The following article was contributed by Lena White, passionate Vancouverite.
As usual, Valentine’s Day this year was a drizzly one for Vancouverites. But for me, rain can be the most romantic weather of all, especially under an umbrella built for two! Let me tell you about some of my favourite places to walk with that special someone on a rainy Saturday…
Take a stroll around Creekside Park (1455 Quebec Street at Terminal Avenue). Conveniently located across the street from Main Street SkyTrain station, this scenic walk around False Creek combines the throb of the city with the stillness and tranquility of the water. If you’re lucky, the dragon boat racers will be there in their fantastically bright skiffs! And if things are getting a bit too damp outside, you can always escape to Science World (1455 Quebec Street) for a fun, but educational adventure with your honey.
Another romantic rainy day rendezvous is a visit to Coal Harbour. You and your sweetheart can explore the public gardens and the extensive harbourside promenade. Admire the glistening white yachts, and imagine where you would go if you eloped on one! The mountains, the ocean, and the glittering glass skyline make this one dazzling local vista. Rain really amplifies the marina’s vibrant colours. End this urban adventure with a glass of Shiraz and a plate of steaming mussels at Cardero’s Restaurant (1583 Coal Harbour Quay ). If you’ve got your walking legs on, and two or three hours, why not extend the date and do the 10km Stanley Park Seawall? This magnificent, globally renowned experience will take you almost three hundred and sixty degrees around Stanley Park, through a breathtaking array of natural and urban landscapes. Feel the sea mist on your face, and the pulse of waves against the shore as you reach for that perfect kiss.
Granville Island is always a romantic place to spend an afternoon, but being largely under cover makes it particularly ideal for a rainy day date. Feast your eyes and your taste buds on the amazing variety of gourmet foods at the market, feed the ducks in the nearby pond, and get playful at the Kids Market! For a more adult experience, take a stroll to the Granville Island Brewery; sample local beers, and see how they’re made by taking a tour. At lunch, enjoy delicious local seafood and great views at Bridges Restaurant, Bistro & Bar (1696 Duranleau Street).
If you want to explore this area further, it’s a wonderful 25 minute walk to the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre and the Museum of Vancouver along the seawall and boardwalks, and under the Burrard Street Bridge. As well as glorious ocean and city views, you’ll pass some very innovative landscaping along the way. If it’s a windy day, you might witness a kaleidoscope of brilliant kites dancing in the the rain. Or, you might choose to hop inside and explore the exciting and ever-changing exhibits at the Space Center or the Museum. If the clouds have lifted by dusk, and you’ve enjoyed a dinner at the culinary paradise of lower Kitsilano, what better way to end a wonderful date than to gaze at the stars with your lover? The Gordon MacMillan Southam Observatory, adjacent to the Space Centre, features a ½-metre Cassegrain telescope available to the public after 8pm on Saturdays (fees are by donation). Click here for more information.
Another memorable rainy day date awaits you in Chinatown at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden (578 Carrall Street). Recently rated the world’s best urban garden by National Geographic, this masterful arrangement of Asian plants and boulders gives the sense of a vast landscape within a city block. A misty walk in this magical setting is sure to give your relationship a bit of extra Feng Shui! Admire the beauty of rain drops hitting the jade-coloured pond; and if you look closely, you might spy giant, brilliantly coloured Carp. To give yourselves and your umbrella a rest, snuggle up in the exotic shelter of a pagoda on its own exquisite island. End this urban adventure with a delectable Dim Sum feast only a short walk away at the Jade Dynasty (137 E Pender Street).
These are just a few of the limitless possibilities for enjoying the Vancouver rain. Don’t let our weather limit your plans! Sharing an umbrella is a great opportunity to get a little closer.