There are few Canadian cities with a reputation like Vancouver.
Vancouver is a quick and easy getaway destination for most in the Pacific Northwest. It’s only a couple hours’ drive from Seattle, and the experience is definitely worth it. There are great eats, lots to do, and stunning nature that will probably take over your Instagram feed for the next couple of weeks.
Here are 6 reasons why you should make Vancouver your next weekend getaway and what to do while you’re there.
It’s practically Vancouver’s calling card, right? Vancouver and the surrounding area owes much of its curb appeal to the stunning surrounding mountains and lush temperate rainforest. Outdoor enthusiasts, get ready to salivate.
Thanks to Vancouver’s mild climate, you can count on agreeable weather for most of the year. That means plenty of hiking in the spring, summer, and fall, plus excellent snow sports in the winter. For those itching to try out some local slopes, Vancouver’s nearby spots include Grouse Mountain, Cypress Mountain, Mount Seymour, and Whistler Blackcomb if you’re willing to drive a little further.
If you prefer to stay close to the city, there is still plenty of nature to enjoy! You can’t miss a stroll around Vancouver’s famous Stanley Park – one of the biggest urban parks in North America. Walk or bike around the seawall to experience the coastline from every angle, or venture deeper to explore the park’s wild side. There are food stands, 3 beaches to enjoy in the summer, an outdoor pool, and even an aquarium with all sorts of sea creatures to marvel at.
The city of Vancouver itself has a lot to explore. Take a jaunt through a few iconic neighbourhoods, like the Italian epicentre of Commercial Drive, the former warehouse district turned posh Yaletown, or the city’s most historic area, Gastown, with its iconic steam clock.
You’ll find independent boutiques and restaurants, amazing patios with every type of cuisine, and lots of sightseeing with the stunning backdrop of snow-capped mountains and towering green trees.
If you’ve got a little extra room in the car, then you have to try out the city’s amazing shopping scene. Head down to Robson Street, the main thoroughfare in Vancouver’s West End, for block after block of international labels, sprawling department stores, high-end shopping centres, and big-name fashion. If you only have time for one place shopping spot, you could do all the damage you need right here.
If you’re looking for something a little more niche, you can find a lot of unique locally owned boutiques on Main Street, Commercial Drive, and throughout Gastown.
We hope you packed some stretchy pants because you could eat your way through this city and still not have tried everything. Thanks to Vancouver’s diverse population, there is a plethora of cuisine to try, no matter your preferences or dietary restrictions.
Try plant-based comfort food, Vietnamese Pho, fragrant dishes in the Punjabi Market, Italian eats on Commercial, and lots and lots of seafood. Vancouver is right along the ocean, after all.
The Day Trips
If you’ve driven up anyway, you might as well make time for an extra day trip to Whistler and Squamish. If an escape from the urban is more your speed, then you’ll love the outdoor paradise of these two nearby cities.
Squamish is for hikers, rock climbers, and all-around adventurers. If you’re looking for vacation photos on the edge of the world, this is your stop. If the drive through Squamish is enough rocky peaks for you, then keep going until you hit Whistler. The village core is limited to pedestrians and is full of quaint boutiques, restaurants, and seasonal events. Take a photo with the rings at Olympic Plaza, spend the day unwinding at one of the world-class spas, or brave the mountains and ski the slopes of Blackcomb – in the winter, of course.
There are many beautiful places to lay your head at night in Vancouver, but few rival the central location of the Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver. It’s right in the heart of downtown, which means you’re steps away from almost everything on this list.
Walk to the best patios in Yaletown in under 20 minutes, or head on over to hear the Gastown steam clock whistle in even less time. If you’re planning a trip for the fall or winter, The Metropolitan Hotel Vancouver has a special Park Your Worries Away package that offers a better exchange rate so you have more leftover to experience the city.
Are you ready to plan your next getaway? Actually, we already did all the planning for you – so you can just go.
Where: 645 Howe St, Vancouver