Vancouver, Canada is a stunning city, surrounded by a multitude of mountains and also the Pacific Ocean. The climate is temperate, this making it very easy to be active in summer and spring (and snow activities in winter) but do remember that Vancouver is considered a rainforest, so precipitation should be expected, We were there in late July and luck enough to avoid any rain. The city is very multicultural and thus reflected in cuisines on offer.
As we were in Vancouver for over a week and there’s plenty to do, blog is split in two for readability.
Where to stay
We were lucky enough to have accomodation with our cousin in North Vancouver. We loved this area for its scenery. We would otherwise recommend staying in the city, there’s plenry of hotels, you could also hire a camper van and travel around and we would recommend a night or two at whistler to make the most of the sights to see there.
Where to go
You simply cannot visit Vancouver without visiting Stanley Park. This large Park with enormous trees of some age and surrounded by the ocean is simply beautiful and is home to a multitude of things to see and do.
We visited in summer and so decided to hire a Shaw mobi bike which comes with a helmet. Rental is $9 for the first 30 minutes and $5 for every 30 minutes after. We cycled the Seawall of the park, which ends up being about 6 k and 13 for us since we kept riding to the other end the city. These are good bikes because you can return them to other docks in other locations rather than to store like those so that hire them there. It is an easy flat ride that will gave you take in ocean views as you ride under the Lions Gate bridge past the pool, beaches, lawn bowls, volleyball court as well as the pitch and putt makes for a scenic cycle.
On our last day we decided to have a round of pitch and putt. The holes are all less than 100 meters, so you don’t have to be a big hitter. A round of 18 holes including, clubs, balls and tees set us back $26 each. This activity is fun for everyone, it will have you enjoy the park in a different way and is a great way to be outdoors and active.
There are many different walking tracks within Stanley park. Walk the perimeter with ocean views or walk through the centre and be mystified by giant trees, there are also many pretty gardens throughout, duck ponds and first nation artworks including totems.
Prospect Point viewpoint
Great view of the harbour and north Vancouver, it’s right in the middle at the tip of the park so hard to get to unless you’re on the hop on/hop off bus or drive. Or if you’re biking or walking around. We walked about 30 Mins to get out.
Prospect Point cafe
Prospect point will provide you with some lovely views. The cafe is set right at the tip of Prospect Point and takes advantage of these views. It has a cafe at the front and a bar and grill inside. We sat out on the deck with a beautiful view of the harbour. The staff were lovely and helpful. The food being prepared was a little slow but we didn’t care too much since it was a lovely view. We got a cold seafood platter to share, and it was beautifully presented with cleaned crab claws, marinated tuna ceviche (or sashimi really), poached prawns, clams and mussels and smoked salmon. For $49 this is extremely good value. You can also get salads, burgers and more. They also have half sized meals for those of you not so hungry. They sell beers, soft drinks and coffees so it’s suitable for any crowd.
Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
Located in North Vancouver BC, about 3 in from downtown. You can easily get a bus or a free shuttle from Canada Place. the Capilano Suspension Bridge is part of a bigger park with the famous 450 foot bridge, a cliff walk, rainforest canopy, sweeping views, lookouts, water falls and more. It’s quite pricy but probably because it’s a tourist haunt. But if you want to see it, you’ll pay. Whilst you’re there there’s interesting displays of the history, native history and totem poles, guided tours, and also a coffee shop, restaurant and grill. The set up has been done really well and it’s a lovely spot.
If you are after mountains and suspension bridges, Whistler is a nice 2hr drive or Bus ride away. The bus is $35 return from Downtown Vancouver to Whistler with Epic bus tours and lift passes are $60. Definitely better value than the Grouse Capilano combo. The glass floor gondola from peak to peak was very cool as was the suspension bridge “on top of the world” and will give you a slight adrenaline hit. If you are afraid of heights, you will need to conquer your fears. The views are spectacular and well worth seeing.
We wish we knew more about Whistler in the summer as it is sublime. We would have stayed a few nights as you can get good deals in summer. There’s plenty to do and see and next time we’ll do the bobsled!
Keep out for part 2 coming soon….