Planning a date in Cowichan is as easy as it sounds – whether you’re up for some adventure or keeping it low key, this stunning region offers endless couples activities across the seasons. So, whether you’re celebrating many years with each other or making first impressions, Cowichan is sure to leave you feeling closer together.
Check out our Top 10 Cowichan Date Ideas for a little inspiration.
1. Raise your heart rate on a Cowichan trail
Find out what makes Cowichan the heart of the West Coast by trekking the Heart Lake Loop for spectacular views of Ladysmith, the Gulf Island and Mount Baker. Heart Lake is the perfect place to cuddle up on the shore and sip on a cup of coffee with your special someone.
For something more relaxed, go chasing waterfalls and embark on a nature walk through the rainforest in Stocking Creek Park near Chemainus. This short walk rewards you with great views of the creek and falls.
If it’s a Cowichan view-scape you’re chasing, Mt Tzouhalem offers some of the best. It is a short but challenging hike up to the cross, where on a clear day you can see for miles and get a sense of the sheer size, scope and beauty of this stunning region.
2. Share some Cowichan fare
No Cowichan date is complete without a taste of our local fare. With several hundred farms in the region, our restaurants, bistros and cafés are truly farm-to-table. Head into Downtown Duncan to take in the town’s newest farm-fresh restaurant, The Ainslie. This restaurant showcasing local ingredients has set out boost awareness of the fine food and wine Cowichan has to offer.
If you find yourselves further north, settle in for traditional English fare at Fox and Hounds in Ladysmith – “a warm hug on a chilly day.” This is an excellent spot to warm up over a homestyle meal and a pint in a traditional pub atmosphere.
Need more food & dining inspiration? Check out our guide to this foodie paradise!
3. Savour something sweet with your sweetheart
There is no better way to get to know someone than by sitting down to a sweet something at one of Cowichan’s many quaint bakeries. If you haven’t yet visited True Grain Bread, make this Old World-inspired bakery a must-see on your trip out to Cowichan Bay.
No gluten? No problem! Further north in Ladysmith visit the Wild Poppy Bistro. This charming café on First Avenue makes gluten and peanut-free living delicious.
4. Embark on a couples fishing excursion
Maybe you have a few years’ experience under your belt or perhaps you’re a first-timer – either way, a fishing expedition is a great couples experience in Cowichan. Stay at the newly reopened Cowichan River Lodge complete with a fishing excursion with a professional guide in idyllic surroundings. Trust us – this is a Cowichan experience not to be missed!
5. Wander the streets of a Cowichan community together
Pass the time with a loved one with a stroll through one of Cowichan’s quaint towns. Wander Ladysmith’s quaint First Avenue (named Canada’s Great Street in 2017!) and take in the boutique shops and cascading views down towards Transfer Beach Park and the ocean. In Chemainus, take in over 60 world famous murals in a self-guided tour of the community!
For something a bit more rustic, Cowichan Bay offers a traditional fishing village feel with quirky shops, art galleries and on-the-water dining experiences.
6. Slow Down in the Spa
If you and your partner are looking to zen out, a visit to a Cowichan spa is a must. Unwind mountainside with views of the Saanich Inlet at the Tuscan Spa at the Villa Eyrie, offering a Couples Escape spa package or Couples Essential Oils Massage.
7. Sip on Cocktails – for Two!
We all know that a cocktail just tastes better when shared with a loved one. And when it’s made with a local Cowichan spirit, it becomes a love potion. Add a stop at Stillhead Distillery to your itinerary to try their award-winning, locally-made spirits. If you and your partner are not into tasting spirits straight – this is the spot for you! Stillhead’s bartender will prepare 2-oz “tasting” cocktails so that you can enjoy the spirits alongside other cocktail ingredients.
Looking for a longer list to choose from? Pay a visit to The Old Firehouse, where owner and mixologist extraordinaire, Jeff Downie, designs his own cocktail list from scratch. There’s no shortage of delicious-sounding beverages on this menu – check out the newly launched list here!
8. Couples who cook together, stay together – take a Cowichan cooking class
They say eating is one of life’s most intimate experiences, so it follows that preparing a meal together is just as special. World-renowned Chef Bill Jones atDeerholme Farm offers a wide variety of cooking classes where students learn to make the most of fresh local ingredients, from pasta-making to wild mushroom foraging and cooking. Want it to be just the two of you? Two-person classes are available!
9. Keep Sipping – taste wine, cider and Canadian tea
Get cozy in the Warmland. Cowichan offers not only the warmest average year-round temperature in Canada, but the best terroir. Enjoy Cowichan’s 14 wineries and 2 craft cideries. Several remain open in the winter months – be sure to check their hours before you visit!
For the month of love, we recommend Valley Cider’s Love Potion. In this delicious handcrafted cider, rose petals, lavender and damiana come together to weave floral aromas with exquisite savoury flavours.
Not interested in an alcoholic beverage? Cowichan is also home to Canada’s only commercial tea farm. At Westholme Tea Co, the two of you can sip on a wide variety of imported and locally-grown teas alongside locally made baked goods in the tea room.
10. Settle in for a Pint
Wine, spirits, cider and tea aren’t the only thing on the Cowichan beverage list. If hops are more your thing, grab a beer at one of Cowichan’s four craft breweries.
There are endless possibilities when it comes to a romantic getaway to Cowichan – whether you’re taking it easy or planning a high-velocity trip, you and your partner have plenty to work with. Start planning your romantic getaway to Cowichan now by finding places to stay!