My Recent Trip to Vancouver, B.C.


This blog post will be a little bit different than past posts. I am writing about my own experience on a recent family trip to Vancouver. I’ve been to Vancouver many times before both for personal and business purposes. This trip was motivated by the fact that our eldest daughter moved to BC for school two years ago and due to the pandemic, it was very difficult to travel to see her until now.

Having said that, we had previously visited many of the usual tourist attractions that Vancouver has to offer. These attractions include Grouse Mountain, Capilano Suspension Bridge, Gastown and a trip up to Whistler. Indeed, these attractions should not be missed. However, we had precious little time due to familial obligations on this journey so we were limited to the activities that follow.

The Hyatt Regency Hotel

We had the pleasure of spending several nights during our stay at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. This hotel was elegant and modern with a conveniently central downtown Vancouver location. Due to our World of Hyatt Membership privileges we were provided with an upgraded room on the 31st floor which included delicious daily buffet breakfast at the Mosaic Grille and Bar. The buffet featured fresh fruit, smoked salmon, an omelette station, bacon, sausages, breakfast potatoes, assorted pastries, juices and coffee. A delicious way to start the day.

hyatt room
Room at the Hyatt Regency

The hotel had all the amenities you would expect from a Hyatt hotel such as a pool, hot tub and workout facility. Also convenient is a Starbucks location in the hotel lobby. I would highly recommend the Hyatt Regency to anyone looking for an excellent hotel while in Vancouver. Contact Nova Travel to make your reservation by clicking here.

Vancouver Aquarium

Being situated in the Pacific Northwest and on the Pacific Ocean means Vancouver has a strong connection to Marine life. The Vancouver Aquarium is a remarkable homage to that Pacific heritage. Situated within Stanley Park, this aquarium rivals the finest in the world such as California’s Monterey Bay Aquarium.

The aquarium is well laid out with numerous displays and animal showcases It is a very informative exhibition and is very well suited for families including children of all ages. There are interactive experiences, dining options and a well-stocked gift shop. We enjoyed the roaring Sea Lions, the peculiar little African Penguins and the playful Sea Otters.

Granville Island

granville island market
Granville Island Market

One of the most popular spots to visit is Granville Island. This unique urban waterfront development is famous for its public market and hundreds of businesses including artists, designers and numerous culinary treats. The site hosts numerous festivals and attracts artists from all over the world to perform and display their creative talents.

The Public Market is open daily from 9 AM to 6 PM and showcases the talents of sculptors, artists, painters and local as well as imported foods.

We dined at the Vancouver Seafood Company and enjoyed a delightful meal at a restaurant with a very cozy ambience.

crab dinner
Looks good doesn’t it?

Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge

Lynn Canyon Park is home to this popular suspension bridge. It towers 160ft over the Lynn Canyon. It is a great place for a picnic lunch after a peasant hike through one of the numerous trails. Perhaps you can stroll across a waterfall or swimming hole for a refreshing swim.

Lynn Canyon Park is a public space and therefore there is no admission fee. However, there are fees for parking on site. It is well worth the small parking fee to spend some time at the Ecology Centre here and roam the lush forest of Lynn Canyon.

lynn canyon
A real swingin time!

Lonsdale Quay

One afternoon we embarked on a little journey across the Burrard Inlet over to Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver. It was a warm summer afternoon and the trip on the Seabus was a perfect blend of a serene water crossing and a refreshing sea breeze. The following video shows just how lovely, accessible and popular this convenient destination is. We stopped for lunch and sat on the outdoor patio at the Tap and Barrel with a spectacular view of the water.

The Seabus terminal to cross over to Lonsdale Quay is located adjacent to the Cruise Ship Terminal. Notice on the video as the Seabus passes the Princess Royal cruise ship likely headed for her next journey to Alaska. If you are interested in more information about an Alaskan Cruise call Nova Travel anytime.


picturesque gardens at UBC

A must for us on this trip to the West Coast was a tour of the University of British Columbia (UBC). Our eldest daughter is currently enrolled in her Masters of Landscape Architecture here at UBC. Shameless plug!

The Campus is at least worth a drive-through even if you or your family members are not interested in attending this fine institution. The grounds are fresh and beautiful.

ubc arial

VanDusen Botanical Garden

Situated in the middle of the Shaughnessy neighbourhood of Vancouver is the picturesque VanDusen Botanical Garden. The garden is a wonderous display of plants and flowers right in the middle of the city. An Elizabethan-style maze, a stone garden and a Scottish shelter dot the landscape as do birds, bees and other wildlife. There is also an observation terrace and a small restaurant for a light meal or refreshing drink.

botanical garden
VanDusen Botanical Garden

Earnest Ice Cream

I scream – you scream – we all scream

If you like ice cream (and who doesn’t?), head over to one of Earnest Ice Cream’s 4 locations across Vancouver. Their ice cream is locally produced with local fresh and seasonal ingredients. Quality is Ernest’s top priority and it is shown in their delicious products. Innovative flavours can be found alongside more traditional flavours and they even produce vegan selections.

I enjoyed a double scoop coupling Salted Caramel with Whiskey Hazelnut. The combination was rich and creamy with delightful flavours. Highly recommended. Thanks, life coach Lisa, for the enthusiastic flavour recommendation.

Kitsilano Beach – Boathouse Restaurant

If like me, you have spent your life in a landlocked city, the idea of the beach inside the city would seem strange. Kitsilano Beach is one of several beached found throughout Vancouver and these beaches are well used by the city residents. Kits Beach is loaded with amenities such as Volleyball, Basketball and Tennis courts as well as a pool, concessions, washrooms, playgrounds and the famous Vancouver Seawall. Lifeguards are on duty from late May to early September.

We stopped in at The Boathouse Restaurant for light lunch with the whole family. Their Social Plates (shareable appetizers) were perfect for the occasion. Spend some time relaxing at Kits Beach – you will be glad you did,

kitsilano beach
The sun, the sea and the mountains

Cactus Club Cafe

And now a final shameless plug!

During our trip to Vancouver, we were lucky enough to spend a few meals under the guidance of my brother Jeffrey, who is the general manager of the Cactus Club Cafe at Broadway and Ash. This restaurant location is but one of the over 25 locations across Canada. Cactus Club has developed a strong reputation for developing modern Canadian cuisine with socially responsible sourced ingredients. The club features friendly staff, well-trained cooks and reasonable pricing.

If you are looking for a tasty meal in a friendly and comfortable restaurant, you would be well served by visiting one of the many Cactus Club Cafes across Canada. Stop into the Broadway and Ash location when visiting Vancouver. Tell Jeffrey Nova Travel sent you.

cactus club cafe
A meal fit for a king!

Vancouver, British Columbia is one of the prettiest cities in Canada. It is also one of the most expensive cities in the world so be ready to spend, spend, spend! There is a price to pay for the spectacular scenery, ethnic diversity, and year-round mild temperatures. But in my opinion, it is well worth the price.

Click here to read our other helpful blog posts: The Nova Travel Blog Pages


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