Hi there...I will be going for 5 days with my husband. We enjoy doing cultural things - and traveling around the country side for day trips ......any recommendations are welcome along with good local restaurants. Stops along the way to Byblos, Baalbek, and walks around the city....any local craft places....unfortunately we are really not wine drinkers..... but love food, walking, cycling, driving, dancing, etc! Is Zgharta worth the trek up there....
It been over 10 years since we were there so can't recommend any restaurants. You have already identified Byblos and Baalbek - both are definitely worth it. If I remember there is also a cable car or some other funicular or some such thing in Byblos that takes you up the hill/mountain. Unfortunately, it was closed when we were there so didn't get to do that. We were only in Lebanon for about 4 days so didn't get to go S of Beirut to Tyre and Sidon. Enjoy Lebanon and especially Baalbek - an amazing world heritage site that you should have all to yourself or with just a few other tourists.
Regarding Baalbek: many Western governments advise against any travel to the area. This does not mean that it is unsafe to go, but it is likely to void any travel insurance that you have - check the fine print carefully!
Beirut is a great town and the people are amazing. And hopefully you can still find fresh dates (so many varieties, look for the black ones) in the market, they had them about a week ago.
These are some of my favorite restaurants:
Liza Restaurant (book in advance)
Tawlet: lunches by cooks from different parts of Lebanon and Saturday Market
Kelly’s Lounge: fresh fish (share a whole one)
Amal Bohsali: known for the knafeh
Ice Cream: Hanna Mitri traditional and Oslo Ice for delicious new takes on the classics
Fatteh breakfast: at Al Soussi, go hungry
If you don’t have the Monocle guide to Beirut yet, it’s the most up to date I’ve seen.
You didn’t mention Beiteddine Palace, well worth the trip.
It's on my bucket list. Post a report when you return.