This Valentine's Day, treat your partner to one of our favourite outings
Cancel the dinner reservation downtown. Quit browsing Netflix's new releases. This February 14th, show your Valentine your fun, adventurous side by taking them on a date they'll remember. Here are our picks for the best outdoor dates.
Storm watching on the west or east coast
There's nothing like a stormy sea to heat up a cozy bedroom. Luckily, during February the west coast of Vancouver Island is a bulls-eye for storms coming off of the north Pacific. Watch waves crash ashore on beaches and points, go for a rainforest walk, or catch a wave during a surf lesson together. Then retreat from the cold and wet in one of the hotels in Tofino, like surfside Cox Bay Beach Resort (from $129). In nearby Ucluelet, try Terrace Beach Resort, steps from the Wild Pacific Trail. Wherever you stay, grab a coffee or a meal in the cozy and spectacular Long Beach Lodge; its great room perches over the beach.
Canada's east coast can be just as stormy and far colder. For a budget getaway book a private room at the Lawrencetown Beach House, a surfside hostel. Another good bet is the remote-feeling Moonlight Beach Inn on a rural point just outside of Halifax.
A romantic glow, short chunks of one-on-one time, and a good excuse to snuggle—as a date, night skiing's got a lot going for it. And who doesn't enjoy skiing? Typically the run selection is limited so the pressure to perform is lower and dim lighting can always be an excuse for any missteps. Polish the night off with a warm up hot chocolate and a BeaverTail.
A night time adventure into the woods is a definite winner—just don't get lost. Pick a hike that's not too long (4 kilometres is plenty) and bring headlamps, warm clothes, and whatever the ground cover and path difficulty dictate—hiking boots, snowshoes, or cross country skis—then head off into the quiet night. If you'd prefer a guide and meal combo, check out local ski areas for snowshoe fondues, an industry staple. You'll follow a guide on a short walk, hike up an appetite, and dine at a mountain lodge.
A good relationship is built on trust: Build on yours at the indoor rock climbing gym. You'll need it to catch falls and lower each other, a perfect metaphor for the ups and downs of a relationship. Plus, climbing pops the definition in your arms and makes you look buff. Our advice: bring a change of clothes and follow up your arm burn with a casual dinner.
Weekend at a remote cabin
Beg, borrow, rent, whatever. Nothing's more romantic than just the two of you and nothing to do besides watching 20 gigs of movies (or a pile of DVDs). Quality time is guaranteed during the long nights, and cabins are typically located in places with plenty to do during the day. Not sure what your options are? Check out our roundup of some of Canada's coolest cabins from coast to coast.