Jetset Extra headed north this summer in search of perfect temperatures and the best British Columbia had to offer—and B.C. didn’t disappoint. Memories of a stay in Vancouver, which was enjoying a mild, sunny summer, have us reaching for our passports and planning our next trip. Vancouver is a bright, friendly gem in Canada’s crown, and Jetset Extra has your guide for where to eat, stay and play in the city.
Sip:Ceasars and Local Brews
Canadians love their Caesars—a Bloody Mary made with Clamato, that infamous clam broth and tomato juice concoction. Get a Caesar done right at Rodney’s Oyster House where they mix it up with the perfect amount of spice. Want to go native without the clam juice? Stick with the local brew and try one of Granville Island’s pints. This brewery makes top-notch beer, like their Honey Lager, sold at bars all over Vancouver. For cocktails head to Cinema Public House where you can wash down their tasty Sliders with some cool drinks.
Snack: More Poutine, Please
Poutine reigns supreme in Vancouver. For the uninitiated, this dish is a magical mash-up of three comfort foods: french fries, gravy, and cheese. Think of it as the Canadian nacho. You’ll find great poutine in restaurants throughout the city. When you want a meal more structured than sopping up gravy with fries at the nearest pub, head to Yaletown for dinner at Goldfish, a sexy little bar and restaurant with a back patio and some amazing flavor. Be sure to order the bacon-fried rice topped with fried quail eggs. If you’re looking for a real showstopper, experience the wow-factor of Blue Water’s three-tiered seafood tower.
Shop: From Big Box to Boutique
Roam Robson Street, a major thoroughfare for shopping in Vancouver. There you’ll find high-end designers, souvenir stores, and everything in between. Take home Canadian casual wear from Roots. If you’re looking for something more carefully curated, enjoy the boutiques of Yaletown. For luxe home goods with a touch of shabby chic shop The Cross (1198 Homer Street, 1-604-689-2900). Check out the Mini Cooper showroom if you’re looking for a big ticket souvenir!
Stroll: Stanley Park
Vancouver’s answer to Central Park (it’s even 10% larger), Stanley Park is named after Lord Stanley of Preston, of Stanley Cup fame. Filled with huge Douglas Firs, cedar, and spruce trees, lakes, trails, a rose garden, and even a bar and grill, Stanley Park a great place to enjoy a long walk or a summer picnic. Bike, skate, or stroll around the park on the world’s longest uninterrupted waterfront walkway. The park is also home to the Vancouver Aquarium.
Skip: Capilano Suspension Bridge
This may be where all the tourists go, but don’t be duped into thinking it’s worthwhile. Fork over a whopping $70 for two adult tickets and you’ll find yourself walking across a long, wobbly suspension bridge at 230 feet (70m) above Capilano River. The brochure offers great photo opportunities; Reality offers you a place in a long line of touring families and crying kids, with nowhere to go but back over the bridge to the gift shop. The only good part is the juicy gossip you’ll hear from locals later, including stories of the woman who dropped her baby off the bridge (the child survived with minimal injury). If you must get your kicks from great heights, save the cash and go to Lynn Canyon instead, where you’ll find a similar bridge for free.
Stay: Moda Hotel
Stay in the thick of things with an overnight at Moda Hotel, located near the bustling bars and shops of Granville Street. What it lacks in curb appeal, Moda makes up for inside with its funky European vibe, which you’ll notice first in their maxed-out, vintage-modern red and black lobby with oversized chandelier. Upgrade to a suite, located across the street from the main hotel, to enjoy a rich, velvety room with remarkably tall ceilings and windows that instantly make the room feel twice the size. Keeping with the European feel, the marble tub has some kooky fixtures, including a showerhead that rains down on you from the high ceiling. Bath products are locally sourced from a shop nearby. This hotel’s more for pleasure than business, as you might experience some trouble with your internet connection and access to electrical outlets. But we think you’ll be too busy with brunch and a Caesar to mind. Moda Hotel: 900 Seymour Street, 1-604-683-5522.