast offers plenty of romantic things to do and fun activities for couples.

Keep on reading to discover some of the best Southeast vacation ideas for couples.

Related – Top Vacation Spots in the Southeast

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Savannah, Georgia

Savannah, Georgia

By Kristin from World on Wheels

Savannah Georgia is a great romantic vacation destination in the Southeast because of its historical charm, large grand and architectural houses, and quaint squares. 

You can visit the popular and beautiful Forsyth Park to see the iconic fountain (and if you’re lucky hear some musicians playing), tour one of the famous historic homes, or take a sunset river cruise while admiring the skyline of Savannah.

Just outside of the city, you can stroll along the oak-lined walkways of Wormsloe Plantation and even have a picnic lunch.  

If you really want to hold each other tight, consider taking one of Savannah’s ghost tours. They are sure to put a chill down your spine and make you snuggle into your partner’s arms.

Grab a cab or Uber from the Savannah/Hilton Head International airport to the old town. Once there, you won’t need a car as it is easily walkable and there is free public transportation. The only time a vehicle will be necessary is if you want to get out of the old town area and go to Wormsloe Plantation.

For a romantic dinner, try the Olde Pink House which has a fantastic romantic and historic atmosphere. For a delectable dessert, head to nearby Leopold’s Ice Cream.  Both have delicious food and plenty of options available.

When it comes to romantic places to stay, Savannah is filled with charming inns and bed & breakfasts. The Catherine Ward House Inn is a great option for couples. Located in the historic district, the inn is set in a historic house, and offers free breakfast with some of the rooms having a balcony and a spa bath.

For more privacy, you can also book a vacation rental, like this beautiful cottage right in the heart of the historic district.

Anna Maria Island, Florida

Anna Maria Island, Florida, U

By Paula from Paula Pins The Planet

If you are looking for some Southeast vacation ideas for couples to spend some time with your best half, you should add Anna Maria Island to your bucket list.

Considered one of Flordia’s best-kept secrets, Anna Maria Island offers a laid-back vibe, stunning pristine white beaches with crystal clear waters, and amazing restaurants, making it a perfect destination for a romantic gateway. 

There are plenty of romantic things to do on Anna Maria Island as a couple. When it comes to beautiful beaches, you’ll be spoilt for choices. Beaches such as Coquina Beach and Manatee Beach feature amazing amenities such as cafes, showers, and a volleyball area.

Also, you can go on a romantic stroll together with your love to watch the sunset at the City Pier, built in 1900 and, today, one of the landmarks on the island. 

You can also explore Historic Bridge Street, rent bicycles for the day, or even head out on a wildlife-watching boat trip. 

Among the best places to have a romantic dinner on the island, the Beach House Restaurant is one of the best options. Located in a beautiful location, the food is outstanding and it is a perfect place to have a happy hour with the best view.

One of the best places for a romantic stay is the Compass Hotel by Margaritaville Anna Maria Sound with outstanding views, a restaurant, and a bar at the gorgeous pool. 

Anna Maria Island is located on the Central Gulf Coast, the island is just a 15-minute drive from Bradenton as it’s connected via a bridge, so there’s no need to catch a boat there. 

Related – Best Beaches on the Gulf Coast

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island Beach Birds

By Aimee from Babies and Beaches

Hilton Head Island is the perfect destination for a romantic getaway in the Southeast. Although it’s a beach town, you won’t find your typical commercialization here. The island offers everything you need to slow down and relax.

Hilton Head is conveniently located 45 minutes north of Savannah, GA, and two hours south of Charleston. Savannah is your closest large airport, although you can fly directly into Hilton Head. While it is largely visited in the spring and summer, fall offers a less crowded getaway with beautiful weather.

Couples can enjoy walks on the beautiful sand beaches finishing out the day with romantic sunsets. Admire the lush greenery, and gorgeous oceanfront property, and experience true Southern hospitality.

For a little more adventure, biking is the way to travel on the island. You can also rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore the waters, or book a guided kayak tour.

While there are plenty of rentals on the island, if you’re looking for a truly romantic experience, be sure to book Sea Pines Resort’s Inn & Club at Harbour Town. Choose the Romance Package for plenty of included amenities like beach chairs, bikes, and tennis court time to keep you busy.

For dinner, the Lowcountry Backyard restaurant is a small, quiet spot offering authentic Lowcountry cuisine. Check out the tomato stack and their lemonshine (lemonade + moonshine.) To continue your evening, check out Frosty Frog Cafe, and grab one of their daiquiris available in 20+ flavors!

If you’re looking to relax and reconnect with your partner in paradise, Hilton Head is sure to create lasting memories.

Related – Best Getaway in South Carolina for Couples

Charlotte, North Carolina

Charlotte, North Carolina, Skyline

By Victoria from Southern Trippers

Looking for romantic destinations in the Southeast United States? If so then run, don’t walk, to the sublimely romantic city of Charlotte, North Carolina. 

After all, this historic metropolis is positively brimming over with vibrant cultural activities that include interactive exhibits at Discovery Place, a fascinating look at the post-Civil War history of the South at the Levine Museum of the New South, and the NASCAR Hall of Fame in Uptown.

However, if you and your partner are really kids at heart and are looking for one of the best things to do in Charlotte, then ride the rides at Carowinds Amusement Park (don’t miss the Carolina Coaster).

Then check out The Mint Museum. It’s famous for being North Carolina’s very first art museum and features stunning collections of contemporary art

You can also hop aboard the Funny Bus and tour the city with a real live comedian.

For a romantic date night head to North Davidson, a hub for art galleries and a great place to go to see art and enjoy live performances. Then, have a romantic dinner for two at The Fig Tree Restaurant since it’s a wonderful eatery that sits inside a historic craftsman bungalow from 1913. 

For a place to stay, spend the night at the Duke Mansion. This is a stylish bed and breakfast with well-appointed rooms that will add to the romance since some feature private whirlpool tubs that you and your partner can cozy up in.

For something more intimate, you can check out the vacation rentals on VRBO.

St. Augustine, Florida

Castle Ottis, Saint Augustine, Florida

By Victoria from Florida Trippers

Easily one of the most romantic destinations in the Southeastern United States, St. Augustine Florida is an amazing place to visit since it is the nation’s oldest city. 

In fact, it was first founded in 1565 and that is partially why so much stunning Spanish Colonial architecture proliferates throughout the area. 

If you want, you can see some stunning examples for yourself at the Lightner Museum, which is a fabulous fine art and decorative art museum that is housed inside the old Alcazar Hotel.

So, head to the east coast of Florida and enjoy romantic days spent on white sandy beaches like Saint Augustine Beach as you enjoy all the best things to do in Saint Augustine

Gaze into one another’s eyes while sipping on a glass of your favorite vino at San Sebastian Winery before going on an exhilarating hike or kayak tour  through Anastasia State Park. 

Afterward, go on an Old Town Trolley Tour before booking a luxurious evening dinner cruise.  

Then, enjoy a night inside the Old City House Inn & Restaurant. It’s probably one of the most historic hotels in the area since it dates back to 1873 and has meticulously well-maintained grounds that are a perfect place for a stroll.

Related – 10+ Romantic Getaways in Florida for Couples on a Budget

Jekyll Island, Georgia

Driftwood Beach, Jekyll Island, GA, USA

By Noel from Travel Photo Discovery

Jekyll Island is one of the coolest areas of Georgia and used to be where the elite of American industrialists would visit and stay during the winter time, building elegant homes to get away from the cold.

Many of these homes are now living museums, repurposed hotels, and tourist-related venues along with newer hotels, restaurants, and shopping venues to tap into this exclusive area.

Jekyll Island is now transformed into a peaceful and serene getaway destination to unwind, relax, and enjoy southern hospitality. It’s a perfect vacation spot for couples. Adventure lovers will enjoy a variety of outdoor pursuits from hiking, kayaking, tennis, biking, and swimming, to exploring pristine coastlines and beaches.

If you are more into relaxation and fine dining, then there are plenty of choices for dining venues, spas, or just laying out at a beach or swimming pool and enjoying the sun with a nice tropical drink.

It’s never that loud or tourist crazy here at Jekyll, making it a perfect romantic getaway.

If you are looking for the perfect place to stay, look at the Seafarer Inn and Suites and book dinner at the Beach House restaurant and you’ll be starting off your romantic weekend getaway in comfort, pampered service, and hospitality.

Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville Street Art

By Kate from Passports And Playgrounds

Tucked in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains, Asheville, NC is the perfect romantic getaway in the Southeast, especially during the holiday season. Asheville is only a quick and easy two-hour drive from Charlotte Douglas International Airport.   

Visit the Biltmore Estate, the 250-room country estate of George Vanderbilt III. Completed in 1895, and modeled after the French chateaux, this opulent house showcases its extravagance with its Christmastime celebration.

Visitors can explore this historic house and its award-winning gardens. The audio tours provide a great inside of how the holidays were prepared at such a large house. Candlelight tours guide your way through decorated salons and halls decked with thirty-five live trees and 10,000 feet of evergreen swag.

Also included in the price of admission are the gardens, Antler Hill Village, and a free wine tasting.

If you are looking for a more eclectic romantic weekend, then visit downtown Asheville. Check out the Asheville Pinball Museum which hosts all-you-can-play pinball games and other retro arcade games for one fee.

If you need a drink to warm you up as your walking around downtown Asheville, Double D’s Coffee & Desserts is the place to visit. The iconic red London double-decker bus has been transformed into a place where you can purchase hot cocoa and savor their homemade baked goods.

If you need a place to stay, the romantic Hotel Indigo Downtown Asheville is a great place for couples to unwind. This hotel has beautiful mountain and city views, restaurants onsite, and pet-friendly hotel packages. You can also check out the rentals on VRBO for something more intimate.

Key West, Florida

Beach in Key West

By Phil from Journification

Key West is one of the top romantic getaways in the Southeast if you are looking for some vacation ideas to share some romance with your partner. With plenty of water activities and gorgeous beaches, this is the right place to relax and have fun.

Take a stroll on one of the white beaches, palm trees around you, enjoying the sunset and maybe picnicking there. For something extra romantic, book a sunset cruise with drinks, live music, and snacks included.

Definitely one of the best things to do in Key West, make sure to visit the lively Bahama village where you’ll find restaurants, pubs, shops, and entertainments. The district is known for its Bahamian-style architecture, panoramic water views, and the 19th-century Key West Lighthouse.

Key West is one of the most romantic spots for a honeymoon, date night, or even weekend getaway.  

There are plenty of adventurous things to do as well, you can book a full-day cruise to enjoy some snorkeling, wildlife watching, and kayaking on a state-of-the-art catamaran or take a mangrove kayak eco-tour to explore the area’s wilderness.

The best and most recommended time to visit Key West is between March and May, as it’s less crowded and cheaper while the weather is still nice. The winter season is prime time to visit but it tends to be busy and pricey.

Great romantic hotels include the Ocean Key Resort & Spa, NYAH Key West, and Key West Marriott Beachside Hotel – all three are well-rated by couples and offer plenty of awesome amenities. You can also rent a vacation rental for more privacy and access to a kitchen.

New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans, Great River Road, USA Road Trip

By Katie from Katie Caf Travel

The Big Easy might have more of a reputation for partying than romance, but there are tons of beautiful spots in New Orleans that make it the perfect romantic trip destination. 

The French Quarter in NOLA is famous for being the closest thing America has to Europe in the United States. Strolling around the historical area, and stopping for beignets and coffee makes the perfect day date.

Other romantic day activities include taking a kayak ride for two through the Bayou, riding bikes around the Garden District, and taking a trip on an iconic New Orleans trolley car. 

If you want to do something romantic at night, why not take your date to enjoy some live music? 

New Orleans is known as the birthplace of Jazz, and today you can still enjoy live music at the dozens of jazz bars in town. One of the best is Bacchanal Wine & Spirits in Bywater. 

At first glance, Bacchanal is just an unassuming wine shop. You buy your wine and tapas at the counter and then go seat yourself in the outdoor dining area. The kitchen takes everything you bought individually and turns it into a beautiful board, piled high with french bread. 

It’s the perfect place to enjoy a date night while live jazz music plays on the stage underneath the thousands of twinkle-lights Bacchanal is decorated with. 

While the French Quarter is historical, it can get quite crowded. Consider residing in the trendy Marigny area, which is close to the French Quarter but without the crowds. 

Located just a 20-minute walk from Jackson Square, Hôtel Peter and Paul, in the Faubourg Marigny neighborhood, used to be a catholic church dating from the 1840s. A boutique hotel with lots of charm, you can beat the New Orleans summer heat by lounging in a claw-footed bathtub or enjoying cocktails in The Elysian Bar on their ground floor. 

Atlanta, Georgia

Atlanta Skyline at night

By Jillian Michelle from Adventure Dragon

Atlanta is a great place to visit if you’re looking for romantic destinations in the Southeast. There are so many things to do for couples, and just a day or a weekend in Atlanta will give you plenty of time to explore some of the city’s most romantic attractions.

For an unforgettable date night, you can hop on SkyView Atlanta, the city’s 20-story-tall Ferris wheel, to experience stunning downtown views with your partner from the privacy of your own private gondola.

The Atlanta Botanical Gardens is another one of the most romantic places to spend a day with the one you love. At this 30-acre park, whimsical sculptures measuring over 20 feet tall will make you feel like you’re strolling through a fantasy land.

Piedmont Park is located directly next door to the gardens and is a popular place to have a picnic. Pack a lunch, spread out on a blanket, and watch the sunset over the city skyscrapers. This park is especially beautiful during springtime when its native dogwood trees are in bloom, and the park hosts its annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival to celebrate them.

This is also the perfect time to visit for the best weather in Atlanta. You’ll want to avoid summer because temperatures in Atlanta can become unbearably hot and humid in July and August. Both spring and fall, however, are warm and wonderful!

Atlanta also has a luxury restaurant called the Sun Dial that is incredibly popular for date nights and romantic evenings. Situated over 70 floors tall and over 700 feet in the air, it offers a 360-degree, panoramic view of Atlanta’s downtown skyline.

The location also features a cocktail lounge and an additional observatory room, both with stunning aerial views of the city.

All three are located on the uppermost floors of The Westin Peachtree Plaza, so this is a good hotel to stay at if you’d like to be close by these top attractions.

Definitely consider Atlanta for your next romantic getaway in the Southeast!

Red River Gorge, Kentucky

Red River Gorge, Kentucky

By Jami from Celiac Travel Pack

Kentucky’s Red River Gorge is the perfect getaway for couples who want a little adventure on their vacation.

Make it a romantic outdoor getaway by staying in a treehouse. There is nothing quite like waking up and gazing into the misty forest from the windows that surround your bed. There are several different tree houses you can rent.

Each has a slightly different layout but they’re all designed to keep you as comfortable as possible while you’re up in the canopy. Plus, they’re insta-worthy!

The cabins are heated and cooled so you can visit at any time during the year.

The Red River Gorge is breathtaking in the fall when the leaves are changing. This is the most popular time to visit so look into booking your treehouse early.

Every October there is a RocktoberFest” weekend for climbers and the area will be extremely busy. Unless you’re interested in the festival, steer clear (it’s usually the 2nd weekend in October).

When you’re not relaxing in your treehouse you can experience the outdoor life that the Red River Gorge is known for. There are hikes to sandstone arches, rock climbing, and kayaking.

If you’re not into the more adventurous activities there are easy hikes to arches throughout Red River Gorge. Check out the hike or chair lift to Natural Bridge to see one of the landmarks the area is most known for.

When you get hungry be sure to check out Miguel’s Pizza. The place is known nationally by rock climbers but hikers and locals share the love too. They can accommodate gluten-free and vegan diets. Miguel’s is packed on weekend days; expect a wait but it’s worth it.

For drinks head to Hops, a bar made out of old shipping containers with views on each side.

Orange Beach, Alabama

Orange Beach Alabama

By Nikki of She Saves She Travels

If you’re looking for the best romantic destinations in the Southeast, look no further than Orange Beach, Alabama! With pristine white-sand beaches, incredible activities, and accommodations for two, Orange Beach should be at the top of your list!

Couples will love relaxing on the incredible beaches along the Gulf Shores and Orange Beach sister cities. Grab a bottle of wine and stay for the sunset. Or, enjoy a sunset dolphin cruise on the water.

For active couples, hit the trails or water at Gulf State Park. Hike, bike or kayak through the park to see the various lakes and wildlife.

At night, feel young again with a romantic Ferris Wheel ride at The Wharf at Orange Beach. And don’t forget to dine with a view! The Gulf, GT’s on the Bay, and Cobalt offer awesome views as the best Orange Beach restaurants on the water

To get to Orange Beach, Alabama, the closest large airport is about an hour east in Pensacola, Florida. You’ll want to rent a car to get to and around Orange beach.

For water-front accommodations, try The Lodge at Gulf State Park, a Hilton Hotel.

The best time to visit Orange Beach is year-round! You’ll get more outdoor time in the summer but the heat can be really intense. The winter is colder and outdoor activities are more limited. In spring and fall, you’ll see fewer crowds and lower pricing. 

Charleston, South Carolina

Charleston, Rainbow Row

By Soumya from Stories by Soumya

If you are looking for the most romantic destinations in the Southeast USA, then be sure to visit the historic city of Charleston in South Carolina. Whether you are in Charleston for one day or a week, you’ll have lots of interesting things to do and see here. 

Start your day in Charleston with a walk through the historic and charming French Quarter. Next, step into one of Charleston’s historic homes and appreciate their fine antebellum architecture.

Check out Rainbow Row and click some amazing pictures in front of pastel-colored homes.

Head to the Battery and catch a gorgeous sunset there.

End the day with delicious low country food and warm southern hospitality at 82 Queen, one of Charleston’s best restaurants.

Charleston is an all-year-round destination though spring and fall are the best times to visit. It does not get too chilly which means winter is a good time too.

To get to Charleston, you can fly to Charleston International Airport or drive through I-26/US17.

If you are looking for a good place to stay, do check out the historic French Quarter Inn located right in the heart of Charleston. 

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hot Springs National Park, Arkansas

Nestled among the Ouachita Mountains, Hot Springs is the perfect vacation spot for a relaxing and romantic getaway. Enjoy hiking through the nearby wilderness, soak up in thermal springs, and enjoy the town’s many cultural activities.

Hot Springs National Park is at the top of things to do in Hot Spring. You can go a leisurely hike through the park’s stunning mountainside or take a scenic drive. Make sure to visit one of the historic bathhouses along the way. You can camp there as well.

You can also take a stroll and plan a picnic at Garvan Woodland Gardens featuring forest trails, waterfalls, and old buildings. During the holidays, the park turns into a fairyland with over 5 million twinkling lights.

For dinner and to sample some local beers, head to Superior Bathhouse Brewery located in a restored historic bathhouse.

You will find plenty of thermal baths and spas in town to soak up for a couple of hours. Quapaw Baths and Spa is the most popular and top-rated spa in Hot Springs.

For something secluded, you can book a cabin in the forest, or check out the lakefront properties as well for some sweeping views. Otherwise, the 1884 Wildwood Bed and Breakfast Inn is highly rated by couples – breakfast is included and some rooms come with a fireplace and a spa bath.

Saint Simons Island, Georgia

St Simons Island, Georgia, USA

By Nicole from The Abroad Blog

The Golden Isles in Georgia, consisting of Saint Simons Island, Little Saint Simons Island, Jekyll Island, and Sea Island, is one of the most romantic places in the southeast.

The easiest way to access these islands is by car. There are two major airports nearby – Jacksonville, FL, and Savannah, GA. From Jacksonville, St. Simons Island is a little over an hour’s drive. From Savannah, the islands are a 1.5-hour drive.

Once on the islands, it’s fairly easy to explore by car or on foot. Looking for a more adventurous alternative? Try renting a golf cart! Red Bug Motors is a great option. Their electric vehicles will get you anywhere you want to go!

In terms of sites, be sure to see the St. Simons Lighthouse and Museum, which was rebuilt shortly after it was destroyed in the Civil War. The fishing pier is also a must on SSI – it’s right downtown near most of the island’s quaint boutiques and restaurants.

Caught on Saint Simons on a rainy day? Check out the historic trolley ride! It has a covered roof and covers the perfect educational loop for you to see the entire island and learn about its unique history.

The best time of year to visit Saint Simons is during the shoulder seasons, specifically in April and September. There are fewer crowds, you can avoid the blazing summer heat, and there’s a better chance of finding cheaper hotels and rental cars.

In terms of restaurants, be sure to swing by the Southern Soul BBQ. It’s a former gas station turned bustling BBQ joint – there’s usually a line, but don’t miss it, it’s definitely one of the top things to see on Saint Simons Island.

For a place to stay, book an oceanfront vacation rental or a room at the cozy and romantic Grey Owl Inn.

Check out some of our other travel guides for couples:

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Romantic Getaways in the Southeast Vacation Ideas for Couples
Romantic Getaways in the Southeast Vacation Ideas for Couples
Romantic Getaways in the Southeast Vacation Ideas for Couples

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