Your Vancouver, Canada Itinerary and Photo Journal

Tuesday, October 22, 2019 Vancouver, BC, Canada

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O Canada! What a sight you are to see.

I’m not sure how I stumbled upon Vancouver as a travel destination. I remember discussing with my boyfriend what kind of trip we wanted to go on this year and we were trying to figure out where to go based on what we like to do. Neither of us are that into nature or museums, but we both LOVE to bar hop. So naturally, I looked for places with a decent drinking scene. (Sorry, mom.)

I was scrolling through Instagram, as per usual, and saw a photo of the Gastown Steam Clock in Vancouver. I explored through various tagged spots there and discovered there was definitely not a shortage of bars in Vancouver. So we booked it!

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Here I have an in-depth guide about our time in Canada, but also, a concise TLDR (Too Long Didn't Read) itinerary at the end of the post, if you're just looking for some ideas on what to do.

From Las Vegas, Vancouver is extremely easy to get to. It’s a quick 2-hour flight to Seattle and then a 30-minute flight to Vancouver. We didn't even have time to put our tray tables down because we were descending before our ascent was complete.

Upon landing in Vancouver...

We took the train to get us into the city. It's about $9  a person for a single ride out of the airport, but that beats the $60 cab fare. Rideshare isn't really a thing there yet (I was told it is coming January 2020.)

After taking the Canada Line, we ended up in Yaletown, which we later found out is an extremely quaint part of the city. We walked the remaining .3 miles to our hotel.

We stayed at Hotel Blu Vancouver and I could not have been more thrilled about our stay there. The staff was so pleasant, the rooms were very accommodating, and it was central to a lot of what we wanted to see. They even gave us chocolates before bed our first few nights and offered complimentary yoga!

We had about half a day left to explore when we arrived, so we had lunch at a place called the Noodle Box. It was pleasant enough, but nothing to write home about. It was the only place near us open that didn't close and reopen for dinner time, which is a pretty standard custom for restaurants in Vancouver, so be sure to check business hours.

After filling our famished bodies to the brim with run-of-the-mill Pad Thai, we set out on Robson Street to explore the Vancouver Public Library, and made our way down to Granville Street. All very popular tourist attractions and must-sees for your trip.

Downtown Vancouver

Hotel Blu Vancouver

Noodle Box

Vancouver Public Library
Lions Gate Bridge

We were pretty wiped out after traveling, so we hit a couple of happy hours and set off to bed fairly early, like 7:00 p.m. (We felt way out of touch with our mid-twenty selves, haha).

Day One (Officially)

This was probably my favorite day out of the whole trip. We bought tickets to go on the Capilano Suspension Bridge, which is 140 meters long…the longest suspension bridge in the world! It was so worth the price (roughly $54) because they have multiple treetop adventures, as well as a beautiful cliff walk and nature, walk all included in the price of admission.

Tip: Talk to your hotel concierge for discount pricing!

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Capilano Tree Tops

Capilano Nature Walk

The Grouse Grind Starting point

Grouse Grind Halfway Mark

Grouse Grind Finish Point

Gondola Ride down from Grouse Grind

Bear Observatory at Grouse Grind Mountain

It was very cold when we went to Capilano (maybe 43 degrees), so we went inside one of their restaurants to order a drink and maybe put a little liquor coat on. We talked about doing a gondola ride, but it was $60 a person and we just didn't know if it was our cup of tea. Our waitress set us straight and told us that the ride is worth it, however, there is a cheaper way to go about it by hiking up the mountain and then taking the gondola ride down. This would save us like $90.

This mountain is apparently on some hikers’ bucket lists of world climbs. Its 2.9 kilometers steep uphill. It is called the Grouse Grind. So, on a whim, and to save us $90, we decided to do the Grouse Grind. It wasn't awful…I say that now from the comfort of my bed…but it was a hard trail. The steps just became so mundane and just when you think you’re at the end, you find yourself on another set of stairs. They don't call it "Mother’s Stair Master" for nothing.

Complaints aside, it was definitely worth the view at the end.

We took the free shuttle to Capilano Bridge (included in our ticket price) and then took the Grouse Mountain shuttle back down into the downtown area to get back home. These excursions were extremely accommodating.

Our legs were dead so once again it was a very early night for us. We hit Steam Works brewing company on our way back, where we tried poutine, some seasonal beers and simply tried to warm our bodies and rest our legs.

We both slept with our legs elevated that night.

Day Two

We woke up and set off for breakfast at the famous Medina Cafe. I was told the wait would be insane, but it was only about 20 minutes (they even let you leave and come back). I loved this place because they have breakfast happy hour with $6 mimosas and $6 Caesars (Canada's version of a Bloody Mary, but made with tomato and pickle juice instead). What a cute concept, right?

Their menu was very different than anything I had ever seen before. I ordered the Les Boulettes, which is two poached eggs, spicy Moroccan lamb meatballs, roasted peppers, black olives, tomato stew, raita and grilled focaccia. My boyfriend ordered the waffles, which I later found out is what the restaurant is known for. It was all delicious!

Medina Cafe

After some nourishment (and a slight morning buzz!), we set off for Stanley Park. This is another must-see for tourists. It is an extremely well-manicured park and absolutely beautiful in the fall. We took a stroll along the sea walk and explored the trails within the park.

We wandered over to their Pitch and Putt, which was like a par three golf course where you get a wedge and a putter. It was a fine way to spend the afternoon.

Stanley Park History Center

Stanley Park Sea Walk

We went back to the hotel and rested our legs for a bit. I'm telling you, the walking takes a lot out of you! I scrolled online and found a link taking me to "Vancouver's biggest and best Harvest Festival" at PNE, their convention center of sorts. It was opening night while we were in town. We decided to check that out and what a cute little event it was with pumpkin patches, a woodland maze, axe-throwing, carnival games, and more.

In part with the Harvest Festival was Harvest Haus which was a 19+ Oktoberfest! It was a cute set up with a lot of ceremonial trappings and an authentic replication of Oktoberfest in Germany. We had a few beers and went back to the carnival area to enjoy the remainder of the evening.

Harvest Festival at PNE

Harvest Haus- Oktoberfest

Day Three

We signed up to do yoga at the hotel to help stretch out our worn-out legs. It was a relaxing way to start the day. We headed out to Gastown for the day and stopped at The Flying Pig for brunch. I recommend checking out their daily specials. After I ordered my salad, I wished I would have ordered their mac and cheese special! They have some funky seasonal twists on modern-day meals.

After nourishing our bodies, we set out to walk around Gastown. We sought after the infamous Steam Clock Tower, and I knew what to expect because I saw it on Instagram numerous times. My boyfriend had no idea what he was looking for. When we finally found it, he was slightly disappointed because when you search Vancouver the Steam Clock is the first thing to pop up in every search. Not that we weren't impressed, but I do feel like the tourists make a big deal about this.

Gastown? More like Gas-Me-Up town

Gastown Steam Clock Tower

However, around the Gastown Steam Clock is plenty of tourist trap shops that are just lovely! I highly recommend you check out any Ammolite stores nearby. It's a pretty rare gem, and although pricey, it is beautiful.

We wandered around Gastown for a bit and found ourselves at the Pour House. I have to say this was probably my favorite bar. They have swanky twists on old fashioned drinks. We tried absinthe for the first time and it was amazing how much it tasted just like black licorice! I highly recommend stopping by this spot and ordering their version of a classic cocktail and their pumpkin hummus. Yum!

If there is one thing I've learned, it’s that Canada will tire you out (in a good way!). We made our way back to the hotel to take a nap but obviously woke up just in time for happy hour. There was a cute cantina we had walked past a dozen times, so we decided to go there for dinner before we headed out for a night of bar hopping. I absolutely loved the vibe in Patron Tacos & Cantina. It has a very relaxed atmosphere.

Patron Tacos & Cantina

We headed back towards Gastown for Friday night festivities and ended up at the following bars:

The Portside Pub - Originally, we wanted to go The Diamond, but it was a very popular bar and we had to wait 40 minutes for a table. We wandered across the street to The Portside Pub, which was definitely my boyfriend's favorite bar. It was right up his alley with alternative music playing, a grungy underground nautical feel, and $1 oysters!

The Diamond - Super upscale bar. The drinks are all labeled with the awards they have won in previous contests. If you're into crafted cocktails, this spot is worth the wait. I ordered the Jade Statue, which is Gin Maraschino, rosemary, lime, egg white and lavender bitters. DELICIOUS!

The Diamond

Alibi Room - I definitely think this is more of a locals’ bar and hangout. Traditional cocktails and brews accompany their very warm and grungy bar atmosphere.
Alibi Room
Wildebeest – I loved the look of this place. It has a very upscale cigar bar lounge vibe with more crafted cocktails. They really pay attention to the classic Old Fashion and offer menu just with variations of the cocktail, however, I opted for the Mamacita, which is Gin, Fino Sherry, Rhubarb, and Lime, with Sparkling Wine.

Fanny Bay Oyster Bar - We stopped here on a whim. They had $8 Negronis and Old Fashioneds which are some of Rob's favorites. I learned I am definitely not a Negroni drinker, as Negronis are more bitter than an Old Fashioned. So fun fact, if you're offered one or the other, Old Fashioneds are sweeter. You’re welcome!
Fanny Bay Oyster Bar

Day Four

We moved a bit slower this morning but eventually got ourselves going to Jam Cafe. I read awesome reviews on this spot and had a ton of locals mention this place to us so we felt obligated to check it out. We walked past this place a few days prior and there was a line out the door, so we knew we were going to have to wait when we decided to go and found out they did not take reservations. We waited for an hour and a half. I know, that is INSANE and I'm sure some of you wouldn't have the patience for it. Personally, I thought it was worth the wait, plus the people watching was phenomenal.

Cafe Jam Breakfast

Cafe Jam

The food was delicious and just what each of us wanted. Cafe Jam offers huge brunch portions with sips to go along with it. They have a fantastic mimosa menu. I ordered the Lavender 75 mimosa, which contains prosecco, gin, lemon juice, and lavender simple syrup. It was extremely refreshing. Rob ordered the Creamsicle Mimosa, which is prosecco, vanilla vodka, orange juice, and cream. It tasted lovely but was rather sweet for me. I was highly intrigued in his meal choice of The Three Pigs: three pork sausages dipped in pancake batter and deep-fried. Essentially, breakfast corndogs. SO yummy, but VERY filling. I ordered the buttermilk biscuit melt which tasted very fresh!

From there, we wandered down in the opposite direction of Gastown towards Yaletown which was a very quaint part of the city. We shopped and stopped at the Yaletown brewery and Cactus Corner.

Yaletown corner

Later that night we ended up at a Canada Canucks vs. Philadelphia Flyers hockey game because you HAVE TO see a hockey game in Canada, eh? It went to shootout so it was a fantastic game. Canadians really know how to hockey, haha. Afterward, we were told about this fun hang out called Guilt & Co. where they had a live reggae band and super fancy drinks to sip on.
Rodger's Stadium- Canucks Hockey Game

Guilt & Co.

Day Five

We had to start saying our goodbyes. We went to brunch at The Living Room at Hotel Belmont, which is a cute little retro diner in the middle of Granville Street. Then we made our way to the airport.

The Living Room

Canada is an interesting place to travel to because it is such a melting pot. There were so many different languages spoken (English being their primary language), and so many cultures that set up shop there. It was extremely easy to navigate even for a tourist who knows nothing about public transportation.

All in all, I was not disappointed by Canada in the least. The public transportation was lovely, we figured out very quickly to not go down too far on Hastings Street (huge homeless problem) and that Vancouver is absolutely stunning in the fall. I would be happy to return and see more of their crafted spots. We did Vancouver at about $1,200 per person for 5 nights/6ish days. That is typically what I would spend on an all-inclusive trip to Mexico, so it was a good weather vacation swap for me, but next year I am definitely going back to the beach!

For those that didn't read the whole way through, here is a shortened version of our itinerary! Copy and paste this into your notes, or screenshot it so you have it for reference. I really feel we got a well-rounded vision of the Vancouver lifestyle. All of the locals are extremely friendly, so don't be afraid to ask if you're looking for something more specific.

TLDR - Too Long Didn't Read


Canada line to Yaletown

Noodle box - Thai food with brews

Vancouver Public library

Walked along Granville exploring their mall and shopping centers

The Lennox Club - little Irish pub on Granville St. (get their Irish Coffee or Lennox Lager)

Boston Pizza - late-night pizza restaurant

Day One

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Road to Hell AKA Grouse Grind

Altitude Bar and walked around the Grouse Mountain Park

Gondola “Sea to Sky” - took one way from the top of the mountain back down to the base

Steamworks - Vancouver Brewing Company - their seasonal beers are GREAT!

Day Two

Cafe Medina - waffles and mimosas are a must-have

Stanley Park sea walk

Pitch and Putt

Harvest Festival with Harvest Haus kicker

Bogart's Bar & Restaurant - a contemporary watering hole with homey classics

Day Three


Flying Pig


Ammolite shopping

Pour House

Patron Tacos & Cantina

The PortSide Pub - craft beers and entertainment

The Diamond - upscale crafted cocktails

Alibi Room - craft beers and local eats

Wildebeest - cozy and hip cocktails

Fanny Bay Oyster Bar - contemporary seafood with late-night happy hour

Day Four

Jam Cafe - long wait but wonderful mimosa menu

Yale House Distillery - Canada brewing

Cactus Corner - upscale lounge restaurant, but with local pub pricing

Yaletown - full of cute locally owned business

Rogers Arena - classic Canadian hockey game

Guilt & Co. - bar with a live band and fancy drinks

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  1. Vancouver is so beautiful right?! It's one of the only cities in the world that doesn't have Uber and Lyft because of arguments between them and the city though. I would love it if Uber came back to Van!

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    1. I was talking to some locals about that! It's insane with the government issued car insurance. Of course there would be debate haha.


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