I’ve realized lately I’ve got a bit of a hang-up about travel advice. About how subjective it is: this summer I landed in a few new-to-me spots and thought, ‘Really? You thought I’d like this?’ About how you see the same 5 to 500 sight-seeing suggestions for a new destination repeatedly, but have to really search for the subtle things. The things locals love. I’ve realized that what I want to know is where people with my similar tastes eat brunch or buy their records! Normal, relaxing things that make you feel like you’re really getting to know the place you’re in. Things that allow you to fantasize that you live there, even.
So given how this has been front of mind lately, and in hopes you’re coming to Vancouver this October for the Passion to Profit Conference, I’ve put together a few ways to fall in love with Vancity like a local! Maybe you’re a returning visitor and have your favorite haunts, or maybe this will be your first entrance into our rainforest-meets-seaport town. Either way, here’s hoping these ‘mini adventures’ will help you discover for yourself why our beautiful city consistently tops global ‘Best Places’ lists. And why we overcome our notorious downfalls of excessive rain and real estate prices to call Vancouver home.
This list is a compilation of the favorites that some of my dearest friends who are long- or life- time Vancouver residents have chosen for you!
- By Bridge & Boat. When I very first got to the city’s core upon arrival many years ago, it was the vista back dropping a northern-facing view across the Cambie Bridge that really got me. Turns out I’m not alone. A stroll over a city bridge resonates with residents and guests in a city because often times you can find yourself completely alone, un-crowded, and in the heart of an incredible viewpoint. Head north over the Cambie, and then stroll east-bound toward Scienceworld or west to Yaletown to grab an Aquabus to Granville Island – such a charming and awesome way to get around, for locals and tourists alike! Disembark, and enjoy all the very many sites, sounds, tastes and smells that Granville Island has to offer. Yes, you’ll be surrounded by other visitors here – but also Vancouverites – we all have a super soft space in our heart for Granville Island. (My favorite food: Curry2U in the market – I have never had a butter chicken I liked more than theirs!)
By Bike! For me, this is it. This is the way to see a city. As stated by the t-shirts of a bike tour guide in Berlin I was recently so lucky to do: ‘Because walking is stupid’. Of course it’s not! But a new city by bike is exhilarating – a sensory overload, with the feeling like you’re a kid again. Get yourself a city bike map and enjoy the city streets and the stunning sights along the seawall. There are so many places to get your hands on a rental, but if your home base is English Bay, rent here and time it so that you return in time to watch the sunset, or maybe get to walk the shore at low tide. Your heart will be full from a few hours well-spent.
- Beer and bites! In recent years, our fair city has exploded with microbreweries and food carts. It is divine, and they’re 2 of my favorite things! But maybe you can take one with out the other? If you want to focus on the food and find a cart (or 3) to feed you, have a look at the Vancouver street food app here. If you’d like to get a taste of what’s hoppin’ in the craft beer scene (pun intended), the Globe and Mail put together a little something here to get you soaking up the suds! But if you’re like me, and you want to do both, find the beer joint that Community Pizzeria is parked in front of and all will be right with the world. Chances are you’ll find yourself on Main Street – so combine this experience with a few hours of shopping in my favorite ‘hood for independent boutiques and unique styles.
- A Coffee and a Stroll. There is no other area of Vancouver that has my heart like Commercial Drive. The coffee is the most carefully brewed, the people are the most watchable, and the vibe is pure awesome. It’s definitely a strolling vibe, so give yourself enough time to really look around, starting at Venables street south-bound. The shopping in this neighbourhood has really improved in recent years as well. If you’re rocking the Saturday visit, catch one of the season’s last Farmers Markets and a walk around Trout Lake. Stand in line for vegetarian brunch at Bandidas at Commercial and 12th – it is worth it for the fresh, locally sourced and flavour-filled food made with love and reasonably priced.
- Try something new in Gastown! One of my first Vancouver jobs was in Gastown and I loved it there. But I quickly discovered a trend for tourists to snap a picture of the steam clock and the cobble stone streets and move on. The best $25 I spent this year was doing a “murder mystery” tour throughout Vancouver’s oldest area. Use your brain, discover the side alleys and spend some meaningful time having a blast with Vancouver Mysteries. Then take a short walk to Canada Place to catch a showing of Fly Over Canada – I haven’t done this myself yet, but it is imminent; everyone I know who has done this has raved about it. Or, grab a cocktail and a sweet city view at the Revolving Restaurant.
Here’s the thing – while this list of 5 ways to spend a day within the city will keep you busy and admiring the city’s natural beauty, I haven’t even touched on the endless nature walks within reach. Grouse Mountain, Deep Cove, Pacific Spirit Park, Lynn Canyon, Capilano Dam…
These are just a few of the breathtaking places to get back to the elements, breath the freshest air and remember what it’s all about. A great place to reflect and be thoughtful about what drives you, about your passions.
Let this fine city move you into cultivating your business passion into profit – register for Passion to Profit today!
The 4th Annual Women in Biz Conference is a day of networking, relationship-building and a mini MBA in small business growth. This year our theme is Passion To Profit – Smart Growth Strategies. To be successful in business you have to LOVE what you do, BELIEVE in your value and have a PLAN to activate your measurable success EVERY YEAR. That’s where we come in. Women in Biz Network is going to help you get to the next level in your business. Our session leaders have years of experience and success and have won entrepreneurial awards across North America. Each conference attendee is profiled and promoted when they register for the WIBN Conference. Get your ticket now before it is too late – Conference Pricing & Registration here!