Ann Arbor may be called “Tree Town” by locals, but for many students, it might as well be “Sidewalk Town.” Maybe even “Diag Town.” If you aren’t searching for a park, your stroll with a significant other may lead to more buildings — which isn’t a bad thing, of course. Ann Arbor is no flop when it comes to date spots: the Kerrytown Farmer’s Market, Main Street restaurants and State Street theaters are all great.

But let’s be real. True romantics flock to nature, not to noodle bars. Nichols Arboretum, or the “Arb,”  is rated best date spot because it offers a haven from the constant motion of campus and downtown Ann Arbor, letting couples give their full attention to each other and to the scenery.  Miles of trails stretch from the gorgeous Peony Garden to the Huron River, whose riverbank is scattered with picnic tables. April is a particularly beautiful time in the Arb because a line of 20,000 daffodils are scheduled to bloom this month, celebrating the thirteenth year of artist Susan Skarsgard’s exhibit.

For a fun, affordable date, pack a picnic lunch, strap on good walking shoes and try the Arb on for size. Watch out on weekend mornings — the pathways can get fairly busy with groups of runners and bird watchers. By mid-morning, the Arb quiets down. Take your time hiking, listening to the birds, admiring the daffodils. When you work up an appetite for lunch, spread a blanket near the river, then dig into food and conversation. Oh — and leave your phone behind.

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