A few weeks ago our family finally made a much anticipated trip out west, flying into Vancouver and then driving back east to Calgary. Our first few days were spent exploring downtown Vancouver and the waterfront, which was easily accessible from our hotel. Here is a little glimpse of what we did while we were there.
Our visit began with a walk to Canada Place on the waterfront. We spent some time exploring The Canadian Trail, an interactive exhibit designed to take you on a journey across Canada by highlighting unique cities and aspects of Canada’s provinces and territories.
We took a walk along the seawall, stopping to check out the Olympic Cauldron and the Seaplane Terminal along the way.
We continued our walk along the seawall past Coal Harbour, until we reached Stanley Park.
Once we reached Stanley Park we visited the Vancouver Aquarium. There were lots of amazing things to see, but what fascinated me most were the jellies!
We wrapped up the day with a walk over to English Bay where we had a fabulous dinner with wonderful friends, and then finished the night watching the sunset at the beach.
We faced our second day in Vancouver with more typical weather – rain! A short skytrain ride took us to Vancouver’s Science World, where we spent the morning having fun indoors where it was dry.
In the afternoon we braved the elements (umbrellas in hand) and walked to Granville Island. After a coffee break to warm up, we checked out some of the cute little artsy shops as well as the indoor market and enjoyed a wonderful dinner with a great view of the water.
Our final day in Vancouver was Canada Day! After a great brunch downtown, we headed up to Grouse Mountain.
There are 2 ways to the top of the mountain – the first is to hike. Called the Grouse Grind, here is a little information about the trail.
Elevation Gain: 853 metres (2,800 feet)
Base: 274 metres above sea level (900 feet)
Summit: 1,127 metres (3,700 feet)
Total Stairs: 2,830
Average Time: On average it takes up to an hour and a half to complete the hike. For novice hikers, two hours is recommended.
The second way up the mountain is via the skyride, an aerial tramway system which runs every 15 minutes. Unfortunately due to the foggy conditions that day, our view from the skyride was not as spectacular as it can be on a clear day and so I wasn’t able to capture pics of Vancouver from the sky.
Once you are at the top of the mountain, there are some activities to keep you busy. We saw owls and eagles and bears, oh my! as well as an outstanding lumberjack show that was the highlight of the trip.
We wrapped up the day by dropping in on the Canada Day festivities on the waterfront. There was a parade, activities for the kids, live musical performances, the Olympic Cauldron was lit for the occasion, as well as a huge fireworks show at the end of the night.
I hope that you enjoyed visiting Vancouver with me, and stay tuned for details on the rest of our trip in a future post!
All photos by Anita Woo except as noted.