Vancouver has always been our travel Avalon – a mystical dream that we never thought we would ever turn into reality. With family connections there that have threaded us to this beautiful Canadian city for decades, when we were invited to a wedding there last year practically within a breath of receiving the invite, we were investigating flights.
Weighing up the city combinations, instead of hitting the neon lights of Las Vegas we decided to explore Seattle for a few days before and afterwards, but it really was Vancouver that we were excited to delve into.
It was everything we wanted it to be, and so very much more.
As it was August, and a peak travel season, we spent a few days in the city centre at the beginning and end of our trip, as well as a sweet little escape to the leafy suburbs of North Vancouver. Alas, the hotel that we stayed in at the beginning and end of our trip has been turned into private luxury apartments since we visited – which is a shame as the city view was rather spectacular including the smoke-misted harbour to the left of our balcony …
…and in the middle we spent a few days snugged on the leafy North Vancouver shore. Our cosy apartment couldn’t have been more perfect – and even came with a private hot tub, a couple of smoochy neighbourhood cats and a canopy of trees that seemed to reach all the way to the sky.
Our favourite, absolutely must-do, have to revisit Vancouver places and activities were…
Taking wing on a breathtaking seaplane flight around Vancouver harbour.
Spending an afternoon wandering around the immense Stanley Park, soaking up the vitamin D.
Pootling up the Sea to Sky Highway to Whistler, and enjoying an (unintended) spa date with Lady Gaga.
Watching a pod of Orcas frolic in the wild (and crossing into America to do so.)
Espying a Canadian red-coated moose.
Sampling local salmon on Granville Island.
Wandering along the waterfront several times. We even spotted a black squirrel or two just gambolling along, clearly on squirrel errands (not pictured – they are super fast.)
Toasting the sunset from the Top of Vancouver (a revolving restaurant.)
Witnessing a joy-filled wedding in Coal Harbour, just in time for the smoke from local wildfires to clear…
…with a super cute Hawaiian theme.
Joyfully toasting said successful wedding…
…and then trying Poutine, because we were in Canada (and this Pulled Pork version at the Steamworks was scrumptious!)
Shoefie-ing (though I’m unsure how to actually verb that)…
Traversing the Lynn Canyon Park suspension bridge (we decided to visit the quieter Lynn Canyon rather than the famous Capilano suspension bridge.)
Discovering a cheeky Chihuly display (a lovely nod to the Gardens in nearby Seattle.)
Giggling at the local branding.
Zooming over the Canadian countryside on the 3D FlyOver Canada ride.
Goggling at some of the magnificent waterfront architecture before sampling some of the many tidbits on offer in Gastown.
Gandering at the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, the first Chinese or “scholars” garden built outside of China and learning about the history of the first Chinese settlers.
And, shoefie-ing again.
Everyone that I know who has been to Vancouver has loved it, and we can totally understand why. With a striking harbour ringed by deep blue mountains (not to mention a grizzly bear or two), the stunning Sea To Sky Highway scattered with rushing waterfalls up to Whistler, the buzzing foodie scene, our sweet local guides who kindly gave us a snow globe with our hotel building in, and an open offer to visit again, we may just have to take them up on it.
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