A couple days ago, I saw a look of distress in my boyfriend’s eyes as he suddenly realized that Valentine’s Day was less than two weeks away. “S” is sweet and kind but since he can’t translate romance into a mathematical equation, he finds it hard to grasp the concept. However, he’s made a resolution to up his boyfriend game this year, and assured me he will come up with something impressive (we’ll see).
Fortunately, if you’re like S and romantic creativity is not your strong suit, a Valentine’s Day package offered by Sea to Sky Gondola might just be the thing.
As someone born and bred in Vancouver, I often take for granted the extraordinarily gorgeous natural surroundings. As opposed to a cheezy Hallmark holiday, I like to think of Valentine’s Day as a way of remembering the special quality of what sometimes can become everyday.
On February 14, Sea to Sky Gondola’s Lovers’ Lane Stroll Supper package ($73.24 per person, $43.36 per person for passholders – includes gondola ticket, dinner, tax, gratuity) allows you to be seduced once again by your love and the beauty of the west coast wilderness. Located in Squamish, midway to Whistler, this destination is the ideal escape from urban life. Your adventure will begin with a ten-minute ride on the gondola, during which you can take in increasingly more stunning views of the Howe Sound fjord, Shannon Falls, the Squamish Chief climbing area, the surrounding mountains, and verdant forest.
Once at the top, depending on how much time you allow, there are a host of activities to enjoy together, including winter walking, tubing, snowshoeing, visiting the Sky Pilot Suspension Bridge, and just soaking up the setting from the viewing platforms. There’s also backcountry skiing and snowshoeing for the more experienced only (a guide is recommended).
The Spirit Trail, a 400 metre loop which starts at the Suspension Bridge, will be adorned with Valentine-themed decorations. Walk leisurely with your date and feel the magic of the moment and the towering forest.
You might also want to cozy up to your Valentine and catch the sunset from the wood-beamed Summit Lodge, which boasts floor-to-ceiling windows for optimal viewing.
Your night will end with a sumptuous three-course west coast dinner at the Summit Lodge. Choose between starters like silky butternut squash soup with herb and citrus Boursin, smoked tuna tataki, and beef carpaccio with balsamic and fleur de sel. Then, move onto your main, with options such as herb crusted salmon with lemon grass beurre blanc and jasmine rice; and boneless beef short ribs in an Okanagan wine demi, served with garlic mash. Dessert features a sinful platter of chocolate soup with meringue island, crème brulée, and sticky toffee pudding with poached pear.
There are still some spots available for the 7:30pm dinner seating but don’t hum and haw for too long to avoid disappointment. To book, call 604-892-2551.
In the event you’d rather celebrate your love on another day (or don’t book in time), you can alternatively purchase a day ticket (Adults $33.95 on-line or $37.95 at the ticket window), which gets you a round-trip ride on the gondola, as well as access to all the great activities 885 metres above sea level. On February 8 (Family Day), these tickets are 50 percent off (for those looking for a more thrifty outing).
Hopefully, S is reading this and I’ll see you up there on Valentine’s Day.