Vancouver is possibly one of the most underrated cities in North America. It’s full of so much charm, city life, and incredible natural beauty. We know that many of us don’t get enough time off work, and we all must squeeze as many memorable moments into one trip as possible. While the one-weekend visit will have you longing for more, here’s your weekend itinerary for your quick getaway to Vancouver.
VANCOUVER TRAVEL TIPS
THE BEST PARTS
- The views and atmosphere at Stanley Park. This is the perfect place to get your bearings after a long travel day, Soak up the sea air, or even go for a swim. This park is home to beautiful gardens, ample walking or biking paths, and plenty of space to sit, relax, read, or nap in the sun. Bonus points – it’s walkable l to the rest of downtown!
- Explore Granville Island to find the city’s best quick-dining and souvenir shopping. Head upstairs to the harbor side corner of the Market and watch the sailboats go by as you much on fish and chips or Thai dishes. Vacation vibes? Yes, please.
- The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. This pricey park experience is worth every dime. It’s unlike any other place I’ve visited and is a park where all ages can play like a kid again. Bounce among the tree tops, defy death as you cross suspended walkways made of glass and metal, and say hello to friendly forest animals while you visit. Catch our full video or full blog on it here!
- You simply must try poutine when you visit! Poutine is like upgraded french fries – fries smothered in gravy and littered with squeaky, delicious cheese curds. You might never want plain fries again.
- You can quickly drive from Seattle to Vancouver for a day trip or quick weekend getaway! Crossing the border was easier than expected. Give it a try if you ever travel or live in the Pacific Northwest!
WHERE WE STAYED
- 4-star affordable luxury right on the harbor side of North Vancouver.
- The updated hotel room had windows that offered views of the harbor. The employees at the check-in were welcoming and friendly. Though we didn’t try it ourselves, the on-site restaurant looked delicious!
- While not in the middle of downtown, this hotel is located in the Ship Yards – the perfect place to spend the evening after you check in to the hotel. The Ship Yards offers many dining options, from luxury sit-down restaurants to markets and pubs. Grab an ice cream for dessert and walk around the dock for the best views of Downtown Vancouver.
- The hotel is centrally located between all of the fun of Downtown Vancouver and the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. You’ll want a car while visiting, but don’t worry – parking is a breeze! There is a parking garage underneath the hotel where you pay per night. If you stay here, you’ll be less than a 30-minute drive from Downtown Vancouver and less than a 15-minute drive from Capilano Suspension Bridge Park.
FRIDAY: FLY TO VANCOUVER
- Fly from your home airport
- Depending on your work schedule and location, you might be able to catch a flight after the work day, otherwise, you might want to schedule time off to fly over.
- Arrive and check in to your stay
- Recommendation: Seaside Hotel North Vancouver for 4-Star affordable luxury right on the harbor side of North Vancouver. While not in the middle of downtown, this hotel is located in the Ship Yards – the perfect place to spend the evening after you check in to the hotel. The Ship Yards offers many dining options, from luxury sit-down restaurants to markets and pubs. Grab an ice cream for dessert and walk around the dock for the best views of Downtown Vancouver.
- Enjoy dinner by the sea
- Recommendation: Miku Vancouver
SATURDAY: PARKS & ISLANDS
- Drive up to North Vancouver and stop for a quick bakery breakfast
- Recommendation: Bjorn Bar Bakery – we think about this place too often! It offers well-crafted coffee and freshly baked goods that are sure to make your mouth water at just the smell of them. Bonus – it’s only minutes away from the next stop!
- Explore the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
- The key is to arrive right at opening time. Take our word on this. You want to see and explore the best of this incredible park before literal busloads arrive. The early morning wake-up call is worth it!
- Make sure to buy your tickets in advance before going. We love using the Tiqets app for visits like this and found buying tickets to the park this way easy peasy.
- The estimated time of visit is between 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 hours, depending on your pace of exploration.
- Drive down to Granville Island for lunch and shopping
- You’ll want to spend between 2-3 hours here strolling through all the booths, enjoying a fresh, hot lunch, and shopping for souvenirs. Take your time, enjoy the harbor side and watch the boats go by. Better yet, take one for yourself if time allows!
- Explore Stanley Park
- A visit to Stanley Park is the best way to get acquainted with Vancouver’s coastline. This piece of paradise goes on for miles. Bring a book, your camera, a beach towel, or a bicycle and explore the expansive park however you wish for the rest of the afternoon.
- Casual Dinner at a local pub, bistro, or restaurant
- Commute back to your overnight stay and rest up for the next day
SUNDAY: DOWNTOWN VANCOUVER // FLY HOME
- Enjoy a cafe breakfast somewhere downtown
- Stroll the streets and get a little lost marveling at the large city
- Recommendation: Depending on how much time you have before you need to head to the airport. If time allows, stop by Fritz’s downtown to enjoy a treat of Poutine – a Canadian specialty made of french fries, cheese curds, and salty brown gravy.
- Commute to the Vancouver Airport
- Check in and kiss Canada goodbye (for now!)