Some places are, for lack of a better word, simply magical! Asheville, North Carolina is one of those places for me. Its art-laden facades lining the streets, the fantastic food scene, its LGBTQ+ friendliness, its stunning nature, I seriously could go on and on about the things I love about Asheville. On a personal note, what makes it even more special is the fact that my girlfriend, Khaliah, got a tattoo in Asheville circa 2014. Fast forward over a decade later, we would meet and I found out that said tattoo was my favorite number 3:33. I don’t know if you believe in signs or not, but that was a big glaring sign for me, and we’ve been happily together ever since. To celebrate Valentine’s Day, we visited Asheville to not only celebrate our love in a city that plays such a major part in our love story but to also bring you an LGBTQ-friendly guide to romantic things to do in Asheville, NC.
Book an A-Frame Cabin in Asheville, NC
Nothing screams romantic like a cozy A-frame cabin overlooking the French Broad River. If you’re looking for “not your typical cookie-cutter hotel” for a romantic getaway in Asheville, definitely add Wrong Way River Lodge & Cabins to your list. Sixteen charming A-frame cabins dot the property and serve as the perfect escape for couples seeking a romantic retreat. What I love about Wrong Way River Lodge is its proximity to some of the city’s most popular neighborhoods and attractions. While there isn’t a “gayborhood”, per se, Asheville is generally gay-friendly and places like West Asheville and the River Arts District have become increasingly popular with the LGBTQ+ community. Wrong Way River Lodge is a short 1 mile from each, and only 3 miles from Downtown Asheville. So, you’re far enough away from the hustle and bustle, but still close enough to all the action.
Connect with each other and nature
Nestled in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains, there is no shortage of natural wonders in and around Asheville. Sometimes you simply need to escape the busyness and routine of everyday life and rediscover and reconnect with one another. There’s no better way to do just that than immersing yourselves in nature on a waterfall yoga hiking micro retreat with Namaste in Nature. Whether you’re a newbie yogi or an outdoor enthusiast, this experience offers a perfect blend of adventure and mindfulness and the perfect way to rejuvenate the mind, body, and spirit.
Our amazing guide, Miranda, led us to a beautiful cascading waterfall where she guided us through a meditation practice, followed by a short jaunt to a hidden waterfall for another meditative moment. We finished up with a yoga flow practice, immersed in the woods with nature’s symphony as the soundtrack. It was such a beautiful flow of energy and a heart-opening experience.
Even more, as a Black queer person, I find liberation in nature. There are no masks, no judgments—just the pure essence of self, embraced by the earth’s unyielding acceptance. Nature’s nurturing embrace is a refreshing reprieve from a world that often demands conformity. If you’re a gay couple looking for romantic things to do in Asheville, book Namaste in Nature.
Romance on the Rooftop at Capella on 9
Head to the ninth floor of the AC Hotel in Downtown Asheville for a romantic dinner at Capella on 9. Cozy up by the fireplace on the heated patio and soak in the cityscapes and majestic mountains while delighting over hand-crafted cocktails and to-die-for dishes. The culinary magic of chef Rakim Gaines easily made this one of my favorite meals while in Asheville. The menus are seasonal; however, my favorite dishes were the seared scallops with corn succotash (I dream about this dish it was so good!), the crab cake duo, and patatas bravas.
Explore Asheville’s Black History & Culture
Dive into Asheville’s rich Black heritage through some love-filled experiences like perusing through historic neighborhoods like “The Block”, the business hub for African Americans in the late 19th through early 20th centuries. Start your adventure at the YMI Cultural Center, a historic landmark celebrating Black culture through art, music, and community events. Next, venture to Leaf Global, where art meets activism. Explore exhibits highlighting social justice issues and be inspired by the power of creative expression.
Just across the street is Noir Collective AVL, a hub for Black entrepreneurs and creatives. Browse unique gifts and support Black-owned businesses in Asheville. Follow the Black Cultural Heritage Trail to discover hidden gems and untold stories of resilience and triumph. Let each step deepen your connection to Asheville’s past. If you prefer a guided tour to learn about Asheville’s Black history, check out Hood Huggers Tours for a unique perspective on the city’s neighborhoods and grassroots initiatives, fostering community empowerment. Treat your taste buds to a soulful feast at spots like Benne on Eagle. While it is not Black-owned, the owner pays a beautiful homage to Black heritage and works with Black chefs to bring a taste of the diaspora. Savor every bite and toast to love and heritage.
Unwind together at Still Point Wellness
Couples massages are always nice, but take things a step further and book a couple’s massage tutorial at Still Point Wellness instead, especially if your or your partner’s love languages are physical touch and acts of service (as they are mine). Still Point Wellness offers a safe and welcoming space for LGBTQ+ couples to unwind and recharge. You will learn techniques to soothe and pamper your partner and the art of touch with a couples massage tutorial. This experience is perfect for deepening intimacy and communication. And the best part — it’s the experience that keeps on giving! You can take the techniques you learned and recreate those intimate moments again and again.
Let some steam off at Asheville’s Break Room Rage Room
Romance doesn’t have to be all roses and romantic dinners. If you’re looking to shake things up and add a little thrill to your Asheville date night, check out Asheville’s Break Room Rage Room. Here, you’ll get to release pent-up energy together as you smash, break, and shatter objects in a safe and thrilling environment. Crank up the music, smash a glass, laugh, vent, and let loose, creating unforgettable memories in Asheville.
Harmonize your hearts with a sound healing session
In every relationship, fostering balance and finding realignment is key to nurturing growth and connection. If you are looking for a safe space to do just that, Skinny Beats Sound Shop in Asheville offers an LGBTQ-friendly experience where couples can harmonize their hearts and minds through sound healing. Step into this inclusive space and let the gentle vibrations guide you both toward equilibrium and understanding. I’ve done many sound healing sessions, and I must say this has been my favorite, hands down. Sound practitioner, Billy Zanski, takes you on a melodic journey, guiding you into a state of perfect peace, alignment, and presence. Be sure to arrive at your session 15-20 minutes early, as doors lock promptly at start time and no entry will be allowed. No exceptions.
Rekindle the flame at a candle-making class
I’m not big on scented candles, thanks to my sensitive nose. However, the perfect soft and citrusy (non-headache-inducing) scent is currently wafting through the air as I type this, thanks to the super fun and romantic candle-making class we did at Hummingbird Candle Company. This Black-woman-owned candle-making class in Asheville is perfect for date night (or day), bridal parties, friend get-togethers, or even solo dates. From picking your vessels to concocting your personalized scents, to writing an intention on the wick every moment of this class is curated to bolster your creativity and create memories that you will carry with you long after your time in the workshop. Every morning when I light my candle, it takes me back to that special moment in time in Asheville.
Eat your way through Asheville, NC
They say the quickest way to the heart is through the stomach, and I happen to agree — food is a love language category all on its own. Asheville is renowned for its food scene and one place that several locals I spoke to suggested was Cúrate. Naturally, we had to try it out for ourselves, even if it meant nabbing first-come-first-served seats at the bar since reservations are required at this Asheville culinary hotspot. The best seat in the house is arguably the bar, as you get a front-row seat to watch the cooks work their magic in the kitchen. This LGBTQ-friendly restaurant serves up traditional Spanish tapas and an all-Spanish wine list, which earned a spot on America’s 50 Wine Restaurants We Love in 2021 by Wine Enthusiast Magazine.
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For another romantic dinner option, try Posana, a beacon of farm-to-table excellence in Asheville. With a focus on seasonal, locally sourced ingredients, Chef Peter Pollay crafts dishes that are as beautiful as they are delicious. Toast to love and life as you sip handcrafted cocktails and savor the exquisite flavors of each thoughtfully prepared dish.
Explore Biltmore Estate
No trip to Asheville is complete without visiting Biltmore Estate at least once. Whether you’re taking a romantic stroll through the meticulously manicured gardens or stepping inside the massive mansion to explore its lavish rooms, Biltmore Estate is a romantic destination all on its own. You can sample award-winning vintages at the Biltmore Winery or if you’re seeking a little more adventure, you can book a horseback riding experience and trot along the beautiful trails through the woodlands and meadows of the estate. Dining options are just as endless as things to do on the estate. A few years back, I did a girlfriend’s getaway at Biltmore Estate. You can read more about all the things to do at Biltmore Estate here.
Sweets with your sweet
Ditch the box of chocolates and head to Sweets and Seats instead. Step into this cozy cafe where you’ll be greeted with the aroma of freshly baked treats. Start your day with a delectable selection of pastries and specialty coffees or spend an afternoon cozied up on one of the many plush sofas, where sunshine bathes the room in natural light. At Sweets and Seats, you come for the sweets and stay for the vibes. You almost feel like you’re inside a gallery with its art-adorned walls. I loved this place so much, I went back every day while in Asheville, just for the brown sugar bubble tea.
In Asheville, NC, every place becomes a part of your story, and each experience is an opportunity to connect with the city’s vibrant spirit. So, embrace the adventure, savor the moments, and let Asheville weave its magic into your romantic getaway!