date night

With Valentine’s Day fast approaching, now is the time to plan a romantic getaway. This year it falls on a Friday; that gives couples a whole weekend to celebrate their love. Here are three ideas of things to do for the big weekend that aren’t too far away from home.

For the Classic Romantic

Start the weekend with a horse-drawn carriage ride through downtown Nashville snugged together. Check out Suger Creek Carriages to book a carriage ride. Rides run 20 or 45 minutes.

After a carriage ride, have a gourmet dinner at etch. Etch is located on Demonbruen across from the Schermerhorn Symphony Center. Chef Deb Paquette crafts fine cuisine fusing flavors from her favorite regions of the world. Her signature appetizer is Roasted Cauliflower served with truffled pea puree, crema feta, red beet juice, and salted almonds. It is the perfect way to begin an impassioned dinner that is an artistic presentation, and a gift to your taste buds.

When dinner is over, it’s time to walk across the street to enjoy a Nashville Symphony concert with Patty LaBelle (purchase tickets here). End the evening with a relaxing night at the Hotel Indigo, followed by breakfast at the hotel the next morning. The hotel building was originally constructed in 1909 as a print shop, before Printer’s Alley became a series of speakeasies during Prohibition. The design incorporates both portions of its history.

For the Nature Lover

Get away from it all with an overnight stay at a unique Airbnb. Right here in Murfreesboro is the Hobbit House, the perfect retreat for those who like to camp. The mud house that has been built to resemble a hobbit’s home from the Lord of the Rings series, is nestled on a 50-acre farm and is a unique adventure for an outdoorsy couple.

Middle Tennessee has lots of beautiful parks with trails running through verdant trees, and along lazy rivers and streams. Take a stroll along one of the Greenways in Rutherford County or one of the many parks in Nashville, taking time to watch for local wildlife. Everything from beavers to Indigo Bunting wander among the rich flora in the area.

A healthy walk calls for a tasty brunch. Grab some avocado bread at First Watch, or waffles at Just Love Coffee. Or try out a totally plant-based restaurant like Graze in Nashville.

End the day with a trip to Love Circle, located off Acklen Avenue in Nashville. It is a residential street that winds up a steep hill to a small park that overlooks the city. Many have gotten engaged on this spot.

Starry-Eyed Rendezvous

Those who love looking at the stars can have a wonderful weekend getaway in Middle Tennessee. There are many places to look at heavenly bodies, including Sudekum Planetarium at Adventure Science Center, Dyer Observatory which stands on the top of one of Nashville’s tallest peaks, Middle Tennessee State University has a Uranidrome (naked eye observatory) on the campus, and many of the local parks have star parties.

End the day with dinner and drinks at one of the many rooftop restaurants taking over the dining scene in Nashville. Most have a rooftop bar where you and your love can end the day with a cocktail under an umbrella of stars. Two options are the uber-trendy LA Jackson’s on top of The Thompson Hotel in The Gulch in Nashville, or Blake Shelton’s Ole Red. Might see more than just the twinkly kind of stars here.

Many More Romantic Options

These are only a few of the romantic activities to be found locally. If you want to stay closer to home, check out the story of tragic love at Center for the Arts by seeing the Tim Rice and Elton John’s AIDA. Or listen to beautiful music with the Tennessee Philharmonic at First United Methodist Church in Murfreesboro presented on Thursday, February 13. Many local restaurants are having dinner specials for two. The options are endless.