I have wanted to visit Vancouver for a few years now. I’d only been to the east of Canada and wanted to see the stunning scenery of the west (Whistler and Victoria are both amazing). Vancouver is the major city in the area and pretty much has everything you’d expect in a ‘major city’. There’s skyscrapers, bars, shops and trendy areas which are all great but you can easily get lost in the metropolitan of it. If you were blindly placed there I don’t think you would be able to tell the difference as to whether you were in New York or LA or Vancouver. Therefore I think in this city you have to seek the strange and know where to go! In this post I am only mentioning the truly unique things about Vancouver and the rest you can just Google yourself haha.
The first is the Vancouver Lookout, aka their big tower thing. It’s actually very similar to the Seattle Space Needle but I wanted to tell you a little tip/the view is more breathtaking. Usually it is around $25 or something insane to go to the top, but if you go to the restaurant instead around lunchtime you can just order a drink and enjoy the rotating views. The restaurant is located above the viewing platform so it’s a better view, and a drink is much cheaper than the entry fee (and you get to sit). It was really enjoyable being in the rotating restaurant chatting away and getting a full 360 view of the city. A whole rotation takes about an hour so this is definitely a leisure, relaxing activity.
I don’t have many photos of this but Stanley Park is an awesome place to check out. It’s kind of their Central Park but I believe SP is actually larger. We drove through it and then parked every so often to get out and explore, but if you really want to feel it then I would rent a bike and cycle. They have a bunch of trails, lookouts, an aquarium, playgrounds etc., you can easily spend hours there and not see it all.
On the island theme is Granville Island which is a shopping/art area. There are a ton of unique stores, artist booths and a giant public market full of food stalls. There’s a lovely marina area that you can eat at or have a cocktail, and tons of graffiti and different art mediums around. It was a really great place to hang out for a few hours and explore in the sunshine. Depending on when you go though it can be jam-packed full of people so consider going on a weekday!
Lastly something a little different and more active – Lynn Canyon. Located literally twenty minutes out of the city is this park that features various trails, little waterfalls and lots of swimming opportunities. I think one of the coolest parts is the suspension bridge as I love anything that seems dangerous but you know it really isn’t haha. This park is pretty small and you can hike around it in an hour but if you want to make the most of it then get off the trails and just explore! We saw lots of people in random nooks and crannies, floating down the rivers and sliding out of trees.
Of course Vancouver has many great food places and fun neighbourhoods to check out. We went to Gastown and Yale Town (both different areas but easily walkable from downtown), and they are probably the hippest places to eat. We went to the Flying Pig and Tacofino, both of which were incredible and I’d definitely recommend. If you have any other questions about Van let me know, otherwise see you with a post on Victoria in a few days! (If you missed my previous one on Whistler then go check it out).