Vancouver Things to Do and See

First of all, this is the view from my dentist chair. Whatttt! Vancouver is one of the most beautiful places in the world, if you’re lucky to catch it on a sunny day. This year it’s rained 28 out of 30 days on month. I kid you not when I saw Vancouver is Canada’s third most rainy city (who knew it could be worse?!), with over 161 rainy days per year. We get an average of 1153 ml or 45 inches of rain per year. But this is what makes everything here to lush and green. Vancouver’s coast is considered to be a Temperate Rainforest. Did you know that almost half of North America’s coastal rainforest, and close to 25 per cent of the world’s temperate rainforests, can be found in British Columbia.

Things to do:

  1. Bike or rollerblade around Stanley park (the closest rental places are on Denman near Georgia street).
  2. Capilano Suspension Bridge has lots of cool things to do and see but  literally 5 minutes away is the Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge which is Free..but they don’t have the paths between the trees.
  3. Grouse mountain can be a cool spot depending on the time of year you visit. They have the Grouse Grind hike in the better months, Lumberjack shows in the summer, skating, skiing, snow shoeing, snowboarding and sleigh rights in the winter.
  4. Walk west down Robson (main shopping street) starting around Granville and Robson and go all the way to Denman (which is the end of Robson) then left on Denman which will take you to English Bay. Depending when you are in town this is where they host the fireworks a couple nights in August (HUGE crowds and you have to go early). But English bay is beautiful if you wanted to grab take out or an ice cream and sit on the grass and people watch. You can then walk along the seawall (which is the walk that goes west [there will be a big inuksuk that you cans see as a landmark that tell you you are going the right way]) If you keep walking this way you can eventually take the little aquabus (10 person baby ferry) that goes across to Granville Island. Its where they have a cute public market with good food, local artisan foods and arts/crafts things. You can even rent kayaks here. If you don’t want to go across to Granville island, just stay on the seawall walkway and you will end up near yaletown. There are some great restaurants there and good nightlife. This walk brings you almost around the entire downtown core. It shouldn’t take more than 3 hours if you have a decent pace. If you get tired though you can also cab and it wouldn’t be too expensive to get back to the starting place.
  5. Walk around Gastown – this is a big stop for the cruise ships.
  6. If there is a White caps game that can be fun and it’s in our newish stadium.
  7. Kits Beach can be nice (and then you can eat at Local across the street or at The Beach House on the beach).
  8. Whistler is 2 ½ hours away but an amazing place to ski, snowboard, or mountain bike and zipline in the summer. I’m sure they’ve got lots more cool things to see than I know about because it was home to the 2010 Winter Olympics
  9. Sea to sky Gondola on the way to whistler is a beautiful look out point.
  10. Deep cove – quarry rock is a popular (but a very over populated trail).
  11. Pacific Spirit Park near the university of British Columbia is beautiful.

Night Life:

Depending on your age and scene there are some different areas to hit up.

  1. Granville street – strips of bars and clubs and where most early 20 something go to party.
  2. Yaletown – a bit of an older crowd, nice restauraunts, a couple clubs and a more stylish part of Vancouver night life. Checkout Hamilton street and Mainland street. There are 1 or 2 things on Homer street as well.
  3. Gastown is an old historic center of Vancouver and is now a trendy spot to hang out. The crowd is always diverse but you’ll be sure to find some hipsters here.
  4. Davie street is home to lots of good restaurants and the most popular gay clubs
  5. Main street or SoMa is an up and coming hipster neighbourhood. It’s not pretentious and is more focused on a relaxed vibe.
  6. Parq casino in downtown is a new beautiful spot with some cool restauraunts

Drinks Spots in no particular order

  1. Chill Winston (Gastown)
  2. The Diamond (Gastown)
  3. Yew (50% of bottles on Sunday)
  4. Prohibition (at the Georgia)
  5. L’abbatoir (gastown)
  6. The keefer
  7. Hawksworth (at the Georgia)
  8. Clough Club (Gastown)
  9. Guilt and Co. (Gastown)
  10. Joeys’s (Off Robson on Burrard)
  11. Cactus Club
  12. Parlour
  13. Yaletown Brewery
  14. The Distillery (yaletown)
  15. Pourhouse (gastown)
  16. Shameful Tiki Room
  17. Cascade Room
  18. Chambar
  19. Bao Bei
  20. Hawksworth

To eat:

Honestly Vancouver has some of the best food in the world. So much diversity and quality that with minimal research you’ll be able to find most of anything that you’re looking for. There are always new and “hot” spots to each so I definitely recommend doing your own research prior to visiting.

  1. Brix and Mortar (beautiful westcoast restaurant)
  2. Milestone, Cactus Club, Earls (all big Canadian restaurant chains but their food and drinks are always good and reasonably priced
  3. Rodney’s Oysters (good seasfood and hot servers)
  4. Yaletown Brewery always a busy spot and a low key spot to grab a drink (they also have the bar side if you want to grab a drink before going out)
  5. Chambar Restaurant is a super great little French/Belgium place their mussels are amazing
  6. Café Medina is great for breakfast but be ready to line up
  7. Twisted Fork is also good for breakfast and well-priced
  8. There is a food truck on Dunsmuir and Beatty near the skytrain called Yolks its really good (so good they opened a restaurant on Hastings and Clarke)
  9. Hapa Izakaya is an awesome Japanese restaurant (several locations in Vancouver- 2 downtown)
  10. Our favourite restaurant – Sawadee is a Thai restaurant on Main street, 15 minutes from Downtown. If not, Sala Thai downtown is super delicious.
  11. West Oak is a good spot in yaletown and they have a little bar in the back (Pierres) where you can get bottle service and do a bit of dancing
  12. Cloud 9 is a revolving restaurant on Robson street (you mostly for the view the food is okay)
  13. Flying Pig (gastown and Yaletown) good happy hour specials on wine $4 and food
  14. Parlour (pizza in yaletown) also good for drinks
  15. Bella Gelateria (YUM, near the Fairmont Pacific Rim Downtown or yaletown)
  16. Dim sum –  Peaceful restauraunt, Victoria Chinese Restaurautn (Georgia street), Sun Sui Wah is famous (it’s good but it is more expensive)..Kirin restauraunt has great dimsum and they have 2 locations (1 downtown and one in timesquare which has free parking/validated parking underneath)
  17. Dumplings – Dynasty dumpling house
  18. Famous chicken wings in China town – phnom penh
  19. Oakwood on west 4th has delicious west coast food
  20. Miku delicious Japanease
  21. Au Comptoir is a Parisian bistro
  22. Maenam is a Thai/fusion restauraunt
  23. Farmer’s apprentice has a lot of great seasonal dishes
  24. Kingyo is the perfect spot for lunch if you’re walking on Denman
  25. Forage, exactly as it sounds it’s a menu of locally farmed, seaonable and foraged menu items
  26. Cincin is elegant italian dining
  27. Joe Fortes seafood near shopping on Robson street
  28. Thierry Cafe is a good spot for dessert
  29. Blue Water Cafe for fresh seafood
  30. Vij’s epic Indian food – they don’t take reservations so go early


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