Head to the Woods
There's something about the smell of pine trees and the crackle of a campfire that draws people close, relaxes even the most stressed out body, and elicits great conversation. Make sure you build the fire in a safe area. Nothing kills romance like an out of control blaze.
Bring foods you can cook over the open flames. Roast gourmet sausages and wrap fingerling potatoes, butter, and herbs in aluminum foil and toss them into glowing coals to cook through. Instead of s'mores, consider roasting apples over the flames, breaking them open when they’re done and topping with a knob of butter and dusting of cinnamon.
Head to the Water
You don't need a yacht to spend a romantic evening out on the water. Drive to your favorite lake and rent a canoe or row boat. Pack a lunch with easy to handle food such as meatpies and cold beers. Bring a lantern to light your meal, then turn it off, lay back in the boat, and talk for hours as you watch for shooting stars. Be sure to bring a cozy blanket along in case the wind picks up over the water.
Head to the Mountains
Since mountains tower high above city lights, they're an excellent place for star-gazing and a wonderful escape for a romantic tryst. Scour a map of a mountainous national park for the best lookout you can find.
Plan a warming sort of meal since it can get a bit chilly up in the mountains, even in summer. A thermos of clam chowder would hit the spot, especially when accompanied by cheesy biscuits spiked with cayenne pepper. Instead of plain hot chocolate to keep you toasty, add a glug or two of spiced rum or a shot of whiskey. Pack a big, warm blanket for cuddling under and something comfortable to sit on, and you'll be well equipped for a great evening with your love.
Head to Your Back Yard
If you're more of a homebody, you don't have to look any farther than your back yard for a romantic night out. Set up blankets and stacks of pillows on the lawn for a movie night. Rent a projector and use the side of your house or a large sheet as a movie screen, and pop in your favorite romantic movie.
Continue the film theme with a huge bowl of buttery salted popcorn, roasted nuts, decadent chocolates, and something cold and bubbly to drink. If the evening gets chilly, share a sip of cranberry or raspberry liqueur, and feel yourselves get warm right to your toes.
No matter what you decide, make sure you and your lover are comfortable and well fed, then relax and see where the evening’s adventures take you.
All photos are courtesy of the author.