Take a water taxi to Granville Island to explore the crowded stalls of the Public Market for BC-grown products among families and couples. Fraser Valley Juice and Salad offers a vitamin hit for herbivores with freshly made juices and smoothies from locally sourced fruit and vegetables while carnivores will appreciate the Oyama Sausage Co.’s wide variety of globally inspired sausages and salami (and palate-pleasing English pork pies).
Tuck into apple flapjacks or house-smoked Salmon Benny at Edible Canada Bistro, which features Canadian ingredients and advocates for Canadian farmers and products. Leave the island and wander the art galleries of South Granville, a mix of modern European, Aboriginal and emerging Canadian artists and stylish shoppers. For a spicy snack Rangoli is a restaurant, gourmet and spice shop owned by Vancouver’s favourite Indian Chef Vikram Vij.
Spend time strolling West 4th, which lies in the heart of Kitsilano, a neighborhood that epitomizes eco-loving, organic-obsessed Vancouver. Go local by wearing Lululemon, whose first store opened in this neighborhood in 2000. Be sure to stop at the stylish Gravity Pope, for cutting edge selections from designers like Paul Smith, Rag & Bone, Alexander Wang and Veronique Branquinho, Signed, Sealed and Delivered has the perfect gift or card for the BFF. And for the audiophile, who wants to keep their cool cred, spend time in Zulu Records, where the atmosphere is reminiscent of High Fidelity. After, take a stroll on Kits Beach, which is less than 10 minutes away and popular with humans and canines.
Photo: Flickr/Martin Schüller
Start off ‘Appy Hour at Yaletown’s The Flying Pig indulging in steamed clams, the house salmon sampler and a white varietal from the Okanagan Valley, with the tech types and suited 30 somethings. Indulge in modern Japanese cuisine at Minami, regularly voted as one of the best places to eat sushi in town, a hard-fought title to win in a city with a Japanese community dating back to the 19th century. End the night in the former Olympic Village neighborhood at Tap & Barrel with its numerous offerings of BC vintages and crafts brews on tap. Be prepared for endless conversations about the hometown Canucks playoff run and toasts to those who completed the steep Grouse Grind hike with panoramic views of Vancouver.
Air Canada, Westjet and most major US airlines offer flights to Vancouver. Be sure to take time to wander the YVR’s art collection which includes recipients of the YVR Art Foundation which promotes BC First Nations art and artists.
The Rosewood Hotel Georgia originally opened in 1927, the choice of residence for British royals (including HRH Edward, Prince of Wales and his brother George, Duke of Kent) and Hollywood royals (Errol Flynn, John Wayne, Marlene Dietrich, Katherine Hepburn). Renovated and reopened in 2011, this elegant hotel is a polished combination of luxury service and award-winning dining at Hawksworth Restaurant. Rooms start from $320.00.
With all the necessary amenities for tech geeks and fitness nuts, Coal Harbour’s Loden Hotel provides more than the usual in-room offerings for its 70 rooms and seven suites including yoga equipment and Nintendo Wii, complimentary cruiser bike rental and access to the hotel’s private car service in a London cab. Rooms start from $249.00.
Waheeda Harris may live in Toronto, but her heart remains in her home province of British Columbia. A freelance journalist for fifteen years, she writes about art, décor, design and travel.