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Spring has sprung, and most Vancouverites are desperate to leave the dreary winter behind and experience springtime in the city.
Here are 15 ideas for outings with your sweetheart.
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Go to a drive-in movie
Time travel to yesteryear by taking your sweetie to Langley to see a film at the Twilight Drive-In, Metro Vancouver’s last remaining drive-in theatre. But no funny business in the backseat!
Dine on a patio
Grab a sweater or rain jacket (just in case), then enjoy a leisurely meal on one of Vancouver’s many perfect patios.
- See Also:
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Try a new bakery
Nothing quite says love is in the air like a freshly baked croissant. From the new famous French bakery Paul in downtown Vancouver to classics like Fratelli, who have been serving up Italian goodies for nearly 25 years on Commercial Drive, there’s something delicious for all lovebirds.
Picnic in a park
Pack a picnic basket, order from a food truck or pick up a to-go meal from your favourite resto, then take your sweetie to one of the city’s 240 picturesque parks for a relaxing afternoon of alfresco dining, people-watching and napping in the sunshine.
Bike or walk on the seawall
The seawall was made for long, leisurely strolls and meandering bike rides at sunset. To feel like you’re starring in your own rom-com, hop on a tandem bike from Spokes Bicycle Rentals or English Bay Bike Rentals.
Wander through a garden
Spring is the time to see rhododendrons, magnolias, camellias and more at VanDusen Botanical Garden. Or, immerse yourself in tranquillity (and pretend you’ve flown your sweetheart overseas for a vacation) at Nitobe Memorial Garden, a traditional Japanese garden on UBC’s Point Grey campus, or Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, a serene spot tucked away in the heart of Chinatown.
Indulge in a frozen treat
Order cones from one of Vancouver’s many stellar ice cream and gelato shops—they’re worth the risk of an ice cream headache.
Want to see heavenly bodies? On a clear evening, pack a blanket and some hot cocoa before heading outside the city, far away from the light pollution, to gaze at the stars and contemplate the nature of the universe.
Load up a backpack with water and snacks, lace up your hiking boots, and tackle one of the many trails around Vancouver. There’s something for everyone, from easygoing ramblers (check out these hikes for lazy people) to fanatic weekend warriors.
Go up a mountain
Glide up Grouse Mountain in the Skyride gondola to reach the “Peak of Vancouver” and see simply stunning views. If you’d rather test your mettle on the way up, tackle the Grouse Grind together—but never forget its very apt nickname: Mother’s Nature’s StairMaster. Once at the top, be sure to visit orphaned grizzly bears Grinder and Coola.
Explore the coastline by gliding along in singles or a double rented from Jericho Beach Kayak Centre or Vancouver Water Adventures. New to kayaking, or just nervous? Sign up for lessons or a group tour.
Visit a farmers’ market
Go whale watching
Treat your sweetheart to a whale of a time by seeing orcas and humpback whales up close (but not too close) with Vancouver Whale Watch, Prince of Whales, Wild Whales Vancouver or Steveston Seabreeze Adventures.
See larger-than-life outdoor art
Be a tourist in your own town by walking, biking or blading to see the Vancouver Biennale’s alfresco art, from old favourites such as A-maze-ing Laughter (nicknamed the Laughing Men) in English Bay to newcomers like The Proud Youth on the Yaletown Seawall. The City of Vancouver also boasts a cornucopia of quirky outdoor sculptures and installations, including the LEGO-like Digital Orca outside the Vancouver Convention Centre and the LED-illuminated Monument for East Vancouver (better known as the East Van Cross) on Clark Drive. Download PDFs of self-guided walking tours for the Burrard Corridor, Downtown Waterfront and Yaletown False Creek areas.
See thought-provoking indoor art
Dive into the world of Vincent Van Gogh’s distinctive paintings and bright colour palette at Imagine Van Gogh: The Immersive Exhibition, on until Aug. 29 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. This enormous digital installation features more than 200 of the Dutch artist’s paintings projected onto surfaces, all accompanied by the music of Saint-Saëns, Mozart, Bach, Delibes and Satie. Then stop by the Vancouver Art Gallery to wander through engrossing exhibits such as Sun Xun: Mythological Time (to Sept. 6), Stories That Animate Us (to Sept. 6), Pictures and Promises (to Sept. 6) and Where Do We Go From Here? (to June 13).