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Five romantic outdoor activities in the Coastal Bend

Whether you're trying to impress someone you just met, seeking a nice place to become betrothed, or simply enjoying the presence of your significant other, Corpus Christi offers a wide array of spectacular romantic venues. The majority of these are out-of-doors areas, where isolation meets the sparkling beauty of nature. Like Romeo and Juliet – those famous lovers of old – you will bask in each others' company in the vast simplicity of Mother Earth; here are the top five unforgettable local areas in which outdoors-meet-romance.

1. Walk the seawall at Shoreline Boulevard. Take an evening stroll from the marina to the new illuminated fountain, enjoying the miradores del mar, or small gazebos, along the way. You'll see sailboats float by and hear the soothing sounds of the ocean without leaving downtown. For even more romance, rent a tandem bicycle cart and do the same.

2. Fly a kite at Padre Island National Seashore. If you're looking for an isolated beach, there's no better place to go. Step it up a notch and finish your date with a picnic and horseback riding on the beach. If you're lucky, sunset will bring a bloom of the bioluminescent algae Noctiluca with it, which illuminates the crescent of each wave. As you paddle out into the water, you can woo your lover with sparkling blue beams of light coming from each stroke of your arm.

3. Rent a paddle boat from the downtown marina. You will bond with your sweetie while getting some exercise and enjoying the scenic view. If you'd rather relax, Captain Clark's Flagship offers narrated cruises of the bay and often provides live music during weekend nighttime cruises.

4. Hike through the Botanic Gardens. Don't forget to stop by the fragrant orchid gardens along your journey.

5. Picnic at the water gardens behind the Art Museum. You couldn't find a more serene place to relax downtown. Follow your picnic with a tour of the beautiful historic buildings at Heritage Park and add to your knowledge of the area's past.

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