When thinking of the most romantic places in the world, Paris and Rome may come to mind first, but Vancouver's striking natural beauty makes it a town ripe with amorous settings for lovebirds. With so many different types of activities to do in British Columbia's largest city, there really is something for every kind of couple to enjoy, whether that's dining, wine tasting, or simply going for a walk along the beach.
Enjoy Incredible Mountaintop Views
To add a truly dramatic background to your romance, take a ride together and share an incredible view on the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish. 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. Enjoy a bird's eye views of Howe Sound, challenging hikes that take you to breathtaking viewpoints, and the fear-inducing Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge.
Bike Vancouver's Famous Seawall
Biking is a free activity (and if you don't have a bike, rentals are inexpensive) 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.
Walk Along the Beach at Sunset
Long walks on the beach are cliché, but they're popular for a reason: Taking a leisurely stroll alongside a loved one, with the golden light of the sunset and sounds of the gently crashing waves in the background, never really gets old. Vancouver's best beaches for romantic walking and hand-holding include 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 banquet at Bacchus Restaurant & Lounge, or dine by the 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 36 wines on tap, including those made in-house alongside a rotating selection from neighbor wineries across British Columbia. The winery also offers a range of food and beer.
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 where you can get away from the crowds.
VanDusen does charge an admission fee, but if you're looking for a free activity, check out one of these other fantastic Vancouver gardens including the Rose Garden at Stanley Park and the Quarry Gardens at Queen Elizabeth Park.
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 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.
Watch the Sunset From a Dinner Cruise
Watch the sunset over the North Shore mountains from the water while on a dinner cruise. Two of the most popular cruise boat companies in Vancouver offering dinner and sunset cruises are Harbour Cruises and Yoho Cruises.
Famous for group tours around the park, Stanley Park Horse Tours also rents out private, horse-drawn carriages for couples (including weddings). If you or your partner is into fairy tales, 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, pillows, and popcorn and cozy up for a night of canoodling in the comfort of your car.
Pick Berries at Krause Berry Farms
In the summer months, you can visit the "u-pick" berry fields at Krause Berry Farms in Langley, where they grow strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and blackberries. During your visit, 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 surprise your sweetheart by putting together a bouquet on the spot.
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, because you're flanked by the beautiful 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.
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, which has special facilities for scuba divers—if you're up for an adventure.