After the gray days and chilly nights of January, one of the bright spots before spring for many people is the idea of finding some romantic things to do in Asheville and planning a Valentine’s Day date.
There are always plenty of things to do on Valentine’s Day in Asheville, though the tried and true option of getting a fancy dinner is truly easy to manage here. There are dozens of wonderful establishments that make great date night restaurants in Asheville.
That being said, we know that not everyone needs to eat a fancy dinner to enjoy Valentine’s Day. That’s why we thought a little more deeply about our list of things to do on Valentine’s Day in Asheville and included a few options for the hiking enthusiast, animal lover, lifelong learner, and even the person who needs some deep relaxation in their life.
Whether you’re taking a fellow single person for a day celebrating friendship or celebrating your 50 years together, these great Asheville date night ideas will create great memories while also supporting our local community – there’s nothing more romantic than that!
Don’t forget to check out our web story: Romantic Things to do in Asheville
Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase or booking through one of our links we may earn a small commission (don’t worry, it’s at no extra cost to you).
14 Romantic Things to do in Asheville on Valentine’s Day
1. Have Dinner at One of Asheville’s Most Romantic Restaurants
Many different date night restaurants in Asheville pull out all the stops on Valentine’s Day, offering prix fixe menus for two that include bubbly wine or a chocolate dessert to split. While it’s well worth checking your favorite spots to see if they’re doing something special for that night, here are six places that are well-known for being the most romantic restaurants in Asheville and a great spot to take someone special for a Valentine’s date!
Savor French Comfort Food at Bouchon
Bouchon is a habitual favorite on the lists of the most romantic restaurants in Asheville, and there’s a reason. The environment is warm but intimate, the food is intricately prepared but comfortably familiar, and the cuisine is, well, French – the language of love!
From the crispy and perfect Pommes Frites (french fries) to the incredible Ravioli Du Homard (lobster ravioli), you’ll find so much to enjoy and even to split with your sweetheart. After your Poulet Cordon Bleu Bouchon or Steak Au Poivre, split a beautifully plated chocolate mousse or crème brûlée for the perfect finish.
Location: 62 N Lexington Avenue, Asheville
Have Some Tapas and Conversation at Zambra
Zambra is the original Spanish tapas restaurant in Asheville, and its dim and beautiful interior makes it a great little find if you’re looking for a sweet and romantic restaurant in Asheville. Valentine’s Day is a great day to try something new with your spouse or partner, and why not start with a few small plates you’ve never had before in search of some new personal favorites?
From a dish of grilled dandelion greens to a cheese, almond, and honey toast, you’ll find flavors that are unique to Spain as well as some that are a fusion with the delicious flavors of Appalachia and beyond.
I recommend the Pomegranate Braised Pork Spring Rolls, the Tortilla Española (a delicate omelet that is simply different from any you’ll have ever tasted!), and the Stewed and Fried Chickpeas with garlic and onion. With many small plates, you’ll have something to eat and something to talk about for your whole Valentine’s date.
Location: 85 W Walnut Street, Asheville
Share Your Love for Vegan Cuisine at Plant
Are you or your sweetie a vegetarian or vegan? The best romantic restaurant in Asheville that is also all-vegan has to be Plant, an unassuming spot on Merrimon that is beautiful, understated, and elegant inside!
Everything they whip up draws on the plant-based dishes that are made all over the world and melds them. You might start your night with Masala Uttapam, delicately spiced Indian pancakes with cucumber, onion, and avocado, then dive into some Pecan Crusted Tempeh dressed with cauliflower-potato whip, farm greens, and black currant steak sauce.
There are usually pasta dishes, ramen dishes, and excellent salads, and an incredible dessert menu features treats like hibiscus-poached pear over Saffron Crème Brûlée, Peanut Butter Cheesecake, or the strawberry-pecan Blondie.
Location: 165 Merrimon Avenue, Asheville
Gaze Out at the River from Smoky Park Supper Club
If you want to find the real locals crowd while getting the stellar service and beautiful setting of a top tourist destination, Smoky Park is a good option. Set right next to the river (perfect for a romantic stroll before or after your meal!), this restaurant is truly seen as putting its heart and soul into seasonal, flavorful food.
From the innovative design of the building (they used shipping containers!) to the creative combinations of flavors, you’ll find all kinds of exciting options here: choose from an extensive local beer and wine list, and start off with a flavorful Citrus Salad or some heart-warming Chicken & Dumplings.
The main menu includes local meats, at least one excellent vegan dish like their local mushroom main plate, and seafood, all with wonderful side options like local collard greens with ham and pickled peppers. You’ll see why this is the spot that the locals come back to over and over again.
Location: 350 Riverside Drive #3141, Asheville
Dine in Decadence at Vivian
I might be biased because I like the River Arts District so much, but I just can’t think of a better part of town to spend a Valentine’s Day in Asheville. Vivian brings a European sensibility to their menu – from incredible Beef Tartare to Nordic Deviled Eggs, you’ll find dishes that draw on the heritage of many of the amazing fine dining experiences in Europe.
When you’ve finished your sumptuously prepared meal, consider sampling the dessert menu: from their Citrus Pavlova to their Chocolate Angel Food Cake, you’ll find excellent desserts that will make this a Valentine’s Day to remember.
Location: 348 Depot Street Suite 190, Asheville
Enjoy the Ambiance at Sovereign Remedies
Whether you decide to hit Sovereign Remedies for dinner or just for drinks, I find that this spot feels the most like a top spot in a big city, with the historic building and its huge windows as well as the highly crafted cocktail menu and food options.
Order off the seasonal cocktail list, which around Valentine’s Day will involve lots of excellent winter warmers like the Snow on the Bluff (orange-chocolate mint gin, house orange chocolate liqueur, cranberry, egg white, and bitters), such that whatever you choose to drink will be the most unique and handcrafted cocktail you’ve had in a while.
The dinner itself is also extraordinary, with lots of local ingredients and an incredible vegetable-centric section of the menu known as Fields and Fauna. You’ll get all the ambiance and the flavors too!
Location: 29 N Market Street #105, Asheville
If you’re looking for more options, check out our complete guide to the best romantic restaurants in Asheville!
2. Have a Romantic Day or Night on the Blue Ridge Parkway
While an incredible meal at a restaurant is truly a great way to do Valentine’s Day in Asheville, I like to put in a good word for an absolutely free date. If you get a Valentine’s Day when driving is safe and there’s no snow on the road, taking a leisurely drive on the parkway and bundling up for a hike on one of the many local trails is one of the best ways to celebrate love while also getting out into nature.
Asheville gets some temperate weather in February, but even a cold day gets warmer once you’ve been walking for a bit, as long as you dress for it. If you want to make it extra fun, pack a little “winter picnic” – a thermos of hot cocoa might be the perfect way to warm up while also creating a great memory with your love.
3. Laugh with Your Funny Valentine on the LaZoom Bus Tour
LaZoom is a local company that offers irreverent tours of Asheville on their zany purple school bus, retrofitted and decorated to be a tour bus instead. Many of the tours are a little off-color and PG-13 rated, but if your Valentine loves comedy, it just might be the best tour you could possibly take on February 14th!
The tour starts at their quirkily-decorated headquarters, where you can buy wine or beer to take on the bus or have a drink while you wait, and then you board the bus. Some tours have destinations like breweries, while others just make a pit stop for a bathroom break halfway through the tour.
LaZoom periodically creates new seasonal or themed tours, like their spooky Ghosted tour, so check their website for what’s available and pick whatever option will make your sweetie roll with laughter.
Location: 76 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville
4. Take a Cooking Class at The Asheville Kitchen
Many people find that they have the best time if their conversations for Valentine’s Day happen while doing an activity. One great place to get a nice meal for Valentine’s Day and have a new experience at the same time is The Asheville Kitchen, a spot for cooking classes of all kinds.
While the actual offerings on Valentine’s Day are likely to book up quite quickly, you can also look at the many other courses that The Kitchen offers and declare that Valentine’s Day is coming a week early or late this year: learn to cook a Country French Dinner, Thai Street Foods, Spanish Tapas, or even Italian Appetizers.
Not only will you get to eat the meal you make while enjoying a chat with your partner and the other participants, but you’ll be able to impress friends and family for months to come as you try out these new kitchen skills in your own home!
Location: 384 Merrimon Avenue, Asheville
5. Sample the Best on an Asheville Food Tour
When my Valentine and I are picking a restaurant in downtown Asheville, the hardest part is just doing one experience – we want to see what all the chefs have to offer. That’s how we discovered the fun of picking a food tour for a date night in Asheville.
Asheville Food Tours coordinates an itinerary of small bites and sips at five or more restaurants around downtown, with walking and a discussion of Asheville’s history and food culture in between. On the way, you might make friends with other foodies or just really enjoy the atmosphere of the day, and the best part is that you don’t have to say yes to just one dinner: you can nibble at every spot!
I also found it made me more daring: I’d never had ceviche before, but when one restaurant chose it as their signature dish to try, I gave it a chance since it was a small serving, after all. I ended up really liking it!
It’s well worth considering a food tour if you’re a foodie, but there are also rooftop bar tours, brewery tours, and more around downtown. Find something that fits your fancy, or ask a tour guide if they will make a custom Valentine’s date night in Asheville for you two.
Options for tour companies:
6. Enjoy a Chocolate and Beer Pairing at a Brewery
While certain breweries have special Valentine’s events, I personally advocate for the DIY approach, if possible. In Asheville, there are both multiple gourmet chocolatiers (French Broad Chocolate Lounge, Asheville Chocolate, and The Chocolate Fetish, to name a few) and many fun breweries with enough seating indoors for a cold February night.
If you and your Valentine both like candy and beer, consider heading to a brewery with a sampler set of chocolate in tow. Order beer flights and see which chocolate flavors pair best with which beers. It gives you something to talk about while you drink, and if you pick well, you might even catch some live music or watch some Valentine’s-themed trivia.
This DIY solution makes it possible to support local businesses without paying a big February 14th markup or staying in for the night. If you’re not sure where to go, read our guide on the best breweries in Asheville!
7. Get a Couples Massage at a Local Spa
There are a variety of massage therapists and spas in the Asheville area, with a particularly large amount of options available in the area just north of downtown on Merrimon Avenue, known as the growing Wellness District.
For example, Blazing Lotus Healing House offers couples massages as well as many other kinds of massages. In a couples massage, two separate massage therapists will work on you and your date, and you both receive the relaxation and rejuvenation that a massage brings.
For more options, check out our guide on the best spas in Asheville!
8. Experience Hot Mineral Springs at Hot Springs Resort and Spa
If you head to neighboring Madison County, you can find one of the most fun Valentine’s dates in the Asheville area. Hot Springs, NC, is known for their soothing mineral water baths at Hot Springs Resort and Spa, and you can sign up to take a relaxing soak with your sweetie.
Make it a full weekend and stay at one of their cabins or vacation rentals – if you’re a real trouper, there’s also tent camping sites available as well as RV spots. For a little getaway to the sweetest little town on the river, you’ll find few more unforgettable spots.
9. Have a Staycation at a Montford Bed and Breakfast
Before Airbnb, there were actual bed and breakfasts, and they are still going strong in many neighborhoods in Asheville. Just north of downtown, Montford has many small inns and boutique hotels that would make the perfect spot to stay.
Bed and breakfasts, as opposed to vacation rentals, often offer a way to mingle with the other guests over a drink on the porch or over breakfast in the morning, and the knowledgeable proprietors can help you find a great walk through the neighborhood, a local hike, or the best spot for breakfast that’s only a minute’s drive away.
While vacation rentals also have their advantages, we recommend trying a real B&B if you’re looking for romantic things to do in Asheville!
10. Go See an Independent Film at the Fine Arts Theatre
If you’ve never made a stop at the Fine Arts Theatre in downtown Asheville, you’re in for a treat. Be aware that you’re not going to a multiplex – there are only two films being shown in most cases, and the art-deco building is small and intimate.
However, they focus on artistic, foreign, or independent films, often ones that have won major awards, which means that you’re getting the cream of the crop. You can purchase beer, wine, and snacks before you enter, and the experience is simply a lovely way to enjoy Valentine’s Day in Asheville.
You can purchase tickets in person or online, and for big days like a year when Valentine’s Day falls on a weekend, you might be wise to buy in advance for your ideal showing.
Location: 36 Biltmore Avenue, Asheville
11. Take a Partner Yoga Class at the Asheville Yoga Center
If you and your Valentine both like yoga, learn how to make the cool two-person shapes taught in the Partner Yoga class. Even if you are focused on moving and getting a good workout rather than making googly eyes at each other, partner yoga at the beautiful Asheville Yoga Center campus can be a very romantic thing to do in Asheville.
Parts of the class may really stretch you and test your flexibility, while others are more like a comfortable relaxation session with your partner – a little something for everyone!
12. Go See Live Music in Asheville
Between the major venues and the smaller live-music bars and clubs in Asheville, there’s always something playing, even if February is generally a quieter time when it comes to big acts.
Look ahead and find a spot that has a house band on the weekends or buy tickets for a show at The Orange Peel. You and your music-loving partner can enjoy a great Valentine’s Day in Asheville, surrounded by the folk, blues, rock, or other music that you love.
13. Enjoy Nature and Animals at Western NC Nature Center
When you don’t want the ordinary dinner and a movie and you or your partner love animals, the absolute best spot for a romantic date in Asheville is a stroll through the Western NC Nature Center.
Rather than focusing on animals from all over the world, this nature center is home to the hawks, owls, bears, wolves, and foxes that are local to our area, though they also do have some adorable red pandas. Their setting is much more like a hike in the woods or a stop by a family farm, very natural and rustic, and even in February, you’ll often catch a glimpse of the animal population.
The connection to the local flora and fauna will help you learn more about the animals that live right here in Western NC, and it’s a really lovely spot to spend time with someone you care about.
14. Not Into Valentine’s Day? Stop By Hi-Wire’s ‘Cupid is Stupid’ and Smash a Car
Not everyone loves the celebration of romantic love that is Valentine’s Day. If you and your significant other just can’t get into this holiday, you aren’t alone, and in Asheville, you can always find an alternative party.
For the past few years, there has been the “Cupid is Stupid” car-smashing event at Hi-Wire Brewing. Created as a fundraiser for a local organization that helps women in the beer industry get further education, the car smashing is simple: you pay to hit a car with sledgehammers, cinder blocks, or crowbars.
Around the wreckage, there’s also live music and, of course, plenty of Hi-Wire beer, so even if you aren’t actually ready to unleash your fury on a car, you might want to pull up a barstool for the show. It’s an amusing way to spend an afternoon!
There you have it! 14 romantic things to do in Asheville for Valentine’s Day. Do you have any suggestions for how to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Asheville? Let us know in the comments below.
SHARE THIS ON PINTEREST