VANCOUVER CITY GUIDE: From the beginning of its range as a sawmill and saloon town to forward-thinking eco-designs such as the Canada Earth Tower – which, when completed, will be the world’s tallest hybrid wooden building – Vancouver has always had an iconoclastic (and wooden) style. filled with). Edge. Even today, towering, ancient trees stand here alongside the imposing skyscrapers. Rising from the Straits of Georgia to the slopes of British Columbia’s Coast Mountains, this magnificent city continues to attract free-thinkers and pleasure-seekers.
In Lotusland, as it is sometimes referred to for its leisurely atmosphere, outdoor enthusiasts, food lovers, and sightseers congregate in the West End, the city’s most dense residential neighborhood. One of the world’s longest sea walls and the historic 1,000-acre Stanley Park (with wilderness trails, a pitch-and-putt golf course, and two beaches overlooking English Bay) public artifacts, cool restaurants, and shops -lined roads, and keep the evergreen Pacific Northwest landscape within easy reach.
After walking along English Bay or biking the Seawall portion of Vancouver’s nearly 200-mile cycling network (a Moby public bike rental from stations across the city), refuel at a series of food trucks (Tacofino’s Fish Tacos). are legendary) or Ban Am and Ramen spots throughout the city and in the West End.
Go hyperlocal at Forage with their famous barbecued-duck chowder and bowls of BC-produced wine and beer, or the earthy Forage Negroni made with locally distilled amaro from Woods Spirit Company.
A few blocks away, near downtown’s Coal Harborside, farm-to-table favorite Nightingale includes locally sourced ingredients, such as wild pine mushrooms.
A boom in Vancouver’s brewery and distillery scene has brought inventive concoctions to tasting rooms and cocktail bars, from rice wine at the Artisan Sake Maker on Granville Island, just a short Aquabus ride from the West End, to Odd Society Spirits To Salal Jin. To the east of the city lies the so-called Yeast Van District of craft breweries.
Sip a Gastown gimlet at the Pourhouse or try the Treebeard with essences of cedar, birch, alder, cedar, and oak at the Botanicals.
There’s also a profusion of great coffee joints like Greenhorn Café, a West End Hideaway that serves Vietnamese coffee, and a record collection with a listening booth (which will reopen after the pandemic).
On the east side of downtown, Yaletown and Gastown seem to have gallery-like shops, featuring eclectic finds from frankincense-infused incense to fashion-forward men’s and women’s clothing at The Secret. In the West End, on a leafy residential block, local and international design houses fill the House of Jewel’s boutiques.
Southeast of downtown at SOMA (south of Main Street), independent boutiques reflect Vancouver’s easygoing and offbeat style. At Vancouver Special, a design-focused shop, you’ll find Maiku Brando’s face masks made with Japanese printmaking techniques and abstract prints by Jamaican-born and Vancouver-based artist Tafui.
Where to Stay in Vancouver
Fairmont Pacific Rim
The lobby bar at the 367-room Fairmont Pacific Rim is a gathering place for locals and visitors alike (try the omakase sushi and cherry blossom syrup-infused Sakura Sour cocktail to celebrate Vancouver’s impressive spring blooms). Rooms have stellar city or seaplanes, Coal Harbor views from sailboats, and ski runs across the water to the mountains.
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