Guest post by phreedom33
Map tips: each color represents a different day. Click a marker to learn more about the spot, and click the star in the map header to save the entire map under Your Places in Google Maps.
- Stanley Park
- Totem Poles
- Vancouver Seawall
It’s about a 45-minute drive from the airport to downtown. We stayed at the Fairmont Waterfront, right by the convention center. They have bikes you can rent for free, so we went to Stanley Park. It’s basically an island that connects downtown to North Vancouver. The Totem Poles and Seawall are within the park, and you could spend all day here. There are sea planes right beside the hotel, too, which were neat to see.
Day 2: Grouse Mountain
Drove about 30 minutes to Grouse Mountain, which overlooks all of Vancouver. You can either take the tram or 1 of 2 trails. The Grouse Grind is just under 2 miles one-way with 2,800 ft of elevation gain and almost 3,000 stairs. It’s very popular and challenging. It was closed, so we took the other trail, called the BCMC trail. It adds 1 mile each way but is more natural and we liked it a lot.
We ate lunch at the top. There’s a lot of other things to do including a wildlife refuge and ziplining. We took the tram back down.
Day 3: Whistler
Took the Sea to Sky Highway (BC-99) up to Whistler, which is about a 2 hour drive. We went to the Scandinave Spa and spent time in the hut, then the cold pools, then the sauna. Beautiful setting, but definitely more touristy.
Day 4: Downtown Vancouver
We spent the day walking around downtown shopping.
Day 5: Stawamus Chief and Shannon Falls
We were going to book a fishing charter this day but there was no availability. Friends did it and loved it, so I’d recommend booking in advance if it’s something you want to do.
We decided to drive an hour north (again taking the Sea to Sky Highway – breathtaking) to hike Stawamus Chief. Just under 4 miles RT and there are chains and ladders at the top so make sure you’re comfortable with that. The top is all flat, could be slippery and scary if wet. About the same elevation gain as Grouse – thought the view here was better but Grouse was more challenging.
There’s a short trail nearby to Shannon Falls (< 1/2 mile RT), which is worth it if you’re in the area.
Day 6: Granville Island
We took a 15-minute Uber ride to Granville Island, which I highly recommend. There’s shopping, restaurants (big destination for foodies), public market, souvenirs, live music, breweries, and crafts. You can rent kayaks but there’s so much to see just walking around. Very enjoyable day.
We’d love to go back to Vancouver, there is so much to do. We considered taking a sea plane tour but decided to save the money. You can do a 20 minute ride or book a full day to Victoria.
In June it was a little bit chilly, the start of the hiking season. It was overcast every day but cleared up most days by 10 or 11.
Traveled in June 2018