From its exceptional arts and culture to its music scene, Raleigh, North Carolina has been enchanting couples for years and years. Lovers of all kinds can enjoy a picnic in Nash Square or dinner in the Capital District. You’ll never be short of romantic things to do in this city, but if you’re in need of some ideas, we’ve got you covered.
We’ve curated a list of the most romantic places and experiences in Raleigh so that you can plan the perfect date. So whether you’re moving into an apartment in Raleigh, NC with someone special, or want some ideas to take yourself out, read on to see the local recommendations that will make you fall in love with the city.
Romantic things to do in the Glenwood South neighborhood
One of downtown Raleigh’s well-known neighborhoods, Glenwood South, is filled with restaurants, art, music, and shops – all within walking distance of each other. This area is the perfect place to fall in love all over again. .
Latin-influence fine dining
Enjoy exquisite Latin-influenced fine dining at Cortez and try my absolute favorite dish “Gambas al Ajillo” I’ve never tasted a dish so delicious. I keep going back for more. I promise you won’t regret this dinner decision. – Karen from Karen Salinas Photography
Romantic dinner and dessert downtown
If you’re a foodie, Raleigh is for you. We suggest Second Empire Restaurant and Tavern. Chef Daniel Schurr is brilliant. If dessert is what you seek, we love Pastry Chef Daniel Benjamin at Lucette Grace. Or join us for a taste of our secret coffee recipe and experience a quiet, quaint, and unique space. – Nicole from Larry’s Coffee
Romantic things to do in the Fayetteville Street neighborhood
Centrally located, Fayetteville Street is known for being the business corridor of Raleigh. You’ll find a plethora of activities and shops that are sure to sweep you off your feet. From escape rooms to dining, read on to see what your perfect date could be.
Try an escape room
Escape rooms are a great way to interact, but the spookiness of a 140 years old brick tower adds even more to the ambiance. After your activity, head to Morgan Street Food Hall to recap the experience and enjoy food and refreshments from one of 14 vendors. – Valerii from Towere Scapes
Wine and dine to your heart’s content
If you’re looking to try something new and show your significant other an exceptionally memorable night, start the night at Garland, an innovative Indian and Asian restaurant led by six-time James Beard Awards Semifinalist. Be sure to try the famous Cauliflower 65 and Lemongrass Pork Lettuce Cups. – Kendra from The Lavish Bohemian
Experience a romantic evening with patio dining
My number one date night recommendation is always Whiskey Kitchen. Located in Downtown Raleigh, its patio full of string lights and cozy seating inside has all the romantic feels. My must-haves there are the Crispy Chicken Sandwich and you better not leave without dessert, the Shoo Fly Pie is amazing. – Anna from The Coffee Table
Try Raleigh’s most iconic breakfast spot
Craft a romantic day in the heart of downtown Raleigh by beginning the morning with a hearty breakfast at Raleigh’s oldest and most iconic restaurant, The Mecca. Cheers with hot coffee or mimosas and split a giant plate of pancakes smothered in sweet syrup. Around the corner, rent electric bikes and whiz around town exploring our beautiful parks like Moore Square or Dorthea Dix. – Emily from The Mecca Restaurant
Check out the Morgan St. Food Hall
Home to over 100 murals, Downtown Raleigh’s streets are the perfect venue for a laid-back date night. We recommend heading to Morgan Street Food Hall and grabbing a tea from Boba Brew or ice cream from Raleigh Rolls to-go and then taking your date on a walking tour of the area’s vibrant streets. It’s a great way to explore Raleigh’s neighborhoods and see some of the city’s beautiful art. – Aleah from Happily Ever Exploring
Romantic things to do in the Moore Square neighborhood
As the center of transportation, Moore Square District is easily the densest district in the city. From newly renovated parks to shops and restaurants, this is a great place for a romantic stroll.
From coffee shops to breweries, there are many places to visit
Moore Square is the place to be for a nice date night. Whether it’s Italian at Vic’s, sushi at City Market, Asian-inspired cuisine at Brewery Bhavana, and more. A nice stroll through Moore Square or you can pop in to grab a coffee at Sir Walter Coffee Shop or head east towards the Transfer Co Food Hall where there’s Burial Brewery and dozens of restaurants to choose from. – Ryan from Raleigh Realty
Go to an intimate restaurant
A date night go-to in Raleigh is Bida Manda. It’s a smaller restaurant, and the location is on a low-key, tree-lined street definitely enhances the intimate vibe. It is positioned directly in between a craft brewery and a small concert venue, with a couple more great local spots if you want to keep the night going after dinner. Menu-wise, you can’t go wrong with the Pad Thai. – Brandon from Duncan Prime Realty
Plan the perfect picnic
What could be more romantic than being with the one you love, in a field of green, and dining in the open air? Plan a picnic and you’ll be greeted with chilled sparkling mineral water in champagne flutes and as you’re escorted to your luxury picnic, you’ll step back in time. Enjoy an afternoon with everything you’ll need for a romantic and exceptionally memorable experience – Angela from Southern Picnics
Photo Courtesy of Southern Picnics
Romantic things to do outside of downtown Raleigh
If you live outside downtown Raleigh, somewhere like North Hills, NC for example, don’t fret, there are various romantic things to do all over the city. From dessert that will make your mouth water to couple-massages, you’ll have everything you’d need.
Satisfy your sweet tooth with a dessert date
Cocoa Forte offers New York-style vanilla cheesecake dipped in a variety of chocolate dips with toppings. We would suggest our Cocoa Caribbean with a Raspberry drizzle to send you to a tropical place in your mind. The frozen cheesecake is perfectly rich with the taste of key lime in every bite. – Nicole from Cocoa Forte
Grab a smoothie together
Get your coffee fix together in the most healthy and delicious way with our Mo Mocha Smoothie. It provides a sustainable buzz from locally brewed coffee. Lightly sweetened with bananas and chewy pieces of date. Layer in house-made chocolate sauce for a sweet bite of semi-sweet chocolate. – Kelly from Juice keys
Opt for a romantic dinner outside
For a romantic night out, make a reservation for a table under the tree and start with our local favorite Old Fashioned and ask for it to be smoked! Start with an order of our Bacon Wrapped Scallops, perfect for two, and savor while deciding between the Meat Lasagna or the Blackened Fish Tacos. Whichever you decide on, when you catch the perfect sunset and the lights on the tree, you’ll want to stay all night. – Breanna from Poppyseed Market
Massage your problems away with a couple’s massage
Start your day with coffee, a chocolate croissant, or crepe from Hereghty’s Heavenly Delicious then head to The Umstead Spa for a couples massage and lunch. After lunch, take a stroll around downtown before your reservations for dinner at The Second Empire restaurant. The seasonal menu never disappoints. – Emily from The Coley Group
Be a tourist in the city and experience local favorites
Start the day off with a tour of the North Carolina Museum of Art and take advantage of the outdoor “Art in the Park” as a creative experience. After your trip, be sure to grab a pre-dinner cocktail and Spanish Tapas appetizer at the Barcelona Wine Bar. End the night with a nightcap at 10th and Terrace Rooftop Bar to take in the Raleigh nighttime skyline. Being in the heart of Raleigh, you have access to an abundance of highly recognized upscale hotels. – Matt from New Home Inc
Romantic things to do in Raleigh, NC bottom line
There are many romantic things to do in Raleigh. Hopefully, these local recommendations give you the inspiration you need to share a romantic day with someone special. So whether you’re moving in with your significant other, or you both are making the move, fall in love with Raleigh North Carolina.