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Nothing says romance like lodging filled with oodles of ambiance, and Rutherford county has multiple places that fit the bill. The Firehouse Inn and the Carrier Houses Bed & Breakfast in Rutherfordton, The 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa, and The Esmeralda in Chimney Rock Village are all uniquely incredible, charming locations. The Firehouse Inn is a beautifully restored 1925 town hall and firehouse that takes bed and breakfast elegance to an entirely new level. The Carrier Houses Bed & Breakfast is listed on the National Historic Registry and encompasses two magnificently restored Victorian homes built in the mid-1800s. Old Hollywood history abounds at The Esmeralda, complete with a decadent past that includes 1920s and 30s film stars like Mary Pickford, Gloria Swanson, and Clark Gable. As the site of many notable scenes in the hit movie Dirty Dancing, The 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa offers picturesque nostalgia that’s hard to beat.
If snuggling up for a romantic evening just isn’t an evening without an unobstructed view of the starry sky, there are definitely options for that! Imagine relaxing by a firepit with the sound of nearby water rippling in the light breeze, while looking out on the moon rising over the surrounding mountains. One quick search and you’ll find multitudes of mountainside and lakefront cabins and cottages for rent throughout the area that can easily make that vision a reality.
Prefer to be cozied up in bed with an incredible view of the night sky above, and the ghostly shadows of forested mountains all around? Amenity-full treehouses and yurts are available at 4 Paws Kingdom and Campground, Yogi Bear’s Jellystone Park and Resort, or even at Feathered Fox Farm (if you prefer your starry night sky with a sideshow of feathered farm fowl entertainment!).
When it comes to romantic dining a lot can be said for location. If you love a garden setting complete with eclectic tapas, sumptuous entrees, and luscious desserts, The Gardens at Rumbling Bald Resort will definitely feed your hungry soul. Looking for something with a panoramic view? The Esmeralda Inn offers a historically beautiful atmosphere with indoor or outdoor dining and a locally sourced menu that’s been rated one of the best in the foothills.
If you prefer your dining scenery waterside, be sure to check out the Veranda Restaurant at the 1927 Lake Lure Inn & Spa. Their incredible dining options presented with an equally incredible lakeside view are sure to put the romance back in your noshing experience. For romantically casual dining definitely check out Burntshirt Vineyards Tasting Room & Bistro. Their southern-style menu paired with customizable wine tasting options is a wine lovers' romantic bliss.
For those that would rather cozy up together with a more low-key, "earthy" dining experience, there's nothing like an idyllic picnic to keep foodie thrills alive. Morse Park in Lake Lure is the perfect picnic location for anyone wanting incredible views, beautiful gardens, and riverside areas that look like they’ve been ripped from the pages of a romance novel. If your dream picnic requires beautiful mountain scenery in a semi-urban setting, Main Street Park in Rutherfordton will be an ideal option. Regardless of where you spread your blanket, you can easily get everything from food, to cutlery, to all the necessities at places like Bubba O’Leary’s General Store, Washburn’s General Store, or Lured Market & Grill to make your picnic one that’s truly an aphrodisiac for all the senses.
When it comes to romantic moments, it's the time spent together that counts. If a day of pampering is in order, you’re sure to feel relaxed and rejuvenated after one of the sublime treatments at the Irongate Spa, the Spa & Salon at Rumbling Bald, or the Esmeralda Spa. From signature massages and wraps, to facials, hair, nails, or even a specialized bundle of treatments for a whole day of indulgence, there’s no better way to embrace your inner romantic glow.
For those that find nothing more heavenly than being surrounded by the scent of flowers, The Lake Lure Flowering Bridge is the largest Sensory Garden for the Blind and Visually Impaired in North Carolina and is an incredible walk for the senses that will definitely live fragrantly in your memories for years to come. Want to take a walk on top of the world? At 2640 feet above sea level, the Skyline Trail at Chimney Rock State Park meanders through ridgetop forests, and across the park's sheer cliffs to culminate in some of nature's most spectacular views from atop Hickory Nut Falls -- the waterfall made famous in scenes from the movie The Last of the Mohicans.
Prefer your scenic walk together to be alongside a small white ball? Apple Valley Golf Course in Lake Lure is a 72 par course that was listed as one of Golf Digest's most beautiful places to play, and the famed Bald Mountain Golf Course at the Rumbling Bald Resort boasts tight fairways among its incredible rock-faced cliffs and mountain views.
If your romance-filled wanderings require a tinge of excitement, what about traversing the trails atop a trusty steed? Cedar Creek Riding Stables and Riverside Riding Stables offer multiple trail ride adventures that are absolutely Wesley and Buttercup worthy. Prefer to glide about in an aquatic fashion? From guided lake tours, to sunset dinner cruises, and even private water tours of the area’s legends and history, Lake Lure Tours has the picture-perfect lake cruise option to make your romantic outing a captivating one. And, if you prefer your tours with a side of local vintners’ nectar, our scenic winery driving tour is full of breathtaking sights, incredible local vintages ... and an all-important map to avoid directional disputes!