One of my out-of-town ladyfriends is getting married in Vancouver this weekend (congratulations, Claire!). She hasn’t lived in the city for years but she’s bringing a gazillion guests from Europe with her so she asked for some advice on restaurants. I’ve upped the ante and started a list of the 29 best, most touristy things to do in Vancouver. Some of them involve eating. So grab your umbrella and sunglasses, friends (you never know what the day might hold). Let’s hit the town…
1. Go to Gastown. But skip the trinket shops and head to Vancouver-based boutiques like Lynn Steven, Oak + Fort, Roden Gray, One of a Few, Two of a Few, and vintage shops like Deluxe Junk and Gypsy Market.
2. Catch an up-and-comer at the Cobalt, the Biltmore, Fortune Sound Club, the Railway Club, or the Media Club. Or see a bigger band at everybody’s favourite venue, the Commodore. Check the Georgia Straight for listings.
3. Take a long walk on the beach. There’s nowhere more spectacular than Spanish Banks at low tide.
4. Get all Shakespearean at Bard on the Beach.
5. Ride the Grouse Mountain gondola if you’re feeling lazy and hike the Grouse Grind if you’re not.
6. Go to a place called Blood Alley — it’s every bit as lovely as it sounds — and then eat there (Salt and Judas Goat are great).
7. Eat sushi! Tojo’s is the most famous but you’ll find a gazillion other shops on every street (I love teeny tiny little Zipang on Main Street).
8. See the seawall at Stanley Park. Better yet, bike around it.
9. Get gelato on Denman and then walk to English Bay.
10. Go shuck yourself at Rodney’s Oyster House in Yaletown.
11. Sample sake and squid at Hapa Izakaya in Kits.
12.Get inspired at the Vancouver Art Gallery and then refuel on the cafe patio.
13.Head to Granville Island (locals love it too). Take in the madness at the market then wander through the artisan galleries on Railspur Alley before heading to Go Fish or Edible Canada for lunch.
14. Stroll through yoga clothiers and skateboard shops on fourth avenue, but first, stroll through the emerging Armoury District.
15.Pretend you’re a sports fan and catch a WhiteCaps game.
16. Try a hot, hot caesar at the just-opened Oakwood Canadian Bistro in Kits.
17. Want to meet Vancouverites? Book at spot with the Social Feed.
18. Join the crowd on the patio at Six Acres and when it gets too cold, head across the street to the Diamond.
19. Hike to the Peak of Seymour.
20. Join the crowd of tourists on the patio at Bridges late in the evening (I used to work there — holler!).
21. Geek out at the Vancouver Public Library (it’s so pretty!) and then rock out at Library Square.
22. Make like a kid and spend all day at the Aquarium.
23. Sit on the patio and watch the sunset from the newly renovated Seasons in the Park.
24. Want to shop all the big North American clothing brands? Head to Robson Street.
25. Stuff your face with cotton candy at Playland.
26. Stuff your face with pizza at Campagnolo.
27. Take in the beauty inside the Museum of Anthropology and the beautiful views outside.
28. Fall head over heels (shoe pun!) at Gravity Pope.
29. Try a Japadog and then tell me what it’s like ’cause I’ve never actually had one.
What else do you want to add, folks? Share your favourite things to do in Vancouver in the summertime. Don’t be shy — get as cheesy and touristy as you like.
Queen E park for the views from the top (and the creepy bronze statues with no eyes).
And if you want to go on a boat ride for cheap, do what my dad used to do with us on Christmas Eve to get us out of the house for a bit while my mom wrapped our presents – go take a ride on the Seabus. Just go there and back, you don’t need to even spend any time doing stuff on either end, although of course you could, why not… but it’s a boat ride for the price of a bus ride!
I love the fireworks, too, but you really have to time that right.
I have another thing I’d recommend but it’s not a summertime thing (or rather its summertime version is an entirely different beast), and that’s Wreck Beach in winter. So desolate and gorgeous. Old gun emplacements with maybe an old dude fishing off them. Summer’s fine there if you love being naked, but as this blog is about CLOTHES, perhaps not. There’s also the Kits foreshore, down below all the fancy houses on Point Grey Road – they don’t own the beach in front of their houses and are in fact prohibited by law from preventing people from accessing it. There are staircases in all the little parks along there. Not a lot of people go down there and you’ll have a huge cliff to your back and a narrow strip of rocky beach between you and the ocean.
And everything you said already. God I’m in love with my hometown.
I couldn’t agree more with this list (esp. #18). Great List!
LOVE this list! Great job. Makes me realise what a fabulous, fun-filled, perfect for all ages city we live in – despite the crappy weather! Hope you all have a wonderful weekend!!!
did you mention these? :-)
ride the false creek ferries or aquabus
rent a stand up paddle board or kayak from granville island
catch an outdoor movie
grab coffee at everything cafe on pender and then head across the street to the dr sun-yat-sen chinese garden (and reserve a spot in the rennie gallery tour)
pop by whole foods in west van for picnic supplies and head further west to watch the cruise ships go out in the evenings from: ambleside beach, dundarave beach, caulfield rocks or lighthouse park
take a daytrip to bowen island as a foot passenger on the ferry
brunch at cafe medina, sandwiches at finch’s or meat and bread, drinks at the fairmont pacific rim
Great list! I’m bookmarking this for future use. One Christmas, I took an American boyfriend-at-the-time skiing at Grouse, on a daytrip to Point Roberts, and to the UBC Rose Garden. My friends joked we should’ve also gone to Abbotsford to complete the extreme N/E/S/W tour.
ps congrats Claire!
Another thing to add to the list: free outdoor movies. Love them!
I moved here at the end of May so I have been totally touristy in the last months. But I have to say… your list is full of new things to explore – YAY!
Also, my dad will come visit in September so I hope the weather will be decent and I can take him on a touristy trip around town :-) Including Japadog, because they’re pretty unique!
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I’d suggest adventuring in Klahoweyah village… ch ch check it out here: http://vancouver.ca/parks/events/klahowyavillage/index.htm
Yes, great list! I would add Kits Pool and Chinatown :)
Great list! I can’t believe you’ve never had a Japadog!! I’d scrap gelato from Denman Street and replace it with gelati from Bella Gelateria. That place is da bomb!
Great list, but the best ice cream in town is la Casa Gelato on Venables over 200 flavors of deliciousness. Grapefruit champagne is a good one but my favorite is pear and gorgonzola – yummy.
love the list! i forwarded it onto the guests! I think we must have done at least 5 things off that list! missed you and mike at the wedding but catch up next time im in town!
Great to see the promotion of local shops and activities unique to Vancouver. See Canada: we have LOTS of fun here in Vancity!!
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