Here are fifteen romantic things to do in Charlottesville on a day or weekend visit!
If you are looking for a quick romantic getaway location to help keep that spark alive, Charlottesville, Virginia, is the destination for you. Perfect for families and friends, it is also a fantastic spot for romance. No matter your love language, there is something for every couple, whether your interests lie in food, history or something in between.
Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Albemarle County, Charlottesville’s mild climate and beautiful scenery makes it a great spot for nature, with tons of trails in the vicinity. If your partner is less into hiking and more into imbibing, Cville is a perfect spot for the beer and wine enthusiast. A history buff will love the sites you can explore and any foodie will be content.
From restaurants to historical locations, I’m sharing all of my favorite spots for romance in Charlottesville! After all, Virginia is for Lovers!
Fifteen Romantic Things To Do in Charlottesville
Wine Tasting in Charlottesville (Various Locations)
What pairs better with romance than wine? Luckily for those visiting the Charlottesville area, Northern and Central Virginia is one of the best spots in the United States for wine. In fact, it’s considered the location of where American wine was born! As a result, there is an abundance of wineries where you can plan a romantic date, but below are some of the best options.
Veritas Vineyard and Winery
Located in the Blue Ridge Mountains about 30 minutes outside of Charlottesville proper, Veritas offers several romantic date options.
If you are looking for just an afternoon of enjoying wine, their tasting room is open daily. If you plan on doing a private tasting, you can make a reservation for a fee. The fireplace is incredibly lovely in the cold winter months, and their cheese and charcuterie boards are great.
Prefer not to make a reservation and want to bring your own picnic instead? There are several outside spots where you won’t need a reservation, like The Lawn, The Bricks and the Grove. With the beautiful views, it makes for a great spot to enjoy great wine. Summers can be both hot and busy (expect a lot of bachelorettes) but if you visit in the fall you’ll see gorgeous foliage and can stay warm by cozying up on a blanket.
If you are looking to make your winery visit extra special, consider booking a room and dinner at the Veritas Farmhouse. Built in 1836, The Bed & Breakfast is quintessential old Virginia. Located on the winery and, in addition to the gorgeous rooms, offers four course fine dining paired with their delicious wine. You can book your stay here.
If you are looking for a winery with a bit more Charlottesville history, you’ll want to check out Jefferson Vineyards. Located less than 2 miles from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, this winery was the site of Virginia’s very first wine company dating back almost 250 years. You are truly getting a piece of history when you visit this estate; don’t forget to try the Viognier, as that is the Virginia State Grape.
With indoor and outdoor seating available, this is a great spot to pack a picnic lunch. Sit back and enjoy a flight of wine while taking in the gorgeous views.
- Get Directions
- Visit Here
- Open Thursday, Friday, Sunday & Monday 11:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.
- Open Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m.
If you’re looking for a winery with a little more modern flavor, Blenheim Vineyards is another great romantic option. Opened by Dave Matthews in 1999, this winery is located on an historic Virginia farm and offers up a beautiful setting.
Guided wine tastings are available by reservation in the tasting room and the space itself manages to feel both intimate and open. It’s a great choice for a winery date that feels a little more laidback.
Spa Date @ Neroli Spa Followed by Rooftop Drinks
What could be more romantic than a fully relaxing day of treating yourselves at the spa? Neroli is a high end spa downtown with a nice relaxation room. Schedule massages ranging from deep tissue to aromatherapy. After your session, spend time lounging in the zen garden that will make you feel miles away from the spa’s downtown location. You can book your treatments online.
After you’ve fully relaxed, get cleaned up and head on over to the Quirk Hotel next door for drinks and small plates at their Rooftop Bar while enjoying the picturesque views. While you won’t need reservations for the rooftop, it does get busy on weekends and the outside closes during inclement weather.
Apple Picking @ Carter Mountain Orchard
What could make for a more wholesome date than apple picking at an orchard? Located just outside of downtown Charlottesville (and neighboring Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello), Carter Mountain is an ideal location if you are hoping to take in beautiful views of the area. Offerings are seasonal – from apples to peaches to pumpkins and more, you’ll get to enjoy local ingredients at their freshest.
If you can make it for a visit during the fall months, be sure to take advantage of the apple cider donuts while you stroll through the orchard. There is also a wine shop and a Bold Rock Cider Taproom on the premises, so sit down and have a drink.
One important thing to note: ticketed entry is in place on peak weekends so be sure and check on their website ahead of time.
Saunders-Monticello Trail and Outdoor Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello
Sometimes it can be romantic just taking a leisurely stroll in a lovely setting. What could be prettier than taking the Saunders-Monticello Trail up to Monticello?
This trail takes you over boardwalks and through the woods and totals about 4 miles to Monticello and back. On your walk, you’ll see great views of the area, including the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Once at the top of the trail, you’ll find yourself at the visitor center for Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Monticello, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was home to the third president of the United States. While there are several tour options available, the Gardens and Grounds Pass will allow you to continue your date outdoors while still experiencing the historic site.
Cooking Class @ Pippin Hill
While most know Pippin Hill as a winery (and popular wedding venue due to its gorgeous setting), they also offer great date night options. Some of the experiences you can sign up for include curated meals and wine tasting, but my favorite romantic date option is to take one of their cooking classes.
A special date sure to impress, the class includes a garden tour, a cooking class, a family-style dinner and two glasses of wine. Options range from things like One Pot Wonders to Elevated Cast Iron Cooking, but no matter the class you can always expect seasonal ingredients. In addition to it being a fun date night, you’ll always be able to use what you learn to impress guests or plan another romantic night at home.
Read my review of a class I did here!
Hot Air Ballooning with Monticello Country Ballooning
This is on my bucket list! Sweep your date off their feet by watching the sun rise (or set) while in the clouds. You’ll have a memorable time overlooking all of Charlottesville on this 45 minute adventure. Even better – your flight includes pictures and a traditional champagne toast (non-alcoholic options are available as well).
Virginia is home to 22 national parks, so it’s no surprise hiking is popular here. While some might not associate hiking with romance, if you turn it into a picnic hike it becomes a special date.
Before heading to your hiking spot, stop off at Feast! for delicious sandwiches (try The Local, a great combination of local goat cheese with an olive and artichoke tapenade). Then head over to one of many popular spots.
There are plenty of options depending on what type of hike you are looking to do. Try Secluded Farm for something low key, Humpback Rocks if you’re hoping for great views, or Walnut Creek Park if you’d like to be by water. Once you’ve reached your destination, you can take in the views while enjoying your romantic picnic.
Dinner & a Show at Ting Pavilion
Located on the Downtown Mall, the Pavilion is the best place in Charlottesville to catch an outdoor show. During the summer months they also host Fridays After Five, a great way to enjoy local music talent while imbibing with local alcohol.
If you are taking someone on a romantic date to see their favorite artist, why not add a dinner date to the mix? Spots like Tilman’s and Tonic offer elevated counter services with farm to table food and are within walking distance to the venue.
Ragged Branch Distillery
If you want something a bit unique, Ragged Branch Distillery is a great option. Located in Ivy, this bourbon distillery also boasts beautiful views of the Ragged Mountains. Grab a specialty cocktail and curl up by the fireplace or grab a seat on the covered porch – either way you’re sure to have a lovely date in a romantic setting.
Golf Date @ the Boar’s Head Resort
This gets Thomas’s vote!! As far as golf courses in Virginia go, you can’t beat Birdwood Golf Course if you are looking to impress the golfer in your life. This public course has received a number of accolades and its location at Boar’s Head Resort makes it even better.
You can follow your round of golf with cocktails at the Birdwood Bar and Grill and, if you want to make a night of it, book a room and some time at the spa as well. You’ll have a perfect and indulgent romantic getaway.
Stay at a Bed & Breakfast
Charlottesville has many bed & breakfast options to fit your needs. If you’re looking to have a romantic night on the town, try a place like 200 South Street Inn, The Dinsmore House or the Inn at Court Square? It’s a nice way to make a night away from home a little more special than staying at a regular hotel.
Any of these three options will have you in an historic setting off of the Downtown Mall and walking distance of restaurants. You’ll also be near breweries and spots to grab a drink. Not to mention, you’ll be close to the Pavilion and the Paramount if you’re planning on a date night at one of those spots!
200 South Street Inn
The Dinsmore House
The Inn at Court Square
People in Charlottesville have an appreciation for art and culture, so it’s not surprising there are several art galleries in the area. For a romantic date, the following spots are great places to take the art lover in your life.
IX Art Park
If you want an immersive art experience, The Looking Glass at IX Art Park features an enchanted forest and a kaleidoscope cave. Spend an hour exploring and then head next door to the North American Sake Brewery to chat about what you experienced over sake and ramen.
The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia
- Get Directions
- Visit Here
- Tuesday – Thursday & Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.; Friday 10:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.; Sunday, 12:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
If your art lover is more traditional, they’ll love spending the afternoon exploring The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia. With a permanent collection of more than 14,000 pieces, you’ll have plenty to explore and discuss.
Bachata Night @ South & Central
I have friends who love Thursday nights at South & Central Latin Steakhouse for Bachata Night. Grab your dancing shoes and get ready to enjoy dancing with delicious late night bites and delicious cocktails. Whether you’re a novice or experienced dancer, it will be a memorable date and a great way to sweep someone off their feet.
Bike Ride on the Rivanna Followed by Coffee @ the Workshop
The Rivanna Trail
Sometimes the simplest dates, like taking a lovely bike ride, can be the nicest. The Rivanna Trail allows for a peaceful ride along the river; it’s hard to believe how close you are to town with how serene it feels. You can take in the river views while you bike before heading over to The Workshop at the nearby Wool Factory. If it’s earlier in the day you can grab a coffee and sit outside or, if it’s later in the day, opt for one of their great wines. Either way, it will be a lovely way to end a sweet date.
Create Art at the Glass Palette
What could be better than creating something to serve as a permanent reminder of a romantic outing? At Glass Palette, you can make your own one-of-a-kind object made out of glass. You can choose from a variety of objects, like a vase, a paperweight or even a pendant you can wear as a reminder of your fun and special afternoon.
All in all, if you are looking romantic things to do in Charlottesville, you won’t be disappointed. With options ranging from traditional to unique, you’ll be able to find a memorable way to create a memorable date for you and your loved one.
Dinner Followed by a Show @ the Paramount Theater
The Paramount Theater opened right before Thanksgiving in 1931 and was a Charlottesville staple until it closed in 1974. However, efforts to save it never went away and it was able to reopen in 2004. The theater has remained a key spot for shows and entertainment in town ever since. From live events to movies and tours, there is something for everyone.
The theater is centrally located on the Downtown Mall, so I definitely recommend grabbing dinner beforehand at one of the several romantic spots nearby. My favorite options before a night at the Paramount include Crush Pad Wines for wine and snacks (or pasta from nearby Luce delivered right to your seat), Bizou or Brasserie Saison. Definitely pop into Chaps for some birthday cake ice cream first!