Enhance the romance this Valentine’s Day and escape to Wilmington, where you can explore the beautiful Riverwalk, relax during a spa day with your significant other and enjoy a weekend of relaxation, adventure and delicious dining. Read on to discover the romance that’s in store.

A Relaxing Stay

For the hopeless romantic couple, book a room at the Graystone Inn. Named one of the “Top 10 Most Romantic Inns in the U.S.” by American Historic Inns, Inc., the elegant and charming Graystone offers a “Weekend Romantic Escape Package” that includes a two-night stay, evening wine in the library, dinner downtown and more. The AAA Four Diamond Award winner, originally known as “The Bridgers Mansion,” was built in 1905-1906 and is the quintessential example of turn-of-the-century grandeur.

Graystone Inn

Further relax by scheduling a pampering date at Ki Spa and Salon. The local spa is offering the Ki to Her Heart and Ki to His Heart promotion this Valentine’s Day. Treat the lady in your life to the Sweet Surrender Stone Massage or a Wine Down Radiant Facial. Or, melt away your favorite guy’s stress with the 60-minute Marshmallow Melt Stone Massage. Now that’s what we call a blissful date!

Out & About

Grab a morning cup of joe or your beverage of choice from Drift Coffee and Kitchen and head to Airlie Gardens, where you and your Valentine can explore 67 acres of trails, wildlife and flowers. The gardens were the location for memorable television series moments including Dawson and Jen’s first kiss on “Dawson’s Creek” and Karen’s dream of exploring in a meadow of flowers with Keith and Lily in “One Tree Hill,” among others.



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Explore Wilmington’s greenery and wildlife on a romantic bike ride through Greenfield Lake Park and Gardens. This beautiful 250-acre park is the perfect date spot for the nature-loving couple and a great escape from the hustle and bustle of downtown. Another two-wheel trail worthy of a couple’s ride is the Gary Shell Cross-City Trail. The 15-mile, multi-use trail provides access to numerous recreational, cultural and educational destinations in Wilmington. While pedaling along, stop by the Cameron Art Museum – one of the attractions along the trail – to check out the new “The Eye Learns” exhibit featuring works by Pablo Picasso, or visit the Cam Café which frequently hosts live music, dance and film events.

Experience downtown Wilmington with a horse-drawn carriage tour from Springbrook Farms. Watch the coastal city’s past come to life before your eyes as your knowledgeable tour guide describes the history of Wilmington and its famous residents and visitors. 

For a shopping spree with exquisite views, stroll along the Wilmington Riverwalk. Enjoy the Cotton Exchange, where you can peruse unique boutique shops to buy a new outfit for dinner and find souvenirs to remember the weekend. After a morning of shopping, indulge in a delicious lunch of “Southern coastal cuisine” at The George on the Riverwalk. Or brunch at The Basics in The Cotton Exchange, a casual spot featuring classic Southern cuisine, where you can watch the bustling streets of historic downtown or get cozy in the upstairs section.


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Sweet Treats

Share an afternoon sweet treat with your sweetheart. Tempt yourself with chocolate, fudge and ice cream served in fresh homemade waffle cones at Kilwin’s. Head to The Peppered Cupcake to share a chocolate brownie cupcake stuffed with vanilla cream and topped with cayenne chocolate buttercream and toasted meringue.

Or, kick off your romantic evening at Mon Ame Chocolates & Wine Bar. With house-made chocolates and more than 180 wine choices, this unique shop is the perfect place to cozy up with your favorite glass of red, white or anything nice.


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Sip and Dine

For the wine-loving duo, spend the night surrounded by food and wine at The Second Glass. Visit the wine bar for a French-themed evening featuring flavorful pairings of fresh, local cuisine with the fine wines.

Located on the second floor of the Embassy Suites Wilmington Riverfront Hotel,  Steam Restaurant & Bar offers a selection of prix fixe menu options curated by Chef Tyler Powell. Enjoy sweeping views of the Cape Fear River seen through floor-to-ceiling windows as you dine with your Valentine.

Named one of OpenTable’s “100 Most Romantic Restaurants in America,” the elegant Caprice Bistro is the perfect place for Valentine’s Day dinner. The elevated French cuisine perfectly complements the restaurant’s romantic atmosphere.

Sample savory bites from a customized charcuterie board with your special someone at Circa 1922. Offering fine dining in the heart of Historic Downtown Wilmington, don’t miss out on delicious main course offerings like Lamb Ragu or Crisp Duck Confit.  

Looking for a more casual date spot? Benny’s Big Time Pizzeria, celebrity Chef Vivian Howard’s farm-to-table Italian restaurant, is perfect for couples who love sharing. Split charred Brussel sprouts, a wood-fired margherita pizza and many more delicious items and toast to a Valentine’s Day weekend well spent.

Dine in style at manna ave. 123, Wilmington’s first restaurant to receive the prestigious AAA Four Diamond Award multiple years in a row. After dinner, walk next door to Earnest Money & Sons to enjoy an upscale evening and sip on classic cocktails in the Southern speakeasy.  


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Check out ways to experience Valentine’s Day at one of our island beaches: -