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A Weekend in Vancouver

I’m switching gears today to share another Canadian vacation recap with you guys! Want to see everything we did? Check out our western Canada hiking trip itinerary.

The last few days of our trip were spent in Vancouver! We arrived on a Friday in the early evening and my brother drove up from Seattle to meet us. We lucked out with phenomenal weather – in the 70’s/low 80’s and sunny! Gotta love that lack of humidity, too, and the cool ocean breeze!

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It was so fun to spend time with two of my favorite gentlemen! On our first night we enjoyed strolling around the city before deciding on dinner at a hole-in-the-wall sushi spot near our bed and breakfast (we stayed at the adorable English Bay Inn) called Kitaya Sushi. Delicious and really affordable!

kitaya sushi vancouver

The sunset on our walk back was amazing – what a beautiful city!

MY OTHER RECIPES
 

vancouver sunset

vancouver sunset

On Saturday morning, Matt and I enjoyed breakfast at our B&B – so delicious, and multiple courses! The scones were my fave.

english bay inn vancouver breakfast2

english bay inn vancouver breakfast

Right after breakfast were out the door to meet my brother for an adventure: hiking the famous Grouse Grind up Grouse Mountain!

grouse grind climb

grouse grind vancouver

A ton of you guys recommended this as a touristy but fun thing to do – and a great workout, too! The Grouse Grind is basically a straight uphill hike – called “Nature’s Stairmaster” – you do 1.8 miles straight up with 2,800 feet of elevation gain. Intense!

grouse grind 1/4 mark

As you can see from the pictures, there were a lot of people out there with the same idea – unsurprising since it was a beautiful morning. I was really impressed with how many people were doing this – it was not easy!

We stopped at the 1/4 and 1/2 marks for a quick break, then climbed up the rest without stopping. Whew! That will get your heart rate up.

grouse grind 1/2 mark

All the hiking the week prior at higher altitudes definitely helped – my legs were burning but my lungs felt strong.

grouse grind 3/4 mark

1 hour and 15 minutes later and we made it!

grouse grind summit

That was no joke, but man are those views worth it!

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grouse mountain summit views

You aren’t allowed to climb back down the stairs for safety reasons, which was fine with us – we got to take this gondola down instead! The views were beautiful and it was crazy to see how high up we had climbed.

how to get down grouse grind

grouse mountain incline view

We spent the rest of the day over at the Granville Island Public Market! It was fun to take a little water taxi over there and to explore all the delicious local food offerings. Yum!

view from vancouver water taxi

granville island public market

granville island market fruit

granville island public market produce

For dinner on Saturday, we hopped in a cab down to an area of the city called Gastown. Gastown is Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood and actually a national historic site. It’s located at the northeast end of downtown. There were a ton of great restaurants and it was a nice area to walk around – definitely recommend checking it out if you ever find yourself in Vancouver! We went to an Italian restaurant that I can’t remember the name of and forgot to take pictures. Oh well!

Sunday morning began with another must-do: running the seawall! Everyone I talked to said that this was not to be missed for runners visiting Vancouver. Well okay then!

running vancouver seawall

The Vancouver seawall is actually the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path. It extends for 28km and runs from the Vancouver Convention Center to Spanish Banks Park. The part of it that we ran is that which loops around beautiful Stanley Park. I love that it has designated areas for runners/walkers and bikers, so you aren’t constantly getting yelled at/in the way!

stanley park seawall running vancouver

We ended up doing 2 miles along the seawall and then cut in to Stanley Park to do 2 miles on the trails.

running the trails in stanley park

After our run, Matt and I decided to forgo our B&B breakfast in favor of one last meal with my brother before he had to make the drive back to Seattle. We hit up Chambar at his suggestion – and wow, you guys. You MUST go here. The waffles were absolutely incredible – highly recommend the Greek yogurt + orange and fig marmalade toppings!

chambar brunch vancouver

Matt and I rented bikes after saying goodbye to my brother and spent some time exploring the Stanley Park trails. I was expecting Stanley Park to be like Central Park – open and manicured – and was surprised to find it was really wild! So beautiful – it reminded me of a much bigger Roosevelt Island. The seawall was crowded with bikers but when we ventured into the dirt/gravel trails in the park there weren’t many people around at all – perfect!

biking stanley park vancouver trails

stanley park biking

The rest of the afternoon was spent relaxing on English Bay Beach! Put this on the list of things we did not expect to be doing in Canada – lol! I couldn’t believe the weather was warm enough to lie on a beach – and had no idea Vancouver even had a public beach! Very cool.

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We got gelato too – perfect day for it! Mint chocolate chip = my fave.

vancouver english bay beach gelato

For our last dinner in Vancouver, Matt and I walked over to the Beach Bay Café near our B&B. We were able to snag a seat outside so we could enjoy views of the start of the sunset! We shared this fabulous salad to start – loved the vinaigrette:

beach bay cafe vancouver salad

And for my entrée I had a bunch of starters because they sounded delicious! Their seafood was awesome.

beach bay cafe vancouver appetizers

After dinner we walked over to the seawall and sat on the ledge with our legs dangling over the water watching the sunset. So stunning – the perfect end to a great trip!

vancouver sunset

I’ll share some of the other highlights from our Canada vacation over the coming weeks, interspersed with my regular daily life content. Stay tuned for more!

Have you ever been to Vancouver? What should I put on the list for our next visit? I definitely hope we can go back someday – such a gorgeous, lively, and active city, especially when the weather was so beautiful!

Comments

  1. 1

    Gorgeous photos!

    With Love,
    Anna

  2. 2

    I LOVE Vancouver!!! I have to go back soon!

  3. 3

    I have never given much thought to visiting Vancouver, but my gosh it’s incredible!! The sights, the food. You all sure packed in a fabulous trip!

  4. 4

    This is basically my ideal vacation – delicious food, beach, bikes, running and ice cream :)

  5. 5

    As a Vancouver resident, it is so fun to read about what visitors do! So glad you guys lucked out with fantastic weather. Sunset walks by English Bay are my favourite! Awesome you had a chance to run on the Seawall too.

    There are so many more things to do, it is hard to choose! But I definitely like taking visitors over to North and West Vancouver for more hiking, and taking the Sea to Sky to Squamish and Whistler, just beautiful.

  6. 7

    New Zealand! Think you’ve mentioned that you’ve been before but there’s so much to explore! I’m going back this December for the second time!

  7. 9
    Roadrunner says:

    Looks awesome! And looks like you all made the most of it, too! Very nice.

  8. 10

    wow that incline is no joke im glad you got to take the gondola down haha! Looks so beautiful–i always picture Canada as freezing cold not beachy and sunny! Guess i need to add this to my travel list!

  9. 12

    I’m soo glad you loved Vancouver, isn’t it nuts that people ‘race ‘ up Grouse Grind..so nuts! lol….You’re food looks amazing!! I love seeing people love Canada as much as we Canadians do!

    • 13

      SO nuts!! I saw an ad for the race up it while we were there and was like, no way! That would be insanely tough to run it!

  10. 14

    This looks like a wonderful break in Vancouver to end your holiday! We have so many friends in Vancouver and I can’t wait to visit one day :) The food looks amazing – those waffles {drool}. Keep the holiday recaps coming, you’re saving me from a gray rainy day in my office :)

  11. 15

    Looks beautiful!

  12. 16

    Love your Vancouver recap! As a Vancouverite it was great reading about your time here! Contrary to popular belief, Canada isn’t actually always cold (only some parts are just like in the US) and Vancouver is actually a temperate rainforest climate so it is quite mild! There are tons of public beaches here, it’s basically the California of Canada lol it’s awesome you got to check out one of the main ones.

    Next time you guys will have to hike Squamish just outside of the city, called The Chief. Not as intense as the Grind but amazing views and a really cool hike! Also Whistler for the skiing in the winter and the lakes in the summer! So glad you enjoyed your time here thanks for the recaps, loving them!

    • 17

      Amazing views sounds good to me – I’ll put that on the list for next time! Whistler is definitely on the list, too – so many people recommended it! Never enough time! :)

  13. 18

    I can’t believe you were able to lie on the beach! So amazing! We had rain every morning since we arrived on Monday and the temperature is around 12 Celcius… Oh well, it’s called The Rain City for a reason I assume… :-)

    • 19

      Oh man, we must have really lucked out! Although, I still think you guys are the lucky ones, since you are still on vacation and we are back at work… miss you!!

  14. 20

    Awesome! Looks really fun! HI STEVE! :D

  15. 21
    Christina says:

    I went to Vancouver with my husband last year for the Seawheeze Half-Marathon, and your post really makes me miss it. We both agreed we could easily move there to live! Its so nature focused and the food and culture are wonderful. We did a one day trip to Whistler which was AMAZING!!!

    • 22

      Totally agree! Such a cool place. That race is on my bucket list – was it amazing?

      • 23
        Christina says:

        It definitely was. The race course is incredible. It’s sort of ruined other races for me ha! My husband says it was his “first and last” race and he’s “retired” now since it was so awesome! Not to mention the exclusive Lululemon race gear the day before…

        • 24

          Oh man – I love it! One of my friends has done the race and she has THE cutest plaid Lulu shorts from it – love that they do special gear!

  16. 25

    Would you recommend others to stay in the area of Vancouver that you did, or do you think after seeing the Gastown area that you would’ve rather stayed there?

    • 26

      I really liked the area we were in because we had such easy access to Stanley Park and the beach area! That was more important to me than being by the cool restaurants, although Gastown was neat.

  17. 27
    Jessica says:

    A little late to comment, but I thought you might find it interesting that Chip Wilson, lululemon founder, does the Grouse Grind 5x per week! I live in Calgary now but used to live in Vancouver – so fun to see you exploring our ‘playground’ – we are pretty lucky to have this all in our backyard, and take full advantage of it during summer & winter alike :)

Trackbacks

  1. […] to see our full itinerary? Check it out: Western Canada Hiking Trip Itinerary. Previous recaps: a weekend in Vancouver + hiking Lake Louise in Banff National […]

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