Nearly everyone I met in Vancouver told me the same story. They were only visiting the city for a couple weeks, which somehow turned into years, and none of them had a return ticket back home.
Who can blame them? As one of Canada’s largest outdoor playgrounds, the ocean is steps away and the mountains’, a skip.
So when I finally decided to visit my friends in VanCity, this is what we spent our days doing.
Rent a bike and ride along the Seawall
There were bike rental shops everywhere. We visited during Canada Day weekend, so availability was extremely limited, it’s always best to call ahead. Luckily we found Cycle City Tour.
As a relatively new shop, all the equipment felt brand new. They provide tours and group rides, if that’s what you’re into, but we decided to explore on our own. Sticking to city bikes, we spent $30 and in return got 5 hours of incredible fun!
The Seawall is the world’s longest waterfront path, leading you through downtown Vancouver and Stanley Park. There are specific paths for bikers/ inline skaters and pedestrians – people actually obey and respect these paths!
The entire Seawall is about 22km, but there’s plenty of break options like beaches, water parks, cafes and restaurants along the way.
If you’re up for a detour, check out Granville Island too.
Hike a mountain
Just a short car ride away, you can take your pick in which mountain path you’d like to hike. The Grouse Grind is a popular one, though be warned, it’s nicknamed “Mother Nature’s Stairmaster”. Alternatively, they also run a gondola up and down the mountain, if physical activity’s not your thing.
Since we were short on time, we decided to drive up Mount Seymour and hiked the Dog Mountain Trail, which took us across the mountain to a pretty incredible look-out point.
Relax and soak up the rays on Kitsilano Beach
You can feel the energy change the second you enter Kits Beach’s perimeter. There are lots of restaurants and activities to fill your days.
The demographic seems like a younger crowd, and at night it felt like being in an university town again.
Victoria Island is only a couple hours away by ferry.The port you’d want to look for is Tsawwassen-Swartz Bay.
When in Victoria be sure to check out:
Fisherman’s Wharf and Brentwood Bay
The nights wraps up early. Unless you’re in downtown, don’t expect to be able to find a midnight snack easily.