Touted Hollywood North for its expansive film industry, Vancouver has plenty of sights, activities and culture to offer, even on the briefest of trips. Here’s how to make the most out of a quick one-day visit:
Start your busy Vancouver adventure off like a real Canadian, with a coffee and Canadian Maple doughnut at Tim Hortons. We suggest you go to one of the locations in Gastown, because, once you’ve satisfied your stomach, it’s time to explore the area.
Gastown, Vancouver’s historic nucleus, is brimming with Victorian buildings housing an array of shops, clubs and eateries. Check the time at the Gastown Steam Clock, which pipes up every 15 minutes, and stroll through the cobblestone streets of Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood.
After you’ve gotten your fill of the hip Gastown district, scoot on over to Olympic Village, built to house the competitors of the 2010 Winter Games. Erected right on the water, this 600,000-square-foot complex was home to more than 2,800 athletes, coaches and officials during the event. The extravagant structure was transformed into a False Creek community hub and permanent residential housing.
With all that walking, it’s probably the perfect time for a picnic in Stanley Park. As you stroll through the 1,000 acres of unspoiled nature, make your way through the towering forests of cedar, hemlock and fir that spill onto sandy beaches and revel in the joy of Vancouver’s natural beauty. For a breathtakingly beautiful picnic spot, lay your blanket down in the park’s rose garden.
Next, it’s time to see Vancouver from the top. Head to Vancouver’s North Shore to venture up Grouse Mountain for skiing in winter, hiking in summer and sightseeing year round. The area’s first ski mountain and still its most convenient, Grouse Mountain flaunts some of the most beautiful vistas of the metropolis below.
Hop aboard the Skyride Gondola that takes the easy route up in an eight-minute ride to the 3,700-foot peak, aptly nicknamed the “Peak of Vancouver.” Grab a BeaverTail — a favorite Canadian pastry with your choice of toppings — at the top to enjoy while you snap a few photos before making your way down.
After all that, it’s time for a much-deserved dinner. As an oceanside city, Vancouver has some of the freshest seafood in the world. Head to Tojo’s Restaurant on West Broadway for some the best sushi you’ve ever eaten. As the home of the rainbow roll, everything on the menu is fabulous.
But for a real culinary treat, order the omakase. Meaning “entrust,” omakase puts your taste buds in the hands of the chef to prepare a wonderful meal, showcasing the finest ingredients. All you have to do is tell the server how much you want to spend, what you love and if there is anything you aren’t fond of and leave the rest up to the chef. You will indulge in hot and cold dishes that will give you a fresh taste of what Vancouver has to offer.