The 17 Best Small Towns in the South for a Romantic Getaway
Pack your bags!
Pigeon Forge, Tennessee
Replicate the puppy love thrill of a classic carnival ride spin at The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel. It's a well-deserved rest for your tired limbs (and one heck of a view) after a hike on one of the Smokies' trails. To pamper those aforementioned limbs, book a couple's massage at the St.Somewhere Spa at the Margaritaville Island Hotel. Hungry? Dinner pour deux is served at the Local Goat, where the chocolate peanut butter pie will be a talking point for years to come.
Beaufort, North Carolina
See wild horses like never before with a kayak or stand-up paddleboard outing with Beaufort Paddle, before satiating your appetite with a guided culinary tour with Hungry Town Tours. Cap off your evening with a toast at a waterfront cafe before retreating to your B&B, like Victorian-style Pecan Tree Inn or the Inn on Turner, complete with a lush garden-side fire pit.
The history, the architecture, the welcoming locals; it's easy to fall in love all over again in this classic American town founded in 1638. Treat yourself to a Sugar "Kiss" Manicure/Pedicure at The Spa of Colonial Williamsburg or a horse-drawn carriage ride around town before tucking into your room at the Williamsburg Inn. P.S. If you can time your stay, may we suggest the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra for a night with Beethoven or Bach?
An hour outside of Memphis, you'll feel far removed from city life in this northern Mississippi town that will have literary fans going wild. Kick off your bookworm tryst with a visit to Rowan Oak, William Faulkner's grand estate (pictured here), before a trip to the University of Mississippi Museum where you can browse Greek and Roman antiquities or to the town square for Square Books. To round out your couples' getaway, book a reservation at Graduate Oxford for a Valentine's Day Chef's Table with Dwayne Ingraham, who won Food Network's "Best Baker in America" in 2017.
Ellicott City, Maryland
If your idea of romance counts cornhole and craft beer amongst its ranks, this Maryland city is calling your name. For the aforementioned combo, visit Manor Hill Brewing where rolling hills and fragrant hops set the perfect backdrop for an anniversary or Valentine's Day celebration. For dinner, take a 15-minute drive or Uber to The Iron Bridge Wine Co., in nearby Columbia, which might as well teleport you to a tiny European bistro with the warm glow of candles and smell of mushroom risotto and duck cassoulet. With your home base as Turf Valley Resort, make a pit-stop at Shapeshifter's Wellness Studio for a couple's Shiatsu Workshop where your chi ("breath of life") will be energized like never before.
Venture to this Mississippi Delta town where you can unplug from your iPhones and plug into the peaceful Tallahatchie Flats experience. A group of cabins are available for rent on the river bend. After perusing the offerings at Turnrow Books, form a reading circle with your better half at the café. When that 5 o'clock thirst slinks in, visit The Winery at Williams Landing to sip on Delta wines as you contemplate extending your trip for just one more day.
Georgetown, South Carolina
Start your vacation with a stroll along Front Street and the Harborwalk, as you browse high-end furniture shops, funky boutiques, and more, before Cupid kindly guides you to a Lowcountry boat tour with Capt'n Rod. For your digs (dreamy Oak tree out front included), book a room at 620 Prince, an elegant bed and breakfast in a renovated 19th century home. Or, consider an overnight at Mansfield Plantation, which is situated on almost 1,000 private acres and dates back to 1718.
Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee
In this fine town of 650 residents just outside of Franklin, there's an unofficial rule that all restaurants and businesses must offer a porch, rocking chairs, and fire pits—with free S'mores ingredients sitting by the fire pits, of course. To fill your days, explore the village's art galleries and shops, dine at the new restaurant 1892, and toast your love at Leiper’s Fork Distillery or over late-night drinks at Puckett’s Grocery & Restaurant (don't miss their open mic nights!). Recharge at the dreamland that is the Moonshine Hill Inn (pictured here), self-described as Downton Abbey crossed with Little House on the Prairie.
Jekyll Island, Georgia
This barrier island Shangri-La boasts live Oaks draped in Spanish Moss, golden salt marshes, and the Jekyll Island Club Resort, a posh hotel that seems as if it could leap from the pages of an F. Scott Fitzgerald novella. Grab some books and a blanket and snuggle up on Driftwood Beach, which regularly snags awards for "most romantic beach."
Daufuskie Island in South Carolina
Go for a special horseback tour of the island complete with white sand beaches, wooded trails, and plenty of wildlife, or clink glasses with your partner at the Daufuskie Island Rum Company, a distillery perched on a picturesque pond. Under the watchful eye of oak trees, check out art galleries, restaurants, and more, before tucking into a vacation rental—which run from lavish oceanfront mansions to isolated villa.
Deep Creek Lake, Maryland
How does a fairy tale ski resort in Maryland sound? Yes indeed, y'all. Every day at Wisp Resort brings something different, where you can ski, snowshoe, or ice skate to your heart's content. If you're not staying at Wisp, indulge in bed and breakfasting at Lake Pointe Inn (pictured here). While in town, be sure to take a hike to Muddy Creek Falls, which freezes in the winter for a panorama unlike anything you've ever seen.
Blue Ridge, Georgia
Tucked above Bill Oyster's fly-fishing shop, The Oyster Cast & Blast Inn is the perfect spot to rekindle the flame with your amour. If you can peel yourself away from their balcony above Main Street, go for a hike or scenic drive (check out some ideas here). Then, revisit your high school dating days with a show at the Swan Drive-In Theatre. Another night, be sure to indulge in modern Southern fare at Harvest on Main. Looking for a more secluded mountain getaway? Try Aska Lodge Bed and Breakfast (pictured here), which you'll quickly want to make an annual tradition.
It may only be 45 minutes outside of Austin, but you'll feel in another universe in this inviting small town known for Jacob’s Well, an artesian well roughly 140-feet deep. Get the adrenaline pumping with Wimberley Zipline Adventures or enjoy a more leisurely day at Wimberley Valley Winery or Middleton Brewing. For memorable accommodations, kick your feet up at Blair House Inn, where you'll never want to say goodbye to the bubble bath (especially with the Roses, Bubbly, and Bubbles package).
It's a no-brainer that Texas wine country is ideal for a couple's trip, but Fredericksburg really shines thanks to its German-influenced architecture, welcoming hospitality, and yes, the vino (try Grape Creek Vineyards). Call Glamping Hub's beautiful cottage located on a winery yours for a few days, or grab a rocking chair and stemware and make yourself at home at the Hoffman Haus. There, the Sweetheart Special includes two massages, a floral arrangement, champagne, chocolate-dipped strawberries and a late check-out at noon.
The Beaumont Inn (pictured here) had us at "personalized bourbon tasting with the innkeeper." It will also have you with its sprawling grounds, outdoor tree swing, and award-winning food. For a laidback cruise along the geologically ancient Kentucky River Palisades on the Dixie Belle Riverboat which runs May through October. For winter lovebirds, stroll around downtown art galleries and shops or visit (or book your lodging) at Shaker Village of Pleasant Hill for a history lesson you won't soon forget.
It doesn't get much better than the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Especially in "Little Washington," where time has a way of slowing down in this town of less than 150 individuals, not including two horses, one llama, a flock of sheep, and a dozen or so chickens who live in an ornate abode with stained glass windows in the Historic District, naturally. Book your stay at Le Fay Cottage (pictured here), a quick stroll to Little Washington Winery. You can't go wrong with dinner at the Inn at Little Washington, especially when it's paired with a show with your beloved at Little Washington Theatre.
Blowing Rock, North Carolina
Even the folklore behind this Blue Ridge town is romantic. Our favorite pit stops for two peas in a High Country pod? An excursion to Blowing Rock Art and History Museum before grub at the Bistro Roca or the Restaurant at Gideon’s Ridge. Beginner skiiers may also enjoy Appalachian Ski Mtn with a vertical drop of 365 feet and the longest run clocking in at an approachable half-mile (both clothing and equipment rental are on-site). Luxuriate in a spa treatment and the indoor heated pool at Bob Timberlake Inn at Chetola Resort, before watching the flames flicker in your in-room fireplace and plotting the next day's adventures.