Think of a Valentine’s Day destination, and what countries come to mind? Italy? France? St. Bart’s? The Seychelles? The Maldives? Canada?
Okay, admittedly at this time of year it may have snow, chilly winds and low temperatures, but rather than a dampener, these conditions set a scene that positively stokes romance.
Still not sure? Take a look at these five uniquely Canadian, heart-warming experiences.
Snowshoe through a winter wonderland – Grouse Mountain, Vancouver
Grouse Mountain stands more than 3,000 feet above Vancouver. Explorer types can wind their way through a winter wonderland of snowy forests and frozen lakes on snowshoes, before cozying up to a roaring lodge fire with cheese and chocolate fondues (two separate courses, naturally).
Get pampered – Lac Beavert, Canadian Rockies
On the shores of the glacier-fed Beavert Lake, the luxury Fairmont Jasper Park Lodge has been welcoming guests to the Canadian Rockies since 1922. Inside its new $10.7 million spa, visitors can indulge in local treatments, including fir-infused stone massages and maple butter body wraps.
Skate hand in hand – Ottawa’s Rideau Canal Skateway
Every February, Ottawa turns its frozen Rideau Canal into a city-wide skating track. At almost five miles long, it’s the world’s largest skating rink. We can’t think of another capital city in the world where you can skate from the steps of the Parliament to a lake, passing outdoor art galleries and cozy eateries along the way.
Spend a sultry night in a hotel made of ice – Québec City
Every winter in Quebec sees the construction of a 30-plus-room crystal palace made entirely of snow and ice. Situated only 10 minutes from downtown Québec City, the Hôtel de Glace is comprised of vaunted rooms, each one with a unique winter theme, where the walls, floors and even furniture are sculpted in ice. Here’s hoping Valentine’s Day couples don’t melt their bed.
Glug seductive icewines – Nova Scotia
The Nova Scotia Icewine Festival starts each February in Wolfville wine country. With food and wine pairing tastings, vineyard tours and all manner of other winter-based activities (read: sleigh rides and ice dancing performances), the festival celebrates the region’s sweet, dessert wine produced from grapes frozen while still on the vine.
Written by insider city guide series Hg2 | A Hedonist’s guide to…
(Image: Vince Alongi)