by KEVIN GARDNER
The South is full of great places to take a date. Whether it’s on the lake on a hot day, or visiting an outdoor festival, there’s so many fun outdoorsy things to try.
If you are new to the region, consider websites such as matchmaker Dallas for help finding a date for one of these events.
Here are some great, Southern, outdoor date ideas for y’all to consider:
Go Fruit Picking
If it’s the right season, take your date to pick fruit. Yeah, it sounds like labor but picking blueberries, peaches or blackberries can be so much fun. You get to spend time outdoors and you can even make it a challenge. Whoever picks the most fruit the fastest wins. Plus, you get to take home your spoils and plan a second date to cook a pie.
Head to a Fruit Festival
If picking just isn’t for you, luckily there are other fruit-related date options. Nothing says love like walking around a festival and carnival that celebrates local fruit. No matter what part of the South you live in, you’re likely to find one nearby. The Strawberry Festival in Plant City, Fla., is a real treat. It comes complete with country music, carnival rides and some of the best strawberries you can get your hands on.
Watermelon festivals across the region are another great example. In fact, multiple towns in the South claim to be the watermelon capital of the country. Weatherford, Texas, even used to have an oversized watermelon sculpture outside its courthouse. Other cities to check out for their watermelon prowess include Cordele, Ga., Hope, Ark., and Naples, Texas. And all of these consider themselves the “watermelon capital of the world.”
Enjoy a State Fair or Rodeo
When it’s not the right season to take a date to a fruit festival, then look for a state fair or even a rodeo for some down home Southern fun. In fact, you should take your date to the State Fair of Texas, because Big Tex is the best Dallas has to offer. The fair celebrates all things Texas. It’s one of the biggest state fairs in the country and is championed by Big Tex, a 55-foot tall statue that is claimed to be the world’s tallest cowboy.
If a rodeo is more your speed, just head down the road a few miles to Fort Worth for the Southwestern Exposition and Livestock Show. This show is the oldest continuously running livestock show and rodeo. There are livestock shows, horse shows and bull riding competitions. And if the rodeo’s on hiatus, the Historic Fort Worth Stockyards also makes a great date location, complete with a cattle drive.
Hit the Beach
Not wild about rodeos? Fruit isn’t your thing? Then hit one of the region’s many beautiful beaches. Florida is home to some of the prettiest white sand beaches in the country. Other Southern states have great beaches, too. Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, Virginia Beach, Va., and the Gulf beaches of Alabama and Texas are also among the highlights.
No matter which beach you choose, there are so many great date activities to choose from. And pack a picnic – then go for a romantic walk. And if you are a little more adventurous, try paddle boarding or surfing with your date. Even building a sand castle or going for a run on the beach can also be fun.
If dates on the water sound super fun, but you don’t have a beach nearby, try taking your date fishing. Fishing for catfish in freshwater lakes is a popular summer activity in the South. Afterwards, you can fry your catch and have a delicious dinner together.
Another option is deep sea fishing. If you’re near the Gulf Coast or even live near the Atlantic Ocean, you can charter a boat to catch big fish like saltwater bass and marlin. Other options, with no need for a fishing pole, include scalloping and lobster diving. Most fishing and diving activities have limited seasons, so check before going.
Land or sea, if you go on one of these dates, you are bound to have a unique and fun experience.
Nothing beats a date in the South!