With Valentine’s Day this week and love in the air, look no farther than the Dan River region to find romantic places to say “I love you” to your favorite person.
From the Blue Ridge Mountains, through the rolling Piedmont hills, to the lakes and rivers in the bottomlands, come enjoy what the Dan River Basin has to offer.
Here are 16 (2+14) suggestions for great places to say “I love you”:
The Blue Ridge Parkway
Running from Shenandoah National Park southwest to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the Blue Ridge Parkway offers peaks and vistas galore, each of them a beautiful backdrop for love.
A state park
The Dan River region is blessed with natural beauty, much of which has been preserved in state parks. Six state parks provide ample opportunities to play and say “I love you.” Read our story on each of the state parks here. You can’t go wrong with any one of them.
Wineries and vineyards have sprung up throughout the foothills and mountains of Piedmont North Carolina and Southside Virginia. Attend a tasting and explore the beauty of the landscape. Check out our Trip Idea story on regional wineries for a more detailed list.
There’s something about a body of still water that moves the soul and evokes romance. And the Dan River region offers plenty of options, including Smith Mountain Lake in Franklin County, Buggs Island Lake in Halifax County, Hanging Rock Park Lake in Stokes County, and Philpott Lake in Franklin, Henry, and Patrick counties.
The Dan River
Here’s a challenge: Try *not* to fall in love while floating on the Dan River. The river flows from mountains to lake, making ample opportunity to say “I love you” on the water. Bonus: Our guide to fishing along the way.
The Eden Drive-In
Fall in love ‘50s style, watching a movie beneath the stars. The Eden Drive-In opened in 1949 and has been a destination for dates ever since.
Do fast cars make your heart flutter? Then you’ve found the right place: The Dan River region hosts numerous speedways, from dirt tracks to NASCAR races. Check out more with our racing history guide.
We’ve covered our awesome state parks already, but they’re far from the only preserved natural areas in the region. Franklin County’s Grassy Hill Natural Area Preserve includes a 6.5-mile hiking trail system and access to 1,295 acres of deciduous forest intermingled with a few Virginia pines. Henry County’s Lauren Mountain Preserve has a 1.5-mile trail that follows the Smith River, with wildflowers, huge beech trees and beautiful river views broadening its appeal.
An art gallery
Fall in love amid paintings, sculptures and more in one of the Dan River region’s many art galleries. Your options include the Germanton Winery & Art Gallery, Artist’s Way Creations, Rockingham County Arts Council, Stokes County Arts Council, Tim Bruce Art Gallery, Fine Arts Association, Frank Duncan Artwork & Custom Framing, Piedmont Arts, and many more.
Walking along a river
Our rivers define us, and they provide a gorgeous setting for a romantic walk. The Riverwalk on the Dan has become a focal point in Danville, and maybe for your love life too. The 1.5-mile Smith River Greenway serves a similar role in Eden.
We love learning. If you do too, then one of the region’s numerous museums makes a perfect date destination. Whether the Blue Ridge Institute & Museum in Franklin County, Virginia Motorsports Museum and Hall of Fame in Patrick County, Martinsville’s Virginia Museum of Natural History, or even Danville’s American Armored Foundation Tank Museum, we’ve got a museum that’s right for you.
At a string music show
Virginia’s Crooked Road music trail winds through nearly 300 miles of scenic terrain in southwest Virginia, including 19 counties, four cities, and 54 towns. The trail connects major heritage music venues, such as the Blue Ridge Music Center, Birthplace of Country Music Alliance, and the Carter Family Fold, to smaller but nevertheless important venues that still throb with the sound of mountain music. Both Franklin and Patrick counties are home to sites along the Crooked Road, and it’s not hard to find a jam session on any given weekend. Check out our guide to finding live music in the Dan River region.
Kirby Cultural Arts Complex
We could have included the Kirby Cultural Arts Complex under a couple of different categories in this story, but ultimately the Person County facility deserves its own listing. The complex regularly hosts art galleries, live theater, film screenings, performances, and more.
A community theater
Lose yourself—and perhaps find love—amid the spectacle of live theater. Both the TheatreWorks Community Players of Martinsville and the Theatre Guild of Rockingham County stage shows throughout the year.
Sometimes you just need to be pampered. And with a partner, all the better. Find the spa treatment you’ve been looking for in the Dan River region. Henry County’s Oak Tree Spa and Martinsville’s Village Spa are here to scratch that itch and help you relax.
More to explore!
We’ve just scratched this surface with this list of 16 great places to say, “I love you.” Here are some more trip ideas.