When thinking of the most romantic places in the world, Paris, Rome, even New York City might come to mind, but Vancouver, with its striking natural beauty, has plenty of romance for couples. With so many different types of activities to do in British Columbia's largest city, there is something for everyone to enjoy: Dining out on the water, ziplining through the forest, sipping wine at a tasting room, or just taking a walk along one of Vancouver's beaches. Regardless of the occasion, here are the 12 best romantic things to do in Vancouver.
Enjoy Incredible Mountaintop Views
To add a truly dramatic background to your romance, share an incredible view together on the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish.
With bird's eye views of Howe Sound, challenging hikes that take you to breathtaking viewpoints, and the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge, you and your lover's adrenaline will be indeed pumping.
Open year-round, visitors can enjoy snowshoeing, and snow tubing in the wintertime, as well as mountaintop yoga, rock climbing, free tours, and more during the summer season.
Bike Vancouver's Famous Seawall
Biking is a free activity (or low-cost rental) that many couples love doing together. It's a fantastic way to see the city or countryside and guaranteed to give both of you an endorphin boost.
Favorite biking spots include the Vancouver Seawall, or any of the scenic bike trails located throughout the city, including the Central Valley Greenway, Stanley Park, and Sunset Beach.
You can even rent a tandem bike at Bayshore Bike Rentals on Denman Street and work on developing your problem-solving skills, together.
Walk Along the Beach at Sunset
Long walks on the beach are cliché for a reason: most people enjoy taking a leisurely stroll with their loved ones with the golden light of the sunset to sounds of the gently crashing waves.
Take a walk along any of Vancouver's best beaches including Spanish Banks Beach Park, Kitsilano Beach, and Sunset Beach Park.
Dinner out is another date cliché, but Vancouver has no shortage of charming restaurants that pack on the romantic charm. Enjoy a candlelit Italian meal at Lupo in Yaletown, cozy up to a velvet banquette at Bacchus Restaurant & Lounge, or dine waterfront at Five Sails with spectacular views of the North Shore mountains.
Go on a Wine Tour
For couples who love their partners and their wine, a wine tasting or tour is an ideal match. At the Vancouver Urban Winery, you can enjoy one of their 36 different wines on tap, including those made in-house wines alongside a rotating selection from neighbor wineries across British Columbia. The winery also offers a range of food and beer, and for couples who love learning together, there is the popular Sunday School series, where sommeliers David Stansfield and Lisa Cook host fun and informative seminars.
Stroll Through VanDusen Botanical Garden
A lovely stroll awaits every season at the VanDusen Botanical Garden. The garden is charming at any time of the year and has plenty of nooks and secluded pathways so you can get away from the crowds.
Have a Skate Date at Robson Square
Show off your ice skating skills at the Robson Square Ice Rink. Open every day (barring a few major holidays) from early December through the end of February, this rink is free and is located right in the heart of downtown Vancouver.
This semi-enclosed rink is also open late and holds special events with live music and laser light shows.
Sleep Under the Stars
Is there anything more romantic than stargazing? If you enjoy the great outdoors, skip an expensive hotel and sleep under the stars at one of Vancouver's many beautiful and scenic places to camp, including the sandy beaches of Porpoise Bay on the Sunshine Coast, and Porteau Cove that has special facilities for scuba divers, if you're up for an adventure.
Go on an Outdoor Adventure Together
Ziplining in Vancouver and Whistler is one way to add a little adventure to your relationship. There's also Perfect Day Experiences, a company that offers a wide variety of adventure packages you can do with your partner, including flying, scuba diving, kayaking, boating, and windsurfing, as well as unusual sports lessons, like European fencing.
Watch the Sunset From a Dinner Cruise
Dress Up for the Theatre, Symphony, or Opera
Stanley Park Horse Tours are famous for their group tours around the park, but they also rent out private, horse-drawn carriages for couples (including weddings). You can even choose a Cinderella-inspired pumpkin coach.
Shop at the Farmers Markets
Spend an afternoon shopping at the farmers market before heading home to make a truly fresh meal. The city's farmers markets sell seasonal fruits and vegetables from local growers, as well as other artisanal products and baked goods. While most of Vancouver's markets run from May through October, the Granville Island Market is open every day, year-round.
Go See a Drive-In Movie
Vancouver has just one drive-in movie theater and luckily, it's a good one! The delightfully kitschy Twilight Drive-In shows two films every night, from mid-February through November. Bring blankets and pillows and cozy up in the truck!
Pick Berries at Krause Berry Farms
In the summer months, you can visit the "u-pick" berry fields at Krause Berry Farms in Langley. The farm grows strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. You can fill your basket with as much as you want. Your haul is then weighed and priced per pound. There's even flower garden if you want to make your own bouquet for your lover!
Walk Across the Capilano Suspension Bridge
The Capilano Suspension Bridge stretches nearly 500 feet across the Capilano River, which rushes 230 feet below. Crossing the bridge is both a romantic (and thrilling) activity, as you're flanked by the greenery of the forest while the river rushes below. Visiting the bridge is romantic any time of year, but it's especially so during the holiday season, when it's adorned with thousands of lights. Capilano's "Canyon Lights" usually runs from Thanksgiving through the end of January.
Visit the Vancouver Aquarium
If your date is an animal lover, they'll love a visit to the Vancouver Aquarium. Located in Stanley Park, the aquarium is home to more than 50,000 different aquatic animals. Many of the exhibits highlight marine life in Canada, including animals from the Arctic Circle and the unique Steller sea lions.