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A Juxtaposition between Beautiful Scenery and Skyscrapers
Vancouver was the final stop of our trip out west. It is surprising to see a city of skyscrapers set against a city surrounded by beauty… water, mountains, cobblestone streets.
We flew West Jet from Victoria to Vancouver as the ferry would have taken too long and stayed at the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel. It is a beautiful hotel in the downtown area and a block away from the harbor where many of the cruise ships come in. We stayed for two nights and three days in Vancouver.
Our stay included daily breakfast, evening canapés, and a private terrace with panoramic views. I did book well in advance so I don’t think I recalled upgrading our stay but it was a very welcome end to our vacation.
Capilano Suspension Bridge – A visit to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park was definitely on our radar. We took public transportation to the park and explored Treetops Adventure, a series of seven suspension bridges before crossing the Capilano Suspension Bridge. If you are afraid of heights or some swaying of the bridge while walking across, you may not want to try this. It is 450 feet long and 230 feet above the river. They do ask that guests not jump but try convincing a young child not to do this. We were glad we could say we made it but it was a bit unnerving. Of course, there are other equally parts to the park with exquisite views.
Once we got back to our hotel, we decided to rent bicycles and head to Stanley Park.
Stanley Park – Stanley Park is Vancouver’s largest park. When we decided to take a bike ride (Mobi bikes), we had no idea that the bike path went in one direction. It makes a circle following the Seawall which takes about an hour by bike. There are spectacular views and some narrow paths. By the time we made it back from our 5.5-mile bicycle ride, we were definitely ready to clean up and get dinner.
Gastown – We spent a morning walking the cobblestone streets, stopping in some of the boutiques, and visiting the world’s first Historic Steam Clock. It is one of only a few in the world. Every quarter-hour, the Steam Clock whistles and shoots steam. It also marks each hour with a toot from each whistle.
Yaletown – we went to Yaletown because we wanted to catch the aquabus over to Granville. Located in a former warehouse district, it is a fun place to walk around and discover some shops, cool restaurants, cafes and just people watch. One of my favorite things to do when traveling is to discover some of the smaller sections of a city; not only is it filled with history but it tends to be vibrant and filled with eclectic shops and restaurants.
Granville Island – home to the Granville Public Market, it is a peninsula and shopping district that you can access by taking an aquabus, car, bike, or bus. Wanting to get the whole experience, we bought tickets for the aquabus. It is pretty inexpensive (about $4 a person). Once there, you can explore the public market. We love markets and bought flavored salt and some other food gifts that we could travel with.
Vancouver is a city known for its culinary scene. We only had two nights so we went with the following two options.
We packed a lot in our 10 day trip out West. If you are looking to do a similar trip, read our blog on our visit to four cities on the west coast. I would definitely return to west Canada during the summer; Banff is on our travel bucket list down the road.