We recently spent our first summer weekend in Vancouver. It’s a destination that we have visited many times, but none of those visits have been in the summer months. So, keep reading if you want to know how we spent the weekend.
We took a late morning flight from Calgary to Vancouver, landing just before noon. We quickly made our way downtown and checked into our hotel, the Westin Grand. It’s conveniently located. Plus, we are avid Marriott Bonvoy point collectors, so we try to stick to those brands.
After dropping off our bags and a quick change of clothing, we headed out to find something to eat. I have mentioned it before, one of my guilty pleasures is Chipotle. Since there isn’t one in Calgary, I do take advantage when visiting other cities. So, we had lunch there and I enjoyed every bite of it. Then, we walked down around the waterfront and found a great patio to enjoy a cocktail and relax a bit. Tap & Barrel has a very large patio and the perfect location to sit and enjoy the nice weather.
We didn’t have dinner reservations, so we decided to walk over to Yaletown. Having fondly remembered the pizza at The Parlour, that was our first stop. Sat on the patio and enjoyed their Happy Hour specials. Happy Hour is from 2 pm to 5:30 pm daily, with great food and drink options.
After 10 hours of sleep, we were up and ready to do more exploring. Looking for something active to do, we decided to rent bikes and go around the seawall. Before that, we stopped in at Cartem Donuts. The are a Vancouver company with 3 locations. Their donuts are of high quality and really tasty. However, the Nanaimo Bar donut was particularly good and a truly Canadian flavor. To burn off some of those calories, we walked over and got bikes from Cycle City. Cycle City offers various tours depending on your interests, but you can easily make up your own tour. Vancouver is a city that caters to cyclists. The city has plenty of dedicated bike lanes and pathways for cyclists.
This time, we opted to do our own thing. We did the loop around Stanley Park and kept going past Yaletown before returning the bikes. It was the perfect way to spend the morning and pretty inexpensive.
Having worked up an appetite, for lunch we decided on Tacofino. There are 5 locations in Vancouver, but we went to the Gastown Taco Bar since it was the closest. During our last trip to Victoria we had wanted to try it out, but unfortunately it was closed for renovations. The good didn’t disappoint, everything was really good. We started with the chips and dips – salsa, guac and black beans – and then tried a variety of tacos. The Pork Al Pastor was particularly delicious.
Being that we were up fairly early, we then walked back to the hotel for an afternoon nap. Afternoon vacation naps are the best! Since we had plans with friends for dinner, we got ready and decided to hit up Per Se Social Corner for cocktails before dinner. It was very nice out and we wanted to take advantage. They have a great patio!
For dinner, we met our friends at Homer Street Café and Bar. They are known for their rotisserie chicken and I can confirm that is was great. They also had great cocktails and great food.
Later that evening we headed to the Queen Elizabeth theater for a show. The whole reason for our visit was to see The Raconteurs.
After having breakfast at our favorite Vancouver spot, Jam Café, we were looking for something to do outdoors. We decided to visit the VanDusen Botanical Garden. It’s a little ways from downtown and on the other side of the water, so we took a taxi there. But, there are public transit options, if you prefer that.
It’s a beautiful place to spend some time and much larger than we expected and everything was in bloom. But, the highlight was definitely the purple and blue hydrangea.
After, we then took a Car 2 Go to Kitsilano. As you can imagine, since it was a beautiful Saturday in July, the beach was crowded. We walked around the beach. And kept walking and took a water taxi back to the other side.
While searching for places to eat in Vancouver, I had come across Mister Artisan Ice Cream. They serve ice cream made using liquid nitrogen. Obviously, we had to try it and it was delicious. We opted for their ice cream sandwiches and they were delicious.
For the rest of the afternoon, we then did some bar hoping in Yaletown. Our first stop was at The Distillery where we enjoyed an Aviation cocktail, one of our favorites. Click here to see the recipe for our own version of this refreshing cocktail.
After that, we headed back to the hotel to get some sleep before our early morning flight back home.
Once again, Vancouver you did not disappoint! We will certainly be back for another summer weekend in Vancouver!
Finally, if you are planning a trip to Vancouver and looking for more inspiration, click here to read all about our previous visit.
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