The weekend has arrived, and instead of settling for the same old routine of partaking in after work drinks on Friday, tooling around with that basement renovation that has been taking forever all day Saturday, and spending Sunday watching sports and dreading the onset of yet another Monday, you’ve decided to skip town.
Intrigued by the rising trend of city breaks that you have learned about whilst surfing the web at work, you decided to join the ranks of the weekend travel warriors and start discovering the best cities that North America has to offer.
You have begun your part-time explorations in Vancouver, Canada, and what an impressive first choice! A seaside modern city surrounded by mountains and warmed by a Mediterranean climate even in the depths of a Canadian winter, there are countless things to see and do in this impressive metropolis of glass, concrete and present-day culture.
In order to best make use of the 48 hours you have in Vancouver, Canada, let’s review what should be on your hit list for this addictive city…
Stay: OPUS Vancouver
Critically acclaimed by Tripadvisor as one of the top 5 trendiest hotels in the world, and the only hotel in the city to win the Forbes 4-star designation, OPUS Vancouver is a posh, but not an unaffordable place to stay within the downtown core. The weekend traveler’s life is made even easier due to the fact that they have a special “City Break” package on offer, which includes valet parking, an iPad with wi-fi for use within your suite, a deluxe continental breakfast during both mornings of your stay, and a super late checkout of 1 pm for those who were liking the nightlife a bit too much the evening before (a feature you’ll likely be grateful for, as you’ll soon find out…!)
Do: Stanley Park, Cypress/Grouse Mountain, Kitsilano Beach, etc
Much of what makes Vancouver attractive has to do with its truly outstanding natural surroundings. Start by going for a morning jog around the Stanley Park seawall, where elements of the sea, the forest, and the urbanity of Van City combine to create an experience that will bring you back here again in the future to explore this municipal treasure more thoroughly.
If you are here in the winter months, the rains that fall upon the Lower Mainland float down as fluffy snow in the North Shore Mountains that loom above the city. With it only taking 30 minutes to reach in traffic, both Cypress and Grouse Mountain offer thoroughly exciting skiing for novice, intermediate and advanced skiers alike, while offering the advantage of proximity (you can go sailing/golfing the same afternoon!) and lights for night skiing, making it a resource that few cities worldwide can match.
Summer time means lounging on the sands of Kitsilano Beach, the place where young and hip Vancouverites go to see and be seen, work on their tan, and perhaps even go for a dip in the chilly Pacific. If you’re feeling peckish, there’s a fab restaurant right off the beach called the Boathouse that offers trendy dining to its beach-going clientele.
Eat & Play: Granville Street, Davie Street, West 4th Avenue
There are many places within the urban nodes that thrive within Greater Vancouver where you can wine, dine and party to your heart’s content, but for the sake of brevity, we shall only talk about three spots in particular. Long considered the central entertainment district of downtown, Granville Street will cater to a party aficionado’s every whim, while delivering fine dining to more sedate guests earlier on in the evening.
Davie Street offers more ethnic cuisine and cheaper eats, and also offers LGBT folk a place to congregate and let their hair down, as the general surrounding area of this street has long been considered Vancover’s Gay Village.
Finally, those with little motivation to move after a long lazy day at Kitsilano Beach will only have to tread a short distance to West 4th Avenue where a seemingly never ending procession of new, trendy and daring eateries compete for your dining dollar.
Vancouver: Try It, You’ll Like It … A Lot!
Those with fat bank accounts but limited vacation time have long fretted about their professional lives conflicting with their passion for travel. By starting to integrate some weekends into the mix as quick getaways to some of the finest cities in the world, you’ll be able to calm the travel bug that craves the open road … for a little while, at least!