Aug. 1 is National Girlfriends Day, a day for which you have definitely been planning the perfect surprise date for weeks, right? Well, right?
In fact, the holiday was originally meant to celebrate girl friends (as in friends who are girls), not girlfriends. But the holiday has evolved, and so the first of August marks a celebration of all female companionship — romantic or otherwise.
In any case, it’s a great excuse to go on a date in the middle of the week.
Here are a few ideas for what you can do tonight to celebrate with your special someone(s).
1. Rent some bikes and have an adventure.
The weather today should be wonderfully mild, perfect for a bike ride on one of the trails. The Fall Line Trace travels through the heart of the city from around Flat Rock Park all the way until it connects with the Chattahoochee RiverWalk. You can rent bikes (including two-person bikes) at many bike shops around town.
2. Try out a new restaurant.
Columbus is underrated as a foodie’s paradise. There are more than 500 restaurants in Columbus, which means there is always something new (and in your budget) to try. Start with a restaurant from our Reader’s Choice Awards (available in the most recent Sunday edition), or just start browsing for something interesting.
3. Take a tour of historic Columbus landmarks.
Columbus is full of historic neighborhoods and landmarks. From the birthplace of Coca-Cola to the childhood homes of Ma Rainey and Carson McCullers, to gardens, cemeteries, mills and even battlefields, there’s more than enough history to make today a little more interesting. Look through the list of historic markers in Muscogee County and mark out local “road trip” to see a few.
4. Lounge on the beach off the Phenix City RiverWalk.
It’s what may be one of the area’s best secrets. About a half-mile north on the Alabama side of the RiverWalk, there is a sand beach. It’s small, but just big enough to bring some food and drinks, lay out a few towels, play some music and just hang out by the water.
5. Rent a boat (and life jacket) and explore the Chattahoochee.
Both Whitewater Express and the Chattahoochee Paddle Company offer kayak and tube rentals. Take a trip out on the water, look for fish, watch the rafters, and just enjoy each other’s company. Make sure you check the release schedule for the dam before you go out, though. The river can go from calm and pleasant to swift and dangerous within minutes.
While you’re out, you can share your experience with the hashtag #NationalGirlfriendsDay on social media.
Scott Berson: 706-571-8578, @ScottBersonLE