Fancy restaurants and romantic concerts have their place, but we believe a rural backdrop can rival any big-city Valentine's plans. Get inspired with these 7 ways to celebrate the one you love in the country.
Valentine’s Day is supposed to be the most romantic day of the year...yet most of us default to doing the same old thing every year: sending chocolates and/or flowers and going out to dinner at a fancy restaurant in the city.
And while sending flowers and chocolates can be done from anywhere, getting into the “big city” for a decent dinner date can be a hassle if you live in a rural area.
Instead of wasting all that time in the car, why not take advantage of the beautiful country backdrop to create an unforgettably romantic Valentine’s Day for the one you love?
Need some help making plans?
We’ve got you covered with these 7 ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day in the country.
#1: Take a Romantic Horseback Ride
If you’re lucky enough to have your own horses, this is simple. Plan to have them saddled up and ready for a sunset ride (weather permitting), and bring along a picnic blanket with a spread of delicious appetizers like cheese, olives, dried fruit, wine or champagne, charcuterie, etc.
Candles and a portable speaker for playing music on your phone will make it even more special.
If you don’t have your own horses, chances are there’s a local horse farm or equestrian center close by that offers horseback rides.
#2: Create your own farm-to-table feast
Yes, you could make a reservation at a fancy farm-to-table restaurant; but a romantic meal usually means so much more when it’s prepared by YOU.
To make it extra memorable, try sourcing the majority of your menu from local farms.
For example, use sites like www.localharvest.org to find a local grass farm for steaks and a farmer’s market for fresh vegetables; purchase a cake or pie from a nearby bakery and top it off with ice cream from your local dairy.
Or, if you’re feeling bold you could make a chocolate souffle using eggs from your own (or your neighbor’s) chickens, topped with fresh whipped cream.
Your sweetheart will appreciate the effort!
#3: Have a couple’s barn dance
It doesn’t get much more romantic than slow dancing on Valentine’s Day, but it’s hard to find places that cater to old fashioned dances.
That’s where a barn can really come in handy.
All it takes to create a Barn Dance is some string lights, music (either from your phone or you could go all out and hire a band), a little wine or champagne to break the ice, and a willingness to move with the music.
This is a fun activity to do as a couple, or make it an event by inviting friends and neighbors. Either way, it’s sure to make amazing memories.
#4: Take sunset or starlit hike or scenic drive
One of the best things about living-rural is easy access to beautiful hiking trails with gorgeous views; and many of them can be accessed at sunset and/or at night for premium star gazing.
Start by choosing an easy hike that’s nighttime friendly (you won't want to be scaling any rocks in the dark), you can look this up on different hiking websites like alltrails.com, or plan a drive to wind up at a romantic lookout point.
Dress accordingly (especially if you’ll be at high elevation), bring along flashlights or headlamps, some special desserts or hors d’oeuvres in a backpack, something to drink, chairs or a blanket, and a stargazing app.
Then just sit back and enjoy the sunset and/or moonrise and each other’s company.
A final word: use commonsense here. If you're unsure if a trail is appropriate or safe for nighttime hiking, then don't do it. And make sure you check with your local park's department about closing time for trails...you don't want to get locked in for the night!
#5: Go glamping...or create your own glamping experience at home
If you want a romantic weekend getaway, glamping can be a fun way to enjoy the great outdoors in luxury.
You can check out our article: 10 Great Places to go Glamping in the South, or plan a surprise glamping stay-cation on your own property.
To do so, set up a big tent with a very comfortable air mattress (no sleeping pads please) and luxurious bedding. Plan to have a gourmet meal ready to enjoy on your deck or in the campsite and a delicious breakfast the next morning.
For a special touch, have chocolates and rose petals waiting on your pillows and beautiful fresh flowers in the tent.
You could also hire a massage therapist team to do a couple’s massage in the house (or outside if it’s a warm night) before retiring to your tent.
#6: Visit a local vineyard
Vineyards have been popping up all over the rural South, and they often have gourmet restaurants, wine tours and tastings, and other special events for locals.
Some even offer accommodation, which can make for a romantic mini-getaway...especially after enjoying a bottle (or 2) of wine together.
#7: give the Forever gift of a flower garden
A bouquet of flowers is always a nice gesture, BUT why not take it a step further and gift your sweetheart a beautiful flower garden?
Whether you choose roses, bulbs, perennials, flowering bushes and trees or a combination a flower garden is a gift she’ll enjoy for years to come.
There are plenty of ways to go about this, but we’d recommend having a bouquet of flowers ready with a card explaining that there will be more to come in the spring.
Then, either hire a landscaper or gardener to install the garden so it’s ready to start blooming come spring (hint: don’t make her plant the flowers herself!), or go the budget-friendly option of sewing a bag of wildflower seeds yourself.
If your sweetheart is a environmentalist/nature-lover at heart, you really wow her by creating a pollinator garden...the possibilities are endless.
From all of us at rethinkrural.com we wish you a happy, country-Valentine’s Day!