AURA Preview: Getting Romantic in the Suwannee
Words by Taylor Cleary
[ Image via AURA Music & Arts Festival’s Instagram @auramusicfest ]
AURA Music Festival is upon us, and it almost overshadows the other major event of that weekend: Valentine’s Day. But that’s not to say you can’t celebrate both! Here are some V-Day ideas you can take heart in (sorry, had to) with your Suwannee sweetie:
Take a nature walk
If there’s one thing the Suwannee isn’t short on, it’s nature. Duh. So go enjoy it! Take a break from the whiskey (or don’t) and get walking. The camp’s got dirt roads, hiking trails, and more woods than you’ll ever need, and they all provide a stunning glimpse of Florida’s natural state. From the SOSMP wesbite: “breathe the fresh, sweet air, witness the myriad wildlife and listen to the gentle sounds of nature.” Couldn’t have said it better myself. With this year’s weather, keep an eye out for polar bears.
Visit the Bat House
Not for the queasy couple, this luxurious romantic getaway comes complete with… hordes of screeching bats. In the middle of the Farm Field camping area sits the largest bat house in the country, and inside are UP TO FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND BATS, all of which come flying out full speed when the sun sets (cover your hair, ladies). Not traditionally romantic, but definitely exciting to watch. The gorgeous sunset and groups of fire-spinners don’t hurt, either.
Who wouldn’t want to get down on some munchies with this sexy beast?
Have a picnic – in the air
It may sound crazy, but if you’ve ever been to a festival at SOSMP, you’ve probably seen crazier. I’m talking about a hammock picnic. It’s the perfect way to stay cozy and take care of those munchies at the same time. Set up your picnic between two trees, and hang your hammock right over it! We suggest the trees around Spirit Lake or, of course, the Amphitheater Stage.
Candles? Why not light a WHOLE FIRE?
There’s no doubt it’ll be chilly out there, so a candlelight dinner might not cut it. Opt for a fireside meal instead – just make sure you know what you’re doing! The General Store toward the front of the venue (near the Music Hall) will have everything you need to set up a romantic campfire dinner for two, and there’s always firewood available on the main road. Just remember to check out the AURA website for campfire regulations. Oh, and PUT IT OUT when you’re done.
Get to the river
Swimming will probably be out of the question (unless you’re crazy), but the river itself is a gorgeous beach spot. If you’re looking for some quiet time away from the excitement of the festival, take a trip (about a mile outside camp, so you’ll want to drive) to the beach and enjoy the view. This would also be a great spot for that air-picnic we talked about.
Build a tent-nest
This one’s pretty self-explanatory, but a tent nest could be the best spot in camp if you build it right. An air mattress is of course the perfect base, and from there, just pile on the blankets. Use pillows (as many as you can get your hands on) to make “walls” and burrow down with your sweetheart! Of course, the more people you let in, the warmer it’ll be (and probably more fun).
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