Six sizzling outdoor summer dates

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If you're looking for a great outdoor date in Baltimore, Annapolis and beyond, check out these beautiful spots for some romantic summer fun.

Skip and Emily Squires of Ellicott City have been married for seventeen years and have been hiking together in Patapsco Valley State Park for twenty. Whenever they get the chance to break away from life with their two active sons, Patapsco is a favorite date hike.

rsz outdoordateterrapinGiant swing at Terrapin Adventures"Because it's nestled in the valley, you feel like you're really separated from everything. But in reality, you're really close to civilization," Skip says. "I love that we can be 10 minutes from our house and hike to a waterfall."

Whether it's hiking in the woods, visiting an observatory, taking a sunset cruise, kayaking through a historic seaport or having a picnic at the edge of the Chesapeake Bay, these suggestions can make a perfect outdoor date adventure.

Hike in the woods

Patapsco Valley State Park, located along 32 miles of the Patapsco River, offers hiking opportunities that feel wild and secluded while located only minutes from real life.

With over 170 trails, there are plenty of hikes for all skill levels. The Grist Mill Trail is a gentle paved path that takes you over swinging bridges, through the woods and along the river. More strenuous trails reward hikers with waterfalls and spectacular views of the valley.

The Avalon/Glen Artney/Orange Grove area includes remains of a small village that supported the Avalon Nail and Iron Works Mill. The Hilton area connects several trails close to the Saw Mill Branch Stream, including some that involve boulder hopping. The Hollofield area contains some of the most stunning views of the valley, especially along the Peace Pond and the Old Ranger trails.

Patapsco Valley State Park is located in both Baltimore and Howard counties with various entrances. Park fees in season (April through October) are $2 per in-state vehicle weekdays and $3 per in-state resident weekends.

Visit the Maryland Department of Natural Resources website to learn more. 

Stargazing 

rsz ourdoordatesobservatoryStargazing at the Maryland Science CenterNothing is more romantic than a night of stargazing. The Maryland Science Center opens its rooftop urban observatory on Friday nights from 7-10:30 p.m. for an evening under the stars. The Stargazing Fridays program features a computer-driven Clark telescope with staff on hand to help you locate planets and constellations in the night sky.

Admission for the observatory is free on Friday nights, weather permitting. The Science Center itself closes at 5 p.m. until June 21, when it stays open until 8 p.m. Admission is $18.95-$22.95.

Call 410-545-2999 after 5 p.m. on Friday nights to verify the Observatory is open.
The Maryland Science Center is at 601 Light St., Baltimore. mdsci.org

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