5 excursions to celebrate your anniversary by reconnecting with nature

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Have an upcoming anniversary? This year, instead of planning months ahead on an extravagant anniversary trip, consider opting for a little less preparation and a little more spontaneity. A nature-driven excursion to one of North Carolina’s rustic locations provides several anniversary gifts all tied into one — the raw beauty of the outdoors, an easier pace of life, and intimate time with your significant other.

Below are five options to consider when planning for your special day:

Take a two-hour, open-Hummer tour of Corolla, an island in the Outer Banks that is home to wild Banker horses believed to have been left behind by Spanish explorers in the 1500s. (PORT CITY DAILY PHOTO/COURTESY WILD HORSE ADVENTURE TOURS)
Take your significant other on a two-hour, open-Hummer tour of Corolla, an island in the Outer Banks that is home to wild Banker horses believed to have been left behind by Spanish explorers in the 1500s. (PORT CITY DAILY PHOTO/COURTESY WILD HORSE ADVENTURE TOURS)

Wild Horse Adventure Tour in Corolla, N.C.

Corolla, located in the Outer Banks, is home to wild Banker horses believed to have been left behind by Spanish explorers in the 1500s.

At this destination, visitors can enjoy a trip around the beaches and marshes in a 13-passenger, open-air Hummer.

This two hour trip lends passengers the chance to learn about history and witness the phenomenon of adaptation without even having to get up from their seat.

Customers should call and schedule a week in advance during summer months. In-season pricing starts at $34 for children.

 

Snorkel at Oxbow River

Snorkel in the Oxbow River and take in the views of freshwater aquatic life. (Port City Daily photo/COURTESY OF OXBOW RIVER SNORKELING)
Snorkel together in the Oxbow River and take in the views of freshwater aquatic life. (Port City Daily photo/COURTESY OF OXBOW RIVER SNORKELING)

There are endless opportunities to snorkel here on the coast, but how many times have you snorkeled in the Blue Ridge Mountains? With this excursion, visitors can observe freshwater aquatic life that you won’t see in the ocean.

Those who are fortunate can get a glimpse of one of the world’s largest salamanders, the Eastern Hellbender.

Prices include snorkeling gear and start at $97.50 for two people looking for a half-day session.

 

 

 

Play on Land and Water at the US National Whitewater Center

Take a peaceful kayaking (or stand-up paddleboard) trip alongside each other down the Catawba River. (Port City Daily photo/COURTESY U.S. NATIONAL WHITEWATER CENTER)
Take a peaceful kayaking (or stand-up paddleboard) trip alongside each other down the Catawba River. (Port City Daily photo/COURTESY U.S. NATIONAL WHITEWATER CENTER)

Adjacent to the Catawba River in Charlotte, is the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Patrons can utilize this waterway to kayak or Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP).

There are also 30 miles of preserved forests that are open to hikers and bikers.

For those willing to venture into the man-made realm of simulation, the imitation whitewater river offers rapids fun for guests at every experience level.

Day passes start at $49 for children.

 

 

 

Pick apples at the Orchard at Altapass

Want a dog-friendly anniversary excursion, or a day-trip as part of a longer weekend, try the Orchard at Altapass. (Port City Daily photo/COURTESY OF THE ORCHARD AT ALTAPASS)
Want a dog-friendly anniversary excursion, or a day-trip as part of a longer weekend, try the Orchard at Altapass. (Port City Daily photo/COURTESY OF THE ORCHARD AT ALTAPASS)

The Orchard at Altapass, in Spruce Pine, is a dog-friendly excursion offering an apple picking adventure.

If you time your trip right, you may even get to dance to live mountain music, watch open mic and jam sessions, and go on a storytelling hayride.

For the most apple selections, it is best to call ahead and ask for recommended dates.

This could be a pleasant stop on the way to the Blue Ridge Parkway or serve as an all-day event.  

 

 

 

Bust your butt at Quarry Falls

Bust your butts together --- or maybe just swim under a waterfall --- at Quarry Falls in Highland, N.C. (Port City Daily photo/COURTESY ROMANTICASHEVILLE.COM)
Bust your butts together — or maybe just swim under a waterfall — at Quarry Falls in Highland, N.C. (Port City Daily photo/COURTESY ROMANTICASHEVILLE.COM)

Quarry Falls, also known as “Bust Your Butt Falls,” or “Sliding Rock,” is located outside of the quaint town of Highlands, N.C. 

This waterfall is one of several found along U.S. Highway 64, however this one is known for being North Carolina’s natural waterslide with a swimming hole at the bottom.

Other waterfalls great for hiking, picnicking, and swimming include: Dry Falls, Bridal Veil Falls, Secret Falls and others.