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Romantic Vancouver

What to Do and Where to Go in Vancouver

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Thinking of a honeymoon or romantic getaway in Vancouver, Canada? Couples who enjoy the outdoors, fresh seafood, and ocean views can find a variety of activities to delight them in this spectacular West Coast city. If your Vancouver honeymoon is soon, be sure to check out the listings in Georgia Straight, a free paper that's also online. It'll clue you in to current entertainment in the city. You may also want to participate in these pursuits:

Find a Romantic Hotel

© Susan Breslow Sardone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Although new hotels continually join the Vancouver skyline, choose a romantic one (rather than a place that bills itself as "family friendly"). I can provide recommendations for Vancouver's top romantic hotels where couples are particularly welcome; click on the link to locate one you'll love. Pictured: Penthouse suite at the Wedgewood Hotel.

Savor a Romantic Meal

© Tourism Vancouver/Brix Restaurant.
Vancouver is known for delicious seafood plucked from nearby waters. Fresh fish — including salmon, oysters, and Dungeness crab — is an important part of the Pacific Northwest diet. This cuisine is also characterized by the use of locally grown and raised ingredients. If you enjoy wine, you can complement your romantic meals in Vancouver with the region's award-winning vintages. Pictured: Entrance to Brix Restaurant.

Explore Vancouver's Neighborhoods

© Susan Breslow Sardone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Take time to discover Vancouver's unique neighborhoods, where you'll find unique stores, restaurants, and attractions consistent with the surroundings. In addition to Vancouver's thriving Chinatown, you'll also want to check out Gastown (the original downtown area and home to the Vancouver International Jazz Festival) and yuppie Yaletown (a former industrial area turned trendy). But you'll have to head to the Robson Street retail district to experience Salmon Village, totally devoted to the glorious smoked fish and the only such purveyor in the city.

Stop and Smell the Flowers at Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden

© Tourism Vancouver / John Sinal.
Many major North American cities have a Chinatown. But only Vancouver has the Dr. Sun Yat Sen Garden, named after the father of modern China. This greensward is an urban oasis that transports couples back in time to the 15th-century Ming Dynasty via its architecture and harmonious natural plantings that incorporates principles of feng shui. It's such a peaceful and beautiful retreat that some honeymoon couples also celebrate their wedding here.

Shop and Sip on Granville Island

© Susan Breslow Sardone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Vancouver's supermarket, Granville Market is where residents come to buy fresh food and produce, dine out, and catch ferries to nearby islands. Here visitors also can enter artists' studios, check out fashion boutiques, browse book and crafts stores, catch a musical or theatrical performance, and even book a stay at the Granville Island Hotel on the waterfront.

Visit the Vancouver Art Gallery

© Susan Breslow Sardone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
The Vancouver Art Gallery is located downtown, between the Fairmont Vancouver and the Pacific Centre. It mounts exhibitions that span ages, from the masters to the modernists. Also check out the Bill Reid Art Gallery, where works by this acclaimed Haida master artist, sculptor, and goldsmith are on display.

Stroll Stanley Park

© Tourism Vancouver/Tom Ryan.
Immerse yourselves in nature in Stanley Park, one thousand green acres at the edge of the city. Its 5.5 mile-long seawall hugs the shore, making it a popular place for walkers, bikers, inline skaters, sightseers, and romantics. Brockton Point's collection of totem poles is the most visited tourist attraction in the province. And if you come in summer, when the Rose Garden is in full bloom, you can practically inhale the glorious surroundings.

Cycle the City

© Tourism Vancouver/John Sinal.
Vancouver is a big bicycle town. One place where you can rent bikes to explore the city on two wheels is Spokes, at the entrance to Stanley Park. The couple in the photo (click to enlarge) are wheeling over a walkway in Coal Harbor.

Window Shop the Pacific Centre

© Susan Breslow Sardone, licensed to About.com, Inc.
Featuring some 140 stores in the center of downtown Vancouver, the Pacific Centre is home to brands that include MaxMara, American Eagle Outfitters, Club Monaco, H&M, and the Gap. It is also the location of Vancouver's only Apple store, which has open wi-fi and permits shoppers to discreetly check email on its state-of-the-art computers.

Paddle Around Vancouver

© Tourism Vancouver/Al Harvey.
Vancouver's expansive waterfront incorporates scenic islands and inlets. Kayakers can paddle close to the shore or into pristine waters to their hearts' content. The activity -- considered romantic by some, torture by others -- provides unique views of the city that you can't get on land. Rentals are available and popular push-off points include Granville Island, False Creek, Deep Cove, and Jericho Beach.

Head for the Mountains

© Tourism Vancouver.
There's an easy way to get your bearings on a Vancouver honeymoon: Skiable Cypress, Grouse, and Seymour mountains -- which comprise the Coastal Mountain Range -- are always to the north. If you appreciate a panoramic city view and aren't afraid of heights, ride the gondola to the top of Grouse, where you can hike and ski in winter and eat outdoors in summer. At the top is a lodge with both formal and informal dining spots.

Sail Away

© Tourism Vancouver/John Sinal.
Vancouver is a major cruise port, especially for ships destined for Alaska. Some of the leading cruise lines that sail from Vancouver are Royal Caribbean, Holland America, NCL, Princess, and Carnival. Build in time on your honeymoon or romantic getaway to combine a visit to exciting Vancouver with a relaxing sail to points north.
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