Last year we hopped across the pond to visit Italy for 3 weeks, but this summer we decided to visit our friends to the north. We ate, drank and explored our way throughout Vancouver and Whistler, Canada for 10 days and needless to say, fell in love with it all. Take a peek at my travel log where I’m sharing tons of photos of our trip, plus what to see, where to eat and where to grab the best cocktails in town.
Vancouver really has the best of both worlds. There is the big, beautiful city life with glass skyscrapers and then within minutes you can be biking around Stanley Park or hopping across Lions Gate Bridge to a lush canopy of trees and wilderness. Our trip was the perfect combination of both. We did 4 nights in Vancouver, drove up to Whistler for 3 nights and then back down to Vancouver for another 3 nights. We were initially worried that we’d run out of things to do in 10 days, but trust me, there is plenty to see & do, but even more to eat & drink!
Throughout our entire stay we opted to use AirBNB because we either had 3 of us (Sean, his sister & myself) or 4 of us at the end with our brother-in-law joining in. Instead of having to book 2 hotel rooms, we simply found AirBNB’s that had 2 bedrooms and it saved us a ton of money. Just know, Vancouver and Whistler are NOT cheap places to visit in general. You’ll want to eat out a lot because their food scene is INCREDIBLE, so if you can save on lodging, go for it!
We would definitely stay in Vancouver #1 and the Whistler location again, but we weren’t fans of the 3rd AirBNB. Just want to give full transparency here.
As for where to go. I’ve compiled a list below of things to do while in Vancouver. There are so many things to keep you busy, but I highly recommend leaving some time to set out on foot and explore without a definitive plan. Just DO NOT go south of Hastings Street as it is HEAVILY populated with homeless & those seeking out drugs. It’s unfortunate, but as long as you keep to yourself we didn’t have any issues.
Hands down I would say that you NEED to take a bike ride through Stanley Park, take the Aquabus to Granville Island (the public market is what dreams are made of), visit either Capilano Park or Lynn Canyon Park to cross the suspension bridge and eat your way through Gastown. With that being said, I would NOT recommend wasting time taking the 90 minute ferry to Vancouver Island unless you plan on bringing your car and driving an hour and a half south to Victoria Island. We went totally unprepared and basically wasted a 3 hour round trip ferry ride to find a brewery, have a beer and get back on. #fail
What to See: Vancouver
Stanley Park (rent a bike)
Capilano Suspension Bridge
Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge
Lions Gate Bridge
Robson Street (shopping)
Smarty Pantz Escape Room (Gastown)
Capilano Park: (Suspension Bridge, Treetops Adventure & Cliff Walk)
My camera backpack is from WANDRD and it’s the PRVKE 21.
Grouse Mountain: It was freezing cold and completely foggy so we had no views of Vancouver. There was however a cute Lumberjack show & zip lines (that we didn’t do). I did however get chased by an actual Grouse.
Lynn Canyon Park:
I’m just going to be honest here, we spent a majority of our money on food and drink. There is such an amazing food scene happening in Vancouver and we couldn’t even get to all the places that were on my list. I had high hopes to stop in at a lot of the vegan / gluten free restaurants and bakeries, but didn’t make it to nearly as many as I wanted. #fail again.
Some of our days simply consisted of leaving our apartment and setting out on foot towards Gastown or Yaletown and stopping at cool places we found along the way. You’ll see a LOT of the places on my “where we ate” and “where we drank” list happen in Gastown. It was definitely my favorite neighborhood with the all character of cobblestone streets, old steam clocks and tons of charm. We had a rule of not eating at a place twice, but broke it for (1) Mosquito, (2) Tacofino and (3) Cafe Medina.
Mosquito is located in Gastown and it’s a champagne and dessert bar. Think sparkling rosé and the best macarons I have ever tasted. Tacofino, also located in Gastown but they have a few locations, is basically my died and went to heaven Mexican restaurant. We spotted it in an alley way on the first night simply by it’s lit up taco sign (literally a taco) and I had the best tacos and margaritas of my life. I swear. Lastly is Cafe Medina. It’s known as the best brunch spot in all of Vancouver, but they serve the same breakfast menu all week long. The first time we went, on a Sunday, we waited an hour and a half and it was 100% worth it. The Belgium waffles with salted caramel or dark chocolate are so insanely delicious that we came back again on the back end of our trip just for them.
Where We Ate: Vancouver
Steam Works Brewing Co. (Gastown)
The Lamplighter Public House (Gastown)
Cactus Club Cafe (Robson St.)
*Freshly shucked oysters (the Effingham’s were my favorite)
*Great Happy Hour
Public Market (Granville Island)
The Vancouver Fish Company
The Distillery (Yaletown)
Joe Fortes — rooftop (West End)
*chicken & waffles
SMAK (gluten free + dairy free)
Troller Ale House (Horseshoe Bay)
Black & Blue Steakhouse
*steak and seafood
The Flying Pig (Gastown)
So we drink on our travels. A lot. Remember the wine bottle count throughout my Italy trip? Check out the final post to see where we ended up. While in Vancouver we switched between wine, sparkling rosé, handcrafted cocktails and craft brews. They have a huge craft beer scene happening, but most places offer something else on the menu to drink as well. We stumbled up on The Forkhill House on our way to Stanley Park and ended up staying 2-3 hours chatting with the owner. It’s a new Irish pub with a really cool history about it. The rooftop bars throughout Vancouver are really fun as well and don’t skip out on a drink at The Diamond, Alibi Room and The Flying Pig for handcrafted cocktails.
Where We Drank: Vancouver
The Portside Pub
Reflections (rooftop bar at Hotel Georgia)
The Diamond (Gastown)
Granville Island Brewing Company (Granville Island)
The Liberty Distillery (Granville Island)
Black & Blue — rooftop (West End)
Alibi Room (Gastown)
TUC Craft Kitchen (Gastown)
White Sails Brewery (Vancouver Island)
Banter Room (Yaletown)
The Flying Pig (Yaletown)
Chill Winston (Gastown)
Squamish / Brackendale: At TThe Watershed Grill
As I mentioned earlier, we broke up the trip by venturing up to Whistler on Day 5. It’s a beautiful, scenic drive along the Sea to Sky highway that only takes a few hours. We stopped in Squamish (the adventure capital of Canada) for a bite to eat at The Watershed Grill. It’s not much to look at from the outside, but once you get up to the deck and see the view of the river, you’ll quickly see why this is a local favorite! Thanks to Cupcakes & Cashmere for the recommendation!
Unfortunately, most of our time spent up in Whistler was plagued by rain (which means not as many photos). It allowed us to sip and eat our way through the Village and on the 3rd day, with the sun shining, we got on board the Peak to Peak gondola to explore Whistler & Blackcomb Mountain.
We climbed to Whistler peak!
What to See: Whistler
Where We Ate : Whistler
Where We Drank : Whistler
Amsterdam Cafe (Happy Hour)
Bar Oso (Sangria + Tapas)
*Really good Bloody Caesar’s
Scenic views walking back from Blackcomb Mountain.
Obsessed with Camp Lifestyle Coffee House!
Vancouver and Whistler are both places that I’d definitely go visit again. Since we conquered a lot of the tourist stuff on this trip, I think the next time around we’d be able to make more time for grabbing sandwiches from Meat & Bread and taking them to the beach at Stanley Park. I’d want to spend an afternoon at Kits Beach or test our endurance and conquer one of these hikes. We still weren’t able to get through our entire food & drink list, so there’s always room for more of that.
I hope this post, along with the many other travel logs have inspired you to get out explore!
Keep Living a Stylized Life.