Super excited to be releasing my first full-blown itinerary on the blog today. I visited Vancouver for a few days back in July, so keep in mind that some of these activities may not be as suitable for the winter months. But I hope you all will find this helpful regardless. Trip planning can be very stressful, and I poured in hours researching places/restaurants to visit. So I’m releasing my full itinerary 1 day at a time (4 days total). You can use these all together, or just use a couple for a day trip here and there. So here we go–DAY 1!
Actually, before I get into the itinerary, I just wanted to say that a lot of the directions are based off of the hotel I was staying at (Holiday Inn @ 711 W Broadway). So check to make sure that the restaurants, especially, are not too far from where ya’ll are staying. But I really enjoyed my stay at Holiday Inn, and if you don’t have a hotel in mind yet, I recommend checking them out. Make sure it’s the right Holiday Inn, though–I know the one in downtown is quite a bit more expensive. This branch that I stayed in on Broadway is literally a 7 min. walk from the subway station, and you’ve got London Drugs (drugstore) and Whole Foods all within walking distance. It’s a pretty good spot! Lots of restaurants on this street as well. As a general tip, I recommend getting directions to different places on Google the night before and screenshot/save them to your phone. Unless you have data abroad, then you’re good! And also ask for a local map there–the local map saved me when I was there, haha.
Breakfast: Marulilu Cafe [8:30-9:30am] 451 W Broadway, Vancouver, 8am-6pm(M-Sat), 8:30am-6pm(Sun)
Super cute cafe right across from the Broadway subway station, and about a 5 min. walk from the Holiday Inn hotel. Prices are VERY reasonable, and the servers are all very friendly. They serve typical breakfast items like eggs, toast, yogurt/granola, but they also have a few Japanese dishes that looked great as well. I was on a time crunch so I went for the simple stuff, but if you want options–this place has quite a few. (Images taken from Yelp)
VanDusen Botanical Gardens [10am-12pm] 5251 Oak St, Vancouver, 9am-8:30pm everyday
The VanDusen Botanical Gardens are about a 13 min. bus ride away from the hotel. The gardens here are absolutely breathtaking. I could spend a whole day here, and honestly, 2 hours does not really do this place justice. So if you want to spend more time here, you can definitely afford to skip Marulilu Cafe and come here at 9am instead. There are a couple cafes/restaurants scattered in the park (it’s MASSIVE, btw), so you definitely have food options here, although they will be quite a bit more expensive. There is such a wide variety of plants/flowers here, and the walkways are beautifully arranged throughout the park. There are also plenty of benches in case you get tired. It literally feels like you’re in a different world here. Not sure how this park will look in winter months, but it’s absolutely gorgeous in the summer. (Admission fee is ~$11)
Granville Island/Market [12pm-3pm] 9am-7pm (not sure if it’s everyday)
It’s about a 30-35 minute trip to get here from the botanical gardens, of which 20 min. is walking. You can probably find a better route than I did, haha. There are a ton of shops and food stands here, so eat lunch here! I would recommend walking around the whole place (even though it is quite large) before you decide on what to get. There are a lot of options, and I made the mistake of spending my money too early, and I was super disappointed when I saw even more stuff later on cause by then I was way too full to eat more. It’s a great place to go with friends (the more the merrier, and the more food you all get to try). Remember to bring a lot of CASH. Only a few places here accepted credit cards. (Images taken from tedytravel.com)
Aquabus Tour [3pm-4pm] around a 5 min. walk from the market, cruises leave every 15 min.
This is a mini cruise: 25 min trip around False Creek starting at any dock. Tickets are ~$8 for adults, and it’s a great way to see the area without having to walk. There are several docks, so if you don’t want to start at this one, you don’t have to. I was pretty tired after this so I went back to the hotel for a couple of hours. That’s why the next thing on the itinerary is just dinner. (Image taken from here)
Dinner: Rodney’s Oyster House 1228 Hamilton Street, Vancouver, 11:30am-11pm
Rodney’s is just a 10 min. subway trip away from the hotel. This place is seafood, so it is kind of pricey ($$$ on Yelp). So my plan was to try just the oysters here, and then head over to another place for poutine 😀 Check when they have happy hour! I was so mad, I came here just 30 min. after happy hour had ended, and basically doubled my bill. I ordered a dozen assorted oysters that ended up costing me $40. Make sure you try the Kusshi oysters!! They’re my personal favorite. They are a lot meatier than other oysters that I’ve tried. But ask for what kinds they have–they usually pick a pretty good sampler if you have no idea what you like. Their clam chowder is amazing too, as well as their clams. (Images taken from Yelp) So as you can see…my plan failed, haha. I spent way too much here. But if you guys are interested in the poutine place I wanted to check out, it’s called: Fritz European Fry House ($ on Yelp) @ 718 Davie Street–literally a 5 min. walk from Rodney’s. And if you go, let me know how it is!!
And that’s it for Day 1! Stay tuned for days 2-4 coming up soon. These take me a while to write so they might not come in adjacent posts. I hope you’ll understand 🙂 But for those of you who are planning a trip to Vancouver soon and would like to see the itineraries for days 2-4, shoot me an email–I’d be happy to send you my original PDF that I used during my trip. Although it will be a lot messier, haha. Once I finish writing up all 4 days, I’m planning to create a new PDF that I can send out if any of you are interested (for free!). Thank you all for reading!