Vancouver is a destination, not just a stop over

For many Vancouver is just a night before embarking on Alaskan cruise or rail across the Canadian Rockies, and that really is missing out on an incredible destination. Our flight arrived at 12:34pm and with only carry on luggage, we made it through customs, immigrations and transfer to Fairmont Waterfront by 1:40pm. Amazing though it in low season, late April. 
Vancouver Stanley Park
We stayted at The Fairmont Waterfront, but the  Fairmont Pacific and the Pan Pacific are literally 5 minutes walking distance to the cruise terminal and to the historic Gastown.   We had pre-booked the Taste of Vancouver Food Tour which started  at the 1st International Starbucks coffee house. It was a fabulous way to explore Gastown, Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood, and enjoy lunch. 7 amazing tastings, 3 alcoholic beverage tastings, delicious desserts & 2.5 hours of fun! Tastings from Japanese  and Italian  to the local craft beer and organic ice cream . The guide shared fascinating and funny little-known stories about Vancouver and its “Wild West” history that dates back 150 years.
Saturday we had a incredible Sea to Mountain day! What diversity, to start in downtown Vancouver, a cosmopolitan city to lunch at Grouse Mountain still covered in snow. Along the way, we….
  • Took a glass elevator up 500 feet to enjoy a 360° view that includes Stanley Park, historic Gastown, the Northshore mountains and the vibrant downtown core. 
  • Then onto Stanley Park with stops at Prospect Point & Totem Poles . Though I wish I had time to go back to the park to enjoy by e-bike or horse drawn carriage to enjoy so many other amenities in the 1,000-acre urban park.
  • Then just a short 1/2 hour drive away but a world away in terms of of natural beauty. We crossed the legendary Capilano Suspension Bridge, then walked the Cliffwalk. A thrilling beautiful walk along the granite walls with the river rushing by below. Educational signage throughout just added to the walk.
  • And then after Skyride Gondola to top of Grouse Mountain, where we enjoyed a tasty lunch at the Altitude Restaurant.Vancouver
And finally on our last day, not a planned but a great excursion a completely different culinary experience ,A Wok Around Chinatown.
It worked perfect because two of the places we wanted to visit were included.
  • Dr. Sun Yat Sen Classical Chinese Garden, an incredible garden oasis in the middle of a bustling downtown
  • Chinese Storytelling Centre: Artifacts, photos, and recordings from the 1880s to present day of the Chinese experience in Vancouver. Today there are over 750,000 people of Chinese descent living in Vancouver.
  • The food tastings were abundant and diverse from crispy skin ducks, barbequed meats, live seafood, delicate pastries, teas and dim sum. We even learned how to make tea using a small clay pot, rinsing leaves, warming tea cups and only steeping for 10 seconds -guess I’ve doing wrong for awhile .:)Gardens - Vancouver
    An incredible 2 and 1/2 day in Vancouver, and it that was only the tip of the iceberg. Other activities, we didn’t have time for include:  Fly Over Vancouver, Whistler, BC Wine Country &  Granville Island.  And of course, there is always the Hop On & Off that includes Sightseeing at Stanley Park - VancouverYaletownGastown, and Granville Island
    Honestly, I believe everyone should really consider a minimum of 3 nights in Vancouver.Stanley Park Totem Poles