We’ve all heard it before: Hi, I’m [—] I enjoy fine wine and long walks on the beach. There’s no denying it though: A walk on the beach might just be the epitome of romantic and Tofino definitely makes the list of romantic walkable beach spots. There’s a reason it’s still number one on the list. However, sometimes, there can be more to a date than sunsets and sand. Forget the classics (aside from number 1), below are a few other ideas to put a west coast twist on the art of dating.
1. Sunset at the Beach
Alright – a cliché is a cliché for a reason, right? It’s not our fault the sun sets in the west, which just so happens to be where the beaches lie on the west coast of Vancouver Island. Head on out to any of the stretches of sand near town and spend the evening having the sunset do most of the work for you. For added flair, pack a blanket, some bevvies and maybe all the things for a bonfire to cast the rest of the night in a cozy glow. Some summer days might even lend a hand via phosphorescence lighting up the sand and waves – perfect for a late night dip.
Cost: ~$0-30 (marshmallows, lighter, beverages)
Equipment: Blanket, beverage of choice, wood + kindling, lighter, vehicle
2. Sip some drinks at Wolf in the Fog
Cocktails crafted with care definitely add some romantic flair to the evening (especially if they’re doubles). Snag a seat at the Wolf in the Fog and take some time to test out a drink or two on their cocktail menu. Better yet, share a punch bowl together at a cozy, candlelit table. The classy presentation has a habit of rubbing off on you.
Cost: $12 for a crafty cocktail or $20 for a punch bowl.
Equipment: 2 pieces of Government ID, 1 photo and one otherwise.
3. Coffee and Donuts at Rhino
So a coffee date might be another classic, but here’s the twist: add a quirky flavoured donut to share. Discovering something new together, such as a sugar cinnamon beer or maple bacon donut, makes for a quick way to bond and gives you something to talk about. Shoving donuts in your mouth definitely beats sipping silently over cups of coffee, while searching for something to say. Besides, the warm atmosphere is contagious and the tables put you into nicely close quarters.
Cost: $10-$20 – really depends on the drinks and number of donuts…
Equipment: A sense of intrigue?
4. Go Surfing
Considering it’s Tofino, there had to be a surf date included. There’s no better feeling than a day of playing in the waves, so sharing the fun with someone you’re into is a pretty easy next step. Whether you’re just learning, or are both surf veterans, getting stoked for each other over catching a wave is a great feeling. Not to mention you don’t really have to talk much and the excited feeling of doing something exhilarating might just translate on over to you. If all goes well, snagging a well-earned ice cream in town afterwards is a great segue into the evening.
Cost: $0-$100 if you need to rent gear or not and assuming you pay for your date
Equipment: Surfboard, Wetsuit, enthusiasm – skills are optional
Check out our surfing page for surfing schools and rentals.
5. Make a Trip to Virgin Falls with a Picnic
The drive may be lengthy but the payoff is enormous. Besides, there’s nothing like a good old-fashioned adventure to learn a little about the person you’re with. Pack a picnic, grab the bathing suits and pick a sunny day then take to the roads. Once you’re settled onto a blanket with the sound of the cascading falls in the background and a classic picnic spread, the romantic aspect just kind of appears all on its own.
Cost: $10-30 (picnic supplies)
Equipment: A logging road- worthy vehicle, blanket, bathing suits, picnic + basket
6. Go Canoeing or Kayaking on Kennedy Lake
If you already have equipment, this one makes for a great afternoon. Picnic or not, some quality time out on the water where they can’t run away can turn into a lot of fun. Pack the fishing poles and maybe show off that “provider” status while you’re at it by reeling in a trout. Boat beverages on a summer’s day or a relaxing paddle on the lake with a stunning backdrop are great ways to escape the pressure of formal dating and have a little fun in the sun.
Cost: $10-30 (picnic, beverages)
Equipment: Canoe, paddles, vehicle with trailer/straps, fishing rods/tackle
7. Hunt for the Canso Bomber Plane Crash Site
This choice loses the pressure of having to look even remotely good for the date; by the end of the day, you’ll likely both be covered in mud. However, an adventure in search of something as unique as a WWII plane crash site will definitely get the blood pumping and give you something to talk about. Not to mention it’s a great sign of trust if your date is willing to wander into the forest alone with you. The hike itself is only 5km long and the trailhead is easy enough to find. It’s definitely a unique-to-the-area option that’s both exciting and intriguing.
Cost: $0-15 (snacks)
Equipment: A ride to the Radar Hill parking lot, gumboots (optional)
8. Attend the Lantern Festival in the Tofino Botanical Gardens
Besides being for a good cause, there’s something enchanting about getting lost in the gardens to the glow of hundreds of lanterns. With some nighttime entertainment in the form of dance, lightshows and fire spinning to accompany the lanterns, there’s plenty to do. To precede the show, you can always sign up for a lantern-making workshop. It’s the perfect way to get creative, have some fun and flawlessly line up a second date at the actual event itself.
Cost: $30-60 ($15/person +$10-15 more for a workshop)
Equipment: Tickets + your smiling self? Free shuttles run from Tofino to get you there.
9. Catch the Sunset at the Sky Couch
Secret living rooms in the sky, a next-level sunset view, the feeling of being a million miles away… The only trick is finding it, and being the first to do so. Sunset at the Ucluelet Sky Couch can either put the finishing touches on a fantastic day, or make an epic start to an evening. Pack champagne to pop off the platform, a blanket and a snack and let Mother Nature do the rest of the work by painting the sky. Once the colours have started to settle, heading over to the Float Lounge at the Black Rock for a drink with a view is a great follow-up.
Equipment: A ride to the spot, maybe a blanket, snacks and drinks at your discretion.
Contributed by: Laurissa Cebryk