Twenty-four hours in Vancouver, and what do you do?
Step One: Find yourself a tour guide
I stand by the affirmation that the best way to visit any place is with someone who has spent a significant amount of time there. Doing so will eliminate mistakes and let downs – no getting lost, no being disappointed, no visiting the wrong part of town. So, for my first trip to Vancouver, I enlisted the girls of Treasures & Travels to show me their favorite parts of the city. The girls live in Vancouver and run an inspiring blog, so my inkling was that they would have some great things to show me. I was right.
Step Two: No Matter What, Visit Le Marche
Le Marche St. George is the cafe mecca. It’s a bit of a trek from downtown, located in East Van, but well worth it. The cafe is set on a corner, where immediately you’re welcomed by a cart of farm stand produce and beautiful linen tea towels. Inside, the space is cozy and rustic without pretension. The cafe serves up perfect cups of coffee along with breakfast and lunchtime plates. Pantry-style walls line one side of the store where you can peruse through artisan goods from preserves, to syrups, to local coffee. Peek into the refrigerators, and you will uncover a world of local cheeses and yogurts to try. Le Marche also runs a beautiful blog where moody photography eloquently captures the cafe’s personality. It’s an inspiring place to enjoy your morning cup of choice.
Step Three: Head to the Beach
They say that during springtime in Vancouver you can go skiing in the morning, and head to the beach in the afternoon. Because of it’s unique geological setting, this city gives the best of both worlds. Head into Stanley Park and you’ll find a lot of beaches where you can spend your afternoon. Locate Third Beach, and stake your umbrella there. Bring along some fresh fruit, a good read, and enjoy yourself. It’s a really amazing feeling being able to jump in the water so close to a city skyline. If you get bored, go for a walk around the foot paths nearby. The cliffs and trees are stunning.
Step Four: Stay Juiced
All around Vancouver you’ll find health food stores and juicers, but there is one company that really excels: The Juice Truck. These guys are serving up delicious, fresh, nutrient-packed juices and smoothies from two locations. The first, and actual juice truck, is in Gastown at the corner of Abbot and Water St. The second, is a newly opened storefront in the Mount Pleasant area of Vancouver. From their menu, to their drinks, packaging, and shop decor, The Juice Truck guys have a great eye for design that shines through in everything thing they do. Not to mention, this is some of the best juice you’ll ever taste.
Step Five: Shop Around Gastown
Gastown is a neighborhood full of well-curated shops, cafes, and restaurants. You’ll love walking around and peeking your head into all the different stores. Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s well worth the inspiration. Old Faithful Shop and Oak + Fort are two boutiques to check out.
Step Six: Indulge in Happy Hour
When you’re traveling, it’s all to easy to blow more money than you have. A good suggestion is to shoot for happy hour where you’ll find deals. The Flying Pig offers a happy hour menu of small plates made with local seasonal ingredients along with a list of drinks specials. Get a seat at the window bar where you can observe passerby’s and get a better feel for this foreign city.
Step Seven: Arrive During the Celebration of Light
Each summer Vancouver plays host to an international fireworks competition called, The Celebration of Light. For about a week, three countries go against each other putting on fireworks displays every Saturday and Wednesday evening. Grab a blanket, a bottle of wine, and head over to Kitsilano where you can nab a spot on the beach. Watch the sun set over a sea of sailboats, and snuggle up with new friends to watch the show.
Step 8: Be Sure to Walk or Bike
Vancouver is an easy city to get around, and they’ve done a lot to make it navigable by foot or bike. If you arrive in summer, do them a favor, and support their efforts by avoiding hops into taxis. End your night with a stroll back to where you’re staying or enjoy the breeze in your face as you peddle home. It’s extremely safe and a much better way to see the city.
Got any recommendations for what to do in Vancouver? Let us know in the comments!
Check out Naomi’s blog Numie Abbot.