Living in the Pacific Northwest is pretty dang convenient for short trips and travel. Portland, the Olympic Peninsula, Seattle, even the Wine country of central Washington. But my favorite place to go for a short trip is Vancouver, B.C. This city quite literally has it all. Nature, fantastic scenery, world-class dining, and shopping. Its my kind of place. Last weekend me, my husband, and Otis (our dog) went to Vancouver. Here’s what we got up to.
Granville Island Market
Otis, just loving all the attention (and food!) at the market
Step aside Pike’s Place, there’s a new kid in town, and that kid’s name is Granville Island Market. This place is awesome, and massive! So many different shops and eateries. There’s everything from a dog treat trolley (yes, actually housed in a train trolley), broom shop, chocolate shop, not to mention the huge indoor market. A great place to eat and relax for a while. This was our first stop. Otis got so much attention and loves. And mommy and daddy got to eat sausage rolls and cookies!
There are three Fairmonts in Vancouver. The downtown one, the one with the green roof, has a great pet policy. So, naturally that’s the one we chose. (Doesn’t hurt that they have a Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Gucci on the premises!). The location of this hotel was perfect. Right in the middle of downtown, close to shopping, and our favorite dessert/bakery: Theirry.
This was our third time visiting Vancouver, but our first walking through Gastown. It was the original settlement of Vancouver, but now is lined with cool shops, restaurants, and drug addicts/weirdos. I got the feeling that Gastown’s gentrification isn’t completely finished. Still, it was cool seeing the old buildings and the steam clock.
We had dinner that night at Le Crocodile, a French restaurant in downtown. It was so good! I had veal with morel mushrooms and vegetables.
(outside entrance to Pacific Centre, an underground shopping mall)
Our second day was a shopping extravaganza. Right now, the US dollar is stronger than the Canadian dollar. So I had some fun. My favorite place we hit up was London Drugs, a chain of drugstores in Canada that stocks my favorite French skincare products, at a fraction of the price I have to pay in the states.
Our third day in Vancouver was a day of indulgence. We spent several hours at the Rosewood Hotel spa getting scrubbed and massaged. One of the best spas we’ve ever been to. The service was excellent. We had breakfast at Theirry (during which there was an intense hail storm), and ended the day with dinner at Botanist.
amazing cocktail, floral and sweet, but not too sweet
house-made pasta with morel mushrooms
sablefish with onion nash, miso dots, and pickled vegatables
I’ll be honest, while Botainst is a snazzy joint that makes great cocktails, the food I had fell short. The sablefish dish had WAY too much going on. When you have a nice piece of fish, sometimes more is just…more. The flavors didn’t add to the fish in any way.
One of our last stops before we headed home was Stanley Park, a truly beautiful 1000 acre park on the northwestern tip of Vancouver island. The flowers were blooming and the sun actually decided to come out! We ate donuts from Cartem’s (okay donuts, have had better).
Stanley Park is Otis approved, and his daddy really enjoyed showing him off.
We took Otis for a walk along the sea wall. Such beautiful scenery!
We capped the day strolling around south Granville, looking in some shops and drinking Starbucks.
All in all, a wonderful weekend in a wonderful city.
How about you? Ever been to Vancouver?
Have you read my last blog post about travel planning? You can here!