Today being Valentine’s Day I have had several inquiries about activities, events, and suggestions for intimate dining around Vancouver. I thought that this would be the most opportune time to re-activate my “Top Five” series and present my list of the Top Five Places for Romance in Vancouver.
Whether you’re a casual jogger on the sea wall or trail enthusiast like we are, Vancouver’s crown jewel is filled with lush evergreens, scurrying wildlife, and breathtaking views of the inlet, mountains, and our city of glass. On a rainy day, path-side creeks swell and bubble and when the sun shines, it illuminates the thriving scenery like a theatrical spotlight. During the summer months, grab a frosty treat and head to the sands of Third Beach. In the winter, toast your mitts with a cup of tea, walk hand-in-hand, and rub rose-tipped noses together at Beaver Lake, on the Merilees Trail, or Lovers’ Lane. You can also stop in for lunch or dinner at the cozy Teahouse.
During the summer months, bring a blanket to Ceperley Meadow for a free outdoor movie date night.
Seasons in QE Park
Vancouver’s restaurant scene is so spectacular that it’s often tough to make a dining choice. So many have have fresh, locally-sourced ingredients and BC wine selections that sometimes it purely comes down to the atmosphere. Seasons in QE Park offeres a panoramic view of the entire city from atop Queen Elizabeth Park and the dining room is all class with courteous staff and candles to set the mood any day.
Cloud 9 at the Empire Landmark
As previously mentioned, there are many great options for dining in Vancouver and again my choice for this Top Five is one place with a view like no other. We go to Cloud 9 at the Empire Landmark on Robson purely for the view and the comfort food (usually offered in a 3-course prix-fixe menu) isn’t terrible either. It takes a full hour to make your way around the revolving restaurant that towers 39 floors above the rest of the entire West End.
Look out and see the glimmering lights of the city, the skyscrapers in Burnaby, snow-capped North Shore mountains, and the ships that sway back and forth in English Bay. With plenty of points of interest to mention to each other throughout your lap above the city, you can slow things down over a candlelit meal. The ceiling even sparkles with thousands of tiny lights, replicating the twinkling stars outside the 360 degrees of windows. The best time to go would be just before sunset.
Some of my favourite days are those that find us hopping a False Creek Ferry from the West End over to Granville Island. Stop in and grab ingredients for a home-cooked meal, enjoy a donut or treat from the bakery, stroll around and visit artist studios (maybe try your hand at glass blowing), tour the Granville Island Brewery, and catch a show at one of the many theatre companies like the Arts Club or Waterfront Theatre.
A sporting event might not be your idea of a lovey or lusty spark-inducing venue but if you’re both hockey fans, it’ll definitely do the trick. Walk to the arena, share a bucket of popcorn, and bond emotionally while riding the roller coaster that is a Canucks game. Be sure to pay attention to the big screen in case you’re up next on the Kiss Cam.
If the Canucks aren’t in town, I recommend heading to Score on Davie to watch our boys in action. Sink into a white leather booth with soft cushions and enjoy the game from one of the many large LCD screens. At The Charles Bar in Gastown you can also grab a private booth complete with your own television.
This is an honorable mention as it’s not in Vancouver but it once again offers a naturally beautiful setting and impressive views. Walk in from the parking lot, passing ferns and thick-trunked cedars, then take a seat and watch the waves crash against the rocky shores.
Other than that, if you’re downtown in the summer why not try some dancing at Robson Square? Learn to salsa, swing and waltz with your partner during these fun, free evenings.
I’d love to know some of your favourite romantic spots, please feel free to list them in the comments.