When was the last time you took a day to appreciate a city for all it has to offer sans bill? Truly and honestly, I can’t even walk to work without dropping $5 for a half sweet, earl grey tea latte [damn, Starbucks for making them so tasty]. When I stopped to think about it myself, I couldn’t remember. So I decided to challenge myself by putting useless, often wasted time on the internet to good use and made a ‘date day’ that I could do that was completely,
100% 98% free – you’ll see
what I mean later. I realize that there
are a lot of unique things to do in Vancouver when you have money to drop, but
as a working 24-year old living in Whistler, BC I don’t always have the luxury
of spending $100+ when I want to have a day on the town. And I’m willing to bet
I'm not the only one.
Not as strapped for cash?
Well, no need to brag about it. But the good thing is, there are several ways you can throw a few bucks into this and make the day that much better, but for me, this day of bliss was exactly that.
Walk Lovers Lane in Stanley Park.
There are so many walking, hiking, running, wandering aimlessly [whatever you want to call it] trails in the Vancouver area, but none compare to those in Stanley Park. So do yourself a favour and take advantage of them on a sunny, spring-like day. We parked at the Tea House, near beach three – this is where the 98% free day comes into play. We did have to pay $5 for parking, but hey, that’s just one day’s worth of morning tea to me! Wander around the sea-wall, enjoy the salty sea spray of the Pacific Ocean and make sure you wander inland to admire the 100+ year old trees. Hold hands, get some exercise, throw a stick for the dog – just be mindful they do have a threatening ‘dogs on leash’ policy – just enjoy nature.
$$$: Sneak into the Tea House for a mimosa or some mussels to share.
Spring wouldn’t be complete without a trip to visit some gorgeous gardens – especially if you have my type of green thumb, the one that kills all living plants by being near them. If you did the ‘Lovers Lane’ walk correctly, the signs for Lost Lagoon should have intrigued you to keep walking. Whilst getting lost on your way to the lagoon [they don’t call it that for nothing!] stop and check out the beautiful rose gardens near the golf course.
Or, if you’re like me, make your boyfriend drive around the city to find the best Cherry Blossom lined street in all of Vancouver. Ohmygoooosh is all I can say. This was the first time I had the pleasure of being in the city at spring, and it definitely didn’t disappoint. The smell, the look, the joy… to say these trees are beautiful is an understatement. We found these beauties on 16th Street and Granville.
Have a picnic at the beach.
Yes, it’s cheesy, I know. But a picnic is what you make of it. So grab a blanket, pack a lunch, kick off your shoes and enjoy this bit of relaxation. There are many beaches to choose from in Vancouver – English Bay, Third Beach, Second Beach, Jerico, Wreck, the list goes on and on. We chose to go to Kitsilano Beach, because the surrounding neighbourhood also boasts lots of boutique shops if you care to go for some window shopping afterwards!
$$$: Buy lunch and take it to go. There are some fabulous sushi shops just up the street, and the infamous Local Public Eatery.
Visit Art Galleries.
This is a great way to take in some culture and learn, without paying a dime. If you do your research, there are several random exhibits that take place around the city as well that change monthly. Go check them out, and ask each other questions about the pieces, or share your likes and dislikes about a collection – no matter how long you’ve been together, you’re surely to learn something about your partner in an art gallery, just saying. I am a Marilyn Monroe freak, so when I discovered that Andy Warhol was displaying a free exhibit in Yale Town, I had to go. If you haven’t been, check it out. Andy Warhol – A Different Idea of Love. It’s on display until March 30th – located on 1280 Homer Street.
Strangely enough, pictures are encouraged at this exhibit (that’s Andy Warhol for you!) #VanWarhol – but just a heads up, this rule is just that, strange, so leave the camera in the car for this part of the date.