Yesterday I was in Vancouver, visiting Marina (that same BFF from my Central America trip), and it was – surprise surprise – raining. (If you ever want to pretend you know about Canada’s famous city in the Pacific coast, just go with ‘yeah, it rains a lot there’)
Well, but coming from Toronto and its crappy extra cold temperatures, I loved the weather. It was only 7oC, and with their typical constant drizzlingly rain, but that didn’t stop us from doing one of our favorite things: walk around and enjoy the day.
With a good amount of exercising and delicious amounts of food, this is my suggestion for a lovely misty day in Vancouver:
09:00 – Have a big breakfast. You’ll need fuel for the morning walk! We had it at home, but if you’re looking for suggestions and you’re near Kitsilano, I highly recommend Sophie’s Cosmic Cafe on W 4th Ave. It has a fun vibe and good food.
10:00 – Drive/cab (no Ubers in Vancouver!) to Capilano River Regional Park in North Vancouver. There’s a free parking lot near the Capilano Heights Chinese Restaurant.
When I saw the park, I was frustrated: how come I haven’t been here yet? This was at least my 5th time in the city, but just now I got to know this little piece of paradise.
You might see Capilano Suspension Bridge as a recommended tourist attraction on trip advisors around the web, but perhaps people are missing out not knowing that just going to the park is free and it is absolutely beautiful. Marina apologized that it was raining (because it was her fault), but I honestly feel that the mist made our walk in the park even better. The wet deep-green vegetation came alive, in perfect harmony with the many waterfalls we encountered along the way. The cold damp air gave us the fresh nature connection we were looking for.
Useful fashion hint: I wore jogging pants, running shoes, a long sleeve shirt, a hoodie and a rain jacket and didn’t feel cold.
We walked for two hours, saying the polite ‘hello’ to runners and dog walkers we met along the way. Although we didn’t follow any specific directions, we were always on one of the three paths. We got lost a bit, but nothing scary (it is Canada, after all). When we decided to leave, we easily found our way back to the car.
13:00 – To warm up, drive to West Vancouver’s Savary Island Pie. What a treat! The place smells like baked goods and coffee. We got cappuccinos and a table at the window, and chatted more while people watching and snacking on a huge orange-pecan-cranberry muffin.
Another couple of hours went by while we recovered those calories lost in the woods.
17:00 – After a hot shower and a short rest, head to visitors’ favorite Granville Island and visit the quirk shops before closing. (Make is my favorite, with fun gifts and make your own crafts).
In the food market, I couldn’t help myself and got some favorites to-go: cheese and ham at Oyama Sausage and a little box of chocolates from ChocolaTas.
19:00 – Wrap up your great winter-rainy day in Vancouver with another locals’ favorite: dinner at East is East, an Afghan-Indian inspired restaurant where we had vegetarian roti while sitting in a room where walls are made of Himalayan salt bricks. They also do an all-you-can-eat ‘feast’ menu if you are really hungry, and there’s live music most nights, with a humble $3 overcharge.
21:00 – (my night had to end at the airport, as I was flying back home, but if it didn’t…) Go bar hopping in Gastown. After all, a cold beer never feels that cold if it’s already cold outside.
VanCity might be the best domestic trip option if you are tired of winter hibernation (or if you are connecting to Hawaii 😉