Oh sweet, sweet, Vancouver, you beautiful city you! Oh how I adore the PNW with it’s moody weather, gorgeous views, and delicious food. We jetted off from Denver to Seattle where we spent the evening eating our way through the Ballard Avenue district, before making the 2 hour 30 minute drive to Vancouver. We decided this would be a great city to explore while celebrating our first anniversary of being married.
If you only have a day I would start by grabbing a cup of joe at Revolver Coffee and walking to see the Gastown Steam Clock. Then head to Denman Street to rent bikes. On a nice day this is a great way to leisurely explore the city and, if you’re anything like us, getting a good workout in before ALL the food! From Denman street head down towards the Seawall where the biking and pedestrian lanes are clearly marked. From here you can hit Stanley Park, False Creek, English Bay, and Granville Island. We spent half a day taking in all the sights and occasionally stopping to grab a drink (or two!) and decided to take the Aquabus from the Public Market at Granville Island back to Hornby street to save time at the end of the day.
Full disclosure: because I’m all about transparency here. If you haven’t had ramen (not the kind you had in college, like the REAL ramen) do yourself the biggest favor and stop at Marutama Ra-men. It’s just a block over from Denman Street. The ramen here is life changing. You’re welcome! Seriously, this soup is mind blowing. The broth is creamy, the soft boiled egg cooked to perfection,full of homemade wheat noodles, and mouth watering Chasu (marinated pork belly) all topped with seaweed and spiced to your likeness. I’ve been searching cities high and low for a ramen that tops this one!
If you have any additional day hiking Grouse Mountain is a great option for those looking for a serious hike! This is definitely not for the faint of heart with an elevation gain of 2,800 feet typically taking 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours. Kervin and I both were thinking the elevation in Denver had a us prepared for anything, but whew, this was a doozy. We went in the fall and the air was crisp in the morning, but we were thankful we had layered up as we were quickly stripping layers. The view from the observatory was well worth the hike and coffee and small eats were available. For those who want the views without the hike, a round trip gondola ride provides a great view of the mountain. All hikers do have to take the gondola down the mountain as the trail is very steep and narrow.
Extra time? I would suggest exploring Stanley Park by car, foot, or horse drawn carriage. It’s a beautiful park with great views of the city on a not so foggy day. The Public Market at Granville Island has great little shops,eateries, and breweries where we easily spent a few hours hopping from place to place.
Where in the world: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
How long we were there: 72 hours
What do to: Granville Island + Public Market, Gastown, Grouse Grind Hike, Stanley Park, English Bay, False Creek, Rent bikes on Denman Street, Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge