For those of you who have been to Vancouver, you will understand when I tell those of you that have not, that you are about to visit one of the most beautiful (if not the most beautiful) cities in all the World.  Year around Vancouver provides boundless activities, dining, day trips and the friendliest natives you will encounter anywhere on the planet. It is a welcoming city, a city of smiles.  These are my picks and my favorite spots to hopefully make your experience in this "Jewel on the West Coast" memorable.  This list is a constant work in progress so keep watching for all things new and exciting!

 

THE AIRPORT

 

                       Voted BEST AIRPORT IN NORTH AMERICA 5 yrs in a row. You immediately feel very welcomed.  

 

 

AIRLINES

 

                                                 Best flights from Los Angeles to Vancouver    

 

 

PRIVATE AIRCRAFT

 

Anderson Air  | Ask for Nicole Charlesworth or Caryolyn 

 

 

CAR SERVICE

 

Griffin Transportation  |  Ask for Corrie Diligenti 

 

 

CAR RENTALS

 

Enterprise Rent-a-Car  |  With locations all over the city Enterprise always has the best prices and the most courteous service.  Little hint: if you are picking up from a location other than the airport and they ask if you have arrived in the past 24 hours say NO.  Otherwise you are looking at a hefty airport fee!

 

 

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

 

Vancouver Skytrain  |  You can catch this right at the airport and it will take you downtown in 16 minutes.  Clean and efficient, this is how public rapid transit should always be!

 

 

HOTELS

 

The Four Seasons:  A Canadian Hotel chain that requires no introduction

 

The Pan Pacific:  The landmark sails on the harbour in all the Vancouver pics are the foot of this gorgeous hotel with million dollar views from any and every room. Prince Charles & his then blushing bride Princess Di spent part of their honeymoon in the sprawling Pacific Suites of this gorgeous hotel.

 

The Sutton Place:  Simply put - Hollywood north. An exceptional hotel that has been a favorite of the film industry for many years.

 

The Hotel Vancouver Fairmont: Again, a landmark in many Vancouver photos. This classic Grande Dame that was a favorite of the Queen & Prince Phillip on many of their visits to town.

 

 

HOME RENTALS

 

                   556 W. 17th Ave  |  My favorite home to rent!  Quaint, lovely furnishings and centrally located. 4+ walking

 

House Cleaners: Shelby Star  604.319.2281

 

 

NANNY SERVICES

 

Nannies On Call: Fun nannies with great references. Feel good about leaving the kids behind and having a nice evening to yourselves. 

 

 

DOG SITTERS / WALKERS 

 

Bark On The Boulevard:  Very reputable gaurdians for your 4 legged babies

 

 

DINING OUT

 

Seafood: The Blue Water Cafe  |   Yaletown

Thai: Anh and Chi /  Main Street

Dim Sum: Sun Sui Wah  |  Main Street

Chinese Fusion: Bao Bei 

Japanese: Tojos  |  South Grandville or Miku 

Indian: Vij's  |  South Grandville

Italian:  Giardino  |  Downtown 

Casual Dining: Earl's

Hip Spots: Ask For Luigi  |  Downtown Eastside

French: Le Crocodile 

Mexican: La Casita 

Breakfast: Cafe Medina

All-Day: The Red Wagon Cafe 

Great Deck: Dockside at The Grandville Island Hotel

 

DAY TRIPS 

 

Whistler: About an hour and a half outside of the city along the most beautiful scenic drive you will ever take.  Whistler offers lots of entertainment year round and of course in the winter it is a world class ski resort drawing visitors from around the globe.  Have a stop in on the way up at Horseshoe Bay and drop into Trolls for some Clam Chowder or Fish & Chips. 

 

Victoria: Head out to Tswwassen or Horseshoe Bay and take a ferry to "The City of Gardens" as it is known around the world. You may see an Orca or even a pod enroute. Once there visit The Butchart Gardens, stop by The Empress Hotel for a proper High Tea, this hotel has the best blend of Earl Grey Tea I have ever had.  If time permits and your are so inclined spend the afternoon cold water Diving in what Jacques  Cousteau referred to as some of the best diving the sea has to offer. 

  

"STUFF TO DO" 

 

Steveston Village: Looking for a fun outing with the kids ? What could be better than a wonderful park and water park, fish and chips at Pajos on the Pier followed  by heavenly frozen yogurt at Timothy's. And if you are married to the perfect man he can watch the kids at the park while mom hits Tao Day Spa.  Don't forget to pick up a fresh salmon off one of the boats at the dock for dinner.  That's a great afternoon!

 

Stanley ParkThe largest urban park in North America, Stanley Park is a must see while in town.  You can either walk the 10k sea wall or pick up bikes at Spokes and cycle. Either way it will be a day to remember.

 

The Grouse Grind: Not a hike for the faint or the weak of heart!

 

Kayaking in Deep Cove:The most peaceful relaxing few hours you will spend skimming along the shores of Deep Cove.  Lovely to do around sunset (which is later in the summer) and wrap up your evening with a trip over to Deep Cove Pizza.

 

Helicopter Ride around the City: Helijet  |  See this gorgeous city from the skies!

 

Night Skiing at Mount Seymour: During the winter months this ski hill, which is a short 20-30 minutes from dowtown is lit for skiing late into the night. World class skiing with a city view? Heaven!

 

GastownLots of shops and restaurants - The Spaghetti Factory (great with kids) or The Flying Pig, and Vancouver's famous Steam Clock.                              

 

Grandville Island:  Great farmers market and great sightseeing.  Hit up The Stock Market and Ala Mode for eats!

 

Ice Skating at The Olympic Oval: Ice skating year round.  Lessons available

 

Vancouver Canucks at BC Place: What is a trip to Canada without a little Hockey? (seasonal)

 

Chinatown: Second only to San Fransisco and Hong Kong

 

River Rock Casino:  Eat, drink and gamble! Don't worry...  any loss is in Canadian $$$

     

Best Place to "work up a Sweat" / Best Personal Trainer:  Sweat Co. Studios - Maureen Wilson.  Whether your desire is one on one, high energy classes or spinning this is THE spot to work up a sweat frequented by anybody who is anybody this fitness studio is as charming as it is effective.  And no more charming (or effective) a trainer than the propreitress herself the very lovely Maureen "Mo" Wilson. 

     

 

OTHER "STUFF" 

 

Hair Stylist: Verve Hair Salon - Amber George 

 

Blowout: Mobile Stylist Chris Funk - Funk Hair 

 

Florist Shop: Thomas Hobbs Flowers, a Vancouver staple that is always going to impress any lucky recipient.

     

The US Consulate Office: Just in case .. 'cause you never know!

 

BankingTDCanada Trust cross border banking 

 

US $ to Canadian $ Conversion Chart: Exchange rates are excellent right now but change daily.