Vancouver Travel Guide

A little while ago, we traveled to Vancouver, Canada for the first time for a long weekend with my parents and we will definitely be going back! The city was everything you want for an urban getaway- very clean, totally walkable, beautiful weather, lots of shopping, amazing restaurants, bike paths, water views, great hotels, the list goes on….Since we live in Seattle, we just drove a few hours to the border and it was only about an hour past that into the city. Plus that way we had our car with us to get around even though you could totally Lyft or have your hotel’s car service drop you off places.

Where we stayed:

We stayed at the Fairmont Pacific Rim in a Signature Ofuro Room. It had one of the prettiest hotel views I have ever seen. Seriously, just watch the vlog and you will see what I mean ^. Also this bathtub is insane. Major #tubgoals and I didn’t even know that was a thing until I met this tub. The Fairmont had live music in the lobby bar, amazing restaurants (I’ll get to that in a sec) and a gorgeous fresh flower shop. They had electric bike rentals (I’ll get to that too….keep reading) and the hotel itself was in a perfect location downtown right by the waterfront but central enough where it was only a few blocks to get to the heart of all the shopping.

What we did:

Bike ride around Stanley Park | Like I mentioned about 5 seconds ago, the Fairmont had bikes to rent but by the time we got out there post-brunch, the regular bikes were already checked out. So we opted for the electric bikes and my husband’s life is forever changed because they were SO fun (yes, he has one on his Christmas list now…). You can turn the electric aspect of the bike off completely and ride it just like normal or you can turn it all the way up to turbo sport, or whatever it was called, and they clock in at just about 28 mph. Stanley park gives you incredible views of the city and you can basically do a giant loop that brings you right back to where you started. I highly recommend some sort of bike or walk or picnic or something in Stanley Park if you ever visit.

Shopping | I mean this is basic so I’ll keep it short, but basically Vancouver has some really amazing downtown shopping so if you’re in the mood to drop some $$$, you won’t have any trouble doing that in this city!

Capilano Suspension Bridge | This was on the to-do list but it will have to wait until next time. We totally intended to go to this crazy suspension bridge but the weather was looking a little iffy, we were worried of crowds, and we made a group decision that one last brunch and mimosa sounded like the better option at the time. BUT this is *apparently* a really cool experience and a must do at some point!

Fly Over Canada | Let me preface this by saying this might seem like a dumb tourist trap at the cruise ship terminal but it was one of my favorite parts of the trip! Whoever made Soarin’ Over California in Disneyland must have created Fly Over Canada as well because it was identical. Like an absolute exact replica but of course, the videos were from all over Canada showing the culture, landscape, people, smells and sounds…it was really really cool and I actually highly recommend doing this at least once!

Where we ate:

Botanist | This is the restuarant in our hotel and how gorgeous and girly is it?? Apparently it has been deemed the most instagramable restaurant in the city which is ironic since I didn’t even get a photo of myself here (I blame my delicious avocado toast that I was too busy scarfing down).

Cactus Club Cafe | We quickly learned that these restaurants are all over the city but we ate at the one down on the water by our hotel and it was poppin! But now I know why because the food was so stinking good and they had amazing drinks and just a fun atmosphere. I got some ahi poke and an aperol spritz and Alec generously shared (aka I stole) his truffle fries that were 😍

Hawksworth | This is a must eat-at place. It is the four-time winner for best upscale restaurant in Vancouver. It is a special restaurant with an incredible tasting menu. I think by the end it came out to about 9 courses that they brought out to us! The whole meal took a few hours but nothing some good conversation and wine can’t help you zip through! I love the type of meal where it is stretched out and you get to try bites of lots of yummy dishes but you don’t leave rolling out of there stuffed. This would be a great restaurant for a fancy date or celebration or “just because” because life is short!

Chambar | Alec found this Belgian restaurant and insisted that they had amazing reviews and we had to go. I will admit that I was a little wary of it because the sound of Belgian sausages and sauerkraut for brunch just wasn’t sitting well with me. But it was SO GOOD. I had the Bon Matin which was basically like a Belgian brunch charcuterie board and of course, we had to get some fresh Belgian waffles (yes, complete with gold flakes).

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