In the southwest tip of the Canada, you’ll find a beautiful coastal city named Vancouver. Located in British Columbia, it’s Canada’s third largest city with a perfect collaboration of mountainous terrain and a diverse population. I absolutely love coming to this city, and have had the chance to visit it quite a few times now. My most recent trip took me on an adventure through Vancouver’s beautiful scenery.
The first place I explored in Vancouver was Stanley Park. It’s the city’s largest urban park and really surprised me with all the various sites and activities it had to offer. Surrounded by water on almost all sides, it had a gorgeous seawall that was fun to walk around. Because there’s over 1,000 acres to explore in the park, I decided to rent a bike for the day to cover more ground easier.
Near the entrance to the park is the English Bay Bike Rentals, and they had a pretty good rate to rent a bike for a day to maneuver around the park. I’m so happy I chose to rent a bicycle because I could jump from the roads to the trails to the seawall super easily. My favorite places in the park to explore included the Sea Wall on the east side of the park and the Native American Totem Poles in the north end. The Vancouver Aquarium is also in the park, and I really enjoyed this visit. I would highly recommend stopping by if you have time in your day to spend an hour or two to see it. Prospect Point Lookout also had a really cool view of the Lions Gate Bridge. I cycled around for hours, and I still feel like I only saw a portion of the park, it’s so huge!
The next activity that I really enjoyed in Vancouver involved sitting on my bottom and shoveling some delicious food into my face. With so much diversity in the city, Vancouver is known for having some of the best dim sum options. I even met a family who drove all the way from Seattle, Washington just to eat dinner at a their favorite dim sum restaurant. I landed a seat at the Dinesty Dumpling House from their recommendation. It’s within walking distance of Stanley Park, so it was the perfect way to refuel after a day of cycling. I loaded my table with rice, noodles, shoamai, pork buns, and soup dumplings. Everything I had was so delicious, I left very impressed and very full.
After refueling with delicious food, I was ready for more adventure. I decided to make a 40 minute trek north of Vancouver to visit the Sea to Sky Gondola. It has some of the best views of this part of Canada and it’s just a quick drive outside of the city. I didn’t have a car to take me up there, so I took the shuttle that transports you there from Vancouver.
I took the ten minute gondola ride up Chief Mountain and the views were stellar. I could not believe that this is where some people live, they have luscious trees covering the mountain side and views of the sound that will take your breath away. I got to the top just to see an even better view of the Canadian landscapes. They have a viewing deck and a suspension bridge that made for a perfect getaway from the city chaos.
If you’re into stunning views like I am, you’ll love this place. Everywhere I looked was just magnificent. There were a lot of hiking options at the top and the bottom of the gondola. Since I was short on time, I chose to take the short trail to Shannon Falls. They also had free guided tours (summer only) available for those who wanted them.
Vancouver is, by far, one of my favorite cities to explore. It’s the perfect mixture of a big city and outdoor adventure that you can eat your way through.
Tips for your Visit:
- English Bay Bike Rentals allows you to make a reservation online. This is highly recommended because the rentals can go fast, depending on what time of year you visit.
- Check out a map of Stanley Park so you can prioritize the places you want to see. The park is so large, it will be hard to see it all on one weekend.
- The Dinesty Dumpling House is closed from 3pm to 5pm each day, so plan your visit accordingly.
- Save room for dessert, Dinesty has an enormous selection of sweet dishes.
- The Sea to Sky Gondola is located on a mountain, so check the road conditions before making the journey if you decide to drive.
- An adult pass for the Seat to Sky Gondola is $39.95, and includes a roundtrip lift up the mountain.
- The views from the top of the gondola can really vary depending on the weather. Check the forecast ahead of time to make sure you go up for the best views.
- If you don’t want to hike, you can make a pit stop at Shannon Falls on your way to the gondola. It’s about five minutes before the entrance to the park.
Stanley Park Information: http://vancouver.ca/parks-recreation-culture/stanley-park.aspx
English Bay Bike Rentals: http://www.englishbaybikerentals.com/
Vancouver Aquarium: http://www.vanaqua.org/
Dinesty Dumpling House: http://dinesty.ca/our-locations/vancouver-robson/
Sea to Sky Gondola: https://www.seatoskygondola.com/
Sea to Sky Gondola Shuttle: https://www.seatoskygondola.com/visit/shuttle
Shannon Falls: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/shannon/
Free Guided Tours: https://www.seatoskygondola.com/adventures/interpretive-tours