Our Vancouver Itinerary – A Weekend in Vancouver, Canada

We spent the last few days in Vancouver checking out the city for my oldest daughter’s upcoming move there to attend film school. It was a great trip. We were able to figure out her housing, walk her around the city, and help her navigate the transportation. Launching a child is not for the faint of heart and I can’t believe I’m in this phase of life already! I know everyone says it, but it really does all fly by so quickly!

The view from the tip of Stanley Park

We were able to play tourist in Vancouver for a few days. I hadn’t been to this city since I was probably 5 years old, so it was all new to me, and I fell in love with it! It didn’t hurt that it’s mid-June and we got probably the best weather that Vancouver has to offer!

We had limited time, but we were able to pack tons of Vancouver activities into our itinerary!

1. Explore Stanley Park

Third Beach on Stanley Park

This was the number one thing to do in Vancouver that people told us to do when we asked around. Stanley Park covers 1,001 acres, making it one of the biggest urban parks in the world. There is so much to do there that you could spend several days covering just the park. Hiking trails, biking paths, several beaches, the seawall, gardens, wildlife, totem poles, restaurants, and even an olympic sized swimming pool, make this one of the coolest parks I’ve ever been to. When we come back, we definitely plan on doing some more exploring!

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2. Shop on Granville Island

We went to Granville Island (twice) and it’s probably one of my favorite spots in Vancouver now. It’s definitely touristy, but if you’re looking for good food, entertainment, and great shopping, this is the place. Originally known as “Industrial Island,” the island was created in 1915 by dredging and filling marshland. It was used mostly for factories and sawmills, but it’s since been transformed into a cultural and recreation hub of the city.

You can find artisan shops like broom makers, glass blowers, potters, chocolatiers, and other artists. We visited the Granville Public Market, where you can try all sorts of Canadian and international foods. Some of my favorites were the Canelles, gelato, Nanaimo bars, cheesemonger, bagel shop, and fresh fruit. We got the best blueberries there!

3. Rent a Boat on Granville Island

While we were on Granville Island, we decided to rent a boat and explore the harbor. It was so much fun! We rented from Granville Boat Rentals just for 2 hours and it was a good amount of time to explore and have some fun on the water. If you wanted to make a day of it, there were several routes you could take to see even more. I’d love to go back when we have a little more time.

4. Explore Gastown

We wandered around Gas Town, which is Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood. This is where Abbi is going to school, so she’ll be spending a lot of time here. And she is so lucky because there are tons of amazing restaurants, cafes, and thrift stores. We checked out the Gastown Steam Clock, which was a bit disappointing because it’s not even run off of steam haha! But the area is so charming!

I will say that the unhoused are mostly on E. Hastings street near Gastown and it was quite sad to see. So just be aware of where you are and what’s going on. There was a lot of drug activity while we were there. But it seems to be concentrated in one area without many shops or things to see, so there should be no need for you to venture that far. The rest of E. Hastings was totally fine.

I know we will have so much more to explore in Vancouver and in British Columbia as well. The more I look into things to do in Vancouver, the longer my list gets. I can’t wait to get back.

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