For years I had been wanting to do a Canada trip. Well, sometimes, a cozy girls night in with a cheesy cowboy movie is all it takes. Do you know these moments when you start brainstorming amazing trips with friends and everyone gets beyond excited and then in the end you never really follow-through on it? Well, in this case that did NOT happen. And the question “Okay Girls, if we want to do it we have to book it now, you’re in or you’re out?” led to the response “Let’s do it”. And whatever you do, you want to make sure you do it properly. So, we took 3 weeks off and planned a trip of a lifetime traveling Canada’s west coast. Lean back, and let me take you with me starting with my Vancouver Trip Planner and amazing memories from this incredible city!
Vancouver Trip Planner: When and Where to Go!
Since Vancouver is very diverse it wasn’t that easy to decide where to stay. We used blogs and insider guides to get a better understanding of the city and the different areas. Finally, we ended up staying in Gastown, a hip upcoming area in Vancouver. Little did we know that we would have to cross a zombie movie like street with drug addicts in order to get our key to our fancy AirBnB loft. It could have not been more controversial. As for our accommodation, knowing that we booked budget accommodation for the entire Canada trip, we treated ourselves to an incredible loft in Vancouver. It was actually well affordable so big recommendation on that end. We went towards end of August which is actually said to be a rainy grey time. We had the hottest summer weather you can imagine so I guess you never really know.
30th Birthday of my Dreams
Turning 30: the big issue everyone in their late 20s is at some point confronted with. And I admit, I was somewhat anxious to finally turn 30. But even more was I grateful that I got to spend it at yet another amazing new place I’d never been to. And, completing that with knowing that I was surrounded by friends that understand me on such a deep level that it fulfills me every day, makes my cells dance every time I think about it. As for the turning 30 part, I actually sat down several times and reflected on how I spent my past 30 years on this planet. That instantly calmed me down and I came to the realization that I had truly ‘lived’, especially the past years. This somewhat brought me some peace and managed to ease that anxious feeling. So, for everyone else struggling with this, take a moment to breath and truly reflect. How alive are you feeling at this stage in your life? What goals are you striving towards? And, what can you change to get closer to them?
Feeling Free Like A Bird
Here comes an advise: While in Vancouver, Don’t rent a car. We intentionally waited to pick up our car for the road trip after our 4 Days in Vancouver. You can easily get around without one by either taking public transport, walking or renting a bike in Vancouver. Public transport from the airport is super cheap and on weekends the zones get even cheaper. “Our first day, let’s just take it very easy”. Well, “very easy” resulted in a full day bicycle tour. Great idea when you’re jetlagged and didn’t have much sleep. It’s incredible what your can accomplish when you’re body is pumped with adrenaline from all the beauty that it’s experiencing.
Vancouver Trip Planner: Points of Interest
Stanley Park: Enter from the City side and take the entire loop passing Vancouver Seawall, taking a quick left to explore Beaver Lake until you reach the Prospect Point at Lions Gate Bridge. From Prospect Point make sure to stay close to the water, we got completely lost and it took us a while to find our way back down.
Beach Ave: When exiting Stanley Park keep going. You will be in for a beautiful ride along the waterside. To cross the water, you have to defeat the end boss, Burrard Street Bridge.
Kitsilano: It’s a great area to check out if you want to get more of a local neighborhood vibe. There’s also a big beach which was extremely crowded. We just crossed it to actually find a hidden beach that I had read about. It’s on no map and it’s definitely not big but surely cute to experience.
Vancouver Trip Planner for Food Lovers
When it comes to food, Vancouver doesn’t disappoint. There are various excellent choices, from healthy breakfast bowls, to high-end vegan dinner selections and any kind of cheat food you can imagine. Some places I can recommend:
- Catch 122: I had the craziest most fluffy Monster Pancakes here
- MeeT Vegan: Excellent choice for dine-in or take-away vegan food
- Pokerrito Poké Bowl: By now it’s mandatory for me to find a good Pokè Bowl Bar in every city well let’s face it the best ones will always be the original Poké Bowls in Hawaii
- Bambo Café: Such a cute place for having breakfast in the morning, a bit rustically but the owners are very sweet
- Trees Organic Café: Best cheesecake (organic!) in Yaletown, not too crowded and extremely tasty
Vancouver Trip Planner: Things not to miss out on
China Town, like most China Town areas in major cities, is always worth checking out. I love Chinese people so this always makes me feel like home a bit. Except the smell of China Town in Vancouver was well, very intense! Here it goes, hold your breath and do some store hopping…there are some nice stores around. Also, make sure to visit Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Garden, it’s a very cute Chinese Garden.
Yaletown, is such a cool area so make sure to pop by on your Vancouver visit with cool restaurants and a very hip vibe. We were in the desperate need for a foot massage (which was on my birthday so we were in the mood for a treat). As there was no salon around this called for drastic measures. And, we actually managed to talk some nail salon ladies into giving us a foot massage for 30 min. instead of doing our nails (they had no idea what they were doing haha!).
The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, although touristy, is a must do. Go late in the evening to avoid the crowds. Also, they have a sunset rate which will save you some money. It was already stunning during summer walking over the massive suspension bridge and tree top walks. For halloween and Christmas, I heard they decorate the bridges with Christmas lights which I assume would be a very magical setting.
Granville Island Market is located between Vancouver City Center and Kitsilano. It looks a bit like a film set but is definitely worth a visit…for its market hall. You can find all kinds of handmade food delicacies there. We bought home made Ravioli and pesto.
Alley Oop is the best example for stunning Instagram pictures while the reality is not too pretty. Well, I always strive to widen my horizon to explore my creativity. That’s what these kind of images develop from.
Bye Bye Vancouver
Have you ever been in a situation where you felt the need to capture the moment but you knew there was no way to do it justice? I was experiencing that exact moment…standing on the roof of our loft building, literally at the edge. In front of me was the skyline of Vancouver, an image with such immense power that I wasn’t even able to take in it at once. This was too beautiful to not be memorized and too huge to possibly be captured. So, I did what I always do…I dove in to my own world. I put on my head phones, put on two carefully selected songs on max. volume…and started dancing! Embracing every little feeling I was feeling in that moment, conditioning my mind…and whenever I listen to those songs now I am back in the moment. Pretty beautiful eh?! (So far, this had been my secret…yes girls, this is what I was doing when I was up on that roof for ages haha)
After such a magical time in Vancouver we were ready for the wild. So, next off was going to the airport and picking up our car. Well, at least we thought we were picking up OUR car, an SUV…we were slightly shocked (and crazy excited!) when the sweet rental guy pointed to a huge Jeep Wrangler…with not a care in the world. ‘You know what, girls, just take this one’. And this was the sweet beginning of a hell of a road trip. Next off, Vancouver Island.