Back in June my boyfriend and I decided to spend a weekend in Vancouver and then ferry over to Victoria, a small city on Vancouver Island for a little getaway. We had done this exact trip about two years ago but if there are any Canadians reading this you know just how expensive it is to fly around our own country. It’s actually cheaper for me to fly to Amsterdam than it is to go to Toronto most times. So to save some money and revisit a beautiful city, we headed to Vancouver.
I make Vancouver sound like a last resort but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Spending a weekend in Vancouver wasn’t nearly enough time and now I’m wondering if I should just pack all my things and move there.. I have been to Van about four times and I don’t think I really appreciated how beautiful it is there. You have a gorgeous mountain skyline to marvel at and on the other side you have the ocean with boats and yachts and beautiful sunsets.
Hong Kong is actually one of my favourite cities and Vancouver has been dubbed “Hong-Couver” because the cities are so similar scenic wise. And food now that I think about it. You’ll find so many Asian inspired restaurants that make my vegetarian self’s stomach grumble. I loveeeeee Japanese food and hot pot and Thai.. you get the picture. You will find all of these cuisines and more in Van.
Aaron and I decided to have a spontaneous trip to Vancouver which apparently isn’t all it’s crapped out to be. Vancouver was booked. Like I was looking at campsites and tent rentals booked. Who knew Van would be so busy during the summer? Apparently everyone but me. And sure there was someeeeee places to stay, but I don’t have $1200 to throw at a room willy nilly so, for the entire week before we left, I was scouring the web trying to find someone cancelling a room.
After a bit of anxiety and stalking booking.com I finally found a place called the Barclay Hotel on Robson St. The bed was about as big as Aaron and the room was pretty tiny, but honestly, it was pretty awesome. It was so cheap and clean and was very old style which I am a huge sucker for. It was centrally located and had so many great restaurants around. And it was a very short walk from a pier and mountain views. I would actually book here again with no hesitation.
Also it is only a few blocks away from a WholeFoods which is heavennnnnn.
Where To Eat:
Blendz Coffee – This is a chain but I have only ever found in Vancouver. I love it. They have great coffee and great treats. I got a flax breakfast cookie and spotted this amazing cinnamon bun so Aaron and I “shared”(fought over) it. It’s a great place for when you’re in a rush and don’t want to spend a lot of money on breakfast.
Nelson The Seagull – If you’re on Instagram or live in Van, you know this place is all the hype. This bread and coffee shop is a perfect stop for your travelling in Vancouver. They are conveniently located in Gastown and their avocado on toast is to die for!
Honolulu Cafe – When I was in Osaka I visited Honolulu Cafe so when I saw this place on my Google Maps my heart leaped. I had noooo idea there were other locations so I grabbed Aaron and we walked here from our hotel. I have a picky stomach so I can only handle so much of a diet change. I live off smoothies and a plant based diet so pastries and pancakes everyday isn’t going to cut it for me. Honolulu Cafe has a small, yet delicious, acai bowl that will definitely satisfy your healthy cravings. Their latte was also amazing.
Jam Cafe – Jam Cafe is a beacon of good food. I visited their Victoria location 4 times in 3 days once so obviously they are good. You will find sweet dishes like pan fried maple oatmeal, spiced yogurt, red velvet pancakes (I have tried all of these..) and some savoury dishes like their huevos rancheros, biscuits and gravy, or a good old eggs benedict. The biscuits are lit.
Seasons In The Park – A very fancy, very gorgeous restaurant located in Queen Elizabeth Park which I have already mentioned in other posts but whatever, I really liked it. You’ll find out where this is in just a minute 🙂
This place was so cute! If you guys are new to Fernweh then let me tell you I love Japan. It is one of my favourite countries so when I spotted this cute little shop I went right in! I don’t even think we dropped off our luggage at the hotel yet. They had all these goodies imported from Japan and it was such a nostalgia trip. I think another trip to Japan is in order 🙂
What To See:
Capilano Suspension Bridge – Aaron and I decided to take it easy with sightseeing even though we only had the weekend in Vancouver. I think we’ve both grown up and can appreciate a city without running around like chickens trying to cram everything in. It’s just not fun or that enjoyable for us anymore. We visited the Capilano Suspension Bridge which was super easy to get to. There’s actually a free shuttle Vancouver offers that will take you to this nature park so you might as well use it. For more about that check out here.
Queen Elizabeth Park – Ever since I visited the botanical gardens in my city, Edmonton, I have been obsessed. This park is home to the Bloedel Conservatory and one of the prettiest views of Vancouver. It’s out of the way from the main area of Van but don’t let that discourage you. If you aren’t sold then I’ll tell you there is the yummiest, most fancy, cutest restaurant called Seasons In The Park you can go have a bottle of wine at. But for more about that check out here.
Gastown – Gastown is an old area of Vancouver that has so many yummy food shops and boutiques to check out. Aaron and I went to Tuc Craft Kitchen and more than one vintage shop.
Granville Island – I’ll be honest, this place isn’t all it’s hyped up to be. I remember it being more fun and amazing when I was 19 but as an adult who is a little jaded from travelling a lot, it’s kind of a tourist trap. But it’s a good place to go if you want to check something off of your bucket list and get mauled by seagulls.
Stanley Park – Did you know Stanley Park is bigger than Central Park? This park is a wonderful escape from the city. I think a lot of us want to live in big busy cities but I think we also crave a little nature time now and again. This park is where you can go for walks, enjoy nature and wildlife and even visit the Vancouver Aquarium.
English Bay & Spanish Banks – I never made it to either of these beaches because it was raining every single time I’ve been to Vancouver but whenever I get sunny skies I fully intend of visiting these gorgeous spots.
I’ll take two please..
Vancouver is full of great places to spend a weekend or even a week. There is never a shortage of things to do, especially when you are so close to nature and the mountains. You can literally go skiing in the morning and then surfing in the evening. Or if you’re like me you can drink coffee looking over the mountains in the morning and in the evening drink wine on a beach patio while eating healthy treats in the middle. I swear I’ve become a grandma in my twenties 😛
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