Things to Do

5 Active Valentine’s Day Date Ideas in the Texas Hill Country

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Are you recovering from holiday over-indulgences? Have you finally gotten back to a good fitness and healthy eating routine? No need to worry about blowing all of that hard work this Valentine’s Day. Why not plan a Valentine’s Day adventure that includes cardio instead of carbs and sunshine instead of candlelight?

Here are five active Texas Hill Country Valentine’s Day date ideas sure to get your heart pumping:

1. Rancho Cortez Dude and Fitness Ranch

Rancho Cortez

Photo: Facebook/ranchocortezbandera

Rancho Cortez is a dude and fitness ranch, located less than an hour from San Antonio in Bandera. Rancho Cortez offers visitors a chance to ride horses, go on a hike, take a yoga class or get fit using weights and agility courses–all while staying at this all-inclusive fitness ranch. Spend a weekend or invest more time at Rancho Cortez to improve your health and well-being.

2. Dance the Night Away at Gruene Hall

Dancing at Gruene Hall

Photo: Facebook/gruenehalltx

Gruene Hall, which is Texas’ oldest dance hall, is located in historic and scenic Gruene (in New Braunfels) and offers live music every day of the week. Grab a bite to eat in Gruene first and then head over to the hall to work up a sweat, two-stepping to some Americana-style music or hang around and see a headliner rock the hall. To see a complete calendar for shows coming to Gruene Hall, check out their online calendar.

3. Go Horseback Riding in Bandera

Horseback riding Bandera

Photo: Facebook/banderahistoricalrides

Combine fitness and history and go on a historical horseback ride in Bandera. Bandera Historical Rides provides rides with excellent horses and a historical “wild-west” touch to it. They do sightseeing in town, park rides, and rides at private ranches. All rides are in private groups and customized to your wish! Bandera Historical Rides offer rides for beginners who want to learn, all the way to advanced riders who do not want to walk in a nose-to-tail line.

4. Hike Enchanted Rock

Hike Enchanted Rock

Photo: Facebook/enchantedrock

Tell your partner to “take a hike,” this Valentines Day…literally. An invigorating hike on Fredericksburg’s own Enchanted Rock is sure to get your heart beating on February 14. Enchanted Rock is a massive pink granite exfoliation dome rising 425 feet above ground, peaking at 1825 feet above sea level, and covering 640 acres. It is one of the largest batholiths (underground rock formation uncovered by erosion) in the United States. Enchanted Rock State Natural Area is open daily from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m.

5. Go Digging for Topaz in Mason County

Topaz digging Mason County

Photo: Flickr/Bryant Olsen

Hoping that your partner will put a rock for your finger this Valentine’s Day? Plan a trip to Mason County to hunt for topaz stones and increase your odds of coming home with a gem. Topaz resembles quartz and ranges in color from clear to brown to yellow to sky blue. The blue stones are especially beautiful when faceted in the Lone Star cut. The Mason County Chamber of Commerce has a list of guided tours and self-guided excursions in the county. By contacting their listings, you can find all the information you need regarding reservations, gear, and prices.