I absolutely fell in love with Vancouver! It is one of my favorite short trips I have taken to date.
This trip fell over Fourth of July week. It was a remote work week (from my project in LA), but I figured "working remotely" doesn't necessary have to be from my house! So I set off for the week to partly work and partly play.
On Friday evening I flew into Vancouver, checked into my hotel - the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre, and then immediately walked around to explore my new neighborhood for the next few nights. I found a bookstore, bought a guidebook, and then walked down to the Harbour and Ship Terminal. For dinner I went to Hamilton Street Grill that a friend had recommended.
On Saturday I was taking a bike tour with Vancouver Cycle City Tours. It was cold and rainy out, so on the walk over to our meeting point I stopped in Lululemon and bought some new tights to wear. The bike tour was a lot of fun - as I've said before that is always my favorite thing to do the first day in a new city. It really gives you a good overview of the area. We biked over to Stanley Park, looked at the Totem Poles, Lighthouse, rode through the inner trails, stopped for a view of Beaver Lake (gorgeous lily pads) and saw a 700-year-old tree. After the park we rode back through town and caught a short ferry over to Granville Island. We stopped in the market, rode around the island and then went back to the mainland. Lastly we rode through Chinatown and Gastown and then made our way back to the bike shop. After the ride I walked back to the hotel, got changed and then grabbed dinner at a nearby pizza shop - Pacifico.
On Sunday I set out for the day with no real direction, just ready to explore the city. I walked over the Burrard Bridge to Granville Island. Walked through the market, then figured out the bus system enough to catch the bus all the way up to University of BC to check out the Botanical Garden. I wasn't real sure where I was going, but thankfully the bus driver told me where to get off. I then fumbled my way through the University grounds for a while until I finally found the Botanical Garden. I bought my ticket and really enjoyed stepping into a whole other world walking through the trails of the garden. I then got to a spot in the back where they had this amazing trail of suspension bridges. I had a field day up there! You walked over the bridges from tree to tree - it was great.
After the garden tour comes the part of my trip that was not my brightest moment! Well, it seemed good at the time! I made my way over to nearby Wreck Beach and according to the map it looked like I could go down one set of stairs, walk a bit and come up the next set. Not so easy... I walked down about 400 steps (no kidding) to get to the beach. There were several people enjoying the beach, having a picnic, etc. I then started walking. Oh...and did I mention this was a nudist beach! Ok...so I'm walking along all these rocks, big and small - over tree limbs etc. I pass a couple people, enjoy taking some pics and my feet picture, and then it starts getting more desolate. Getting a little nervous, but I kept on. I then come across a guy just sitting completely naked on a limb. Um ok...eyes forward keep walking. A little further down I come across a guy with a shovel digging a hole. Seriously!!! Now I'm freaking out - I just know the shovel guy is going to come after me and bury me in that hole! Walking faster now...practically running over these large boulders on the beach...which then made me afraid I was going to fall off one and brake a leg or worse! After about 45 minutes I see a guy off in the distance. Doesn't look like a killer, has a dog with him. I stop and ask him where the stairs are, and guess what - he points directly behind him! They were so hidden in the trees and hillside I must have kept passing the exits. Ugh! I have never run up 400 stairs faster in my life. That beach was gorgeous, but for fear of my life while all alone out there (except for the naked guy and shovel guy) I will never forget that experience!!
After that I was pretty much done for the day and found my bus back to town. It was Canada Day, so that night I grabbed dinner at a wonderful Italian place - Italian Kitchen - then I went back to my hotel and from a high up floor watched the fireworks over the harbour.
On Monday I had to work, so I spent most of the day working from the hotel. That evening on a whim I decided to book a Seaplane tour. I was so glad they had an opening, and that the weather seemed to be cooperating. After work I walked over to the Harbour and took the most amazing 20-minute seaplane ride over Vancouver! Now that was awesome!!! Too bad all work days can’t end that way. On my walk back I stopped at Steamworks for dinner.
Tuesday was a similar day - worked from the hotel, then that evening I took the ferry over to Granville Island and had a very nice last dinner at The Sandbar restaurant.
What a great trip. I can't wait until I go visit Vancouver again some day soon!
Check out some more photos from my trip here - Vancouver Photos