So you want to get away with your loved one, but Hawaii isn’t on your price list. Perhaps dreams of heading to the airport and flying to the Caribbean are not as realistic as you’d hope. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to have a romantic adventure right here (and near) in Hampton Roads. There is a little bit of everything, and you should find a happy plan for whatever your romance type is. And fortunately, we have that climate that occasionally throws us good weather in the winter. Virginia is for lovers, people, and Hampton Roads can be your romantic destination.
Spirit of Norfolk: Also leaving from Town Point Park in Norfolk, the Spirit of Norfolk offers day and evening cruises with a buffet meal and dancing. While the day cruises are nice, they are generally more family-oriented. For couples, the evening cruises, as well as periodic special events, are the best bet. There are indoor and outdoor areas for viewing and seating. If money is no option, book a private charter.
On Valentine’s Day and through the weekend, reserve your spot for their special holiday cruise.
Ocean excursions: If your idea of a lovely trip together is a ride on the ocean, there are quite a few options in Virginia Beach near the oceanfront. The Virginia Aquarium offers boat rides throughout the years, and on occasion, they host special trips that are perfect for couples. In the winter, there is a fabulous Whales & Wildlife excursion. Once you’ve shared the experienced the water with your loved one, enjoy any of the fabulous restaurants at the Oceanfront. Perhaps you could end the night with a night’s stay at the Hilton or any of the properties right on the beach.
For Valentine’s Day, check out the special dinner hosted at the Virginia Aquarium.
Historic Visits … Long-lasting Love
Bacon’s Castle: While it doesn’t look like your traditional, storybook castle, a trip to Surry will allow you to stay at Bacon’s Castle, a 1665 historic pleasure. For an unexpected, wonderful experience, reserve your Valentine’s excursion during Romance at the Castle. There are three different adventures all on Sunday, February 10th this year.
Colonial Williamsburg: This town is an area that may be taken for granted for those who have grown up in the 757. Being from Arkansas, I’m always amazed by the history surrounding Hampton Roads and love to visit Colonial Williamsburg. For couples, it is a wonderful, walk-able, historic experience. There are hotels and resorts to rest your head (The Williamsburg Inn is lovely, and for an extra special stay, book a room at the Williamsburg Winery and schedule a winter tasting and tour), you can take a horse-drawn carriage ride through the colonial city (offered year round), dine at any of the historically-themed restaurants, and even take a spa day while you’re in the town.
Historic Smithfield: Beautiful Smithfield is about an hour’s a drive from the heart of Hampton Roads. Smithfield Station even offers a special package for lovebirds looking to enjoy a storybook stay. But if you’re more of the ‘plan my own adventure’ kind of couple, there are wonderful Bed and Breakfasts in Smithfield near the heart of the historic shopping and dining area. Mansion on Main is a great option, while the Smithfield Inn is a nice Bed & Breakfast that also offers a restaurant and tavern. No matter where you stay, you can find shopping, dining, and art all in a quaint, historic area.
Beautiful Gardens and Spaces for the Beautiful Couple
Hermitage Museum & Gardens: For the more garden-oriented couple, I can’t imagine anything more romantic than a picnic on the grounds of the Hermitage Museum & Gardens. Whether you’re there for an outdoor-only experience, or if you add in the museum as a way to pass the day, it is well worth the visit with your beau. As a bonus, since many people may not consider going to the gardens in the winter, and you may find one of those beautifully warm winter days open, you’ll have a bit more privacy on the gardens than in the spring and summer. The Hermitage also offers special events through the year, so keep an eye out for a different kind of magical evening experience.
Newport News Park: Beautifully situated with bikeable and walkable trails, this park offers camping, golf, festivals, fishing, boating, and more, this public space is perfect for the outdoorsy-style couple. Picture an evening paddle-boating as the sun sets with your loved one. Since the weather is unpredictable in Hampton Roads, you may find that perfectly odd, warm weekend to venture to the park even in the middle of winter.
Norfolk Botanical Gardens: A wonderful place to stroll, the Norfolk Botanical Garden offers events and annual exhibitions. Seasonably, take a tram or boat tour around the gardens if the atmosphere sounds nice, but the walk isn’t want you wanted. You can also plan to visit during one of the year-round or special events. Some of these include dancing nights, discussions, history, and chocolate.
City Life for City Lovers
Norfolk: There is no lack of things to do for a couple in the City of Norfolk. There are options for Downtown life by staying at the recently added The Main and enjoying the rooftop garden at Grain, but you can also enjoy a night at a Bed & Breakfast while dining at any of the local restaurants in the Freemason area or down Granby street. During the days, check out the fabulous Chrysler Museum of Art, take in the theatre arts at any of the various venues, or walk to the NEON Arts District for a comedy show.
Olde Towne Portsmouth: Walking the streets of historic Olde Towne Portsmouth can offer the perfect romantic moment. You can take your time and dive into history on your walk, or enjoy the scenery on your way to any of the waterfront dining options. Then, mosey on down to your Bed and Breakfast to end the day. Be sure to check the event calendar so you and your sweetheart can enjoy live music and entertainment.
Virginia Beach: It is easy to think of outdoor activities in Virginia Beach, but sometimes the winter weather just isn’t right for that. Fortunately, the city also offers many indoor options for a day or night with your sweetie. If you all are moved by art, check out the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). Perhaps instead, you’d like to shop and dine at the Virginia Beach Town Center? If you choose that option, be sure to stop by the Royal Chocolate for a treat (or reserve a chocolate fondue experience). If theatre arts are more your speed, the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts hosts many events to treat your special someone to.
About the Sponsor of this Post:
Rose & Womble Realty Co. was born and bred in Hampton Roads – our owners live and work here in the Seven Cities. We are a family-owned and operated business – with multiple generations working at all levels, from agents to managers. Our leadership and support services are all located in Hampton Roads. We enjoy ‘Connecting Heart and Home’ for you everyday.