Vancouver is an amazing city for many reasons, but I particularly love that it’s easy to visit any time of the year. Because of its moderate climate, Vancouver weather rarely ranges in the extreme and can be pleasant whether you visit in winter or summer. So, no matter what time of year you plan on going, be sure to check out these fun activities during your day out in Vancouver.
Breakfast at The Templeton
Something I found really surprising about Vancouver was how big diner culture is. I’ve always considered diners to be an American thing, but the awesome diners in Vancouver have definitely changed my mind! The Templeton was probably my favorite Vancouver discovery as far as diners go. I loved it so much I actually went there every morning for breakfast!
The Templeton is a definite throwback to the 50s complete with a jukebox (you could pay at your table for it to play a song of your choosing), a red leather stool lined counter, and red upholstered booths. The diner is small with only five or six booths, so the setting is definitely intimate, but this can also mean that sometimes there’s a bit of a wait before you can get a table.
Walk/Bike Stanley Park
Vancouver is a city that’s meant to be enjoyed outdoors. It’s really beautiful, clean, and surrounded by lots of gorgeous nature. From the harbor you’ll have vistas of mountains and forests, and the nearby Stanley Park is a must if you really want to enjoy the fresh outdoors without having to venture outside of Vancouver itself.
Be sure to set aside about half a day to do Stanley Park. You can bike around the park or walk it and there are even trolleys that you can pay to ride between major points. Vancouver’s famous First People totem poles are at one of the furthest points of Stanley Park. These are a must-see, so if you don’t do anything else make sure you have time to enjoy the totem poles!
Drinks in Davie Village
Davie Village is Vancouver’s famous gaybourhood and is full of lots of trendy places to eat, have coffee, or simply hang out. You’ll be spoilt for choice when walking through the area, but you can’t really go wrong here so just pick a place and walk in!
Try out some local Canadian brew and enjoy the pub culture—which reminds me a bit of drinking in the U.K. If you’re lucky you may catch a hockey or rugby match on TV so you can cheer along with the locals!
Visit Weed Central
While recreational marijuana isn’t actually legal anywhere in Canada, Vancouver is a very weed-friendly city (maybe because it’s so close to Washington?). You literally can’t walk five feet without smelling weed. With a doctor’s prescription you are able to purchase medical marijuana at a local shop, but if you head down to Robson Square in downtown Vancouver you’ll find several stands set up where you can buy weed treats (like brownies and cookies) or pick up something to smoke.
It really is an interesting experience to chat with these local vendors. I had a long conversation with one vendor who told me about how her boyfriend grew up too poor to be able to afford meat, so she was buying and cooking him a steak for his birthday. Even if you aren’t interested in purchasing anything, it’s an interesting way to get a glimpse of the local flavor.
Dinner at Meet
If you’re looking for some excellent vegetarian and vegan-friendly food, you must factor Meet into your foodie plans. This is a great venue for dinner and has some of the best vegan food I’ve tasted (their vegan hot wings are particularly great). This restaurant doesn’t take reservations, so sometimes there’s a bit of a wait. However, usually people get seated within 15-30 minutes, and the venue is spacious enough to accommodate many.
Meet is also located in the very lively Gastown which is full of cool bars and hangouts. This makes Meet a great place to start a night out. Fill up on awesome vegan food and then paint the town red!
Bonus activity: Art Walk
There’s cool artwork practically everywhere you go in Vancouver, so an art walk should figure into our usual sightseeing quite easily. Just keep your eyes open when you’re walking around, because you never know when you’ll come upon an amazing piece of street art!