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!
Voted BEST AIRPORT IN NORTH AMERICA 5 yrs in a row. You immediately feel very welcomed.
Best flights from Los Angeles to Vancouver
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!
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!
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.
556 W. 17th Ave | My favorite home to rent! Quaint, lovely furnishings and centrally located. 4+ walking
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
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
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 Park: The 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.
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.
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!
US $ to Canadian $ Conversion Chart: Exchange rates are excellent right now but change daily.