If you and your partner are history buffs who love to indulge in getaways that are ripe with opportunities for romance, add Virginia to your list of states to visit. The "lover's state" is where many of the country's founding fathers and presidents lived and loved. Wine historians also appreciate that it's home to one of America's first wine countries. "Thomas Jefferson was the state's first commercial winemaker," says Charles McCool, travel expert and owner of McCool Travel in Washington, D.C.
Called "Old Dominion" for its loyalty to the British Crown before the Revolutionary War, Virginia was the site of the country's first permanent settlement, Jamestown, established in 1607. As the birthplace of eight presidents, including four of America's first five presidents, the state earned the moniker "Mother of Presidents." It was also the birthplace of founding father Patrick Henry, who gave the famous "Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death" speech in 1775.
If you love historic buildings and venues, the 42,775-square mile state offers many ideal locations for romantic getaways that take you back in time. Consider these top historical spots for your next couple's adventure.
Inn at Vaucluse
Located off a scenic route near Winchester, Vaucluse Manor House was built in 1785 by Revolutionary War Captain Strother Jones. "This is a magnificent property with a mill house and stream right next to the house," says McCool. The fully restored property still contains much of the original woodwork and other features. The surrounding area includes peaceful views of the Blue Ridge Mountains and Shenandoah Valley.
Accommodations include multiple period bedrooms, all with modernized private baths, either inside the manor house or in one of five other houses on the property. McCool notes that the numerous country roads along Highway 81 near Vaucluse, some with covered bridges, offer romantic vistas for couples, and he suggests a visit to the Route 11 Potato Chip Factory in Mount Jackson while you're in the area.
Church Point Manor
A historic 1860 farmhouse in Virginia Beach, Church Point Manor epitomizes period luxury. Located 1 mile from Chesapeake Bay and 6 miles from the Atlantic oceanfront, this fully restored property is elegantly furnished with European and American art and antiques.
Nestled in the heart of affluent Church Point near Virginia Beach, the B&B features a wrap-around-porch that overlooks an idyllic front lawn. With names like "Monsieur et Madame" and "Les Poissons," the period appointed rooms inspire romance. Most have shared baths, but a few rooms have private ones. One room is wheelchair accessible, and another has a private sitting room.
In addition to being close to the beach, this location is near a state park and Norfolk Botanical Garden.
Shenandoah National Park
If you're looking for a romantic day trip with scenic drives, hiking, or biking, Shenandoah National Park is a historic Virginia treasure. The beautiful park includes Skyline Drive, a 105-mile National Scenic Byway, and covers more than 75 miles of Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains.
Burn some calories together on more than 500 miles of hiking trails, pop the question at one of the numerous waterfalls, or simply enjoy the majestic view from one of the many mountain summits. If you're a camper, check out the park's camping facilities, or book a room at Skyland, Big Meadows Lodge, or Lewis Mountain Cabins. After a refreshing night's sleep, take your partner on one of the daily guided horseback rides from Skyland stables.
The Jefferson Hotel
This exquisite property is in the state's capital, which oolool enthuses, "is full of history all by itself." The Jefferson Hotel has served as a historic romantic getaway for discerning travelers since 1895 when Dutch immigrant Lewis Ginter opened its doors. Today, the hotel is known for flawlessly executed service, luxurious guestrooms, and stunning architecture, and it symbolizes the romance and southern charm long associated with Richmond.
Featuring their own doorbells, the well-appointed guest rooms feature modern amenities while evoking the feel of luxury downtown apartments. The suites boast welcoming entry foyers, luxurious fabrics, exceptional craftsmanship, and impressive attention to detail.
The location offers easy access to local museums, botanical gardens, outdoor hiking and biking spaces, and highly-rated eateries.
As a final note, McCool recommends considering Leesburg. "There are multiple venues there that inspire romance, from restaurants to wineries and craft beer breweries," he says. "Just walking through Leesburg's streets feels romantic."
Have you enjoyed some great historic romantic spots in Virginia as a couple? Share your favorites with us on Facebook.