Romantic Getaways - 12 min read

20 Best Romantic Getaways in the Southeast (Great Cities to Explore)

Jade Jackson

Jade Jackson, Updated August 25, 2022

Disclosure: Town & Tourist may receive a commission for purchases made through links in this article, at no additional cost to you.

Want to know where to go for the best weekend trips in the South? There are a ton of amazing and diverse places to explore in the south. This includes everything from beach getaways to city breaks, from hiking trails to lovely tiny towns.

One of these fantastic weekend vacations in the south is sure to be perfect for you. It doesn’t matter whether you’re searching for a relaxed romantic trip for two, your upcoming short family vacation, a quick trip with buddies. These places are even great for a thrilling solitary retreat!

And in this list of the top southern weekend getaways in America, we’ve made an effort to compile the best of them. We personally love to travel to the southeast of the United States, and there are always fresh, breathtaking spots to discover.

1. Islamorada, Florida

Credit: Mario Gonzalez Leyva / Flickr

A small island off the coast of Florida is Islamorada, one of the most ideal tropical honeymoon destinations in the South. Of course, there are countless kilometers of stunning white sand beaches. However, Islamorada offers a variety of additional activities.

Additionally, Islamorada is home to a few regional brewers. Make sure to visit the Islamorada Brewery and Distillery for a meal and a drink if you are a couple who enjoys craft brews.

Take a boat tour to hear about the dolphins, crustaceans, and other marine life that call Islamorada home if you want to understand more about the ocean and its inhabitants.

Couples who love diving may appreciate exploring the local reefs while snorkeling and scuba diving. Even a museum dedicated to the history of diving exists.

Visit the Rain Barrell Village to explore the works of local artists, and bring something home to relive your trip with your spouse.

2. Lovers Key, Florida

Credit: Will Jensen / Flickr

With the word “lover” in its name, you can be sure that Florida’s Lovers Key will make for the ideal romantic retreat.

A beach and Lovers Key State Park make up Lovers Key. Both provide several options for romantic outings. There are many hiking routes at the state park where you may take in the local flora and fauna.

There are picnic areas and facilities along the 2.5 miles of white sand beach. As a result, you are welcome to stay all day and enjoy the Gulf of Mexico’s warm waters.

Additionally, visitors can enjoy fishing on the Gulf by launching their boat there. You and your spouse can take a leisurely stroll as the sun sets if you just want to unwind on the beach.

3. Asheville, North Carolina

Credit: Rick Vega / Flickr

In the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, Asheville is a stunning city. Couples who enjoy the arts will find this city to be ideal because of its vibrant art scene.

Galleries, shops featuring the creations of regional artists, and even the culinary arts are all part of this art scene. Foodies will enjoy exploring the excellent restaurants in Downtown Asheville.

The Biltmore Estate is situated in Asheville. The Biltmore Estate is still a private residence but is available for tours every day. The late 1800s-era mansion is rich in history, gorgeous original antiques, and other features.

4. New Orleans, Louisiana

The French Quarter must be visited as part of any vacation to charming New Orleans. Amazing stores, delectable eateries, and more may be found there. Visit a store that sells jewelry that is unique to New Orleans, or get some beignets and coffee.

Horse-drawn carriage rides are another option for a romantic tour of New Orleans. You will discover the city’s history while enjoying a romantic carriage ride.

5. Mississippi Beaches

Credit: Kenneth Spencer / Flickr

The beaches of Mississippi are a good option for couples seeking some outdoor recreation. Compared to most Southern states, the state has a very short coastline. However, the coastline they do have is stunning.

In Mississippi, there are a few different beaches, and each one has something special to offer. Biloxi is the most well-known beach in Mississippi, but there are also Gulfport Beach and Horn Island.

There are many things to do in Biloxi. There are casinos, lighthouses, watersports, and even romantic steamboat tours available.

Consider going to one of the many fantastic restaurants for a candlelit dinner after spending the day lounging on the soft beaches. For good reason, Gulfport is regarded as a local favorite beach.

Because it is rarely busy and there are still lots of fun things to do, it is ideal for a romantic weekend. Another magnificent Mississippi beach that is rarely crowded and has many beautiful beaches is Horn Island. It’s ideal for a couple trying to get away from it all and enjoy one of the most romantic weekend trips in the South.

6. Gulf Shores, Alabama

You might want to consider visiting Gulf Shores, Alabama, if you and your partner want to have a romantic beach vacation in the South.

One of the best romantic vacations in the South can be found in Gulf Shores, which has 32 miles of white sandy beaches. The wonderful beach resorts and residences are the perfect places to spend your days relaxing on the sand.

After unwinding on the beach, enjoy a fine-dining experience at one of Gulf Shores’ numerous mouthwatering eateries. Take a break from the beach and spend some time perusing the distinctive stores along Gulf Shores’ main thoroughfares.

If you’re feeling a little more daring, you can arrange a helicopter flight over the setting sun. You and your lover can enjoy the stunning scenery and embark on a special romantic journey while in the air.

7. Savannah, Georgia

Credit: SheltieBoy / Flickr

Savannah Georgia has long been regarded as one of the South’s most charming cities. As you and your lover walk hand in hand down the streets, it is simple to understand why.

There are several romantic activities available in Savannah. Visit the Oatland Island Wildlife Center or take a stroll through the botanical gardens. Take a stroll around Savannah’s renowned Historic District if you enjoy both architecture and history. Or even go to Tybee Island for the day.

Savannah offers a variety of romantic activities for foodie couples. Cocktails on the roof are a great way to start the evening while enjoying Savannah’s scenery.

8. Memphis, Tennessee

There are several romantic things to do in Memphis, Tennessee. It is a thriving and energetic city in Tennessee’s southwest.

Couples who appreciate art will enjoy exploring the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art together. You can see the works of French Impressionists, masters of the Baroque era, modern and postmodernist artists, as well as Italian Renaissance painters.

A stroll down Memphis’ famed Beale Street is a must-do on every visit to the city. You can really appreciate the street’s distinctive display of neon lights and equally distinctive businesses and eateries if you visit at night. Alternately, you might explore the city by romantic carriage while learning more about its past.

9. Hot Springs, Arkansas

Credit: Larry Petterborg / Flickr

Just outside of Hot Springs National Park is Hot Springs, Arkansas. One of the best romantic vacations in the South that blends city romance with outdoor excitement is this one.

You can go there any time of year and still find something lovely there. However, autumn is the finest season to visit Hot Springs and explore the city. At the park, there are countless Fall activities and breathtaking views of the changing leaves.

It goes without saying that you should go to the National Park and relax in the thermal natural hot springs. A romantic carriage ride across the city is another option.

10. Blue Ridge Mountains Road Trip

Credit: Richard Roberts / Flickr

The Blue Ridge Mountains are a mountain range in the South that stretches over many states. This makes it ideal for a cozy road vacation in the South.

The states you intend to visit determine fully where you will travel on your road trip. If you begin in North Carolina, you can visit Grandfather Mountain, Blowing Rock, and the adorable town of Boone.

One of the sweetest tiny towns in the South is Helen, which is located in Georgia. Helen is a lovely, Bavarian-style town with lots of entertaining attractions and businesses. Additionally, you can travel by car across the Blue Ridge Mountains’ North Georgia Mountains.

11. Charleston, South Carolina

Another romantic getaway-worthy Southern city is Charleston, South Carolina. Its rich past is what makes it so distinctive. Get tickets for a performance at the venerable Dock Street Theater while you’re there.

Go to the Cypress Gardens for outdoor romance. You can stroll through a lush environment for birds and butterflies there. You may also go kayaking in the creek, visit the marsh region, or take in the lovely blooms in one of the numerous gardens.

Alternately, you and your companion might take a sunset sail in Charleston Harbor. Charleston is one of the most romantic cities in the South, and you and your sweetheart will enjoy visiting it.

12. Pigeon Forge, Tennessee

The Great Smoky Mountain Wheel lets you experience the same puppy-dog excitement of a vintage carnival ride. Your weary limbs earned a well-earned rest after trekking along one of the Smokies’ paths and taking in a breathtaking view.

To treat those limbs, schedule a couple’s massage at the Margaritaville Island Hotel’s St. Somewhere Spa. Hungry? The chocolate peanut butter pie at The Local Goat will be a topic of conversation for years to come.

13. Blowing Rock, North Carolina

Credit: michael jon / Flickr

There is even a romantic legend in this Blue Ridge village. Before dining at the Bistro Roca or the Restaurant at Gideon’s Ridge, stop by the Blowing Rock Art & History Museum for two peas in a High Country pod.

Appalachian Ski Mountain, with its 365-foot vertical drop and approachable half-mile longest course, is also a good choice for novice skiers.

At the Bob Timberlake Inn at Chetola Resort, treat yourself to a spa service and use the heated indoor pool before watching the fire in your room flicker.

14. Oxford, Mississippi

You’ll feel far away from life in the city in this north Mississippi town, an hour outside of Memphis, that will excite literary enthusiasts.

Visit Rowan Oak, William Faulkner’s opulent mansion, to start your literary romance, then continue on to the University of Mississippi Museum.

Browse Square Books around the city or look for ancient Greek and Roman artifacts. Make an appointment at one of the Graduate Oxford eateries for some Southern favorites to round off your romantic weekend.

15. Daufuskie Island, South Carolina

Credit: Mario & Debbie / Flickr

Take a customized equestrian excursion of the island to see its animals, wooded pathways, and white sand beaches.

At the Daufuskie Island Company, a brewery located on a lovely pond, clink glasses with your spouse. Visit restaurants and art galleries while keeping an eye out for oak trees before settling into a vacation rental, which can range from opulent seaside homes to the secluded cottage.

16. Greenwood, Mississippi

Credit: kristin :: the kitchen sink / Flickr

Visit this Mississippi Delta community to switch off your gadgets and appreciate the serenity of Tallahatchie Flats.

On the river bend, a number of cabins are for rent. After browsing the selection at Turnrow Book Co., start a reading group at the café with your better half.

Visit a nearby vineyard to sample Delta wines while you consider extending your trip by just one more day as that five o’clock thirst creeps in.

17. Jekyll Island, Georgia

Credit: PWL / Flickr

The live oaks covered in Spanish moss and golden salt marshes. The resort that looks like it could have jumped off the pages of a Gilded Age romance are all hallmarks of this barrier island’s Southern charm.

A seaside getaway with bike rentals, croquet, and even carefully packed picnic baskets is The Jekyll Island Club Resort.

Driftwood Beach, which frequently wins prizes for “most romantic beach,” is a great place to curl up with some books and a blanket.

18. Georgetown, South Carolina

Take a stroll down Front Street and the Harborwalk to begin your holiday while perusing upscale furnishings stores and hipster boutiques.

Take a Lowcountry Tours boat ride through the area and let Cupid be your friendly guide. Book a room at 620 Prince, an attractive bed and breakfast in a restored 19th-century property, for your lodgings, which come with a dream-like oak tree-lined front.

Consider spending the night at Mansfield Plantation, which was established in 1718 and is situated on nearly 1,000 private acres.

19. Leiper’s Fork, Tennessee

Credit: Jay Ice / Flickr

There is an unwritten law that all restaurants and establishments in this 650-person town just outside of Franklin must include a porch, rocking chairs, and fire pits. Of course, this is with complimentary S’mores ingredients nearby the fire pits.

Spend your days exploring the village’s art studios and retail establishments, have dinner at the brand-new 1892, toast your significant other at Leiper’s Fork Distillery. Or enjoy late-night beverages and open mic evenings at Fox & Locke.

20. Little Rock, Arkansas

Little Rock ought to be the first city that comes to mind when you think of romance, even though it might not be. Couples with a range of interests have enough to do or not do thanks to its location on the Arkansas River.

Start your downtown romance at the Capital Hotel, a truly Southern establishment with a front porch. The rooms are roomy, featuring four-poster beds and two-person bathtubs.

The hotel provides two restaurants on-site for couples who prefer to remain in. Both One Eleven and the Capital Bar & Grille provide distinctive cuisine, specially made drinks, and sumptuous desserts—essential for romance.

Travel smarter

Join the thousands of travel enthusiasts who are part of our T&T community.