BRINGING THE OUTDOORS CLOSER TO HOME

Helping you #LiveOutdoors in daily life

Ravens Roost Overlook Blue Ridge Parkway Virginia
Big Meadows SNP Night Sky Date Ideas Mary O'Neill

Outdoor Date Ideas in the Shenandoah Valley

We live in an area that allows for some of the most breathtaking outdoor adventures. Start planning some bucket list dates to celebrate love and friendship all throughout the year. These date ideas don’t have to be just with a significant other, they can be for family dates, for great friendships or even ideas you can enjoy by yourself, as you seek time to fill your own soul. One of the best parts about getting out in nature for quality time is to get away from cell service and the distractions of day-to-day life. The stillness of the outdoors provides opportunity to relax and have meaningful conversation and contemplation.

  1. Hike to an Overlook or Waterfall. – There is no doubt that visiting overlooks with someone you love is a romantic outing. If you ever hike Humpback Rocks on a busy fall Saturday, you might see a proposal! This area has wonderful overlooks and even waterfalls for memorable walks in the woods.
  2. Kayak or relax at Sherando Lake – While a drive the coast might be a great getaway, right in our own backyard, we have the tucked away gem of Sherando Lake. It’s a wonderful spot for kayaking and enjoying time in the sun. Bring a beach chair and towel and enjoy the peaceful mountain lake setting.
  3. Drive to an overlook to watch the sunrise or sunset – Maybe an active date isn’t quite something you are in the mood for or able to do, you can still enjoy the outdoors by driving up to one of the many accessible overlooks along the Blue Ridge Parkway or Skyline Drive. Whether you are a morning person or evening, the majesty of a sunrise or sunset is a sight to behold.
  4. Stargaze in Shenandoah National Park – Venturing away from the light pollution of the city into the mountains of Virginia allows for some of the most amazing celestial displays! The Big Meadows area is one of the most popular spots for Stargazing in SNP. Enjoy contemplating the vastness of the universe.
  5. Enjoy a slow morning right out your own back door – While getting away in our beautiful corner of the world is wonderful. Some mornings call for coffee and muffins right at home on your own back patio, porch, or deck. Even though it is at home, still schedule it and plan what you will eat or drink. Put your phones away and ignore the chores that could be done and embrace a relaxing time together in your own little slice of heaven.

Give Someone a Bear Hug

This month, we want to encourage you to embrace someone with random acts of kindness! Here are some ideas to get you started. Many acts of kindness cost little to know money, but might just take some time and intentionality. Download and print our Bear Hug notes to leave with your good deed and make someone smile this week.

  1. Bring a baked good to your neighbors
  2. Carve out time to call a parent, sibling, or friend just to hear how they are
  3. Give an extra generous tip at your favorite restaurant
  4. Bring treats to your local fire station or library
  5. Make a meal for a family going through a tough time
  6. Write and mail a letter to someone you are thankful for
  7. Pay for the person in line behind you at the drive through
  8. Offer to babysit for free for a family that you know
  9. Take the time to write a great online review for a business you love
  10. Donate gently used items to a local outreach center (like Love, Inc)

Feel free to tag us on social media with your Bear Hugs!

Facebook: Bear Creek Outdoor Living and Instagram: bearcreekoutdoorliving

Bear Hug Notes Random Acts of Kindness

The Sweetheart Ribeye

Sweetheart Butterflied Ribeye Steak Dinner

The Sweetheart Ribeye is simply a ribeye steak that has been butterflied open to resemble a heart. You can ask your local grocery store butcher to do this for you at the meat counter and prepare for a delicious dinner with someone you love!

Grilling a Sweetheart Ribeye

  1. Prepare the grill and preheat to high heat.
  2. Using a large platter season the steaks with a dry rub or mix of your favorite seasonings. You can’t go wrong with classic salt and pepper or maybe a bit of seasoned salt, but feel free to add some rosemary, parsley and garlic to your taste. Add some butter for rich flavor.
  3. Place seasoned steaks on the hot grill, and cook for 4 to 6 minutes on each side for medium-rare, longer if desired.
  4. Remove steaks and cover with tinfoil to let rest for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.

Serve with roasted potatoes and your favorite green vegetables. Pair with a glass of red wine for a romantic and heart healthy meal.

Project Highlight of the Month: Afton Screen Porch and Re-Deck

Our Afton homeowner wanted to expand their outdoor living space and connect it to the natural elements of their backyard. The project included renovation of the existing deck and an addition of a screen porch over part of the deck, as well as a smaller landing deck to lead down to their backyard. They used the Screeneze system and now they can enjoy all seasons and weather outside. We just love the gorgeous rafters and fixtures they picked out. Our client dreamed up an amazing space and we were so glad to be a part of it. We hope they can enjoy time in this peaceful outdoor space connecting with nature.

Browse more projects to get great ideas, as you dream about your own outdoor living space.

Our FastTrack Decks, Pergolas and Patios have been designed to take the stress and complexity out of your needs for an outdoor living space that is functional and low maintenance.  These unique and customizable decks can create an effective and useful space that often does not need permitting.  You can order these online from our outdoor living store or set up an appointment with one of our project consultants to discuss your project.

As you start to plan your outdoor living space, we want it to be a place that truly brings the outdoors closer to home. Read about the five keys that we believe can help. Explore what is unique about your space and fits your lifestyle. We hope to keep your outdoor living space simple and natural, while fitting the environment and buffering distraction, both from the environment and within our souls.

Articles written by Natalie Hall. Natalie is Bear Creek’s Marketing Manager. She is an outdoor enthusiast, who loves running and hiking. She loves to take her three children to experience nature and soak up the natural joys of being outside. She believes that adventures can happen out in the wilderness or right in your own backyard. 

Interested in getting great ideas to help you #LiveOutdoors each month?