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Whether you and your sweetie just celebrated your silver wedding anniversary or just swiped right last week, you can always use a few more ideas for romantic bucket list adventures.
Here are 10 of the most memorable activities for couples in and around the city. Ready, set, romance!
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Riding a Tandem Bike
You’ll feel like the stars of a madcap rom-com when you cycle through Stanley Park, in Pacific Spirit Park or along the seawall on a bicycle built for two. Hilarious hijinks aren’t guaranteed, but they’re certainly recommended.
Tandem rentals are available at shops such as Spokes Bicycle Rentals, near Stanley Park; English Bay Bike Rentals, in the West End; and Yes Cycle, with locations near Stanley Park and close to the Burrard Street Bridge. Yearning for an even bigger commitment? Purchase a tandem e-bike at Pedego Electric Bikes Vancouver in Kitsilano.
Flying in Style
Sure, you could schlep out to YVR and cram onto an airplane filled with coughing seat mates and crying babies — or you could charter your own private flight with Helijet. Let a helicopter whisk you and your honey away for a romantic picnic, a honeymoon trip or an Instagram-worthy marriage proposal. And how about this for a romantic bucket list: One high-flying couple tied the knot while up in the air!
For those wishing to enjoy a taste of the good life but lacking the funds for a private jaunt, Helijet also offers regularly scheduled flights from Vancouver to Victoria and Nanaimo.
If the way to win a person’s heart is through their stomach, then the city’s most romantic restaurants are sure to have diners falling in love non-stop.
At Hawksworth, choose one of four rooms to match the vibe of your date night: the glamorous Pearl Room, with its stunning chandelier; the vibrant Art Room, with its custom installation by local artist Rodney Graham; the York Room, inspired by the space’s 1920s heritage; or the clubby and intimate Bar & Lounge. The Taste of Hawksworth tasting menu changes every week or two, giving you and your sweetheart extra reasons for return visits.
Other popular choices for a swoon-worthy dinner include Blue Water Cafe, for stellar seafood; Botanist, for a taste of the Pacific Northwest; and CinCin and Lupo, for modern Italian fare. Spectacular vistas are also on the menus at Seasons in the Park, which offers an unparalleled view of the city skyline from its perch high in Queen Elizabeth Park; and Five Sails and Miku, which look out over the downtown harbour.
Strolling the Seawall
Vancouver’s seawall was made for picture-perfect perambulations. (And did you know that it’s the longest uninterrupted waterfront path in the world?)
For the seawall’s most romantic photo op, make your way to Sunset Beach Park just before the sun goes down and pose beneath Dennis Oppenheim’s Engagement. This enormous sculpture shows two rings tilted precariously away from each other, suggesting the precarious balance that is the institution of marriage.
For double the relaxation, indulge in a couples massage — because R&R times two truly is priceless.
The couples room at Spa by JW Vancouver looks out over the roof of BC Place, which gives a sense of floating peacefully in clouds. At Smile Thai Wellness, couples can choose from different massage styles: traditional Thai, Thai aroma oil, deep tissue or Swedish. After a couples massage at Willow Stream Spa at Fairmont Pacific Rim, some time spent chilling on the luxurious patio is a must.
Experience the serenity of the ocean from a pair of kayaks, gliding along side by side, or a tandem kayak, which allows one paddler to rest whenever needed while the other one keeps the craft going (an apt metaphor for any relationship, if you want to get profound about it).
Kayak rentals are available from companies such as Vancouver Water Adventures, with locations on Granville Island and at Kits Beach; Jericho Beach Kayak Centre; and Deep Cove Kayak Centre. To learn the basics before venturing out as a duo, ask about lessons and guided tours.
Locking It Up
Symbolize your unbreakable love by securing a lock onto the fence near the Lonsdale Quay waterfront, then throw away the key. For a truly romantic gesture, have your names and a meaningful date engraved on the lock first.
No one can agree when or where the tradition of love locks began, but one fact is certain: Instagram adores a good love lock photo.
Sipping and Savouring
There’s no need to venture all the way to the Okanagan (or France) to indulge in the full oenophile experience. Instead, head to the Fraser Valley’s oldest and largest winery, Chaberton Estate Winery in Langley. The 50 acres of vineyard lie within a small microclimate that receives a third less rain than Vancouver, making it similar to the growing regions in Northern France and Southern Germany.
Make a reservation for lunch or dinner in Bacchus Bistro, and be sure to stop by the wine shop and tasting room. You can also bring your own snacks to enjoy with a glass of Chaberton wine at the dog-friendly picnic area outside. Santé!
Learning to Cook
Spend some quality time with your significant other and improve your kitchen skills at the same time by taking a class together.
Downtown, The Dirty Apron Cooking School offers a cornucopia of delicious hands-on classes covering everything from brunch to Italian to vegetarian. It Takes Two – The Original Couples’ Class is ideal for a date night.
Near the entrance to Granville Island, Pacific Institute of Culinary Arts focuses on training the professional chefs of tomorrow but also makes time to offer classes to those of us who lack the skills of Julia Child. After all, it was Child who said, “No one is born a great cook, one learns by doing.”
Escape for a few hours — or even a few days — into the wilderness with your bae for the ultimate romantic bucket list adventure. Whether that means a hike by a waterfall, a picnic on a secluded beach, a trek up a mountain or a longer camping trip deep into the wilds of the backcountry is entirely up to you.
How many items have you and your main squeeze managed to cross off your romantic bucket list?