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Andy Prest: What is the most romantic spot on the North Shore?

North Vancouver and West Van are full of date locations that go beyond dinner and a movie πŸ’˜
A mural in West Vancouver shows love for the North Shore. On Valentine's Day we're looking into our hearts to try to find the most romantic spot on the North Shore.

Valentine’s Day is here, which brought to mind a spirited conversation from earlier this week.

“What is the most romantic spot on the North Shore?” was the question asked, in honour of Feb. 14.

“Valentine’s Day,” my friend replied. “Total scam.”

Note that this response came from a happily married fellow who often treats his wife to flowers, just not on particular calendar dates that are pre-specified by Love Inc.

Fair enough. But the question is still valid, no matter the length of the lineup of saps and sweethearts at the florist shop today.

So let’s take a closer look at what might be the most romantic spot on the North Shore. We’ll mostly skip over some of the higher-priced attractions, theatres, bridges of various styles, fine-dining establishments and alpine slopes, snow-covered or otherwise. Those are all great options for romantic escapes and I’d encourage you to explore them all, but any cupid could blindly fire an arrow and land on the bright idea of spending money on something fun.

We’re here to explore the other options, such as:

Oceanfront parks and strolls 

Whytecliff, Lighthouse, Seawalk, Dundarave, Waterfront, Maplewoods, Spirit Trail…. There are a lot to choose from, and all are great places to stroll hand-in-hand with someone special. If the sun is shining, a North Shore oceanside stroll can whisk you and your partner away from a Canadian winter and land you in a wind-whipped wonderland.

Potential downside: One time my wife and I saw an eagle rip a seagull apart and start feasting on its entrails beside the Seawalk. Fascinating? Yes. Sexy? No.

Deep Cove 

This oceanfront spot deserves a note all its own. The calm waters, the fun shops steps away from the stunning cove, the gigantic doughnuts. Deep Cove has been winning hearts for generations.

Potential downside: Few things can be more aggravating than a couple’s shared search for a parking space, and in that regard, Deep Cove can be a major mood killer. Can your love survive a third lap around the block?

The beach 

The North Shore has several to choose from, some crowded and some “secret.” The little hidden ones can make for a marvellous date, as you wind your way down some shifty staircase and emerge from the forest onto a little stretch of isolated paradise in the middle of the city. 

Potential downside: Be careful with this one. Some people hate the sand, and the swimsuits, and getting their hair wet, and stinky seaweed, and did I mention the sand? For those folks, a beach date is just dirty, in the worst way.

Shipyards District 

This is a lovely spot for strolling, with the excitement of the busy harbour and bustling restaurants complementing the natural beauty of the scenery. It’s a perfect place for people-watching too, which can be a great way to spend time with someone and get to know their quirks by finding out what they notice about the people around them. You can even go skating!

There’s not much downside, unless you don’t know how to skate and fall down and trip your date and they fall too and crack their skull open. Important tip – ice is slippery and hard.

Mountain trails 

The trails found in the North Shore mountains can be the perfect place to fill up your own soul and connect with another. If you really want to get your hearts racing, find a lake or swimming hole and jump into the icy water with your beloved. You’ll cling to each other for warmth, and as you catch your breath, you may catch something much grander too.

Potential downside: Make sure you don’t get your date lost up there or jump off the wrong rock and break a leg. North Shore Rescue is always ready to help, but once those rugged volunteers show up, you may find your date’s eyes wandering away from your stretcher and over to the superhumans in the red jackets. 

There are so many more options as well, including leisurely bike rides and tandem paddleboards. You might even see a pod of orcas! Just be careful not to fall in and become orca pod food. That’s a relationship killer whale.

If you have other favourites spots, I’d love to hear them. Whatever you do, go ahead and enjoy the day, whether you’re coupled or not. Scam? Don’t let those North Shore orcas and eagles hear you say that.

Andy Prest is the editor of the North Shore News. His humour/lifestyle column runs biweekly.