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Best Outdoor Fall Dates In Washington DC

August 24, 2013 8:00 AM

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Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Photo Credit: Thinkstock

Just because the summer’s over, doesn’t mean you have to go back inside. Being outdoors is a perfect way to stay healthy and take advantage of the weather before it turns too cold. Whether you like to run around or just chill and enjoy, these fall date ideas will get you out and about in the DC area.

Great Falls National Park
9200 Old Dominion Drive
McLean, VA 22102
(703) 285-2965
www.nps.gov

With the leaves on the trees beginning to turn their vibrant oranges, reds and yellows, it’s the perfect time to head to the nearby Great Falls National Park to view the hues of the fall foliage and get a nice hike in as well. Perfect for the sweethearts that are avid hikers or couch potatoes, Great Falls offers overlooks for easy viewing or hikes out to the falls and other points. There are the easy hikes to the adventurous Billy Goat Trail. Bring a picnic and enjoy a romantic day basking in the gorgeous fall leaves, snacking on a picnic for two and getting a little exercise in as well. The best part is that it’s so close to DC, located in McLean, Virginia.

Linden Vineyards
3708 Harrels Run Road
Linden, VA 22642
(540) 364-1997
www.lindenvineyards.com

Nestled against the rolling hills of Virginia’s wine country, Linden is one of the most romantic dates you will ever have. This vineyard will put a smile on any sweetheart’s face starting the moment you turn up the gravel driveway with the grape vines up the hill. Try the traditional sample or go for the selective tasting, which takes place in its cozy cellar. The reserve wine cellar tastings are offered only on the weekends at noon, 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. and are $20. Or get there by 11:30 a.m. on the weekends to check out the vineyard tour. Once you’ve settled on a bottle, sit down at one of the cafe tables on the porch and bask in the gorgeous view from the deck while sampling local, artisanal cheese and charcuteries. Or if you want a little more privacy, bring a blanket and meander down the hill a bit to relax on the gorgeous landscape.

Butler’s Orchard
22200 Davis Mill Road
Germantown, MD 20876
(301) 972-3299
www.butlersorchard.com

Located only a short drive from DC, Butler’s Orchard is a perfect date to get outdoors without having to travel too far from DC to get farm-fresh food. In fact, you can pick your own. In the fall, apples, red raspberries and pumpkins are available for picking. Grab a bag and head into the orchard to choose from a variety of fruits. You and your sweetie will have a fun time spotting the sweetest of the forbidden fruits and working as a team as you twist and contort your way through the branches to reach that perfect one. Enjoy a fun hayride and shop for produce from the rest of the farm in this fun casual date that will get you out of the city and your hands dirty. To sweeten the date, head back to a kitchen and make some caramel apples together.

Related: Best CSAs In The Washington DC Area

White House Haunted Pub Tour
Nightly Spirits
1475 Pennsylvania Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20004
(202) 596-6077
www.nightlyspirits.com

The White House Haunted Pub Walking Tour is a popular tour for couples by the walking ghost tour company, Nightly Spirits. Starting with Occidental Grill, it takes you to three or four different historic and haunted pubs on a 2.5-hour walking tour in DC. The pub tour allows around 30 minutes per stop, giving you just enough time to enjoy a libation of your choosing at each location. More than just ghost stories, the tours give you an opportunity to hear more about DC history and to snuggle closer when you feel a chill in the fall air. Running Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, the tour starts at 8:30 p.m. Be sure to make reservations.

Go Ape! Rock Creek Regional Park
6129 Needwood Lake Drive
Derwood, MD 20855
(800) 971-8271
www.goape.com

Get your adrenaline pumping with a treetop adventure course and zip-lining. A great opportunity for couples to support and encourage each other or cheer and jeer depending on your relationship, the Rock Creek Go Ape park makes for a fun-filled day outdoors. Consisting of six zip lines, rope ladders and more than 40 tree-to-tree crossings, you’ll never run out of courses to do. Whether you’re partially balanced or fall down in high heels, the adventure courses range from beginner to advanced. Even if you’ve done this before, try your balance at the new skateboarding zip line or just fall into the arms of your sweetie.

Related: Best Late-Night Activities Beyond Bars In The DC Area

Jamie Hardin is the counter-culture Washingtonian in the know. Inspired by food, sustainability issues, and public health, she prides herself on finding DC’s off-the-beaten path treasures. When she isn’t enjoying organic food or reducing her carbon footprint, Jamie’s traveling on her scooter or walking her two pit bulls. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.


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