3rd Annual BFF Birthday Trip: Vancouver

In my last post, I recapped the first half of Liz & Julie’s Annual Birthday Trip. We met up in Seattle and hung around for 3 days before taking a train to Vancouver, BC.

Where We Stayed

Like Seattle, Vancouver was expensive. We ended up staying in an AirBnb outside of downtown. We had our own large suite and light use of the kitchen. The light rail was a 15 minute walk away and there was a street of shops close by.

Where We Drank

We played our trip by ear, stopping into interesting bars in Gastown the first night. Someone told me about the Alibi Room, which we went to twice. We thought the bartender was cute. They had two large lists of local craft beers as well as wines and cocktails. The space was large with indoor, upstairs, and downstairs seating.

Our other stops in Gastown was a fancier restaurant, Pourhouse, set in an old brick factory. Later in the evening, we went to Guilt & Company for drinks and live reggae.

It was hot during the day so when I saw the bright orange Aperol umbrellas in Yaletown, I convinced the group to grab a beverage to rest.

Downtown, we tried Browns Crafthouse next to Cartems Donuts for a 50% off bottle of wine and sheet of nachos.

Where We Ate

I’ve eaten more Asian food in Vancouver than I have a year! Vancouver has a large Asian, mainly Chinese population.

Liz requested dim sum, which isn’t my favorite, but she went with me to Dinesty Dumpling House. They have several locations – we went to the Robson Street location downtown.

Similarly, we tried the Japanese gyozas at Gyoza House.

Down the street from Gyoza House is the popular Cartems Donuts. We got there in the early evening and had few options: maple, Earl Grey, and salted caramel. Unfortunately, you can’t win when I’ve experienced Sidecar Doughnuts and to be honest, it wasn’t much better than my local mom and pop shop.

Next door to Cartems is Browns Crafthouse, a cool industrial space with a wide-ranging menu including ramen, Nashville hot chicken, poke, gyoza, tacos, and our choice, nachos. Again, the nachos were just okay but the 50% off wine bottles was a steal!

Where We Visited

On our first night, we went to Gastown and returned there another night. The neighborhood is packed with people, but they have so much to offer: bars, restaurants, music, and a statue of Gassy Jack. It’s also steps from the water. Gastown has their famous gaslamps similar to San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarters.

On my own, I walked 6 miles from our AirBnb to Queen Elizabeth Park. I was shocked at all the sights: dog park, multiple tennis courts, rose garden, gardens, globe conservatory, and art. I could spend all day there!

We checked out Vancouver’s downtown and Yaletown neighborhoods. Downtown, especially on Robson St., had lots of Asian restaurants. We also stopped in Yaletown, a ritzy area with $3 million 1200 square foot apartments, on our walk to Granville Island. Of course, we perused the Granville Island Public Market and adjacent restaurants and shops. I don’t usually like taffy, but they had a delicious little taffy shop!

*We returned from Granville Island to town via aquabus and headed back to Gastown.

Where We Stayed Active

Aside from walking 8-16 miles each day, I walked from our AirBnb to Queen Elizabeth Park. We also did what others do and rode bikes around Stanley Park.

3 days wasn’t enough in Vancouver. We’ll have to come back to explore North Vancouver’s wilderness.

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