Much like blossoms bloom in the spring, romance thrives in the summertime. Whether it’s a quick summer fling, or your one and only longtime lover, the sunny season is the perfect time to be on top of your date game. Luckily, Victoria – a rather romantic city itself – offers plenty of options to impress. On a budget, adventurous, R&R, or champagne/romance/rose blossom magic are all options in the city. Take your pick and add a bit of spice to your date life in Victoria.
- Old School Diner Date
Take your date back to the innocent diner days of the fifties and share a milkshake (or two) in a cute diner setting. Everyone loves milkshakes, right? If you’re already downtown, the Soda Shoppe is a sweet-tooth hotspot and will definitely help you step into a time machine. For a more “adult” twist, pop over to the Tartan Toque – their milkshakes can be kicked up a notch with some boozy delights like the White Russian Milkshake, or the Salted Caramel Bourbon Milkshake.
- Spa Day
If seeking out some R&R with a loved one, nothing beats a spa day. Floating along side-by-side in massage bliss will leave you both in a happy, relaxed mood for the rest of the day. Whether it’s massages, a hydropath circuit, or a mani/pedi afternoon, you’re bound to shake the stresses of your day-to-day and bask in each other’s company.
- Dinner from the Market
It’s impossible not to notice the proud “local, local, local” signs that are printed next to options on nearly any menu in town. Restaurant dates are great, but how about doing things yourself just as locally? Brainstorm an evening menu with your date then head out to one of Victoria’s bustling Farmer’s Markets. Handpicking all of your ingredients is surprisingly fun, plus your dinner will be as fresh and local as it gets. Bring your goodies back home and take to the kitchen. Cooking on a date can be playful, and it lets you have a focus on something other than each other. It also tests out your ability to work together as a team. Let’s just hope it turns out tasty in the end.
- Share a Stand Up Paddle Board
Active dates are an easy feat in Victoria, especially during the summer. Take out a couple of Stand Up Paddle Boards to any of Victoria’s waterways for a great afternoon/evening date. Not only does the city look charming from the harbour, but it’s also a great form of exercise (endorphins are a good thing). Any of Victoria’s lakes are also suitable for a SUP adventure. For another fun challenge that builds teamwork and will keep you laughing, you can always try renting just one SUP Board and learn how to paddle it together without falling in.
- Hike to a Romantic Lookout
Speaking of active dates, hiking is another fantastic option to get your heart pumping extra hard, and end up somewhere with a breathtaking view. Trails like Mount Douglas and Mount Tolmie are excellent options for a sunset hike, and if you don’t want to expend energy on hiking, you can drive to the top. Daytime hikes are just as good, so tackling something like Mount Work and the Gowlland Tod Provincial Park, or even Gonzales Hill Regional Park will give you stunning views and a chance to enjoy the great outdoors with someone special.
- Go for a Carriage Ride at Night
Classic romance at its finest comes in the form of a horse drawn carriage ride through the historical district of Victoria. Sit close and listen to the rhythm of the horse’s hooves against the pavement. The glow of the parliament buildings’ 3600+ lights on the Inner Harbour sets a romantic tone and the summer breeze might just call for some snuggling under a light blanket.
- Volleyball at Rooftop
Fun activities are a great way to get to know someone without the pressure of sitting down over dinner. If you already know your date fairly well, it’s a great opportunity to see their competitive side. Not to mention, drinks, sun, sand and volleyball make for a perfect combination. Head over to Rootop and see about a court rental. To really get to know each other, build teams out of your friends and your date’s friends (you have to fill the court after all) and make a day out of it.
- Visit a Board Game Café
While outdoor adventures are great for a summer’s date, here on the Coast there will be rainy days. That doesn’t mean it has to ruin your plans. There’s no better way to beat a rainy day than by spending some quality time at a board game café. Sometimes, a little bit of competition can be a good thing. Challenge each other to your favourite childhood games, or tackle learning a new one together. While you’re at it sip a coffee, milkshake, or tea and dig into a tasty snack. Say goodbye to rainy day date despair.
- Ghost Walking Tour
Do you believe in ghosts? Does your date? Whether you do or not, a ghost walking tour of Victoria at night may just have you start believing. It’s also a fun way to discover a new side of the city. Besides, studies have shown that if your date is scared, they may actually associate those butterfly feelings with being with you instead of being scared. That’s why horror movies and theme parks can also make a lasting impression on your dates. You’re welcome.
- Wine Tasting
Getting drinks on a date is always a good go-to (unless, of course, you or your date don’t drink). It eases the tension, makes you more relaxed and comfortable, and gives your date a bit of insight into your tastes. If you already know your date enjoys a drink or two, especially of the wine variety, why not make a day of it dedicated to wine? So many incredible wineries reside within, or just outside of, Victoria. Take full advantage of it! Make a list of you and your date’s favourite wineries, or the ones you’ve always wanted to go to and pay a visit to their tasting rooms. If you don’t want to have to worry about a DD, book a couple seats on a wine tour. That way you can really focus on getting to know your date, your glasses of wine and enjoy the entire experience.
- Victoria Classics
Of course, there are plenty of classic Victoria activities you can do for a summer date as well. Walk the Inner Harbour, explore Ogden Point, feed seals at Fisherman’s Wharf, bask in the blossoms at the Butchart Gardens, or patio hop at Victoria’s extensive bar scene. Brew tours, hikes, and a picnic at any of the parks make for a great afternoon and, of course, there’s always the day road trip option. One thing is certain though – you should never be bored on a date in Victoria. If you are, you may have to refine your Tinder searches just a little bit more.