Vancouver needs #nofilter. Beneath dense and leafy trees, you’ll find charming neighborhoods filled with friendly locals walking their damp Doodles, curated shops offering trendy everything and cozy cafes serving locally roasted coffee.
The town seems built to support a lifestyle hallmarked by the semi-permanence of clouds and drizzle, fueling all your cozy endeavors, whether they be over a coffee and donut at 49th Parallel, cooped up with a board game at Storm Crow Tavern, flipping through used records whilst sipping sour beer at Neptoon Records or at home with a pre-roll from one of the many dispensaries.
But when the clouds part, the city transforms into and outdoorsy dreamland, replete with green space, harbors and pathways, all ready to accommodate the many bikers, runners, kayakers, et all, who traipse through the city in their Lululemons en route to their next adventure.
Tourists can tap into the fun and ride rented bikes around the Seawall at Stanley Park, a paved four mile path that loops around the massive, water-surrounded park.
The Gastown, Kitslano and Mount Pleasant neighborhoods are populated by an impossible number of upscale, Millennial-forward shops, showcasing local neighborhood-scented candles, oversized and blingy earrings, sarcastic handmade greeting cards and Jungalow plants, among other pricey trinkets. The streets are nearly ubiquitous in their eery cleanliness, but lined by an innumerable variety of maple trees, making wandering these hoods pleasant in rain or shine.
Nearly surrounded by water, it’s no surprise that fish finds its way onto every menu, from lightly battered cod with chips on Granville Island to a delicately prepared filet at the latest-to-open restaurant to briny oysters on the half shell - it’s tough to stay away. Aside from the hyper local fare featuring the best and brightest produce British Columbia has to offer (there’s a lot!), you’ll find an abundance of authentic Asian food, whether you fancy dim sum, noodles or BBQ, and eateries range from hole-in-the-wall affordable to gold-plated opulence.
With so much to see, taste and do, cross your fingers for (but don’t count on) good weather. Bring a raincoat and tennis shoes – you’ll find fun in any event. If you’re headed to Vancouver, check out my map below and on the City Guides page, featuring my favorite stops discovered over a long weekend trip!