48 hours in Vancouver

Monday, June 27, 2016

Greetings from the Pacific Northwest!

It was a cool and rainy but fascinating time in the heart of British Columbia. I had been to the eastern province of Canada before but this was my first time out west. It did not disappoint. 

A few months ago I lucked up on a glitch airfare to YVR from LAX via Delta. I paid a whopping $5 one-way for this trip. Thank you, Delta! I'm glad it was dirt cheap because Vancouver is EXPENSIVE. 

My time here was short, only a day and a half. I had originally planned to use this trip as a jump off to Lake Louise in Alberta but the itinerary didn't work out. 

The few things that I did get to do were worthwhile. 

My first stop was downtown to Canada Place. The Vancouver skyline is quite impressive. I wish I could have captured its beauty on a nicer day. 

I spent a good amount of time in this area (hello free WiFi!). There are several shops and restaurants all over the place but watch your wallet. The USD to CAD exchange rate is okay but meaningless in Vancouver. Everything was expensive, especially food and drinks, my weakness.

I had a wonderful meal at Calabash, a Caribbean themed lounge that plays excellent music. I jammed good and ate good! After 7pm the downstairs turns into a club lounge. They play soca and throwback hip hop and R&B jams. Such a good time. 

Canada Place is the jump off point for many of Vancouver's most popular activities. Here, you can catch a thrilling show called FlyOver Canada or jump on the hop on hop off bus. I'm usually a sucker for a good HoHo tour but it was rainy, and I rented a car for this trip. 

I highly recommend FlyOver Canada, especially if your time in the country is limited. It is an extreme popular activity, and truly spectacular. I won't give its premise away ;-) but it's worth the money and the wait. If funds allow, pay for the fast pass, the lines are painfully long, especially on rainy days where tourists are looking for something to do indoors. 

The Harbour Tower is within walking distance of Canada Place. You can ride up the tower, take in the sights from 80 feet high, and have a meal in the revolving restaurant (pricey). They do charge for admission to access the tower, and it's not included in the price even if you're planning to dine. Parking is also a bit of a challenge in the downtown area, but if you can manage a space on the street, it'll only cost you $3 for two hours, otherwise the pay lots are $15+. 

Your admission includes a return trip at no extra charge for a night time viewing of the skyline. 

From Canada Place, I was also able to catch a free shuttle bus to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.

I am terrified of heights, but I handled this well, and it is a must-do while in the region. 

The suspension bridge and the Cliffwalk are a must. Give yourself time to take pictures and to take in the scenery. It's majestic.

I rounded out the trip with a visit to Stanley Park. Even though it was raining, it didn't keep people from enjoying the trails and the sights that this park has to offer. You can rent a bike or get some serious cardio in and walk the trails here. Since it was raining and I was feeling sickly, I drove the car trail and stopped at vantage points along the way. There are several shops and cafes inside of the park as well. Admission is free, but if you plan to stay for a while you will need to pay for parking, otherwise you can just ride along and stop at your leisure. 

All in all, I think the time spent was just right and of course, the price was! 

The weather wasn't the best but it didn't stop me from sightseeing. If there were sunny skies I would have also added:

•The Aquabus
•Granville Island free walking tour
•Richmond Night Market
•English Bay
•Kitsilano Beach

I'd also intended on visiting the Jimi Hendrix shrine (yes, there is one) but it was moved and is now under renovation. 

Vancouver is very expensive but makes for a great, quick getaway, for perhaps a weekend. It was a three hour flight from LAX, and is two hours driving distance from Seattle. If time permits, definitely consider a trip over to Victoria, and if you're really lucky, add Banff and Lake Louise to your itinerary. Otherwise, visiting Vancouver's most popular sites should suffice for a nice trip. 

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  1. Wow! $5.00? I am amazed and it looks like you had a really great time. The food you had looks amazing.

  2. What an awesome deal you got! I went to Vancouver quite a few years ago. It was expensive even then, but what fun! I loved Stanley Park too and we ate at the revolving restaurant. One of my favorite memories of travel. So glad you had a blast!

  3. First, your twists are super cute. And second how freaking cool that you actually got to take advantage of a glitch and have an amazing time!!

  4. I love Vancouver...such a great city. Your pictures are great! Looks like you had decent weather while on the suspension bridge. When we visited it was foggy and freezing, and of course it was raining. I'm headed to Victoria next month...looking forward to getting back to such a beautiful slice of Canada.

    1. Yeah it wasn't too bad the day I went to the bridge, temps dropped after that. Looking forward to your overview of Victoria!

  5. Ohhh you just got me super excited for my trip to Vancouver next month! And wait...I'm still stuck at that $5.60 airfare. That is dope, I need to get lucky like that. lol Thanks for all these tips, definitely bookmarking this one.

    1. Haha, yes! Hopefully you will have better weather than I did!

  6. The photos are fantastic.... but... I am still at that 5 dollar flight? Can we talk about how that happens? And how we can make that happen for a family of five? LOL

    1. Yes ma'am, plenty of families took advantage of the deal. Make sure you're following Secret Flying, et al on social media, and jump on the deals ASAP :)

  7. You got a great deal, wow!!! Looks like an awesome place to visit, with plenty to do. Awesome pictures!

  8. Girl you opening a wound for me. I saw the $5 glitch deal to Vancouver from LAX and of course I waited a little to late for a friend...and within hours it was gone! So pissy but I lived through you...thanks for the recap!!

  9. Wow, can't believe how inexpensive the ticket was for the viewing deck. The view looks amazing! Great recap of your adventure there!

    1. Yeah, surprisingly cheaper than other decks I've been to, and cheap for Vancouver.

  10. Girl, cost aside it looks like you had an amazing time! My favorite photo is the one of your food. #ILoveToEat Thanks for sharing. I didn't know about these places.

  11. $5 wow! I've gotten a glitch fare before, but not that low. You had a good time. I mean for $5, how could you not have? I need to make a trip to Vancouver, but first I have to add it to my bucket list.