Roughing it isn’t for everyone, but for some couples, it’s the ideal way to spend some time alone while enjoying the great outdoors. The next time you want to get away together, how about pitching a tent in the wilderness, cozying up by a fire and gazing at the starry night sky?
As you commune with nature, you’ll keep the romantic sparks alive for one another (and maybe even sharpen your outdoor survival skills). Read on for outdoor vacation ideas that will take you and your sweetie far, far away — and let you enjoy majestic mountain hikes, serene waterfalls and seclusion from urban noise.
Book a campsite for a cost-effective way to enjoy outdoor life. Plus, if you’re not familiar with camping in more remote locations, campsites are a safer alternative. If you’re car camping — that is, you’re not backpacking into your campsite — you can pack up all the luxuries of home, including an air mattress, a propane stove and cooking gear, coolers and any kind of food you want to whip up. Don’t forget the s’mores!
There are great campsite options within Yosemite National Park, such as at Upper, Lower or North Pines campgrounds. Although Yosemite Valley lost half of its roughly 800 campsites during a flood in early 1997, making it difficult to get a site, you can try making reservations in the off season. Or try your luck at making a reservation on the 15th of any month, when reservations are accepted, up to five months in advance of your trip.
With plenty to do in and around Yosemite, including shopping and dining options if you want to “clean up” one night for dinner, this area has natural wonders galore to keep you and your partner busy throughout your stay.
Prefer not to totally rough it? Cabin stays give you the same outdoor vibe without the tent experience, perfect for couples who would rather enjoy more of a bed and breakfast experience but still on a budget.
Many mountain locales offer cabin getaways for couples, with plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy, such as kayaking, hiking, swimming, canoeing, skiing, rafting and fishing. Once you’re done exploring the outdoors, you can retreat to your cabin for a quiet evening nestled into the woods.
You can get as elaborate or rustic as you want, with some cabins providing full amenities, and others, little more than four walls and a roof over your heads. Within Tennessee’s Great Smoky Mountains, you can find romantic cabin getaways with luxuries such as hot tubs, king-size beds, full kitchens, big-screen TVs and breathtaking mountain views. See visitmysmokies.com for more information.
Bed and Breakfasts
While far from roughing it, bed and breakfasts often are situated in beautiful natural environments. You can experience both the wonder of the outdoors and the posh accommodations available at upscale inns around the country.
In Cape May, New Jersey, Akwaaba by the Sea (http://akwaaba.com) is one B&B resort that won’t disappoint. As America’s oldest seaside resort, built in the 1850s, it offers a sunny porch, an elegant parlor with a wood-burning fireplace, a game room with a flat-screen TV and tables for cards or board games. When you’re ready to get out and explore, you can enjoy nearby nature trails, lighthouses, whale and dolphin watching, golfing, fishing, and moonlit carriage and trolley rides. Or, take in a live theater event, a spa experience or gourmet cuisine at one of the many renowned eateries within town.
Time to Get Away?
If you’re ready to plan your outdoor adventure, choose a destination and accommodations that will work for both you and your sweetie. Whether you want to rough it completely or keep your shoes fairly clean, there is an experience that will suit you both and let you rekindle that old flame.
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Hannah Hamilton offers lots more helpful travel tips, articles and reviews of the best garment bags for travel at JetSetGarmentBags.com. Whether you want a Samonsite xspace Spinner, a Victorinox bag or another high-quality luggage piece, you’ll find all the reviews and advice you need on Hannah’s website. For her next romantic outdoor adventure with her husband, she hopes to visit Yosemite.