I’d read much about the livability, walkability and general urban goodness Vancouver had going on—I wanted to visit. So we went! This was Max’s first visit to Canada (I’d been to Montreal a few years previous). It was sunny each day, we biked, we ferried, we bussed and really enjoyed ourselves, and felt as if we’d be quite happy if we lived there.
We took the train from the airport into the city where we were staying, the trip was easy. The neighborhood for the visit, Mt. Pleasant, was great, fairly central with plenty within walking distance and an easy bus or bike ride down Main Street into downtown. We had coffee, amazing croissants and dog watching nearly daily at the nearby Gene Cafe.
We rented bikes from a shop near our place and explored the city’s separated bike paths and of course bike lanes and shared lanes. We also looped around Stanley Park. By far the best cycling infrastructure I’ve been in North America. We were warned by the bike shop to lock up good as bike theft was high in the city, though I’ve found this to be true in all the cities I’ve lived in where biking is prevalent.
An inlet separates downtown from the lower-density neighborhoods on the southern side. The glass towers along the inlet are striking and I think that perhaps waterside reflections and a gorgeous mountain backdrop help to make them more appealing than glass towers normally are.
The scale and pace of the city is nice. Getting around easily and on bikes is always a huge plus in my books. I’d love to go back bike and explore more.
Time: 4 days, middle February
Stay: Mt. Pleasant, Airbnb
Activities: Bike rides, ferry, Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, Grouse Mountain, coffee!
Food & coffee: Gene Cafe, Revolver, Nelson the Seagull, Timbertrain Coffee, Kitanoya Guu Otokomae, Le Marché St. George, Meat & Bread, The Whip. Shops: Regional Assembly of Text, Front & Company, Much & Little, Old Faithful Shop. Guide: 12hrs in.
An easy ferry and bus ride from the city gets you out to some pretty amazing places. Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is just that and is nestled in beautiful trees with many trails and lookout points.
After the bridge we got back on the same bus and headed further up until the base of Grouse Mountain. The view from the lift is of Capilano Lake. We weren’t prepared to snowshoe on this trip but made do and caught a beautiful sunset.