We took the first chance we had to head to Canada, specifically during Landon’s Spring Break. This trip would be Landon’s first time seeing snow and the Wanderlustyle’s family snowboarding/skiing. A big bonus was meeting up with amazing people and meeting new friends. It was a splendid time. Here’s how we planned out our trip and a few tips if you plan on visiting:
Flight: After a few weeks of searching for great prices on Expedia, we decided to book with CanadaAir Airlines. From Honolulu, Hawaii to Vancouver, Canada was a straight flight and took 5 hours and 40 minutes.
Money: Canada uses the Canadian Dollar. If you’re coming from another country, definitely exchange your money before hand. We recommend not doing so at the airport unless it’s your last resort. However, we hardly used cash and still had remaining money from the trip; be sure to exchange according to your purposed spending. Most of the time, we were able to use our credit card. This brings up another point: be sure your bank/credit card can be utilized internationally.
Transportation: Around Vancouver, I would recommend renting a car. We had a shared rental car with our friends who were visiting from Montreal. They DO NOT have uber/lyft in Canada (it is banned). A car or bus would be the most affordable way to see the city.
– THINGS TO DO, PLACES TO EAT, & WHERE TO STAY –
For the first two days, we enjoyed a stay at the Opus Hotel. It’s a perfect place to recoup if you need a spot that is conveniently located in Vancouver, near downtown but also reasonably close to major attractions.
For the few days we spent in the Vancouver area, we ate at the Cactus Club three times. We loved their food!
Vancouver is perfect for plant-based dieters. There are many vegan alternatives and dedicated restaurants throughout the city. All the places we visited were delicious! Our first dinner was held at Meet in Gastown.
The first few hours in Canada, we went sight-seeing. Coal Harbor was a first quick stop for some photos.
Our second stop was Stanley Park. This park is approximately 15 minutes away from the city which is amazing to say because it is such a drastic change of scenery. One moment you’re on a freeway, surrounded by skyscrapers, the next your in the middle of a forest!
Our final stop, near our dinner location, was the famous, still functional, Clock Tower. According to the panel underneath it, it is the first steam powered clock in the world.
We had breakfast at Melu (juice and oatmeal place) and lunch at Nuba. Again, Vancouver offers the best plant-based eateries. Honolulu needs to step up their health game!
We ended that night catching up with our friends and enjoying happy hour at Opus Bar! We had nice cocktails and delicious pupus (small food plates).
Our second day was full of exploration! The first stop was Capilano Suspension Bridge.
Cleveland Dam was a quick drive up (approximately 10 minutes) from Capilano Park which was our second stop for the day. It has a beautiful view relaxed visit to make. The Dam is a free place to visit.
This day was a photographers dream. Our friends knew all the popular places to visit and took us around easily. Apart from Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, the places we went to were free. The third sight-seeing location was Lighthouse Park along the coast and displayed Vancouver city in the distance.
At last, our final, spur of the moment location was a view of BC Place (Vancouver’s Whitecap’s Stadium). We walked around Vancouver and ended up overlooking a gorgeous nighttime view of the cityscape. Most of Day 2 was spent with our friends, taking photos and playing tourist throughout Vancouver.
After a couple of days in town, we headed to a new place: an AirBnB just outside of Vancouver. The new location was a neatly organized and clean home.
Before heading to our new AirBnB, we ate breakfast at Wallflower. Apart from homemade dishes, this was the best place we ate.
Our friends, Phil & Kim, are the best cooks we know. Not only is the food delicious, but it was also all plant-base, healthy. Every night was something new and every night was a surprise. Thank you, Phil & Kim!
Across our AirBnB was a small park and Buntzen Lake. It was freezing when we visited but could tell immediately from all the picnic tables that this is the spot to be during warm summer days!
Wreck Beach was our last visit on our final day in Vancouver (the day before we left for Hawaii). It is an optional clothing beach and a decent place to read a book, soak up the sun and relax with friends. Many folks were using the area as an outdoor gym, making the best out of a rare, bright day in Vancouver.
At last, our final day in Vancouver was spent in Grouse Mountain – The Peak of Vancouver. Here, Landon experienced snow for the first time. We spend a couple of hours here walking through soft snow, played around, and went snow sliding. What was supposed to be a simple, quick visit, lasted hours and created unforgettable memories!
We know there are a lot of things to see and do in Vancouver and we only scratched the surface. There are many more hikes and attractions to see, but that will have to be reserved for next time. After a few full days in Vancouver, it was time to head to Whistler.
Vancouver was much more beautiful than I expected. It reminded me of Seattle but connected to nature more deeply. Drives to get lost in the woods were no more than thirty minutes away, on the long end! We could have spent the entire time in Vancouver, a full week’s worth. Let us know if you’ve visited Vancouver and if you have any recommendations for our next visit!