Vancouver is one of my favorite cities. It’s located an easy 2.5 hour drive from our home in Seattle. Yes, we have to pass through the border crossing in to Canada, but the crossing usually takes only 15 minutes or so, and the longest we’ve had to wait is about 40 minutes. We recently met our son Tim and his girlfriend Cate in Vancouver for a long weekend and had a great time.
I love Stanley Park. Name another city in the world that sets aside over 17 miles of uninterrupted waterfront for its citizens. You can’t? That’s because the Seaside Greenway, from the Vancouver Convention Center to Spanish Banks Park, is the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront path. You can bike, hike, skate or run on its multiple paths and enjoy some breathtaking views.
In addition to walking along the seawall paths, you can also visit the aquarium, get your picture taken next to 19th century totem poles, ride a horse drawn carriage, ride aboard a miniature train, visit a Shakespeare garden and eat a fantastic brunch. All within the confines of Stanley Park.
We also enjoyed interacting with the black squirrels in Stanley Park. They’re quite tame and aggressive. Literally, if you stand still, they will climb up on your leg looking for a handout. Tim couldn’t resist and I snapped a quick photo, cutting off his head because I was too close.
We’re suckers for aquariums. I’ve visited aquariums all over the world: Monterrey, Seattle, Atlanta, Chicago, Chattanooga, Monaco, Dubai and probably a few more that I can’t remember.
Vancouver Aquarium is one of the best. Lots of jellyfish, turtles, large viewing windows, hands on exhibits with Sea stars and Anemones.
Here are a few pictures. Highly recommended if you visit Vancouver.
Museum of Anthropology at UBC
The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia sits on a spit of land jutting into Vancouver Bay. It contains some spectacular exhibits and it’s a great place to wander around to see how cultures all over the world practice religion, celebrate their history and make arts and crafts. Their gift shop is also wonderful, containing items that are hard to find anywhere else. We highly recommend that you put it on your list during a visit to Vancouver. Here are a few pictures.
There are numerous great restaurants in Vancouver, particularly for Chinese food. As we were only there for a long weekend, and we found ourselves frequently eating on the run in the Vancouver Aquarium or the Museum of Anthropology UBC (which has a better than average cafeteria), we didn’t get to visit as many restaurants as I had hoped.
We did visit one restaurant which was fantastic: CinCin. It’s Italian. The food was great and the service was among the best I’ve ever received. Our son has to eat gluten-free, and they were easily able to accommodate him with gluten-free bread as well as gluten-free entrees. Highly recommended.
On a previous trip we ate at the Teahouse in Stanley Park for brunch. Also highly recommended.
Two other places that I wanted to try which get great reviews are The Banana Leaf (Malaysian), which is just outside of Stanley Park, and Kirin (Dim Sum every day), which has multiple locations. Try them out and let me know what you think.
We stayed at this AirBNB. Great location. The hosts, Adam and Sophie, couldn’t have been more friendly and helpful. It was also very easy to pick up the key at a local convenience store, and parking was included. The only downside is that the second bedroom is quite small, just barely big enough for a queen size bed. But other than that, recommended.