Charlotte is a beautiful and growing city with plenty to do. Still, sometimes it makes sense to slow down and enjoy your loved ones. Whether celebrating 30 years with the love of your life or getting to know someone new, Charlotte has plenty of romantic experiences awaiting. We’ve listed some of the top romantic things to do in Charlotte, NC.
1. Dinner at Beef ‘N Bottle
Many people opt for an evening at one of the better-known steakhouses, such as Ruth’s Chris or Del Frisco’s. These experiences are second-to-none, and the food is phenomenal, but something about these uber-high-end restaurants can be intimidating.
You may want to avoid an intimidating night when you are looking for romantic things to do. That doesn’t mean you need to settle for subpar food. Beef ‘N Bottle started in 1958, but not much has changed. We suggest that in the most phenomenal way possible.
Some might call Beef ‘N Bottle a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, but it has refined sophistication beyond its humble abode. Maybe I watch too many movies, but I envision Beef ‘N Bottle as the type of restaurant where gangsters and police chiefs co-existed during the prohibition era.
Of course, the prohibition preceded Beef ‘N Bottle, but the experience still stands as an experiential relic from the past. And the food is phenomenal.
Don’t take our word for it. Beef ‘N Bottle was once named one of the Best Steakhouses in America by Diners’ Choice. The USA Today has also rained accolades on the restaurant.
Just make sure that you make a reservation because seating is limited. Beef ‘N Bottle doesn’t offer take-out, and they don’t do delivery. If you want to experience this tasty blast from the past, make a reservation by calling or using OpenTable.
Bonus: Grab Dessert at Amelies
You might want to grab dessert while you are at Beef ‘N Bottle. If you want the full Charlotte experience, we recommend you head over to Amelie’s Frech Bakery. Amelie’s is a unique experience itself, with eclectic decor and one-of-a-kind seating spaces.
Amelie’s might be best known for their salted caramel brownies, but a close second is the macarons. They have standard flavors you would expect, like vanilla, chocolate, and a few fruit flavors. They also rotate delicious seasonal flavors. The macarons are so famous that Amelie’s offers nationwide shipping.
For a more romantic vibe, you might want to split a more traditional french pastry (or two). Amelie’s expansive menu includes favorites like peach tarts, mirrors, cheese danishes, eclairs, cream Brulee, and mousse.
Depending on what you have in mind for the evening’s vibe, there are plenty of cozy spaces to relax and enjoy your pastries, or you can take them home to watch Netflix. Beef ‘N Bottle and Amelie’s might be the perfect Charlotte pairing for a romantic evening.
There are multiple Amelie’s locations, so after you hit up Beef ‘N Bottle, you can find the Amelie’s closest to your home. Still, the flagship Amelie’s location in NODA is a little extra special, so we recommend you visit the NODA location if you can.
2. Rooftop Dinner at Fahrenheit
If you follow @CelebsInCLT on Twitter, you know that Fahrenheit is a trendy rooftop bar and grill that even the local rich and famous favor. Professional athletes are often seen dining with friends. Musicians touring the nearby Spectrum Center also gravitate toward the Charlotte skyline views.
In some ways, a rooftop dinner at Fahrenheit is the exact opposite of Beef ‘N Bottle, but there is a time and place for everything. Both locations offer great experiences, even if they are very different. Fahrenheit is trendy and tends to cater to young money, while Beef ‘N Bottle has served some of its patrons for decades.
The food is very different too. That’s not to say that one is better than the other, but Fahrenheit has a much more modern menu. If you want a great steak, go to Beef ‘N Bottle, but if you want to try something new, you have to check out one of Chef Rocco Whalen’s creations which he labels as “inventive new American cuisine.”
Beyond inventive, the menu is also eclectic. You can get a steak or order Surf n’ Turf, or you can order something like the Crispy Whole Fish or the Shanghai Wok Tossed Whole Lobster. For sides, you might consider the Lobster Kimchi Fried Rice or Tokyo Street Corn.
And remember that all of these great dishes come with an unparalleled view of Charlotte’s skyline. Fahrenheit Charlotte is located on the 21st floor, above the Sky condos and Hyatt hotel. The build is a few blocks east of the densest portions of the Charlotte skyline, which means the nighttime views are incredible.
At night, much of Charlotte’s skyline is lit up with LED lights, which are often coordinated for special occasions, and the sunsets are breathtaking.
3. Visit A Local Wine Bar
There is a brewery seemingly on every corner in Charlotte. This is particularly true for the more popular neighborhoods, but sometimes you want to get away from the golden doodles and babies tagging along for an evening with their parents.
The Dilworth Tasting Room is a perennial favorite that offers wine, cocktails, and small plates. Styled after similar wine bars in Europe, this Charlotte favorite has two locations. Both locations included open patios to enjoy Carolina skies and fine wines.
If you like luxurious evenings, curated wine lists, and refined food, the Dilworth Tasting Room is worth visiting. They focus on low-production wines that you are likely to find anywhere else. This exclusivity helps to create a memorable experience when you visit.
Aside from Dilworth Tasting Room locations in Dilworth and SouthPark, you could also try Bar a Vins in NODA. Bar a Vins is a newer wine bar with a slightly more accessible feeling than you might experience at a Dilworth Tasting Room.
Bar a Vins is both a bar and shop, so if you want to grab a bottle to take home, they can point in the right direction. Or, if you prefer to enjoy your wine on-site, Bar a Vins offers a laid-back and personable style.
This isn’t the place you take to impress someone with a sommelier. On the other hand, it is the perfect place to take someone to have a good time and showcase a more authentic and vulnerable version of yourself.
4. Staycation at Duke Mansion
Ok, we get it. Not all romantic experiences involve food. We completely agree. Shared experiences and time for talking and bonding go a long way. What better way to create time for connection than a staycation at the Duke Mansion?
If you are from Charlotte, you are familiar with the Duke name. Duke University, Duke Energy, and the Duke Endowment all hold the name of James Buchanan Duke. All of these great institutions were the brainchild of James Buchanan Duke and fleshed out in the halls of the Duke Mansion.
Nowadays, the Duke Mansion is a nonprofit, and the proceeds are reinvested into the maintenance and upkeep of the mansion.
The Duke Mansion is one of the most beautiful residences you will ever see. The expansive white exterior provides breathtaking contrast to the lush greenery filling out the premises, but that is really just the beginning.
There is an on-site Executive Chef and culinary staff, and a full breakfast is included in your room rate and served daily. The Duke Mansion hosts many events, including weddings, and accommodates as many as 300 guests for events, but only a select few can stay.
The Duke Mansion features 20 individual guest rooms, which are luxuriously decorated. This includes six guest rooms with shared sleeping porches. During your stay, you can explore four and a half acres of beautiful gardens or peruse the guest library and book collection.
As far as romantic getaways go, this is one to keep in mind. It is the perfect staycation if you already live in the Charlotte area but book your room well in advance because space is obviously limited.
Bonus: Other Notable Romantic Hotels
The Ivey’s Hotel is another one-of-a-kind experience. The hotel was originally the home of J.B. Ivey & Company’s department store, in an era when flagship department stores were luxurious and grand. The department store has gone, but the building still stands.
The location was craftily remade into a 5-star boutique hotel where the city’s most famous visitors stay. When the NBA hosted their All-Star game in Charlotte, the word on the street was that a few players rented out the entire hotel for their family and friends.
Visit the Library Lounge at Ivey’s Hotel, which has no public access but is the perfect place to read a book, get some work done, or grab a drink. The Ivey’s Hotel is in the heart of the central business district and within steps of the finest dining in town. The Guest Experience Experts can offer plenty of great suggestions.
Rooms are limited at the Duke Mansion and The Ivey’s Hotel. These boutique experiences fill up quickly, but there are more traditional hotels in Uptown that offer a luxurious and romantic experience. You may consider the Ritz-Carlton, Kimpton Tryon Park, or JW Marriot.
5. A Night At Belk Theater
Belk Theater in Charlotte, NC
Charlotte might be known for stock car racing, but the city still offers plenty of refined culture. The Belk Theater at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center hosts broadway shows, the Charlotte Symphony, and more.
You can catch adult classics like Les Miserables or Hamilton or take the kids for a live performance of Disney’s Aladdin. While something is to be said for a chill evening watching Netflix, it is good to get out sometimes. Attending a show at the Belk Theater offers the opportunity to get dressed up for a romantic evening.
The theater is located in the heart of Uptown, so many of the city’s finest restaurants are within walking distance. The Ivey’s Hotel previously mentioned is just around the corner. You might consider a night at The Ivey’s, followed by dinner and a show.
It is not the type of experience you have every night, but such a night is perfect for a romantic occasion. Charlotte is known for its variety of experiences, and this is one of those things you can’t do in every city.
The Belk Theater is an intimate setting. While there are more than 2,000 seats, no seat is more than 135 feet from the stage. The intimate atmosphere is made possible by a contemporary European horseshoe arrangement.
The beautiful Belk Theater was designed by world-famous architect Cesar Pelli, who designed the adjacent headquarters for Bank of America and Founders Hall.
6. Music and Events at Romare Bearden Park
Romare Bearden Park in Uptown Charlotte
Romare Bearden Park didn’t open until August 2013, but since it is surrounded on three sides by skyscrapers, it looks like it has always been there.
The park is across the street from Truist Field (the fourth side), where the Charlotte Knights play AAA baseball, but you don’t have to look much further than Romare Bearden for a romantic experience.
The park features two gardens, several waterfalls, and a courtyard of dining tables on a bed of crushed granite. The largest area of the park features an ample green field event space, which is perfect for laying down a blanket for an afternoon picnic.
If you are looking for a more specific reason to visit Romare Bearden Park, the expansive field hosts various concerts and events throughout the year. In the past, the park hosted Party In The Park at Romare Bearden, a free concert series.
At Christmas time, the park hosts one of Charlotte’s only Christmas Villages, where you will find hot chocolate, soul-warming food, and local goods. The Charlotte Knights light up their ballfield at Christmas (through an event called Light the Knights), making Romare Bearden Park and Truist field a must-visit destination during the holiday season.
At nighttime, Charlotte’s skyline is lit up with LED light installations on many of its newer highrises. The lights reflect off glass wrapping the tall buildings, including the Kimpton Tryon Park Hotel across the street.
There are plenty of reasons to visit Romare Bearden Park, but the truth is that you don’t need a reason. Romare Bearden Park is the perfect place for a late-night stroll after a romantic dinner in Uptown Charlotte. Stroll past the illuminated waterfalls, and enjoy the beautiful nighttime views of the skyline.
7. Take a Cooking Class
While a dinner date is a popular romantic evening, learning how to make your own dinner is an even more experiential way to spend time with a loved one. It is amazing how much bonding can occur around the table, but this may be even more true while preparing a shared meal.
There are several locations in Charlotte where you can take cooking classes. The most popular place is likely Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen. Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen makes fresh meals daily, which are available for pick pick-up, and even for at-home delivery. While the prepared meals spread Chef Alyssa’s name, there is nothing quite like the cooking classes.
The classes accommodate as many as 24 participants, but they are based on first-come, first-serve reservations, so make sure you book your romantic evening well in advance.
And don’t worry too much about your current cooking level. Chef Alyssa’s Kitchen groups classes by ability level. The last thing you want on a romantic date is to dive in over your head and feel embarrassed or overwhelmed, so select a class that aligns properly with your skillset.
While Chef Alyssa is unique to Charlotte, there are other opportunities to take cooking and baking classes. Sur La Table may be a national chain, but it is a fantastic place to take cooking classes. Sur La Table offers a menu different from Chef Alyssa’s menu, so there may be certain menu items available at Sur La Table that you find more conducive to a romantic evening.
In fact, Sur La Table offers specific date night menus, such as Italian Trattoria. This particular menu includes steak prepared the Italian way, plus scratch-made fettuccine. The class lasts about 2 to 2 ½ hours, which is perfect for a date night.
8. Charlotte Symphony Orchestra
The Charlotte Symphony was founded in 1932 and today is one of the largest arts employers in the region. The great thing about the Charlotte Symphony is that they offer multiple concert series.
Attend the concert series featuring classical works if that appeals to you. If classical works are intimidating to you, the Charlotte Symphony also offers a concert series featuring pop favorites. Not sure what that means? Well, it means a lot of things, but during the summer you might even catch a concert featuring music from rock legends like The Rolling Stones.
From time to time, the Charlotte Symphony will play at the Belk Theater, allowing you to kill two birds on this list with one stone. The Charlotte Symphony also plays at several other venues throughout the Charlotte region. They may most commonly perform at the Knight Theater.
For those who prefer a more relaxed environment, The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra has also played in locations such as The Barrel Room at Triple C Brewing or the amphitheater next to South Park Mall.
One of our family’s favorite memories is catching the 4th of July fireworks while enjoying the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. The Charlotte Symphony offers experiences for everyone. Whether you prefer a dressed-up evening or a relaxing outdoor concert, the orchestra is undoubtedly one of the most romantic ways to spend an evening in Charlotte.
9. Get Outdoors at US National Whitewater Center
Romance comes in different forms, and while some people may prefer luxurious experiences and high culture, others may prefer shared experiences that allow for bonding. The US National Whitewater Center offers whitewater rafting, flatwater kayaking, climbing, a Biergarten, a concert series, and more.
During the winter, the Whitewater Center also has an ice skating rink with multiple skating zones. An upbuilt Airstream serves hot chocolate. Is there a romantic winter experience than ice skating and hot chocolate? This is the stuff that makes a great Christmas movie (thanks, Hallmark).
The Whitewater Center is a beautiful place to hang out, regardless of the season. Whitewater rafting is the big draw during warmer months. Still, the River Jam concert series is a free concert series that occurs on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights. It is also a big draw during warmer months.
An amphitheater sits on the island in the middle of the artificial whitewater river. Concert-goers surround the amphitheater with blankets and chairs (and Labradoodles).
Sometimes luxurious experiences are a little too intimidating, but the Whitewater Center offers romantic bonding opportunities. Work as a team on the ropes course or while you go rafting, or relax and enjoy the fresh Carolina air.
10. Go For a Stroll at Freedom Park
While the Whitewater Center is one of the premier outdoor activities centers in the United States (and hosts Olympic training), it might be a little much for newer relationships. Consider Freedom Park for a more casual park experience.
Freedom Park is situated between the Myers Park and Dilworth neighborhoods. The nearly 100-acre park features a large lake, a creek, and plenty of green spaces to lounge. Since the park is just up the street from several of the most excellent restaurants in Charlotte, it is the perfect place to go for a walk after dinner.
There are plenty of walking trails, and the Little Sugar Creek Greenway runs along the periphery of Freedom Park. Couples often ride bikes or go for long walks.
Freedom Park is a popular destination year-round. Still, it is especially wonderful when the leaves change during the cool fall months. The crisp air and colorful trees create quite a romantic setting.
Enjoy The Most Romantic Experiences in Charlotte
There are plenty of romantic things to do in Charlotte, regardless of whether you prefer a low-key vibe or luxurious experiences. As you advance through your relationship, different experiences may be appropriate at various stages. Charlotte offers exciting encounters for young love and reinvigorating relationships that have stood the test of time.
Enjoy fine dining at Beef ‘N Bottle, or stay at The Duke Mansion. Take in the Charlotte Symphony, and then go for a stroll at Freedom Park. Even the best relationships require nurturing, and Charlotte has plenty to kindle the flame.
Charlotte is a beautiful and burgeoning city with plenty to do. Still, sometimes it makes sense to slow down and enjoy your loved ones. Whether celebrating 30 years with the love of your life or getting to know someone new, Charlotte has plenty of romantic experiences awaiting.