Growing up in the northeast, I was no stranger to Canada, we frequented Montreal between the ages of 18-21 and made a trip to Niagara Falls. But British Columbia – that was a whole world away. That was, until I moved to San Diego and then it was just a few hours of flights up the coast! Although we went in mid-July, we ended up landing immediately after a heatwave and had a cooler, slightly rainy trip. While I love my heat and sunshine, the trip was still great and I’ll definitely be back. Here were some of the top things we did and places we ate!
The Grouse Grind – take a quick Uber or free trolly from downtown and in minutes you’ll leave the city behind. The Grouse Grind makes for a great (and healthy) start to your weekend. You go up and up and up. There is no turning back (or at least you’re not supposed to hike down). You can also take a cable car up if you’re not feeling so energetic. The hike was great – the view from the top… probably great but we were pretty fogged in. We enjoyed some beers and took the cable car down – I’d love to go back on a sunnier day.
Capilano Suspension Bridge – if you’re already out doing the Grouse Grind, it’s an easy stop on the way home, lots of suspension bridges to walk around on. A fun pit stop, but definitely not something I think you’d have to make a special trip for.
Granville Island – Like shops? Food and drinks? Granville island is definitely worth at least taking a walk around. They have an entire shop just for umbrellas – which we at first thought was funny until it started to rain.
We also went by the Olympic Cauldron and had brunch in Stanley Park – typical must-dos on your first trip to Vancouver!
In between all of the site seeing we did A LOT of eating (and drinking) of course. Here were some of our favorites:
Hapa Izakaya – if this isn’t the first blog post you’ve read, you know I LOVE Asian food. This place did not disappoint. Modern Japanese cuisine – lots of shareable plates. They have a few locations – we went to the one in Yaletown which had a bunch of bars and restaurants nearby – great for pre- or post- dinner drinks.
Cardero’s – on the water in Coal Harbor, we chowed down on lots of seafood for dinner here. We were a cab ride away from the bars we went to after, but if you want some good seafood on the water I’d recommend this place. Not as trendy as some other spots but still delicious!
Vancouver Urban Winery – located in Railtown, but just two blocks from Gastown, our last dinner gave us the opportunity to check out yet another cool neighborhood in Vancouver. And of course, lots and lots of wine. They had a variety of different types of food to please anyone and we had a few shareable plates that were all pretty yummy.
Teahouse in Stanley Park – an expensive, but gorgeous little spot for brunch. After enjoying some much cheaper (and also delicious) crepes near our hotel the morning before, this was the very opposite – but we enjoyed good food and brunch cocktails before deciding we didn’t want to chance renting bikes when looming rain clouds.
After dinner we spent most of our evenings out in Gastown or Yaletown, with pit stops on Main Street on our way home. Lots of different neighborhoods for whatever kind of scene or vibe you’re looking for. We will definitely be back!