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Taste Of The Kentucky Derby

Chucrhill Downs, Run for the Roses, Chow Wagon, Pegasus Pins and Thunder Over Louisville are the tall tale signs that THE KENTUCKY DERBY is here. And in Louisville the Derby is a big deal. It’s almost in a since a national holiday and being a fellow Kentuckian I have experience this phenomenon  more than once. So Ladies get your Best & Biggest Hat ready. It’s time to go to the races!

1. Chocolate-Bourbon Pecan PieDerby Pie

Derby pie is a pastry created in the Melrose Inn of Prospect, Kentucky, USA, by George Kern with the help of his parents. It is often associated with the Kentucky Derby. The pie is a chocolate and walnut tart in a pie shell usually with a pastry dough crust. It is also commonly made with pecans, chocolate chips and Kentucky bourbon. Popular additions are butterscotch, caramel, and other types of nuts.

The name “Derby Pie” is a registered trademark of Kern’s Kitchen, which registered the name in 1968. The company uses the name in the form “DERBY-PIE®” in official literature and advertisements. The company has filed several lawsuits over the years to protect its commercial rights. Because of this, others who make similar pies have had to alter their recipes slightly and/or use a different name (such as “Pegasus Pie”, a reference to the Pegasus Parade at the Kentucky Derby Festival and May Day Pie, in reference to the First Saturday in May, the day of the Kentucky Derby).

Recipe & Photo is courtesy of MyRecipes.Com

Ingredients

  • 1/2 (15-ounce) package refrigerated piecrusts
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped pecans
  • 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate morsels
  • 1 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup bourbon or water $
  • 4 large eggs $
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted $
  • 2 teaspoons cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  1. Fit piecrust into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate according to package directions; fold edges under, and crimp.
  2. Sprinkle pecans and chocolate evenly onto bottom of piecrust; set aside.
  3. Combine corn syrup and next 3 ingredients in a large saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, 3 minutes. Remove from heat.
  4. Whisk together eggs and next 4 ingredients. Gradually whisk about one-fourth hot mixture into egg mixture; add to remaining hot mixture, whisking constantly. Pour filling into prepared piecrust.
  5. Bake at 325° for 55 minutes or until set; cool on wire rack.

2. Mint JulepMint Julep

The mint julep is a mixed alcoholic drink, or cocktail, associated with the cuisine of the Southern United States. It is traditionally made with four ingredients: mint leaf, bourbon, sugar, and water. Traditionally, spearmint is the mint of choice used in Southern states, and in Kentucky in particular. In the use of sugar and mint, it is similar to the mojito. Traditionally, mint juleps were often served in silver or pewter cups, and held only by the bottom and top edges of the cup. This allows frost to form on the outside of the cup. Traditional hand placement may have arisen as a way to reduce the heat transferred from the hand to the silver or pewter cup. Today, mint juleps are most commonly served in a tall old-fashioned glass, Collins glass, or highball glass with a straw.

Recipe & Photo is courtesy of KentuckyDerby.Com

Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Sprigs of fresh mint
  • Crushed ice
  • Early Times Kentucky Whisky
  • Silver Julep Cups

Instructions

  1. Make a simple syrup by boiling sugar and water together for five minutes. Cool and place in a covered container with six or eight sprigs of fresh mint, then refrigerate overnight. Make one julep at a time by filling a julep cup with crushed ice, adding one tablespoon mint syrup and two ounces of Early Times Kentucky Whisky. Stir rapidly with a spoon to frost the outside of the cup. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

3. Kentucky Buttermilk Piebuttermilk pie

Buttermilk pie is a custard-like pie. Traditional of the United Kingdom, it almost unknown today but is now a traditional pie of the southern United States and is well known in Texas. It is similar to, and sometimes confused with, chess pie but it does not include cornmeal. The basic filling consists of a mixture of sugar, butter, eggs, buttermilk and wheat flour. Variations on the recipe may include flavorings such as vanilla or lemon zest. Buttermilk pies are made with a pie crust. The filling is poured into the crust and baked until the mixture sets. The pie is best eaten at room temperature after being allowed to cool, but may be eaten either warm from the oven or after being chilled.

Recipe & Photo courtesy of Sweet Tea And Cornbread

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 2 Tbs. self rising flour
  • 1 stick melted butter
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 2 Tbs. KY bourbon
  • 1 deep dish pie shell

Instructions

  1. Mix together butter and sugar. Add flour, eggs, and buttermilk and mix well. Add vanilla and bourbon. 
  2. Place the pie shell on a cookie sheet and pour the mixture into shell. Place on the center rack of the oven set at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Decrease the temperature to 300 degrees and bake for 45 minutes. Remove and cool before slicing.

4. The Hot Browhot brown

A Hot Brown Sandwich is a hot sandwich originally created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, by Fred K. Schmidt in 1926. It is a variation of traditional Welsh rarebit and was one of two signature sandwiches created by chefs at the Brown Hotel shortly after its founding in 1923. It was created to serve as an alternative to ham and egg late-night suppers.

Recipe & Photo is courtesy of Brown Hotel

Ingredients

  • 2 oz. Whole Butter
  • 2 oz. All Purpose Flour
  • 16 oz. Heavy Cream
  • 1/2 Cup Pecorino Romano Cheese, Plus 1 Tablespoon for Garnish
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste
  • 14 oz. Sliced Roasted Turkey Breast
  • 2 Slices of Texas Toast (Crust Trimmed)
  • 4 slices of Crispy Bacon
  • 2 Roma Tomatoes, Sliced in Half
  • Paprika
  • Parsley

Instructions

  1. In a two-quart saucepan, melt butter and slowly whisk in flour until combined and forms a thick paste (roux). Continue to cook roux for two minutes over medium-low heat, stirring frequently. Whisk heavy cream into the roux and cook over medium heat until the cream begins to simmer, about 2-3 minutes. Remove sauce from heat and slowly whisk in Pecorino Romano cheese until the Mornay sauce is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  2. For each Hot Brown, place one slice of toast in an oven safe dish and cover with 7 ounces of turkey. Take the two halves of Roma tomato and set them alongside the base of turkey and toast. Next, pour one half of the Mornay sauce to completely cover the dish. Sprinkle with additional Pecorino Romano cheese. Place entire dish under a broiler until cheese begins to brown and bubble. Remove from broiler, cross two pieces of crispy bacon on top, sprinkle with paprika and parsley, and serve immediately.

January Jackpot @ Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens

It’s the January Jackpot!  In the month of January, 2013, come to the Jacksonville Zoo & Gardens on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays and take advantage of special money-saving deals!

  • $2 Tuesdays – Pay only $2 for general Zoo admission when you bring in the $2 coupon printed from below.
    Valid January 8, 15, 22, 29.
  • WACKY Wednesdays – Spin our prize wheel for the chance to win 15-67% off general admission, free carousel or train rides, free giraffe feedings, free drinks, gift shop discounts, or our Grand Prize: 75% off general admission, free train rides, 25% off any Zoo food outlet, and 25% off at any Zoo gift shop!
    One spin per family. Prize winner will be given a coupon redeemable at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens location specified. Valid January 2, 9, 16, 23, 30.
  • $3 Thursdays – Pay only $3 for general Zoo admission when you bring in the $3 coupon printed from below.
    Valid January 3, 10, 17, 24, 31.
  • $5 Fridays – Pay only $5 general Zoo admission when you bring in the $5 coupon printed from below.
    Valid January 4, 11, 18, 25.

Each coupon is valid only on the dates indicated for up to two adults and all the children in a family. The discount cannot be combined with any other discount or offer, including Zoo Value Tickets, and can only be used once per transaction. 

For more info visit http://www.jacksonvillezoo.org

Thanksgiving Miami Style

Welcome To Miami

South Beach

Port Of Miami

Crandon Park  Beach ~ Key Biscayne, FL

Venetian Pool ~ Coral Gables, FL

Dolphin Mall

American Airlines Arena ~ Home of Miami Heat

The “U” & Miami Orange Bowl Stadium

Sun Life Stadium ~ Home of Miami Dolphins

Shake Shack ~ Miami, FL

Ordered: Double ShackBurger, Shack Stack Burger, Fries,

Key Lime Pie Oh My! Concrete & Vice Crispy Treat Concrete =)

Joe’s Stone Crab ~ Miami, FL

Ordered: Stone Crabs, Lobster Roll, Conch Fritters & Key Lime Pie =)

Sarussi Cafe’ ~ Miami, FL

Ordered: Sarussi Man Vs. Food Cubano Sandwich w/ Extra Sauce =)

The Greater Jacksonville Fair

The fair is incomparable to any other event in the area. This isn’t just Jacksonville’s offering to the annual fairs that roll through every county, this is The Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair. It’s greater, in that it dwarfs any of the other county fairs in both size and extent. I’m not sure precisely how it compares in size to other fairs, but it is the biggest I’ve ever attended. Of course, that perception is relative too. Because in Hoboken or Minneapolis, an agricultural fair may not be that big of a deal, but in the Deep South, a fair is part of our folk history. In fact this one has been around longer than anyone reading this, I would dare bet.
Of course there are the spectacles that everyone goes there for, the rides that spin and teeter and rise far above the earth. Few things can give you that anxious and excited feeling that rides at the fair provide. People that adore the scariest roller coasters and travel the country to try the rides are still scared of the fair rides, and therein lays precisely their thrill. They are thoroughly inspected and tested on hapless, toothless carnies before you are allowed to get on board, but the knowledge that it is at least slightly more likely for these road-weary portable machines to jeopardize your life than it is a permanent fixture at a theme park provides a portion of that thrill. Real terror. Couple that with Iron Maiden blaring through the speaker and the cryptic look in the eyes of the man controlling your fate with a lever, and you have a perfect autumn scare.
In the midway you can test your skills against the taunting carnies and win your sweetheart a framed velvet portrait of the Guns N’ Roses logo or a 80% likeness Winnie the Pooh doll for your sweetheart, or dare to try one of the many other spectacular spectacles along the walk around the fair. Whether you want to get upside down or just see the county’s finest hog, the Greater Jacksonville Agricultural Fair has plenty to offer for all ages and is a true cultural experience. Read on for details about the shows and the exhibitions (not to mention the food).

General Admission
Admission tickets may be purchased on-line at any time before and during the Fair or at the gate.

Adults $8.00
Children 6-12 $5.00
5 and younger Free
Senior 65 and over $5.00

Ride tickets are available, and different rides require different numbers of tickets, but wristbands for unlimited rides usually cost between $20 and $25 dollars depending on the day. Go to JacksonvilleFair.Com for more details.

2012 Georgia vs. Florida Football Classic

Welcome to Jacksonville!

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office is committed to providing the most current information that residents and out of town visitors will need to enjoy the Georgia/Florida weekend festivities in a safe and secure manner.

To this end, we are coordinating with the City of Jacksonville, the University of Florida, and the University of Georgia to provide the information you need to make the most of the weekend. All event information related to participant safety, road closures, and traffic can be found on this website or theGeorgia/Florida website.

FOLLOW OUR GAME DAY TRAFFIC ALERTS ON TWITTER @JSOPIO #FLvsGA

Assistant Chief of Special Events Leonard Propper discusses 2012 Georgia vs. Florida traffic patterns and public safety tips at a news conference held on Monday, Oct. 22, 2012:

Assistant Chief Leonard Propper discusses Georgia vs. Florida game day traffic patterns, parking and shuttle services with Bruce Hamilton and Staci Spanos, co-hosts of WJXT’s “The Morning Show”. Aired on Wednesday, October 24, 2012

 


Pre-Game Information

For residents who live or work downtown:

  • There will be no parking on the south side of Bay Street from Ocean Street to Liberty Street starting on Friday, Oct. 26 at 6 a.m. throughout Saturday, Oct. 27.
  • Campers will be allowed into the lots at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 24. (For more information click here)
  • Be aware of the extra traffic and delays around EverBank Field and The Jacksonville Landing as guests arrive.

Road Closures

Road Closures from Thursday, Oct. 25, 2012 thru Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012 –

  • Hogan Street from Water Street to the St. Johns River will be closed Thursday, Oct. 25, from 8 a.m. thru 11 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28.
  • Pearl Street from Water Street to the St. Johns River will be closed Thursday, Oct. 25, from 8 a.m. thru 11 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28.
  • Sister Cities Plaza from Hogan Street to the cul-de-sac will be closed Thursday, Oct. 25, from 8 a.m. thru 11 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28.
  • Coastline Drive from the Jacksonville Landing to Newnan Street will be closed Thursday, Oct. 25, from 8 a.m. thru 11 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28.
Road Closures from Friday, Oct. 26, 2012 thru Saturday, Oct. 27, 2012 –
  • A. Phillip Randolph Blvd. from Duval Street to Adams Street will be closed Friday, Oct. 26, from 8 a.m. thru 2 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27.
Road Closures from Friday, Oct. 26, 2012 thru Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012 –
  • Independent Drive from Hogan Street east to Laura Street will be closed Friday, Oct. 26 at 4 p.m. thru 11 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 28. Please note: Independent Drive to Laura Street will remain open to southbound traffic going to the Main Street Bridge.
 Traffic Patterns
  • Lane indicators will be working Friday, Oct. 26 at 6 a.m. thru 9 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 27. During this time there will be two lanes going east and two lanes going west between Liberty Street and Ocean Street.
  • On Saturday, Oct. 27 at 9 a.m. the lane indicators will shift to pre-game pattern this includes three eastbound lanes and one westbound lane from Ocean Street to the sports complex area.
  • Sign boards will be up on major roadways throughout the city with parking information.
  • The Mathews Bridge will be open on Saturday, Oct. 27.

Game Day – Game Starts at 3:30 p.m.

Parking Tips
  • People without pre-paid parking passes need to use general parking. Based on history, we anticipate that general public parking in the sports complex area will fill up five hours prior to kick-off. Private lots near the stadium area go just as fast.
  • There will be no parking on the south side of Bay Street from Ocean Street to Liberty Street starting on Friday, Oct. 26 at 6 a.m. throughout Saturday, Oct. 27.
  • Arrive early. The stadium gates open at 1:30 p.m. After 1:30 p.m. the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office’s focus will shift to pedestrian traffic, vehicle traffic to the stadium should expect delays.
  • Additional Parking Information (as of Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2012)
MAPS
Game Day Transportation Services
The JTA Shuttle is available from various locations within Jacksonville on Saturday, Oct. 27 from 11:30 a.m. – 1 hour post-game. You may view the schedule atwww.jtafla.com

  • Florida State College of Jacksonville’s downtown campus, 101 W. State St., will have 2,000 free parking spaces available. There will be a shuttle bus offered, which will run for four hours before kick-off and for two hours after the game ends. Please visit www.jtafla.com for shuttle bus pricing.
  • There will be free parking at the Convention Center Parking Lot on Bay Street (located across from the Prime Osborne Convention Center, 1000 Water St.) with round-trip shuttle bus services. Please visit www.jtafla.com for shuttle bus pricing. Just like at Florida State College of Jacksonville’s downtown campus, these shuttles will also run for four hours before kick-off and for two hours after the game ends.
  • Attendees heading downtown for the game can also park at the Kings Avenue Parking Garage and take the Skyway to Central Station. Then walk from Central Station to the Jacksonville Landing and take a bus to the stadium.

The Water Taxi stops at various locations on the riverbank. These locations include: The Jacksonville Landing, Friendship Fountain, The Crowne Plaza, The Wyndam and the Jacksonville Municipal Marina.

The water taxi schedule is as follows:
Thursday, Oct. 25 – 11 a.m. – 10 p.m.
Friday, Oct. 26 – 10 a.m. – 2 a.m.
Saturday, Oct. 27 – 9 a.m. – Midnight
Sunday, Oct. 28 – 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.
Rates: Between $3-$5 per person, one way.
For more information go to www.jaxwatertaxi.com or call (904) 733-7782.

Safety

The safety of all game day participants is the utmost concern of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office. To this end, JSO would like to stress the following safety measures.

  • Jacksonville does have an open container law for underage drinkers, and this will be enforced.
  • Stay with your friends, stay in a group.
  • Do not buy tickets in the street. Counterfeit tickets do exist, and people found with counterfeit tickets will be ejected from the game and face possible arrest. (It is legal to buy tickets from a scalper. However, you do so at your own risk.)
  • Above all else, USE COMMON SENSE throughout the weekend

Sideline Safety Zone Information

The intent of the Sideline Safety Zone is to provide a friendly and safe environment to those students seeking assistance.

The Sideline Safety Zone will be clearly marked and will be staffed by volunteers from each university as well as the City of Jacksonville. Services include access to trolleys and taxis, medical attention, water, snacks, phones and general information. The student safety hotline (904) 630-SAFE (7233) will be available during the hours of operation. Visit the Sideline Safety Zone for further information.


 EverBank Field
  • No purses or bags larger than 12 x 12 x 12 inches
  • No cameras with lenses longer than six inches
  • No coolers or containers including cans, cups and bottles
  • No strollers or umbrellas
  • No pets (except special services)
  • No food or beverage from outside the stadium
  • No seat cushions
  • No video or audio recorders
  • No whistles, noise makers, air horns or laser pointers
  • No poles or sticks
  • No knives, guns or any type of weapons or explosives
  • No smoking (except in designated areas)
  • No promotional items or any other items deemed unacceptable by Stadium Management.
  • No Re-Entry

You cannot check items at the gates or in the stadium. Fans will be asked to either take prohibited items back to their car or dispose of prohibited items at the entrance of the stadium. EverBank Field and the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office are NOT responsible for items left behind, lost, stolen or damaged. Possession of prohibited items is grounds for ejection from the stadium. Game tickets will be forfeited. No re-entry allowed.  Click here for complete information on stadium rules and regulations

Whether you are a resident of Jacksonville or an out of town vistor, please enjoy Jacksonville, the Florida/Georgia Football Classic, and all of the exciting venues Jacksonville has to offer.


Social Media

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office and the City of Jacksonville’s Special Events Office will tweet traffic updates on Saturday, Oct. 27. Follow JSOPIO and FLvsGa on twitter for more information. #FLvsGA

Jacksonville Sea + Sky Spectacular

Biketoberfest – Daytona Beach

Event Happens: Oct 18, 2012 – Oct 21, 2012

Why have a regular ol’ Octoberfest when you can experience Biketoberfest® in Daytona Beach. This is a roaring good time throughout Central East Florida, as bikers come from near and far to participate. There’s nothing like being on the road, enjoying the freedom and feeling that Florida sun. Ride the Loop, meet your fellow riders and enjoy fun events all four days. Even if you’re not on a bike, you won’t want to miss the glorious sound and vision of gleaming motorcycles by the thousands and the characters who ride them.

Events will be happening throughout Daytona Beach, but Riverfront Park on South Beach Street will be hopping with vendors and food. DJ Ronnie will be keeping the music going from 10 am – 7 pm. Hourly giveaways and Beach Street Riverfront Beauties serving drinks spice up the action at the park.

For more information including helpful ride maps and a full schedule, visit Biketoberfest.org. Find your Central East Florida lodging near Daytona Beach by clicking here.

Daytona Beach Blues Festival

By October, the hottest of the summer weather has passed and it’s a natural time to bring on the blues in Daytona. Nationally acclaimed and up-and-coming blues talent will be playing all weekend at Jackie Robinson Ballpark (105 E. Orange Ave.) in downtown Daytona Beach. From the funky sounds of Victor Wainwright and the WildRoots to the trance blues Otis Taylor, 16 blues acts will entertain blues lovers from all over.

Not only is this a great music festival with great acts, but it’s also a good cause. Proceeds benefit women’s and children’s health at Halifax Health. To purchase tickets online and see the full schedule of performers, please visit AnnualDaytonaBluesFestival.com.

Visit annualdaytonabluesfestival.com for more info.

Best Day Trips Outside of Jacksonville, Florida

Remember Janet Jackson’s infamous ‘wardrobe malfunction’ when she performed with Justin Timberlake during the 2005 Super Bowl halftime show? Jacksonville was put on the map when it hosted that year’s Super Bowl. Located on the St. John’s River in northeast Florida, Jacksonville is an interesting city with much to offer. If you are looking for best day trips outside of Jacksonville, here are some destinations, all less than an hour’s drive away.

St Augustine, Florida
Any history buff will be thrilled to visit St Augustine! A forty-five minutes drive from Jacksonville, St Augustine is the oldest European settlement in America. The preservation of the city’s history is impressive, with restored buildings dating back as far as the early 1600s. You can see this fascinating city on a trolley or horse-drawn carriage, or you can take a walking tour. St George Street, the main thoroughfare, is lined with quaint shops, restaurants, museums and historic buildings. A few blocks away is the Castillo de San Marcos, the star-shaped Spanish fort built in the mid-1600s. The oldest masonry fortification in North America, the Castillo has withstood sieges and hurricanes over the years. Re-enactors in period costumes demonstrate the historic weapons by firing the Spanish cannons during special events and on the weekends throughout the year. Check their website for time and schedule. Other attractions include the Lightner Museum, the Fountain of Youth Archaeological ParkFlagler College (formerly Ponce de Leon Hotel) and the Casa Monica Hotel.

Fernandina Beach, Florida
Located on beautiful Amelia Island, Fernandina Beach is less than an hour’s drive northeast of Jacksonville. Like St Augustine, Fernandina Beach has its share of history, which dates back 4,000 years, when the ancient Timucuan Indians lived there. Eight flags have been flown in this town (including those of Spain, France, England, various insurgent groups, the United States and the Confederacy), reflecting its colorful past. A 50-block area of the quaint downtown is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. No doubt the white sand beaches are a big draw to this charming town. Another favorite event is the three-day Shrimp Festival, which takes place the first weekend in May.

Cumberland Island, Georgia
If you like nature, camping and hiking, a visit to the Cumberland Island National Seashore in nearby Georgia is a must. The island is accessible only by boat. You can take the ferry from St Marys, Georgia or Fernandina Beach, Florida. As you explore the island, you will find Dungeness, the ruins of the Carnegie home. You can tour Plum Orchard, the 1898 mansion built by Lucy Carnegie for her son. The mansion was donated to the park service in 1971.
A short hike to the seashore will reward you with a magnificent 17-miles of hard-packed sand beaches and dunes. The wildlife you encounter along the way include wild horses, armadillos, turtles and a vast array of birds.

For those looking seeking more action, there is always Daytona Beach and Orlando, but you would be looking at more than an hour’s drive away.

Sources
http://www.nfl.com
http://www.nps.gov
http://www.ameliaisland.com/
http://www.augustine.com/

Copyright © 2012 Yahoo! Inc. All rights reserved. | Yahoo! Travel.

5 Fall Date Ideas To Rev Up The Romance

FALL IN LOVE
WITH FALL

With summer winding down, it’s time to start thinking ahead to cooler temperatures, especially when it comes to love. Not sure what to do or where to go with your guy? Between outdoor adventures and season-specific outings, fall can be a lot more fun than you think.

Go apple picking

There’s no better way to eat seasonal and local than by heading to the closest apple farm to pick your own fruit. Not only will you be enjoying the fresh air, but you can gather enough goodies to go home and try your hand at baking a pie together. The crisp, fall air is energizing and apple picking is something you can only do in the fall, which makes it special. Check out PickYourOwn.org to find a farm near you.

Hit up a state fair

Cotton candy and rides and games, oh my! What could be better than a day spent arm in arm with your man while you take in the action at a local state fair? Greasy food, silly rides and the chance for him to win you a stuffed animal all combine for a laid back but ultra-fun day for two. Fall is prime time for fairs, so do a quick search here to find the closest one to you.

Head out on a hike

A fall hike is a great way to get to know someone better or boost your bond with someone you’ve been seeing for a while. Whether you’re six months into a relationship or six years, a brisk walk through some gorgeous trails makes for a romantic (and athletic) afternoon. Local Hikesprovides a comprehensive list of hiking trails near metropolitan areas making it easy to find one near you. Don’t forget to bring your camera to capture the fall colors.

Stay in and get cozy

Too blustery out for a hike or trip to the fair? There’s nothing more romantic than staying in and cuddling up under a blanket together for a cozy night in. Stock up on your favorite snacks, choose some movies you both want to watch, light some candles, open a bottle of wine and spend the afternoon or evening relaxing in the warmth of your living room.

Take a day trip

Whether it’s to hike further afield, check out a cute town you’ve never been to, or simply do something different for a day, taking a mini road trip is a fun fall date that goes beyond your usual activities. The best reason to get out of town in the fall? To see the fall foliage! Check out where to head to see the bursts of yellow, red and orange with a handy fall foliage map.

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