If I’m being honest, I hadn’t really thought much about our neighbor up north. My knowledge of Canada consisted of the following: Their books were always more expensive that American ones; they ate maple syrup, had funny accents and said “sorry” a lot. (Much of my Canada facts came from How I Met Your Mother, whoops.)
But after my recent trip to Vancouver, I know I have to return to this beautiful country. Its lush greenery, busy yet quaint quality, deep blue ocean views and French influence are just a few things I love about Vancouver.
My brother recently moved to Seattle, and we decided to make the 3-hour drive to tour Vancouver for several days. Before this trip, most of my travel aspirations were in Europe and maybe Asia, but visiting Vancouver made me realize how much I have to explore closer to home! Here’s what we did in Vancouver:
Lynn Canyon Park
You know you’ve always wanted to walk on a suspension bridge hanging more than 160 feet over a canyon. Hiking in Lynn Canyon Park was one of my highlights from Vancouver. I worked up a good sweat from all the stairs, jumped from rock to rock in the creek and craned my neck in hopes of seeing the tops of the tall trees. And the fact that it’s free never hurt anyone.
Also another highlight for this trip, Granville Island is home to a huge market of fresh fruit, soaps, jewelry, sweets and other vendors. My absolute favorite was Our Little Flower Company. I just couldn’t get over how quaint this shop was with its hanging dried flowers, mason jars, wreaths and fresh bouquets in the fridge. I bought a hanging pot for my succulent and spent a crazy amount of time taking photos.
The fam spent time perusing the shops, and I bought my obligatory postcard for my bedroom wall. We dined at the Sand Bar, which boasted a classy atmosphere and windows overlooking the water.
We stayed in downtown Vancouver in a skyscraper of a hotel with big floor to ceiling windows. Even better than the cush crib was the location. (My House Hunter‘s watching experience tells me that’s important.) That meant Robson Street, a hub of Vancouver, was just a hop, skip and jump away. Here our crew strolled through the racks of gowns in Nordstrom, sipped on root beer in glass mugs at A&W, bought authentic Canadian clothing at Roots and savored gelato at D’oro. (Oh, and while we’re on the subject of gelato, it’s not on Robson Street, but Bella Gelateria is nearby and its storefront is sprinkled with awards.)
Sea-to-Sky Highway with a pitstop in Squamish
If I had a dime for every time I said “Oh my gosh, it’s soooo pretty!”… I already love road trips even if the scenery is just grass fields, but holy cow, this is one of the most beautiful things my eyes have taken in. The Pacific runs along the Sea-to-Sky highway with mountains as the backdrop. I couldn’t stop taking photos, and I’m absolutely in love with those views.
We stopped in a small but mighty town called Squamish along this route. Flower-lined sidewalks, local shopping, live music and mountains framing it all make this town idyllic at the very least.
I barely tapped into the surface of Vancouver (and even more so, of Canada as a whole), but its beautiful outdoors and bustling activity make me crave more.