The city itself is clean and beautiful (and surprisingly quiet), the food is fantastic, and the sites are incredible.
If you’re planning a trip there soon, here are 5 things to do/places we would highly recommend.
- Granville Island is awesome because it used to be an industrial area full of factories and when the time came to build stores and a tourist attraction, they kept all of the same buildings and put stores in them. Some factories still function in those buildings which makes the stores are wonderfully unique. Granville Island also has a HUGE market full of fresh fruit, veggies, fish, meat, and pastries. If you’re like me and you like to buy snacks to keep in your hotel room, Granville market is a perfect first stop on your trip to Vancouver!
- Whistler is probably my most recommended outing if you plan on traveling to Vancouver. Whether you snowboard or ski or (like me) are incapable of either, there is something wonderful for you to see in Whistler BC. It’s an hour and a half away from downtown Vancouver and you can either rent a car or take the train to get there. Just the drive to Whistler is absolutely breathtaking, and let me tell you, you won’t be able to catch your breath when you arrive at Whistler either. There are many shops and restaurants (we had lunch at Citta) to check out and some great patios to kick back and have a beer. I would also recommend taking the ski lift(s) to the top of the mountain. The view on your way down is literally beyond any description but I’ll try The blue mountains with snow crusted peaks reminded me of The Sound of Music — which is to say that they didn’t look real. It was an unbelievable experience that made me feel like I was watching a 3-D film.
- Gastown is a cute little neighborhood worth taking a walk around day or night. It’s a safe and hip area filled with unique shops and fantastic restaurants. There’s a quaint steam clock, beautiful brick buildings, and cobblestone paths lined with beautiful trees and gorgeous lampposts.
- Stanley Park is the “Central Park” of Vancouver but bigger and with a view that just won’t quit. You can rent bikes or just take a long walk around the park, check out the totem poles, and the benches dedicated to people, or the lighthouse that is reminiscent of the original one that stood there. The thing about the Vancouver landscape is that standing on the dock there are so many different things to see, the boats off in the distance, the crisp blue water, the city and sky scrapers, and of course the ever present lush mountains surrounding you.
- Food trucks are a must when you head over to Vancouver. Some of the best meals we had came from these wonderfully bright and charismatic trucks. We had the best pulled pork sandwich at Re-Up BBQ on Hornby and Georgia. The meat was tender and juicy, with a wonderful sauce that wasn’t too sweet and had a nice kick to it, add in the creamy and crunchy coleslaw and you have a filling lunch for $7.50. We also ate the best grilled cheese sandwich at Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck, located right outside of the Vancouver Art Gallery (another must see). For under $20 we got two grilled cheese sandwiches, one with white bread and cheddar and one with white bread, provolone, and smoked double bacon – talk about heaven.