Vancouver & Victoria, BC Travel Guide

OH CANADA!!!

Sorry, that was an obnoxious greeting to start this post. 🙂 Hello friends! I’m currently writing from a perfect sunny and 75 degree day in Kirkland, a little suburb outside of Seattle. [Oops, posting this one a little late.] It’s seriously freakin’ beautiful here (pictures to come). This is my little stopover in between my trips to Canada and California. So, I figured no better time to write about Canada (specifically British Columbia) than when it’s fresh on the brain.

I will be honest, I thought Van was pretty “eh” as a city goes, but Victoria was absolutely beauuuuutiful. That being said, there will probably be less recommendations here than you find in my typical travel guides because I will never recommend something if I didn’t even enjoy it myself. 🙂 Read on for the best parts of my trip to BC below!


Where to Eat

Maybe I did this whole trip wrong, but I was not impressed by the food in Vancouver. Which means my food recs are gonna be pretty limited people (sorry! #foodieproblems). But real talk, if you loved your food in Van – please leave a comment below because I’m curious and want to know in case I find myself traveling there again!

Breakfast at Chambar 

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This spot is the sister restaurant to Medina, which is known for the best breakfast in Vancouver, but that means it’s less crowded and has the same menu! I had the Gaufre au Saumon, which is basically their take on eggs benedict (and yes there is a waffle involved).

Lunch at Meat & Bread

They were sold out of their famous porchetta sandwich when I got there (:() but rumor has it that sandwich is pretty freakin’ unbelievable good. (Next time, I guess.) So, I had the Meatball since I was very hangry at that point from the train ride, which was still pretty quality.

Dinner at Seasons in the Park

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Photo by Sequoia Company

If you want your staple fancy dinner with a view, this place if your jam. Nestled in Queen Elizabeth Park, you can see the wholllllle skyline of Van while surrounded by stunning greenery and mountains.

Coffee at Revolver or Smart Mouth Coffee

While Revolver is pretty infamous for their espresso flights (yes, that’s a real thing), it can get pretty crowded during the day. I would still recommend checking it out at some point though! As for Smart Mouth, I stumbled upon this coffee shop in Gastown during my quest to find a place to work for a few hours and fell in love. Their Nutella Latte is a MUST have!


What To Do

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

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You can find this suspension bridge in North Vancouver, where pretty much everything is named “Capilano”. The plus about Capilano over the other suspension bridges is that there’s a free shuttle that runs from downtown to the park and back, making it a breeze to get there. The park is stunning (even on a rainy day) and so much fun to just walk around and explore!

Walk around Gastown

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Gastown is the historic part of Van, filled with bars, restaurants, and shops. It’s a great place to wander around for a few hours one day. If you’re looking for some shopping while you’re in town, be sure to check out Kit & Ace and Oak + Fort. Kit & Ace is a technical cashmere store, basically meaning everything you try on feels absolutely amazing! I also wanted to (and still may) buy all of Oak + Fort’s fall collection because it was freakin’ beautiful and affordable!

Granville Public Market

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If you can’t decide what to eat or just want to spend a couple hours wandering around, make your way over to Granville Island. There you will find a huge public market, breweries, art galleries, and shops. And while you’re there, be sure to check out Make. It was such a fun little store to explore and they made the most BOMB shirt for me!

Bike around Stanley Park 

Since the weather was absolutely terrible while we were in town because of the smoke from the fires and then the much needed rain, we never made it to Stanley Park (I know, I know…). But everyone (literally, everyone we talked to) in Van called this the gem of their city. So don’t make the same mistake we did and put it on your to-do list regardless of weather!


The Day Trip to Victoria

Like I said at the beginning of this post, I freakin’ loved our trip to Victoria (probably more than the rest of our time in Vancouver, combined). If I could go back and do it all over again, I would have gone from Seattle to Victoria to Vancouver by ferry and taken the train back to Seattle to end it all. Regardless, while you’re in Victoria be sure to check out…

The Local

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This was hands down the BEST place we ate on our trip. The patio at the Local is stunning (I’m talking like flowers galore) and their Fish & Chips are the best I’ve had since my trip to Scotland. Also, they make a killer cup of Pimm’s!

The Parliament Building

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This was the part of Canada that brought me back to my European adventures! While we just walked around the property to take some pictures, you history buffs can learn more about British Columbia inside. Also, meet the one & only Cheryl, people. (For real y’all, my mom is the BOMB!)

Fan Tan Alley in Chinatown

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Fan Tan is the narrowest street in the world (we’re talking less than feet wide). Apart from taking your pictures while you experience a mild case of claustrophobia, be sure to check out some of the shops inside the alley as well!

The Empress Hotel

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Apparently I have endless curiosity for famous hotels even though I don’t like staying in them. If you have more time, I recommend checking out their high tea. The Empress serves over 500,000 cups of tea each year!

Butchart Gardens

And last, but certainly not least, do NOT miss a trip here. Like you guys, I’m not even going to write words. You can just scroll through the photos below.

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Overall, I’m glad I went ahead and knocked BC off the bucket list with my mom. As far as trips to Canada go, next on my list will be Banff! (#basic, I know…but it looks like a dream.)

xo

7 thoughts on “Vancouver & Victoria, BC Travel Guide

    1. Victoria – we ended up doing a day tour, so we had transportation during that. Vancouver – we mostly walked! We took the occasional taxi if needed (they don’t have Uber or Lyft), but they do have a bomb metro system if you plan on going all over. It’s a pretty walk-able city overall though!

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    1. We ended up doing Landsea and LOVED IT. 10/10 would recommend using them if you decide to do it! Much smaller group and ends up saving you money between transportation and admission to the gardens if you get it on TripAdvisor/Viator.

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