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Top Outdoor Fall Dates In St. Louis

August 24, 2013 7:00 AM

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(credit: boathouseforestpark.com)

(credit: boathouseforestpark.com)

Fall is a time for outdoor romance. Slanting sunlight reflects the fiery colors of autumn leaves, casting a poetic golden glow. The crunch of leaves underfoot, scent of bonfires and chill in the air draw us outdoors. Here are the best places to walk side by side in the golden light of fall, holding hands or even stealing kisses.
loneelk Top Outdoor Fall Dates In St. Louis

(credit: stlouisco.com)

Lone Elk Park
1 Lone Elk Park Road
Valley Park, MO 63088
(314) 615-5000
www.stlouisco.com

Your date will love an afternoon hike through the county’s most beautiful park — and it’s free. Pack a picnic with a bottle of wine and bring some insect repellent so your date won’t struggle with mosquitos or ticks. Then walk the wooded trails and photograph wildlife like elk, deer and ducks. The gorgeous fall colors will be reflected in the stillness of the lake at the center of the elk area, and the peace and quiet will give you a chance to get to know one another. See if you can catch a glimpse of last year’s new bison baby on your way out of the park.

apple picking eckerts 4 Top Outdoor Fall Dates In St. Louis

(credit: KMOX.com)

Eckert’s Orchard
951 S. Greenmount Road
Belleville, IL 62220
(618) 233-0513
www.eckerts.com

Spend a crisp fall day picking apples or pumpkins with your sweetie at Eckert’s in Belleville. Ride the tractor-pulled tram into the orchard and fill bags with fresh produce (check Eckert’s website for its ripening schedule). Stop by the store and browse a full selection of wines and cheeses along with down-home country treats like apple butter and apple pie. Once you’ve worked up an appetite out in the fresh air, share lunch at the onsite cafe or restaurant.

botannicalgardens Top Outdoor Fall Dates In St. Louis

(credit: mobot.org)

Missouri Botanical Garden
4344 Shaw Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 577-5100
www.mobot.org

There is perhaps no more idyllic setting for an outdoor date than Shaw’s Garden. Star-crossed lovers can stroll through fountains, benches and flower gardens at their leisure. To make the most of the season, head to the back of the property and find the English Woodland Garden. Leaves will be turning colors, the light will be golden and lots of quiet corners and inviting benches offer spots for sharing a smile, a secret or a kiss.

Related:  Top Day Trips For Under $100 In St. Louis

peremarquette Top Outdoor Fall Dates In St. Louis

(credit: dnr.state.il.us)

Pere Marquette State Park
Grafton, IL 62037
(618) 786-3323
www.dnr.state.il.us

Cross the river and enjoy a lovely drive up the River Road, with fall color lighting up the bluffs on one side and the river passing by on the other. When you arrive at Pere Marquette, you can hike several wooded trails, pausing at scenic overlooks, or if you’ve made a reservation at the stable, take the trails on horseback. Dine at the lodge or at one of the charming riverbank restaurants in the old-fashioned small town of Grafton.

boathouse Top Outdoor Fall Dates In St. Louis

(credit: boathouseforestpark.com)

The Boathouse at Forest Park
6101 Government Drive
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 367-2224
www.boathouseforestpark.com

Tired of hiking? Rent a paddleboat for $15 an hour and have a leisurely spin around the lake in Forest Park. You’ll get a different view of landmarks like the Art Museum and the Zoo, and you might encounter some ducks, geese, herons, turtles or other wildlife. When you turn in your boat, enjoy a delicious meal at the Boathouse. On Friday evenings until October 11, you can have cocktails on the Boathouse deck and hear some live music.

Related: Top Spots For Horseback Riding Near St. Louis

Lauren Haas is a writer who specializes in finding the fun! Lauren was the publisher of the St. Louis Area Family Gazette for eight years, and now writes freelance articles on St. Louis events and attractions, budget travel, arts and entertainment and fitness topics. Her work can be found at Examiner.com.

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