Since we started the Local Traveler over two years ago, Drew and I have been having the best dates. Whether it is an afternoon on a great Halifax patio, a day exploring a bus route or a weekend trip to one of the many fantastic rural communities in Nova Scotia, our life has become rich with enjoying simple pleasures.
Drew set the tone for this early in our relationship, surprising me with a weekend trip to Stonehame Chalets in Pictou County. Our two-day date included an outdoor hot tub, hikes in the snow, breakfast at Sugar Moon, cooking for each other in the chalet, and reading by the fire. It set the bar for every date we have had since and snowballed into our shared passion for local travel.
A two-day getaway is not practical for every date (and could scare someone off on the first or second date), but there are a lot of great ways you can use local travel to plan awesome, memorable and affordable dates. Here are our 4 sure-fire tips to planning the perfect date:
1. Get a change of scenery:
We have lots of places in Nova Scotia that are accessible by bike, bus or car that take an hour or less to get to but will make you feel like you’ve entered another world. Some of our top picks are Fisherman’s Cove, Mahone Bay, Wolfville, or York Redoubt.
2. Get Active:
Plan a walk along the water, a bike ride on one of our many trails, mini-golf, anything to get your blood pumping a bit. Not only will it make the meal portion of your date even better, but it provides a great base for conversation that you don’t get from just sitting across from your date.
3. Have a great, hands-on Meal:
The perfect date meal does not have to be expensive. You can pre-pack a picnic, find a place to purchase picnic-able food together once you’ve arrived, or check out one of the many great and affordable restaurants in our province. We like to keep it simple when we picnic. Cheese, Chocolate, Baguettes, Sliced Meats, Trinity Gold Lemonaid, and usually some local wine. If you are dining out, we suggest sharable foods. We also suggest talking to the server to get a good sense of what is unique to their restaurant. Be adventurous, order their suggestion, and try something new together.
4. Take in the view:
Find a quiet spot with a good view, or explore the area on foot. We think it’s best to have a bit of an idea of what can be done at your destination, but not to stick to a firm plan. There is something exciting about planning the adventure together as you go.
Taking the time to stop and take in your scenery is a great way to end the perfect date, and an even better opportunity to get close. Watch the sunset, stroll along the water, take in some historic sites or curl up together and chat on a park bench.
For us, planning mini adventures has kept our dating life fresh and exciting. Getting outside, exploring a new area, and trying new foods together allow us to constantly discover new things about our province and about each other. And while local travel is not synonymous with cheap travel, we have planned many a date to places like Lunenburg for the cost of a nice dinner or a movie date.