In case you haven’t heard, Valentine’s weekend is just around the corner. Coming up with something really creative is tough when Valentine’s falls on a weekday, but when you have a whole weekend to work with, your options open up! “Dinner and a show” is a great go-to in Music City, but you’re missing out on some amazing (and memorable) opportunities outdoors. This is the Adventure Blog, after all!
Some of the ideas below may require reservations and could be booked up already. It just so happens February 14th is on a weekend next year too, so start planning!
GREAT FIRST DATES
Hike & Picnic
Tennessee is known for its abundance of state-protected lands. Being a resident of Nashville, you also have immediate access to miles of city-protected trails close to home, too! For an affordable and undeniably romantic date, plan a hike at one of our many local parks and pack a picnic. Especially if this is a first date, choose a nearby trail. Four miles will take about two hours to complete. Add an hour for your picnic, plus some time for lounging on a park bench, and you have yourself a solid 4-5 hours to really get to know one another. If your hike starts later in the evening, consider hiking the trails at Warner Park then stop by the Campfire Pavilions to extend your date.
Indoor Rock Climbing
Indoor Rock Climbing is a great first date because it helps you discover just how much you trust one another, and how well you communicate. Climb Nashville has gyms at two locations, one in East Nashville and one near Sylvan Park on Charlotte Avenue. If you have both already tried (and enjoy) indoor rock climbing, take your Valentine’s plans to the next level by giving Outdoor Rock Climbing a try! The safest bet is to hire a professional guide service like Climb Nashville, but if you already know a good deal about climbing, and know others who have their own climbing gear, it makes for a great double date outdoors.
Though not outdoors, Ice Skating is another great option that allows you to be active and get to know one another. Our first recommendation would be the Centennial Sportsplex Ice Rink, but they have a hockey tournament this year (better luck next year!). Fortunately, the new Ford Ice Center in Antioch is open for Public Skate this February 14th from 7:45pm-10pm!
GREAT NOT-SO FIRST DATES
There is nothing sexual about Partner Yoga or Thai Massage, but we recommend holding off on this one as a first date, unless you’re already familiar with one anothers’ comfort level. It can be considered an intimate experience, but it can also just be a fun, lighthearted activity for friends and couples. Partners support one another through various yoga poses using equal weight, pressure, and resistance to get a deeper, more rewarding stretch out of their practice. Unfortunately, most Partner Yoga or Thai Massage yoga sessions scheduled around Valentine’s day, like at Kali Yuga Yoga and Sanctuary for Yoga, book up quickly (often weeks in advance). There still could be options out there, so ask around! Some yoga instructors might even make a house call if you have enough friends who want to pitch in on a private Partner Yoga session.
Pricing is usually around $25 for individuals (pair up with another individual) or $40-$50 per couple.
For two people who love the thrill of the outdoors, a couple’s zip lining or canopy ropes course might be just what Cupid called for. Adventureworks is a long-time partner of Team Green Adventures, and you’re in luck! They’re offering a “Sweetheart Adventure” zip lining package. Our true love at Adventureworks, however, is their Canopy Ropes Course. Now that’s an adventure!
Natchez Trace B&Bs
The Natchez Trace Parkway makes for an amazing weekend getaway, complete with hiking trails and 444 miles of paved roadway for cycling, running, or a leisure car ride (so leisure, in fact, that the speed limit is only 35 mph is some areas). Along the way you’ll find historic sites, quaint towns, hidden vineyards, and beautiful B&Bs! The secret to finding some of this information is to visit NatchezTraceTravel.com. If all the B&B options are booked up this year, there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying a day-trip along the Trace!
Montgomery Bell State Park
This gem of a State Park is only 45 minutes from Nashville and features some of the most beautiful 2-bedroom eco-cabins you’ll find in Middle Tennessee. Unfortunately, they’re sold-out for this Valentine’s weekend (keep them in mind for next year!). Fortunately, there is also a wonderful Inn with conference center and indoor pool, making it convenient for you and your lover to spend a full weekend on the mountain bike trails, hiking trails, or paddling on the lakes. Be sure to bring your own boats since rentals are not available this time of year.
This year, Montgomery Bell invites you to spend Valentine’s evening at the park for dinner and dancing for only $45, plus an extra $15 for a shared bottle of wine, even if you don’t have overnight plans.
Speaking of cabins, several other Tennessee State Parks offer cabin rentals not far from home. Check out the ones at Cedars of Lebanon, Chickasaw State Park, Henry Horton, Pickett State Park, Rock Island, and Tims Ford.
If you don’t already know about LeConte Lodge, Len Foote Hike Inn, and Charit Creek Lodge, your romantic getaway options are about to go to a whole new level! All three accommodations are wilderness cabins in which visitors can only arrive by foot, or in the case of Charit Creek by foot or hoove. All three offer private cabins or group cabins, with large bunk bed-style sleeping arrangements in both (don’t worry, they’re plenty big to cuddle in!). LeConte Lodge and Charit Creek are rustic retreats with wood-burning furnaces and kerosene lamps. Len Foote is an eco-lodge with solar powered lights and hot water. All three offer home-cooked meals and free hot beverages when you arrive.
Ranked in order of affordability + difficulty of the trails (lowest to highest): Charit Creek Lodge (TN), Len Foote Hike Inn (GA), LeConte Lodge (TN). In all three cases, there’s still a chance rooms are available this coming weekend, so give them a call!
Speaking of hooving it, Southeast Pack Trips is only a short distance from Charit Creek Lodge near the Big South Fork, and they’re a long-time friend of Team Green Adventures. They offer two-hour, half-day, and overnight pack trips on horseback. The ranch is about a 3 hour drive from Nashville. If you’re not ready for a full day (or overnight) Valentine’s commitment, Natchez Trace Stables is a little closer to home.
Call them about availability, and keep these ideas in mind for next year if they’re already booked up!
SHARE THE LOVE
When you call any of the above parks or partners, be sure to mention Team Green Adventures. We want to hear from you if you end up using any of these outdoorsy Valentine’s Weekend ideas, or have some suggestions of your own, so leave a comment on our blog. We hope you’ll share this post with your friends and tag Team Green Adventures on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, too!
-Keeley (Team Green’s Director)