Dating Outdoors

Dating Outdoors

If you’ve ever watched the sunset over Lake Guntersville, sat near a campfire in the Sipsey Wilderness, or paddled the quiet waters of Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge then you know how romantic north Alabama’s natural settings can be.  The romantic atmosphere of the natural world is the perfect place for new love to blossom and old flames to endure.  Another perk of dating outdoors is the price… many outdoor dates are completely free and almost all are less than traditional dates like dinner and a movie.  So whether you take a walk in the park or enjoy something more adventurous dating outdoors offers many rewards for new and seasoned couples alike.

Five reasons to date outdoors:

  1. Most outdoor dates are healthy, and exercising as a couple is a great hobby.
  2. Outdoor dates are usually less expensive than traditional dates.
  3. Couples bond through challenging themselves physically and mentally.
  4. Outdoor settings decrease tension and stress making for a more relaxed date, which is perfect for first dates.
  5. Learning new outdoor skills and hobbies together strengthens relationships.

Six outdoor dates to try this summer:

  1. Picnic in the park – Pack a nice picnic with all the charcuterie board fixin’s, and head out on a short walk in the park or a full day hiking adventure. Pick a place you know will offer quiet and privacy for your picnic such as a trail shelter or lesser traveled path.  This will allow you plenty of time to relax and converse with your SO without worrying about monopolizing an overlook or being interrupted.  You can even toss in a double nest hammock for some cuddles if it’s not too hot.  Shelters along the South Plateau Trail at Monte Sano State Park are perfect for this type of date.
  2. Sunset and stargazing – All you need is a clear view of the west and a blanket for this date. Just remember most parks close at or near sunset, so a little planning may be needed to find a good location.  You may also want to pick up a star map or download a night sky app. so you can identify constellations.
  3. Paddle or Float Trip – A canoe, kayak, paddle board, or tube will work, and if you don’t have one you can get a rental. Basically anywhere you can paddle or float will have a rental service nearby, and with more miles of navigable waterways than any other state every region of Alabama has something different to offer.  Make sure you wear your life jackets and sunscreen for this date.
  4. Moonlight Walk – Enjoy a walk in the moonlight and listen to the crickets and the frogs. If you’re lucky you may even hear some owls, and get to watch fireflies dance around.  Some parks offer special night hikes, owl prowls, and firefly walks throughout the summer, so follow their social media pages to keep up with special events.  Monte Sano, Lake Guntersville, and Oak Mountain State Parks all have guided after hours activities like this that are usually free and make for a perfect group date.
  5. Fishing – Grab a fishing rod and some live bait for a fun date you can do by boat or from the shore. You may even catch your dinner.  This date offers so much variety because you can watch the sunrise as the bass jump, stargaze while you catfish, or just relax and have fun as you cast for blue gill and crappie most any time of day.  For a special treat take a fly fishing lesson together or test your skills trout fishing below Smith Lake Dam.  Find information about fishing in Alabama and purchase your license here [].
  6. Campfire Dinner – Whether you are on a weekend campout or at a backyard fire pit, cooking over a campfire can be fun, delicious, and romantic. Try a hobo dinner (wrapped in foil), hotdogs or brats over the open flames, or go all out with a Dutch oven feast.  Don’t forget the marshmallows, or check out Pintrest for all sorts of campfire deserts.

Look for more date ideas to come in the future, and share any outdoor dates you’ve enjoyed as a comment below.


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  1. Kate Gribbin

    Judy, thanks for your insight, and I certainly hope David and I are able to enjoy outdoor dates well into our golden years. Special opportunities are also available for seniors such as golden park passes and other discounts.

  2. Blaire Baxter

    Love all these date options! We usually go for a picnic/grill, sunset, and then stargazing combo…memories made like that always put smiles on our faces! Gotta keep that romance alive!

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