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. Named one of the “Top 10 Most Romantic Inns in the U.S.” by American Historic Inns, Inc., the elegant and charming Graystone offers features newly renovated rooms equipped with luxury bedding 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.


Further relax by scheduling a pampering date at Ki Spa and Salon. A local spa offering services like facial treatments, massage, wellness packages and more. Treat the lady in your life to the Marshmallow Honey Bliss Massage or a Ki Skin Illuminating Facial. Or, enjoy a couples massage with the Ki Side by Side massage package featuring a full body massage complete with hot stones, aromatherapy and warm towels. 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.


Explore Wilmington’s greenery and wildlife on a romantic bike ride through Greenfield Park. 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 Boundless, a bronze sculpture created by artist Stephen Hayes commemorating the United States Colored Troops (USCT). 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.


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 the Chocolate Revelation cupcake or for those who enjoy caramel, try the Salted Caramel or the Caramel Macchiato cupcake. 

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 seafood fare, steakhouse favorites, sharable appetizers and more curated by Chef Jared McKay. 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 Tagliatelle Bolognese or Seafood Paella.  

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. After dinner, walk next door to Earnest Money & Sons to enjoy an upscale evening and sip on classic cocktails in the Southern speakeasy.  

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