I had fallen completely in love with Vancouver way before I even landed into YVR international.
Honestly, I’ve been telling people that i’m moving to Vancouver for about 4 months now. This intention was ignited by my fourth road trip in Canada through the Kootenay Rockies region in June. If you’ve ever been to Canada you’re probably sat there knowing exactly what i’m on about. The country is something else.
If that trip didn’t already cement my connection with this corner of the world, then my last 5 days in Vancouver definitely did. There’s just something about British Columbia. The people, the landscapes, the lifestyle and the priorities people have out here really speak to me. You could narrow it down to and hold one thing responsible for this overwhelming feeling that’s in my gut – nature.
Nature is at the heart of everything and everyone. Nature does good things to people.
For those of you yet to dive into the wonders of this North American country, Vancouver is a city located on the West Coast of Canada nestled right between the mountains and the ocean. By summer you can hike, cliff jump, scuba dive and climb in the same day and by winter you are spoilt with choice for ski regions to hand. Vancouver has an international airport, a thriving wellness scene and yoga scene, beaches and has under a 2 hour flight time from the likes of San Francisco and LA.
I’ve just spent 5 days with my Vancouver raised girlfriend, Monika, who lives in North Vancouver and she completely spoilt me with her comprehensive tour of, not just the city, but the region as a whole.
Conclusion? Vancouver has it all.
More on me moving out to Vancouver in another post – i’m serious.
Vancouver’s main airport is Vancouver International Airport (YVR) which is accessible from London on a direct flight with a duration of less 10 hours. It’s also a 2 hour from from San Francisco which is how I accessed it on my US / Canada trip this August with WestJet.
Check flights on SkyScanner here from other destinations.
Vancouver is a pretty popular destination for a West Coast road trip so if Vancouver is taking your fancy consider planning a bigger trip. You will not regret it. See my Canada road trip inspiration here.
From the airport you have a few options:
Unlike London, there is no extensive underground / metro system that will connect you quickly to all the corners of the city and suburbs that you wish. There are however a select number of trains, buses and a sea bus that will cover most of the ground for you. If you wish to be exploring beyond the city and diving into the incredible abundance of nature on Vancouvers doorstep (you’d be crazy not to) then you’ll want to grab a car.
Vancouver transport options:
There’s a few to choose from. Most people go for Grouse Mountain (looks down over the city) but we did Cypress (city and island pano). All depends if you have a car or not, options are endless if you do! There are some more options here for you.
Every Tuesday during summer when the sun is out!
An awesome social hangout that’s been recently developed in Lower Lonsdale – the lively centre of North Van. The Shipyards used to be an old abandoned,
gross not that appealing, shipyard. It’s now been converted into a cultural space and venue for markets, festivals and live music.
I stayed right next to this area and it was simply gorgeous. Walk across the suspension bridge, check out the emerald pools, soak up the fresh air or if you’re keen, take your swimmers and dip in the fresh waters!
If you’re just down for the view, take the Red Skyride up to the top but if you’re keen for the workout – take the steps up to the top. Rumour has it these step are pretty intense but a great workout for those seeking it! Adrenalin junkies – consider the zipline! See more information about Grouse Mountain adventures here.
I never actually got time to visit the beaches in the city but i’ve heard they have a lovely vibe.
Within 30 minutes of our 4 hour hike up Cypress mountains we were down and cliff jumping into the relatively warm summer temperature of the sea. Take shoes to jump with if you go, requires a little rock scrambling to get out! Take a picnic and enjoy at sunset.
One of the most stunning drives i’ve ever driven, particularly at sunset. The photo you see below of the platform overlooking the islands was located on this route heading out of Vancouver down by Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal. It’s not an official spot and I don’t want to spoil it but keep your eyes out and be curious!
Possibly the most highly recommended thing when I reached out to you guys. I actually didn’t end up getting around to it but it looks epic. Save it for a clear day to make the most out of it!
There’s an outdoor swimming pool, an aquarium, a Theatre Under The Stars (see productions here), beaches, afternoon tea room, tennis courts and more.
We parked at the resort and took a 4 hour round hiking trail up to the summit which gave us views one way over to the islands and the other over the city. An epic way to gain perspective over Vancouver and the surrounding landscape. Required some moderate physical ability and i’d recommend hiking shoes!
See my guide to Vancouver Island here.
One of the most famous climbing scenes in the world. Don’t forget to check out the sea-to-sky gondola!
The world renowned ski resort and adventure hub. Think mountain biking, zip lining and hiking!
Where were your favourite spots?
Love as always + happy adventuring,
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