If you do one thing in Vancouver, explore Stanley Park.
- More about your oliver guide: Megan Escher
- Trip type: Family, City
to & from
- Direct flights SFO to YVR. It is about a 2 hour drive from the Seattle airport (depending on border crossing). If coming from one of the Islands to the West, use the network of car ferries.
- RENT A CAR. Last we were there, no Uber or Lyft. FInding a taxi is tough. You have to go to taxi stands which are not well marked and often have a long wait.
- It's a beautiful walking neighborhood.
Where to Stay
Lots of great hotels in Yaletown and Gastown for a truly urban experience. Last we went, we rented an Airbnb house in Riley Park, which is a wonderful residential neighborhood with a great high street for shopping and dining.
Where to Eat and Drink
- Savio Volpe - Italian - such fun and so delicious
- Nelson & the Seagull - perfect place for lunch. Stop by East Van Roasters next door as well.
- Joe Fortes Old School Seafood and Chop House. Book a rooftop table.
- Marche St Georges - Beautiful small neighborhood cafe
- Acorn - High end sit down vegetarian
- Earnest Ice Cream - Buyer beware - its dangerously good
- Field & Social - custom salads - perfect for grab and go picnic bites or a quick sit down lunch
- Living Produce Aisle - Green Juice Central - rows of greens grown on site.
- Burdock & Co. - farm to table loveliness
What to Do
- Stanley Park An absolute must see. Massive gorgeous urban park on the water. Biking, swimming, sailing, playgrounds, picnics etc... If you do one thing in Vancouver, explore Stanley Park.
- Vancouver Aquarium
- University of British Columbia Botanical Garden - Definitely do the TreeWalk ropes tour if you go.
- Granville Island Public Market water taxi to the famous and fun permanent farmer’s market.
- Museum of Vancouver
- Beach Swimming Pools Various locations. We liked the one in Kitsilano
- Grouse Mountain - slightly outside of the City - great outdoor activities during the Summer and Winter.
- Queen Elizabeth Park and Bloedel Conservatory
If visiting in the summer, bring swimsuits for the children in your day bag. It can get hot and you will sometimes come upon water features and / or swimming in parks where the children can cool off and possibly buy you a couple more hours of adventuring.
Add On locations:
Salt Spring Island One of the magnificent Canadian Gulf Island. Rustic and beautiful. Amazing for a family adventure.
- The island is dotted with honor system farm stands with some of the most incredible produce imaginable. Our favorite was North End Farm.
- Salt Spring Bread Company – everything from the trek to find it, the space and the food is exquisite
- Salt Spring Island Cheese
- Great network of Provincial parks. Our favorite was Ruckle.