And inquisitive robot had been busy with new job and getting to know my responsibilities at work. So yes I spent some time being a responsible employee. However, after a whole stressful month and no time for myself it was time to just relax and take a small weekend trip. I recently got my Canadian visa and was more than happy about it. As soon as I got my visa I planned a small weekend getaway to Vancouver 😀
Day 1: An evening in downtown
Vancouver is hardly 2.5hrs of a drive from Seattle which was perfect. I left on Friday and got on the road after work. In an hour and a half, I was at USA-Canada border and it took only 5 mins to cross the border. I decided to stay in an Airbnb in Coquitlam a small town in mid-Vancouver which is about 30 mins away from downtown. I reached at around 9:30 PM in Coquitlam and freshened up and was all set to check out how Friday night in Vancouver is. After 30 mins ride, I was at Yaletown one of the places which has great bars and restaurants. I was most interested in checking out Hello goodbye bar. However, the line was just frustrating. But that’s something I noticed about Vancouver since legal age for drinking is 19 the bars are usually packed with youngsters and there are long lines to get in Restaurants. I would definitely suggest making reservations before otherwise, the wait is around 20-30 mins and when you are hungry you are hungry :D. I had no idea about this and ended up waiting everywhere I tried my luck at. I finally got an entry into Earls pub which was busy as well so I decided to sit at the bar and ordered small bites with a nice french 75 which is my current favorite drink :D. I was amazed at how people party in Vancouver trust me they know how to party. It was crazy busy everywhere. I tried couple more bars like Uva wine and cocktail bar, cactus club cafe were some of them.
Day 2: Exploring the city
Next day I decided to explore Vancouver and my first point was Grouse mountain.
- On the way, I stopped at Rocannini’s coffee roaster which is a very quaint place in downtown Vancouver to get some really good coffee. After some coffee, it was 30 mins ride from downtown to the grouse mountain. It was a little misty day but that didn’t budge my plans. So I drove all the way and got a ticket for a gondola ride to the mountain. The best part was there were so many options to pick from:
- Alpine experience is where you can just explore the mountain and enjoy food, shows etc.
- The peak experience is where you can take a scenic peak chair lift ride.
- They also have the zip line and helicopter tours to choose from.
I chose peak experience which was 54$ per person. It was beauty in the mist. I had a small burger and hot dogs on the mountain and their infamous IPA and was all set to explore the mountain. It’s a huge place and is absolutely well maintained which is very impressive. You have grizzly bears to see, a lumberjack show and then I went for the scenic peak ride which was simply breathtaking. I then had a small bite of Nanaimo pastry in beaver tails and it was simply yummy. If you are in Canada you have to try Beavertails and Tim Horton’s coffee.
2. After spending around 3 hrs on the mountain my next stop was Capilano suspension bridge. It’s usually super crowded but when I went it was still super crowded lol. But it’s a fun bridge to check out as facts state that it’s as tall as the statue of liberty and can hold up to 96 elephants weight. That’s impressive. On the other side of the bridge is Capilano suspension park which has tree tops experience, cliff walk, and boardwalk which are all very pretty and calm.
3. After Capilano, I left for Stanley park and the view of lions gate bridge is simply amazing from here. Stanley park also has small trails that are very pretty for a small walk.
4. Next stop was Gastown to get some dinner and drinks. There is a Japanese restaurant called Guu which has a pretty patio and a pleasant view of the cobbled street and Steam clock. I then walked on the cobbled street of gastown and checked out few other bars like lamplight public house which turns into a club at night, the old spaghetti factory and flying pig. I would definitely recommend a walk on the waterfront road near gastown. There were a lot of party boats and it was just amazing.
Day 3: Beach Day!
Next day I decided to check out kits beach but before that I would definitely recommend brunch at lucy’s eastside diner they have boozy shakes which were delicious and filling! After kits beach, I learnt there’s a bare bum race going on in wreck beach which is near the University of BC. You need to take a fleet of stairs down to the beach and then you see a really beautiful secluded beach which is a clothing optional beach. I spent my time relaxing at the beach and made my move to the next stop which was Granville island. This is a small island which is a peninsula and shopping district that has a public market, restaurants and bars and a very lively place to hangout and spend your day at. I decided to check out Bridges restaurant for some salmon burger and bloody marry. Just in time to head back to seattle!
The best part about vancouver is it’s a small drive and easily achievable road trip.
I would definitely like to visit Provincial National Park and Victoria next time I go to Vancouver. However, I am flying to Alberta and Toronto in next two weeks and can’t wait to see more of canada.
- Make reservation for restaurant prior to your visit if you are driving on friday evening.
- Stay is cheaper in mid vancouver area and it’s calmer and prettier.
- I would not recommend seeing Capilano suspension bridge and Grouse mountain on same day. As the entry fee is huge and you would spend at least a day there since they both are full fledged park and tourist attraction and there’s a lot to see.