Vancouver is both bustling and beautiful, making it the perfect city for a romantic and fun evening out on the town. Explore eHarmony’s Top 10 Dating guide to dating in Vancouver.
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Tucked away in the southwest corner of Canada is a rare gem of a city. Vancouver, British Columbia, has a population of about 600,000. That may sound modest, but there’s nothing modest about this city’s natural beauty and cultural offerings. The Canadian Rockies lend a breathtaking backdrop that will put you in the mood for love. Here’s the lowdown.
1. Chill Out
The vibe is similar to what you’d expect in West Coast American cities like Portland and Seattle. Expect to meet plenty of liberal, tech-savvy, health conscious young professionals.
2. Keep it Cheap-Chic
In general, downtown is expensive—the apartments, the restaurants, seemingly everything. But there are some good deals to be had in hot spots like Davie Street. In this gay-friendly district, you can get a great meal for two for under $40.
3. Dress for the Cold
Invest in some warm sweaters, dark-wash jeans and a pair of ice-resistant, yet cute, boots.
4. Be a Common-Sense Commuter
Although cars are best for a date—especially during Vancouver’s winters, when low temperatures hover around freezing—the buses, ferries and SkyTrain rail system are a decent option. Don’t, however, use public transportation to be cheap; instead, use it when it really is the best way to get around, such as going out downtown. A fancy car will impress your date, but so will common sense.
5. Be a Switch-Hitter
One of the nice things about Vancouver is that it offers the best of Mother Nature without sacrificing the cosmopolitan flair of a major city. Although Vancouver residents love a gorgeous sunset, they don’t turn up their noses at the occasional swanky evening out. For a classy time, head downtown to Robson Street, the main downtown stretch, for some retail therapy. In addition to high-end boutiques and restaurants that will impress your date, you can take a boat ride or walk across the Granville Street Bridge to Granville Island, where you’ll stroll through farmers’ markets, pubs, galleries and cafes.
6. Strike up a Conversation
Near downtown is Commercial Drive, a stretch of road in the Grandview-Woodland neighborhood that’s a haunt for students and young adults. The book stores, vintage clothing shops, music stores, coffee bars and other businesses are great for browsing and will give you plenty of conversation fodder.
7. Use Your Noggin
Vancouver offers the best of both worlds—a crunchy-granola West Coast vibe with cosmopolitan flair. There’s plenty of diversity, so be open to dating folks from various countries and mother tongues. To stimulate conversation, take your date to a lecture at the University of British Columbia or downtown’s Contemporary Art Gallery.
8. Be One with Nature
For an outdoorsy date, take advantage of Vancouver’s natural beauty at Stanley Park, a 1,000-acre park near downtown. On the way, stop by the Urban Fare supermarket for a gourmet picnic lunch. Stroll along the sea wall, hike the 17 miles of wooded trails, tour the Vancouver Aquarium or play a round of miniature golf. Avoid getting sweaty by taking the free summer trolley, which makes 14 stops throughout the park. Then, head to the Lost Lagoon to board a horse-drawn carriage tour.
9. Find Some Privacy
Need the perfect view for that first kiss—or, down the line, an unforgettable proposal? Catch the SeaBus from Gastown to North Vancouver, where in addition to plenty of eateries, you’ll find a spectacular view of the city.
10. Get Away
The ski town of Whistler, nestled between Whistler Mountain and Blackcomb Mountain, offers a romantic weekend getaway that’s less pretentious than what you’ll find in other resort communities. Pack the suitcases and surprise your favorite snow bunny with lift tickets and reservations at a cozy lodge.
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