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48 Hours in Vancouver, Canada

Despite having lived in North America my entire life I somehow managed to exist for 27 years before I made it over the border to either Mexico or Canada. But in May of this year I finally added Canada to the list of countries I’ve visited! Vancouver is a short three hour flight from Phoenix and made for a perfect weekend escape. After experiencing the beauty that is Vancouver I’m sure that I’ll be making a return trip in the future.

Things To Do In Vancouver

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park
One of the most popular things I saw advertised to do in Vancouver was the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. Located in North Vancouver it’s a quick shuttle ride away and they pick up from numerous locations in the downtown area for free so it’s a breeze to get there. I have to admit it looked a lot “scarier” online than I felt it was in person but I still really enjoyed it. And some people will be completely freaked out either way, as evidenced by this woman who wouldn’t let go of her grip on her husband the entire time they were crossing the suspension bridge. ;)

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You have to cross the suspension bridge to get to the rest of the park and while it did sway and bounce some it really isn’t too bad to cross at all. Here are some more views of it:

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As you can see, it’s pretty solid and not too scary at all. =D Here’s a view from further away that I took later from within the park:

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According to the website it’s 230 feet above the river. The park also has a lot of other things to check out and is very kid friendly. I’d recommend it to families with young children as there are tons of education and kid friendly things to do. My personal favorites were the treetop adventure and the cliffwalk.

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The cliff walk was the only time I ever came close to being nervous about being up so high. But for whatever reason I’m totally fine with heights as long as I have railings. Take me to Devil’s Bridge in Sedona or open spots of the Grand Canyon and suddenly I have a fear of heights! ;)

Here’s what the cliffwalk looks like from one of the vantage points in the park:

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In summary, I highly recommend Capilano as a fun way to experience the beauty in Vancouver!

Bike Around Stanley Park’s Seawall
My favorite activity turning my time in Vancouver was renting a bike and biking around Stanley Park. There’s a beautiful one direction path that goes around the entire length of the park and the views of the city, the forest, and everything else are just stunning. The entire route is beautiful and so easy to enjoy. Plus unlike the middle of the park where there are plenty of hills the outer wall is relatively flat which makes for a nice easy ride.

Spokes Rental Bike

I rented a bike from Spokes which is right by Stanley Park and had a great experience with them. I highly recommend taking the free attachable basket and putting your purse/bag in it. Next time I go back to Vancouver I’ll probably spend some more time exploring inside the massive park but my top recommendation for visitors is biking around the outer part!

Stanley Park Bike Path

Stanley Park Bike Path

Stanley Park Bike Path

Stanley Park Bike Path

Stanley Park Bike Path

Vancouver Lookout
If you’re looking for a high level view of the city then you’ll enjoy Vancouver Lookout. It’s in downtown Vancouver and has fantastic views of both the downtown area and everything else around. The ride up is in an elevator with glass doors that face out so if you’re afraid of heights I’d recommend standing towards the back of the elevator.

Vancouver Lookout

They also have lots of information signs telling you what you’re looking at and pointing out points of interest. It’s a great way to learn a lot about Vancouver.

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Vancouver LookoutGo Shopping
I didn’t end up having much time for shopping while I was there but if shopping is your goal than Vancouver will not disappoint. Robson Street is the most notable (and world famous) area of Vancouver for shopping and since it’s downtown I did end up walking through it. Someday I’ll go back and spend more time there!

Robson St
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Olympic Torch
This one won’t appeal to everyone as it’s definitely a bit ho-hum but I was excited about it. I’ve never been to a city that has hosted the Olympics before so I thought it was cool to go see the Olympic torch even if there’s not much else in the area anymore (at least as far as the Olympics go).

Vancouver Olympic Torch

Vancouver Olympic Torch

 

Granville Island Public Market
I had a bit of time on Sunday before I had to head to the airport and I decided to use that time to go explore the Granville Island Public Market. Coming from the downtown area you can take an adorable little ferry over to Granville. I forget how much it cost but it was only a couple of bucks round trip and was a fun mode of transportation.

Ferry

Here’s what the dock looked like on the Granville side:

Ferry Dock

 

On Sunday morning everything was still a bit sleepy feeling but the market was up and running for the day. Talk about amazing looking options! If I lived close to this market I would come every weekend just to buy produce if nothing else.

Granville Public Market

Granville Public Market

Granville Public Market

Granville Public Market

 

Granville Island is a fantastic place to explore. Lots of cute shops and it’s just all around a fun and relaxed place to hang out. And if you have kids they also have a Kids Public Market which was super cute inside.

Kids Public Market

 

Other notable things to do in Vancouver that I didn’t squeeze into this trip:

  • Queen Elizabeth Park
  • Vancouver Canucks game
  • Grouse Mountain
  • Vancouver Aquarium
  • Botanical Garden

 

I’d love to hear from you guys! If you’ve been to Vancouver what was your favorite thing to do?

 

48 Hours In Vancouver

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  • I didn’t visit Canada until I was 28, and have yet to go to Mexico! I feel ya! The US is huge, it’s easy to never go to either. I visited Vancouver for the first time this past January and fell completely in love with it! I loved Granville island. Wasn’t the entire city just breathtaking? So clean and trendy. It gave it a small town feel while still being a huge city!

    • That sums Vancouver up beautifully! It’s got a small town feel even though it’s a large city. I love how much beautiful scenery there was in every direction even though it was very much a modern city and downtown area.
      And I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who hasn’t made it over both borders. ;)

  • What a beautiful place! I also have not been to Canada…. Crazy! I’d love to get over there. That suspension bridge park and the market are definitely things I’d add to my list! Thanks for sharing. :)

    • If you get a chance to go I’d highly recommend Vancouver! It’s such a fun city to spend a few days in.

  • I never really thought much about visiting Canada, but this post put it on the list for me! What a beautiful place. Those suspension bridges are AWESOME! That would be such a fun way to see the area. A bike ride sounds like a lot of fun to do in a new town, too. You sure did a lot in 48 hours. We will have to see how much we can pack into 48+ hours in Florida! :)

    • I’m getting so excited about our Florida trip! We’re going to make it into an awesome 48 hours =D

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  • I love Vancouver! I live in Seattle and even though it’s only a three hour DRIVE to Canada, I still hardly ever go! I haven’t checked out the suspension bridge yet, but it’s definitely on my list for next time! Next time you’re there, take a ferry and check our Victoria — it’s a beautiful area that will make you feel like you’re in Europe.

    • I’m jealous of how close you are to Vancouver! And Victoria sounds amazing from everything I’ve heard about it. I think I might have to move it up on my travel wish list =)

  • Nope. Haha I am so scared of heights, I don’t know if I could even step foot on that bridge! I couldn’t even go on the bridge at Neuschwanstein Castle, my husband had to take all the pictures from there! ha

    • It’s definitely not the experience for those with fear of heights – ha! There was a lady holding onto her husband for dear life when I was there and at one point halfway across the bridge I asked her if she was OK because she looked so freaked out. Poor woman =/

  • Wow this is really impressive! I’m Canadian and have been to Vancouver 3 times and have not done half of this haha I absolutely loved Stanley Park and Granville island as well! That Capilano park seems so interesting – it’s a shame I had never heard about it before now! Beautiful photos x

    • Thanks Camila! Stanley Park was my favorite for sure. Do you have any other recommendations for things to do if I go back?

      • I’m a huge dork, but I loved visiting the UBC campus – it was gorgeous and then head on over to lounge on the beach at Kits :)

        • Aw, I wish I had visited the UBC campus! I love checking out college campuses. Putting it on my list for my next trip up there…

  • I want to go to Vancouver! It looks very modern and looks like ya’ll had great weather!

  • I hope to visit Vancouver once day, that suspension park bridge looks awesome!

    • You’ll love it when you do! Thanks for stopping by the blog =)

  • It looks like an amazing adventure! Also, those berries…..I’m dying for berries as beautiful as those!

    • Right?? If I hadn’t been about to travel home I would have bought them all up

  • Love this article pretty much everything you covered!