For most people, Valentine’s Day is the big kahuna of romantic holidays. Many celebrate in cliché ways: The cuddly, stuffed bear. The heart box full of milk chocolates. The bundle of luscious red roses. It’s all so special, right? If you are anything like me – a thrifty student who dreads any sort of occasion that requires some sort of gift – then you realize that Valentine’s Day is your Darth Vader.
But what if we could reclaim the meaning of true romance AND save money doing so?
That’s where we come in lovers. We’ve comprised a list of date ideas for the romantically challenged men of Vancouver.
Deep Cove – North Vancouver
If your sweetie loves to slap on some hiking boots and dawn a sports bra, chances are she’ll love the Quarry Rock trail in Deep Cove. This gem of a hike is located just 20 minutes out of downtown Vancouver and boasts rushing rivers, gleaming green forest and a view that will make your date completely swoon. The trail itself can be a bit of an incline at times, but the reward is well worth the sweat. To take this date to the next level, walk on over to Honey Doughnuts and try their Honey, Maple or Chocolate signature doughnut. Let’s just say you’ll never look at grocery store doughnuts the same way.
View from Quarry Rock in Deep Cove:
Ambleside Beach – West Vancouver
Weather permitting; this is by far one of the cutest little beaches in the Vancouver area. If your darling Valentine loves the sound of waves crashing against a sandy shore, take her to this spot with a wicker basket full of goodies. If she’s a wino, grab a bottle of Bear Flag Dark Red Wine (great bang for your buck) and a selection of deli salami, cheeses and sourdough bread. She will absolutely adore this lovely winter picnic along the beach. Don’t forget to bring a warm blanket!
Whytecliff Park – West Vancouver
If your gal enjoys a good sunset, then this is the jackpot of all dates for you. This sweet spot sits just outside of the Horseshoe Bay area and shimmers with natural beauty, adorable street shops and small hiking trails. You may even get lucky – so long as the tide is down – since you can stroll out to a little island for some epic views. If you two have been dating for a while, why not buy a Polaroid camera (Urban Outfitters sells a couple stellar ones) and surprise her with a few printable selfies? Cutest boyfriend ever: Check!
Whytecliff Park – Photo Credit: Ruth and Dave
Lighthouse Park – West Vancouver
This is a great spot for an adventurous date. Drive a tad past Dundarave Village and don’t forget to pick up some snacks on the way. Bring a few beers: The Stanley Park Ice Breaker Winter Ale is fabulous! Sip and enjoy a spectacular view of the ocean from a unique rocky perch. Before picking up your date, stop by a candy shop and pick out some of her favourite sweets. Beer, sugar and the salty smell of the ocean below…you cannot lose.
Your Own Home – Wherever you may be
I’m all about thrifty couples who don’t bother venturing out for dinner on V-Day. Most restaurants will not even let you reserve a table. Oh, the audacity! But who says you can’t bring romance into your own crib? Rose petals go a long way. Set up some comfy pillows on the ground and place a low table in the center. Order in some of her favourite sushi rolls accompanied with some refreshing Asahi beer. Light a few candles and play The Beatles softly on the radio. She’ll fall harder than Miley Cyrus’ wrecking ball.
It’s not about where you take her, it’s about taking her somewhere special from wherever you may be. And sometimes, showing her you care by planning a thoughtful date is all it takes to win her heart.
This Valentine’s Day, forget the boring gifts and overpriced dinners. Instead, indulge in Vancouver’s natural beauty and make some memories that will last longer than a box of hedgehogs.
A homemade card goes a LONG way! Check out some beauties on Pinterest by clicking here.
Written By: Crystal Scuor