Four Ideas for a Fabulous Date Night (or Day!) in the Yadkin Valley
If you’re planning a North Carolina wine country getaway with that special person in your life, don’t forget to impress by scheduling some quality one-on-one time.
A fun, romantic or adventurous date is the perfect way to rack up some points and show just how much you care. To help with that, we’ve compiled a list of the best date night – or date day – options in Surry County in the heart of the Yadkin Valley.
Whether you prefer wine pairings in a romantic setting or an exhilarating hike with Blue Ridge Mountain views, the Surry County towns of Dobson, Mount Airy, Pilot Mountain and Elkin have great options for a memorial date with your sweetie.
Uncork the Perfect Wine Lovers Date in Dobson
What better place to experience the romance of Yadkin Valley wine country than at the largest family-owned estate winery in North Carolina? Head to Shelton Vineyards for a guided winery tour, followed by a tasting of the winery’s extensive selection of whites, reds and sparkling wines.
After the tour and tasting, stroll amongst the vines to the gazebo at the highest point on the property, then walk across the manicured grounds to dinner at Harvest Grill. The winery’s award-winning restaurant serves elevated Southern cuisine in a laid-back yet upscale setting. Sit on the enclosed patio to enjoy sprawling vineyard views as you indulge in expertly prepared seasonal appetizers, steaks and seafood. Keep an eye out for special events, such as a farm-to-fork harvest dinner, winemaker dinner and murder-mystery dinner.
After dessert — paired with a glass of port aged 30 months in bourbon barrels — take a short shuttle ride to Hampton Inn & Suites Shelton Vineyards, and relax in a king studio suite with a whirlpool tub. This Hampton Inn is the only one in the nation with a wine bar in its lobby.
Soak Up Simpler Times in the Real-Life Mayberry
One of the most popular ways to see Mount Airy, the hometown of TV’s favorite sheriff, Andy Griffith, is via Mayberry Squad Car Tours. Book a tour in a 1960s Ford Galaxie squad car and take a romantic cue from deputy Barney Fife — sit close to your sweetie in the back seat, like Barney would with Thelma Lou, and you might luck out and get a smooch or two.
Afterward, everything is walkable along the Mayberry-like Main Street. Stroll to dinner at Old North State Winery, where a former department store has been transformed into an elegant eatery. Impress your better half with The Chef’s Table experience: five courses prepared with local ingredients, and each is paired with a wine.
Parallel to Main Street, the hip side of Mayberry is found along Market Street. Enjoy an espresso martini at the stylish Kate's Cocktail Lounge, or sip a pint of craft beer on the patio at White Elephant Beer Company or Thirsty Souls Community Brewing.
In warmer months, dance under the stars at the Blackmon Amphitheatre, which hosts outdoor concerts most Friday and Saturday evenings. Or head to the historic Earle Theatre year-round for top-notch concerts inside a 1938 theater where a young Andy Griffith once watched movies.
Several charming bungalows within walking distance operate as vacation rentals. To truly round out your Mayberry experience, book a stay at Andy Griffith’s Homeplace, a two-bedroom house about half a mile from Main Street.
Elevate Your Dating Experience in Pilot Mountain
If your love language involves quality time in the great outdoors, Pilot Mountain State Park invites you to hike, paddle or ride horseback through more than 3,700 acres of forest. Fourteen miles of hiking trails vary from easy to strenuous. Several climb to epic vantage points near the 2,421-foot summit of Pilot Mountain. A perfect moderate hike is along the Little Pinnacle Overlook, providing great views of the Yadkin Valley and beyond. A two-mile portion of the Yadkin River flows through the park, making for a scenic flat-water paddle.
After working up an appetite, head into downtown Pilot Mountain for dinner and drinks at Viridescence Bottles & Bites. The vegan restaurant is a first in Surry County. The plant-based menu includes numerous small bites, as well as salads, soups and plant-based burgers. Toast your time together with a craft beer, glass of wine or mocktail. Comfy lodging is available next door at two Airbnb suites located above a massage and wellness studio, which provides relaxing options to start the following day.
Get in Tune with Your Sweetie in Elkin
A memorable date in Elkin starts with a guided wine tasting at Adagio Vineyards, which combines the owners’ passions of classical music and wine. You might even be serenaded by a violinist there to purchase an amazing musical instrument hand-crafted by owner Jan Wahl. After your tasting, order a glass of your favorite wine and sip it around the fire pit or on the front porch.
From Adagio, it’s a short drive into downtown Elkin for dinner at The Wisdom Table. The menu changes weekly to reflect the freshest ingredients available. Start with some charcuterie or a cheese board with a Yadkin Valley wine selected by owner and noted sommelier Jeremy Stamps.
After indulging in a wonderful meal, walk to a concert at the Reeves Theater, a restored art deco showpiece about a block away on Main Street. The intimate space with comfortable seating and stellar acoustics creates a cozy and romantic setting to hear some of the best in regional bluegrass, Americana, blues, jazz and more.
Top off the evening with an alfresco nightcap at The Elkin RailYard, a popular beer garden underneath large trees with twinkling lights. Beers vary from ales brewed right up the street at Angry Troll Brewing to regional North Carolina craft beers to imports. If cocktails are more your thing, check out Fruition Cocktail Bar or Embers Eclectic Pub, both located on Main Street.
When it’s time to call it an evening, walk to the one-of-a-kind Three Trails Hotel. The boutique property offers 14 industrial-chic suites, with spacious living areas, large windows, tall ceilings, full kitchens and comfy bedrooms. The stately brick structure has quite a history – it was the first building constructed on Elkin’s Main Street in the 1800s.
Feb. 22, 2019
Craft Beer on Tap in Yadkin Valley
Although NC's Yadkin Valley is wine country, there are nice options for lovers of craft beer. Within the past few years several breweries have bubbled up in the small towns of Surry County, serving excellent beers in interesting environments.
April 21, 2017
Budbreak Wine and Craft Beer Festival Welcomes New Growing Season
Celebrate the start of a new Yadkin Valley vintage with wine, beer, food and music in downtown Mount Airy.
Sept. 6, 2023
Wine & Beer Passport is Your Ticket to Winter Fun
The Yadkin Valley Winter Wine & Beer Passport is an enjoyable way to celebrate winter – a treasure map to great wineries and breweries throughout Surry County in NC wine country.
Oct. 29, 2021
Chase the Winter Blues with Yadkin Valley Wine & Beer Passport
The Yadkin Valley Winter Wine & Beer Passport provides a fun and economical way to experience North Carolina wine country this winter. Passport holders receive tastings at every participating winery and brewery, plus a distillery.