As Valentine’s Day grows ever nearer—whether you’re celebrating the season with a first date, your significant other, or even a friend—it’s always fun to try something different and exciting with that special someone. I’ve compiled a list of some of Victoria’s best eateries, locations, and attractions to get your plans started.
Il Terrazzo — Conveniently located at the corner of Waddington Alley, directly adjacent to lower Johnson Street, Il Terrazzo offers fine Italian candlelight dining, by brick fireplace, in an old-style garden setting and features an internationally recognized wine selection and a diverse Northern Italian menu, filled with pizza, meat, pasta, and seafood.
One popular dinner menu suggestion: the Linguine Marco Polo. Grilled chicken breast, toasted cashews, mango, fresh basil, and pimentos in a lemon cream sauce. Yes, please!
The Mint — Centrally located at 1414 Douglas Street, The Mint offers an eclectic mix of contemporary dishes and Himalayan cuisine. The Mint has a relaxed atmosphere and a variety of dishes for sharing. After dark, the restaurant’s lights dim and DJs appear, playing lively music behind turntables.
Sharing suggestions: The Mint Platter. Mixed olives, aged cheddar, chorizo, white bean dip, roasted garlic, grapes, crackers, and bread.
Dallas Road, Ogden Point & Beacon Hill — One of the most romantic locations in Victoria is the breakwater at Ogden Point on Dallas Road. Take a casual stroll out to the lighthouse, while walking out over the Pacific Ocean. On a sunny day, you may even be lucky enough to glimpse some sea life in the water! Afterward, walk to the Beacon Drive-In to enjoy their widely known soft-serve ice cream. If you have the time, continue walking into Beacon Hill Park. Here you can stroll through the beautiful gardens, admiring the flora and fauna, as well as be accompanied by some beautiful peacocks.
Mount Douglas (P’KOLS) Park & Beach — Just 10 minutes from the University of Victoria, Mount Douglas (P’KOLS) Park is the perfect place to hike for an adventurous first date outdoors. Take the route 39 bus from UVic to the Shelbourne Street and Ash Road intersection. From here, you can access a trail leading south to the beach and the top of the mountain, as well. Explore the hiking trails that lead you 213 metres up the mountain to a 360-degree lookout point at the top! With views of Saanich, city lights, and Washington State mountains, this is a guaranteed fun and rewarding date.
Oak Bay Recreation Centre: Ice Skating — This date is perfect for night owls. Every Thursday, the Oak Bay Recreation Centre offers a midnight public skate, for only $3 admission and $2 skate rentals! Whether you can skate well or not, you’re sure to have fun on the rink. Midnight skate is open from 12-1:30 a.m.
20th Annual Victoria Film Festival — Take part in the 10-day Film Festival running from Feb. 7–16, 2014, with screenings of over 22 independent films! This may make for a fantastic, unique first date that will allow you both to enjoy a new film. For more information on film screening dates and ticket prices, visit victoriafilmfestival.com.