How great are long weekends? Every weekend should be a long one. I had a quick little get away trip to Vancouver for the 4 days (who really worked on Friday anyways?). Even though it was short and only to Van, it was still nice to get away from Calgary and relax and refresh. The main reason for heading out to the West coast was for the Taylor Swift concert on August 1 because why see her in Edmonton when you can see her in Van?
Besides the amazing concert (see my full review here) we ate a lot and saw a lot as we explored the BC city. I have been to Van three times; twice in High School with band and once for a business day trip. What that means is I have never really spent much time seeing what Vancouver has to offer so this seemed like a first time trip for me.
Food is always the biggest part of any family vacation we take. Our plan basically revolves around how to get from one eating spot to the next while crossing paths with some important sightseeing activities. Sushi was top on the list of places we wanted to go to, but other than that we were pretty open to trying anything. Most of the restaurants we went to were recommended by friends that live in Vancouver who we thought would have the best insight on where to go. We only ended up at a chain restaurant once (Joey’s but it was a super classy place near the shopping with good cocktails, can’t pass that up) and other than that we tried to stay in the local category.
Best Sushi: Miku
Best Mexican: Tacofino
We also fit in some Van sightseeing. We were staying right at Canada Place so we got a daily view of the 2010 Olympic Torches and the infamous whale statue. Staying right on the water at the Pacific Rim Fairmont was amazing, we were close to everything downtown, Granville, and we could walk to Stanley Park.
The Friday afternoon when we got there we ventured out walking heading towards Gas Town but ended up on East Hastings after stopping in a store my sister wanted to go to in China Town. Welcome to Vancouver. Probably best to avoid that area, but we were right in the middle walking a few blocks through to get to the other side which is Gas Town. Probably my favourite part of the city, Gas Town is cute and hipster, with an endless supply of cafes, boutiques and restaurants. See: Tacofino. We also walked up Robson street and did a bit of shopping before ending the evening at Joey Burrard for the cocktails and dinner.
Saturday morning we got up and headed to Granville island, for a quick peak at the market and walk through the streets. Turns out we were more antsy to head towards Kitsilano then browse through the public market and little stores there. On we walked from Granville all the way up West 4th, hitting lots of the stores along the way. We stopped and had lunch at Burgoo, an amazing spot for local comfort food. Then hit Kits beach, what we were all waiting for. Spent the afternoon laying in the sun and enjoying the coast. My mom, sister and I finished the night off with T Swift at her amazing show at BC Place.
Capilano bridge was our Sunday morning plan. We took the bus out to Capilano where we spent a good four hours walking through the rain forest; across bridges, out on the cliff walk, through the paths. It was a gorgeous place to be, and the weather kept up the sunshine all weekend. We got back to the hotel ready for lunch and headed to Gas Town for tacos at Tacofino; you have to try that place out next time you are in Van. We spent the afternoon biking around Stanley park. We biked from our hotel all the way around the park (its about 10km) enjoying the beauty of the seawall with a million other tourists. The park is truly beautiful, even if it needs a little rain. Sunday night we ate at the Italian Kitchen, and stuffed ourselves full of delicious pasta.
Monday morning we walked back to English Bay and spent the last few hours catching some sun and people watching. It really was a lovely way to end the weekend in such an amazing city. I can definitely see myself making more trips over there.
What is your favourite restaurant in Van?