Hey guys! I know it’s taken me a while (aka over a month) but I’m here to share with you my Vancouver and Whistler trip details! I’m going to break down all the places I stayed, visited and ate and let you know if it was worth it or not. If you’re more of a visual learner, check out my Vancouver & Whistler vlog! Now let’s get into it.
On the first day of my trip, I flew in. I didn’t want to take a full day off work, so instead, I took a 7 PM flight. I just left work a few hours early and then flew from Toronto to Vancouver. I think this is also a great option because I arrived at 9 PM Vancouver time. If you’re a night owl this means you can still go out. If you’re like me and struggle with time zone changes, this is perfect because I got in at a great time to just have a quiet night in but be ready for the next day.
Just wanted to note here that I stayed with my friend so I don’t have any Vancouver accommodation recommendations.
I got very lucky weather-wise while I was in Vancouver and only had two days of rain. Unfortunately one of those two days was the first one. Since I was struggling with the time change and it was the beginning of my trip, my friend and I decided to have a lazy morning.
Our first stop idea was to go to Science World. Learn from my mistake and book in advance. We arrived thinking we could get tickets the day of to find out they were sold out.
Since we were downtown, I suggested we checked out the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Gardens since it wasn’t far from Science World. I had read decent reviews online, with everyone saying just go to the free section. Well, we show up and turns out the free section was closed due to COVID-19. We decided to pay the $16 admission and were disappointed. The gardens aren’t very large and the information given during the tour wasn’t very accurate. If the free section opens up again I recommend checking that out, but otherwise, I would skip the Chinese Gardens.
For dinner, we went to Phnom Penh and it was fantastic. They serve Cambodian and Vietnamese food, and everything looked so delicious. Just a tip: we went at 4:00 PM on a Saturday and had to wait over half an hour for a table. So be mindful that the restaurant is busy and I can only assume during peak time there would be a long wait. But it’s worth it!
After dinner, we did a little window shopping and stopped by this store called The Nooks. It’s a space for small businesses to sell their goods. They have a bunch of locations in Ontario and BC, we stopped by the Gastown location. I got an Aries zodiac necklace from the brand Sol & Luna and I’m in love with it. I think it’s great to shop and support small businesses when travelling!
On Sunday, we decided to take a stroll over to Granville Island Public Market. We first stopped at A La Mode to get some lunch. I had a croissant sandwich and my friend had one of their pies. We spent some time walking around all the cute little shops. It was a beautiful day so there were some buskers out as well. Before we left we grabbed some coffee at Blue Parrot and some fresh pain au chocolate at A Bread Affair.
We then took a False Creek Ferry across to Aquatic Centre Dock. We were then able to walk over to Sunset Beach, English Bay and then Stanely Park. At the time that I went parts of the Seawall were closed, but we were able to cut through the middle of the park. If you want an easy stroll I would recommend sticking to the Seawall, as the middle of the park does get a little hillier. I also recommend going up to Prospect Point and going under the Lions Gate Bridge. Both offer beautiful views.
I was there on Family Day, which meant that my friend had the Monday off! To start the day we went to Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. This was easily one of my favourite things I did while I was there. The main attraction is the suspension bridge but they have all these walking paths along with treehouses that you can walk around. If you don’t like heights you might not enjoy the park, but I loved it! During big holidays (such as Christmas and Valentine’s Day) they will have light installations you can visit at night. I would recommend going during the day to see all the nature. Another tip is that there is a free shuttle that will take you from downtown to the park!
One of my favourite ways to spend an afternoon is to go to high tea so I knew I wanted to go to one in Vancouver. We went to Adonia Tea House and it was divine. We picked Adonia because it offered a mini afternoon tea, which allowed us to sample the quality of the place. But the food was so good that I would recommend getting the full afternoon tea. Their tea selection was amazing. It happened to be sunny when we went, but this would be a great way to spend a rainy afternoon since we were there for around two hours.
We finished off the day by walking down to Kitsilano Beach at sunset, which was gorgeous. The views of the ocean and city at sunset are breathtaking.
On Tuesday my friend worked so I had a lazy day. After she was done, we headed over to the Vancouver Art Gallery. On Tuesdays admission is by donation, so we didn’t have to pay full price! I’m glad we didn’t pay full price because one of the floors was closed and the other had a huge line, so we only saw two out of the four installations. If you’re looking for a rainy day activity I would recommend stopping by.
For dinner, we were joined by my friend’s housemates at Trattoria Kitsilano. On Tuesdays, they do $16 plates of pasta and omg their pasta was amazing. We all sampled everyone’s food and there wasn’t one bad dish. If you’re looking for good Italian food in Vancouver I would recommend it.
My friend was working again so I had another lazy morning. I did stop by a little coffee shop called Their There. I had their chai tea latte and it was delicious. The coffee shop has a gift shop section and just has some great vibes – a very Instagrammable place (if that’s important to you).
In the evening we took a bus up to Whistler. We used two different bus companies because we couldn’t get the times we wanted at one company. We used Epic Rides and Skylynx and I would say that both bus companies were comparable.
We had decided to book an Airbnb for our stay. We were silly and didn’t realize we had booked a studio but it served the purpose for us as a place to sleep. It was on the more affordable side, especially considering it had a hot tub and pool. But it was located in Creekside, so we had to get a taxi (no Uber in Whistler) every time we wanted to go to the Whistler Village.
Honestly, I would consider getting a hotel next time I go to Whistler. It would be easier to just get an included breakfast instead of trying to cook our own. Plus we had to pay for locker storage which usually comes free with hotels. And I think we probably would have paid the same amount for a hotel compared to our Airbnb, so just something to consider if you’re looking to stay in Whistler.
For dinner that night we went to Beacon Pub & Eatery in Whistler. We had issues getting seated at a few places so we settled for Beacon and it was alright. They have a great patio so it would be great for apres ski but not the best dinner menu.
Thursday was our full day at Whistler. I had decided to rent my skis instead of flying with them. There are a ton of different options to rent skis but I went with Whistler Blackcomb’s ski rentals. They have many locations and I was able to pick mine up right at the Creekside location. The customer service was great as well. My boots were too small on the first day so I went back and I was to exchange them for a new pair with no problem. They might not be the cheapest but the convenience and customer service are worth the higher price tag.
On the first day, we skied Blackcomb which I preferred over Whistler. Just based on my skiing ability and the conditions at the time, I found Blackcomb to be better. But if you’re going for more than one day I recommend skiing on both hills.
In the evening we went to Mongolie Grill. This place was delicious. It’s a build-your-own stirfry restaurant where you select your proteins, vegetables and sauce and they cook it in front of you. Pro-tip: rice comes for free, so skip the noodles since they weigh more and will increase your bill. We did have to wait a while for a table but it was worth it!
Friday was our second day of skiing. We did Whistler, which I mentioned above I didn’t like as much. We checked out of our Airbnb and took the bus back.
For dinner, we got takeout sushi from Sushi Flamingo. It’s in a weird location but the sushi is incredible. It’s some of the freshest sushi I’ve ever had. It’s also super affordable. I’m unsure if sushi is just more expensive in Ontario or this place is cheap but either way, I was very impressed. A great casual sushi place.
For my final full day, my friend and I decided to get our second ear lobe piercings! I won’t be tagging the place because I felt it was very overpriced and therefore wouldn’t recommend the studio. But it was something I had been wanting to get for a while so I’m glad I got it done. Side note, I’m planning on doing a piercing and tattoo Q+A soon since I also got a new tattoo recently, so stay tuned for that.
Since it was raining we decided to do an early dinner and went to Jinya Ramen Bar. Man, it was some of the best ramen I’ve ever had. We went there at 4 PM and the place was packed. My friend had the Tonkotsu Black Ramen. There was a special when I was there so I was able to get a Chicken Karaage Ramen. My friend had been to quite a few ramen places in Vancouver and she said this was her favourite.
I spent my final day travelling. My flight was at noon so I had some time in the morning to finish packing and get breakfast before heading to the airport. I landed around 7 PM in Toronto. I probably could have gotten a later flight but I wanted some time to decompress and see my family before having to go back to work the next week. Honestly, I kind of wish I had taken one more day off or at least a half-day because the jet lag was awful the next day. Something I will consider next time I travel.
And that was my trip to Vancouver and Whistler! If you have any questions about my trip please let me know in the comments. I’m planning to go back in the summer, so if you have more recommendations let me know in the comments!