Vancouver, Canada

CITY: Vancouver

HOW LONG: 2 NIGHTS

ACCOMMODATION:

While in Vancouver, my mom and I stayed at the Hyatt Regency. It was a very nice hotel and the location couldn’t have been better. It was very central and close to the waterfront. Plenty of good restaurants were within a 15 minute walk. Definitely would stay here again.

WHERE TO EAT:

After landing in Vancouver, we headed into an area of Vancouver called Kitsilano. It had a hippie-ish vibe and it was very low-key. No towering skyscrapers to be found here. We were hungry and trying to eat healthy so when we found The Naam, it seemed like the perfect match! It was a vegan restaurant and apparently very popular for UBC students as it is open 24 hours. I got sesame-honey fried tofu and it was delicious!

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Looking at downtown Vancouver from Kitsilano

That night we headed to Pacifico pizzeria for dinner. It did not disappoint! My mom had a yummy caesar salad with prawns on it, and I had a butternut squash ravioli dish. The atmosphere was great and this place is centrally located in downtown Vancouver. Definitely recommend this place.

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Mama!

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Enjoying our meal

My favorite restaurant of the trip was Vancouver Urban Winery. One of my good friends from while I was studying in Barcelona lives in Vancouver so he took my mom and me to this restaurant on our last night here. THIS PLACE WAS AWESOME! Great atmosphere. Great open floor plan where the kitchen was exposed. Tons of great alcohol. The food was fantastic. I can’t recommend this place enough.

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The waterfront with Ryan after going to the Vancouver Urban Winery

Our last meal was lunch at Cactus Club right on English Bay Beach. It was a great location and had a really diverse menu, which is great for a group that has varying tastes! I had a yummy frozen cocktail called a Frosé!

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Frosé all day 🙂

WHAT TO DO:

Other than just stroll along the beautiful waterfront pedestrian path, the highlight of our time in Vancouver was renting bikes and exploring Stanley Park. Stanley Park has 27 km of forest trails and a 8.8 km seawall path. THIS PARK WAS INCREDIBLE!! It was such a great place to go for a walk, a run, a bike ride, or just a snooze in the sun. There were beautiful views and play structures for kids. There was something for everyone!

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Vancouver on a beautiful day

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Mom struggling on her bike

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Taken from the bike path around Stanley Park

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OVERALL THOUGHTS:

Vancouver was incredible!! My mom and I were just about ready to move here! The sun was shining the whole time and it was 75 degrees +, however, everyone was all too happy to inform us that we happened upon the best weather they have had in months and it wasn’t normal. The normal weather is gray and rainy– which put a damper in our plan to move here. We just couldn’t get past leaving sunny California. Overall, my mom and I couldn’t get over how awesome Vancouver is. There is a modern, beautiful skyline and bike paths all over the city. Stanley Park offers a nature refuge in the middle of an urban environment. Public transport seemed to be everyone and there were beautiful waterfront walking paths. All in all, Vancouver is a must!!!

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Drinks with Leanne, who I met while I was traveling in Porto, Portugal!

After Vancouver we headed up to Whistler for a night! After dabbling in some hitchhiking in Europe, I made my mom stop for 3 hitchhikers on our way to Whistler. Two Germans and one Italian!

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German, German, American, Italian

CITY: Whistler

HOW LONG: 1 NIGHT

ACCOMMODATION:

We stayed in the Hilton while in Whistler. Again, this was a nice hotel, but what made it super special was its location. You could exit the back of the hotel onto the village stroll, which is the pedestrian street through Whistler village. Definitely would recommend this hotel.

WHERE TO EAT:

The standout meal in Whistler was at La Bocca. We sat outside on a beautiful, warm night and were able to enjoy people watching while enjoying our meal. It was bustling on the Saturday night we were there with plenty of bachelor/bachelorette parties along with families, couples and groups of friends. The food was delicious and I had a yummy cocktail as well. Would 100% go back here.

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Life is good

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WHAT TO DO:

Our stay in Whistler was short, but we managed to pack a lot in! Our first stop was at Scandinavia Spa, which offers a traditional Scandinavian baths experience in a peaceful and natural environment. We enjoyed the many pools and solariums before our 60 minute massage. Unfortunately there are no phones allowed (although it was great to unplug) so I don’t have any pictures, but this place was magical!!

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The entrance

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Beautiful walk to the spa

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The spa itself (they have done a nice job of keeping it private and integrated into the nature!)

The other awesome thing we did while in Whistler was take the gondola up and hike on Whistler Mountain. There was so much snow still, it was incredible! After our hike we took the peak-to-peak gondola to Blackcomb before taking the gondola back down to the village! Super fun experience with amazing views!

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On our way up! (Mom was talking to a nice Iranian couple)

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Up and up we go

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Mid mountain views

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CANADA

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The lift up to the peak

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The lift

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Starting our hike!

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Plenty of snow

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!!!!!! SNOW !!!!!!

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Cant’ get over the views

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On our descent towards greenery

OVERALL THOUGHTS:

Whistler was incredible!! We were blown away at how dialed in Whistler was for both winter and summer. They know what they are doing!! Between mountain biking, skiing, hiking, swimming, and all the great restaurants and shops, you will never be bored in Whistler- no matter what season you are in!!

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From the Vancouver Olympics