It’s time for another segment of my #ExploreMore series! Last weekend I visited Vancouver with my dad and had an amazing time. It was my first time visiting the city so my days were jam-packed with sight-seeing and exploring, but I wouldn’t have had it any other way. Here’s, a look into our father-daughter adventure!
Getting there: I flew into Vancouver on Thursday by a quick flight on WestJet Airlines. I’d never flown WestJet before, but I had a great experience with their customer service, and the 2-hour flight flew by with no issues at all. After landing, I hailed a taxi and headed to the Fairmont Vancouver where my dad and I were staying for the weekend.
Day One: My dad and I started our day off at with complimentary breakfast at the Fairmont. After fueling up for the day, we boarded one of those cheesy Hop-On Hop-Off bus tours to get a feel for the city. The buses are a total tourist trap, but if you want an easy way to get to different parts of a new city, Hop-On Hop-Off buses aren’t a bad option! Our first stop was the downtown harbor, where we checked out sea planes and the Drop art installation, and basked in the beautiful sunny weather.
While we were downtown we decided to pop into a Tim Horton’s just to try it out! I’m don’t drink coffee, but my dad is an avid fan of it, so I felt like I could trust his judgment when he said that it was a great cup of joe. Instead of coffee I opted for some donut bites, which I also enjoyed, so I guess we are both Tim Horton fans now!
After relaxing at the hotel for a few hours my dad and I ventured out again to meet up with the Vancouver Tasting Tour Company for a food tour of the Gastown district. We stopped at 5 neighborhood restaurants and tried a variety of local dishes and beverages, including spicy hummus and Pomegranate Sangria from Lebanese restaurant Nuba, Southern-inspired hush puppies and chicken bites at Revel Room, and craft beers from Irish gastropub The Irish Heather. My favorite stop on the food tour was our last stop, a cute local wine bar called Salt Tasting Room.
The coolest part about Salt is their underground wine cellar, where my dad and I were treated to a private tasting featuring a variety of cured meats, artisan cheeses and (of course) delicious wine. It was definitely the standout restaurant of the food tour, and I highly recommend visiting Salt if you find yourself in Vancouver.
Day two: On our second day in Vancouver my dad and I started our morning off by walking around the downtown Vancouver area. We passed the famous steam clock, which is apparently one of the only working steam clocks left in the world, and I did some window-shopping at some of the cute boutiques around the downtown area. We also took the SeaBus from Vancouver to North Vancouver and walked around for a bit before heading back to our hotel.
Instead of lunch, I treated myself to afternoon tea at my hotel. The Fairmont Vancouver was hosting a limited-time-only special called the Enchanted Tea. The tea room was beautiful, with whimsical details that really did make it feel like you had walked into a fairy-tale, and the tea and treats were amazing. The chefs were able to mold all of the food to look like they’d been plucked straight out of a forest! The lemon meringue mushroom and the salmon “log” were my favorites, but everything was delicious to be honest. While the tea service left much to be desired, I was still pleased with the experience overall because of the actual food.
I headed to Chinatown to check out the area, because I’d read ahead of time that it was a popular area of Vancouver. I stopped at a little speakeasy bar called The Emerald Supper Club located up the stairs of an inconspicuous building on an otherwise quiet street. You’ll know you’re in the right spot when you spot the green door.
The Emerald was very cute and cozy, and seemed like it would be a great place to come with a date. While there is a dance floor that looked fun, I enjoyed my drink in the lounge, and then headed out to meet my dad for a father-daughter dinner.
For dinner, my dad and I enjoyed an incredible meal at L’Abattoir, a french-inspired restaurant located in the heart of Gastown. I cannot rave about L’Abbatoir enough: The food was delicious, the staff was extremely helpful at recommending great wine options to pair with our meals, and the overall vibe restaurant itself was hip and trendy (my favorite combination). My dad and I delighted in delicious wine, light and tasty truffle oysters, and hearty steak that was cooked to perfection. If you are ever in Vancouver you need to dine at L’Abattoir PERIODT.
After dinner dad and I headed back to the Fairmont to pack up and get some rest before saying goodbye to Vancouver and heading back to the United States.
My dad headed to the airport on Sunday morning, but because my flight was in the late-afternoon, I had a bit of time for one last stop on my Vancouver trip – the Vancouver Art Gallery! I try to visit at least one museum whenever I am traveling, and luckily the Vancouver Art Gallery was right across the street from the Fairmont, so it was a no-brainer.
After wandering around the museum for a few hours I grabbed my luggage from The Fairmont and hustled to the airport to head back to Los Angeles. And that was my first trip to Vancouver! I really enjoyed exploring this city, and I hope to return very soon!