Often referred to as a world-leading, Canadian destination, Vancouver sets the bar high. Along with its stunning mountain and ocean views, it’s also a haven for delicious eating, tons of outdoor activities, and the shopping isn’t so bad either. Should you find yourself west coast bound, here are some Vancouver highlights you’ll want to try, eat and do…
Located in the heart of downtown, The Four Seasons Hotel gets our nod for its impressive sized suites, fully-equipped gym and indoor/outdoor pool. It’s also home to YEW Seafood Restaurant, one of the most loved and celebrated spots for its sensational local and seasonal offerings.
If coffee is your thing, you’ll find no shortage of options. Topping our list for a downtown flat white or Americano, Prado or newly opened Quantum are both excellent. The coffee chain JJ Bean is also very reliable, and for a Bulletproof hit, you can’t beat Festal, a paleo café and food haven.
Along with coffee shops galore, Vancouver is thriving with healthy eats. For protein-rich, insanely delicious smoothies, Body Energy Club, hands-down. For avo-toast, acai bowls, fresh pressed juices, try Glory Juice, The Juicery (on Main St.) or Turf. And for salad bowls of the most beautiful, freshest kind, Field and Social is in another league.
Vancouverites are notorious for keeping super-fit. It can be raining (pouring) and you’ll still find them running outdoors, biking or hiking the trails. If you’re not of that caliber (no judgement), there’s always Soul Cycle for a sweaty-spin, Lagree West for a mega reformer workout or Semperviva for the best yoga classes and multiple locations.
Local and in-season, Vancouver dining doesn’t need labels like ‘farm to table’ to impress. And speaking of which, for a most impressive setting with a menu that hits all the best points, Nightingale is where you will find foodies with style and exceptional taste. If cozy yet bustling Italian sounds more like you, Nook in Kitsilano is best for pizzas or their burrata and prosciutto platter among other items. For up-scale, vegetarian fair, Heirloom will please any carnivore lover – thanks to its Ninja bowls and hearty salads, among other highlights.
Surrounded by mountains and postcard perfect ocean views, if you have time for some outdoor activity, put on your walking shoes and go. The Grouse Grind is a challenging – but very doable hike for those in decent shape. Check schedule in-advance for hours of operation, and arrive early to beat the crowd. When in doubt, nothing is as easy or Instagram-worthy as the Seawall. For a run, walk or bike ride, it goes for miles along the water and perfectly paved too. Stanley Park can be a bit touristy, but worth a visit for high tea or a horse carriage ride. Last, Granville Island Market. Shop local produce, meat and cheese vendors or grab a bite at one of the onsite restaurants. Always busy and worth a few hours of fun.
While the shopping may not be as bustling as say, New York or Chicago, Vancouver offers something for every taste and budget. For big department store finds, with more shoes and cool pop-ups, Nordstrom is the ticket. Located near Robson Street, the most popular shopping stretch, you’ll find the usual suspects like Zara, JCrew, Nike, etc. For more of a hipster vibe, Gastown or Mount Pleasant are rich in vintage, local and noteworthy haunts, along with independent coffee shops, cafes and restaurants.
If that’s reason enough to visit Vancouver, maybe Kelly Ripa’s review might help?