VANCOUVER

Posted on 12 December 2016

MY FAVOURITE THINGS: VANCOUVER

On our recent trip to Canada we spent several days discovering Vancouver. WOW! This city is full of surprises. This being our first trip we were discovering amazing things to do each day.

The Vibe: Vancouver is vibrant, offering many great outdoor activities with a fabulous food scene.

Source: Barry Calhoun Photography

EAT:

Medina Café was certainly a fabulous find during our stay in Vancouver. Located literally adjacent to our Hotel L’Hermitage. This venue was a favourite with the locals with a line up down the street each morning awaiting there morning fix of coffee and the cities best Belgian Waffles. We can confirm the most amazing waffles we have ever tasted. The Medina Café has become an institution for brunch in Vancouver offering Mediterranean inspired cuisine. For more information visit www.medinacafe.com

Source: Issha Marie                                                                                       Belgian Waffles

Source: Issha Marie                                                                              Paella

Onion Rings – the size of a cinnamon donut

Joe Fortes Seafood and Chop House, this restaurant has an incredible buzz from the moment you enter the front doors. With people lining up every evening awaiting a table to become available. We certainly over ordered ‘eyes too big for the belly’ so the old saying goes. Unfortunately we tend to do this when we are on holidays as we just want to sample everything that is on the menu. And as this restaurant came highly recommended we did not want to leave any corner unturned in the menu department. Joe Fortes is regarded as one of Vancouvers best restaurants having maintained an incredible reputation for 30years. As you step inside this restaurant you a greeted with a warm welcome with live music playing in the background, offering an incredible warm ambience. The menu specializing in classic American Cuisine. Sourcing ingredients from Pacific Northwest farmers, fisherman and food artisans. With an extensive menu, full of beautiful seafood and succulent meat dishes, your tastebuds are in for a treat. For more information visit www.joefortes.ca

PLAY:

BC Place Stadium – Watching the Vancouver Whitecaps Play Orland Soccer

We bought tickets to see the Vancouver Whitecaps Soccer Team play Orlando, we only had to walk a few blocks from the hotel which made for an easy trip to a sold out arena. The atmosphere was electric. The fans are so patriotic, we could not help but get into the swing of it all and cheer on the WHITECAPS. We were all on a complete buzz all evening.

The BC Place Stadium is located on the south-eastern side of downtown Vancouver almost on the shore of False Creek.

BC Place Stadium

A Picasso Exhibition was on display at the Vancouver Art Gallery. My husband and I did not anticipate either of our children to be so co-operative on this excursion. They both actually surprised us. Both the children were intrigued by Picassos works and remained captivated throughout the exhibit. They both found their inner Picasso inspiration later that evening and were drawing Picasso inspired masterpieces

Vancouver Art Gallery

Vancouver Art Gallery

The next day we were up bright and early to hopefully see some of Canadas amazing marine life in their natural habitat. We had booked a half day trip with PRINCE OF WHALES Whale Watching tours, www.princeofwhales.com  . We had breakfast at the hotel, and the hotel then arranged for us to be driven down to the bay to check in for our day out on the high seas.

Source: Prince of Whales

Source: Mark Malleson

The whale tour that we did with PRINCE of WHALES Whale Watching tours was a true highlight of our trip to Vancouver. What we loved about this tour is how professionally run it was. The crew were so well versed in their knowledge of these incredible species. We were fortunate enough to site several Orca Whales. What we really loved about this tour is that rather than seeing a sighting and moving on to find something else we remained at a distance observing these beautiful creatures for quite some time. As a family this was a truly magical and memorable experience. I cannot recommend enough a PRINCE of WHALES Whale Watching tour. Visit www.princeofwhales.com

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Capilano Suspension Bridge

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is just gorgeous. The Capilano Suspension Bridge is 450ft (137m) long and 230ft (70m) high. The view is just breathtaking. Very much worth the visit.

There is also the cliff walk which follows a granite precipice along Capilano River, walking along a series of narrow bridges, stairs and platforms through the rainforest vegetation. There is also interactive exhibits educating the need for water conservation.

Cliff Walk

Tree tops Adventure takes visitors 100 feet into the mid-story of a coastal rainforest on seven suspension bridges attached to old growth trees, this is open to visitors aged 2-92. There is also Nature Guides on hand providing tours each hour, explaining the importance of the West Coast temperate rainforest to the ecosystem.

Vancouver Aquarium

The Vancouver Aquarium is located in Stanley Park, this was another fabulous family day out. So many wonderful exhibits and shows to see. We were fortunate enough to watch a film narrated by David Attenborough this was a 4-D experience, we were all captivated from the moment the short film began. Fantastic. Be sure to check the website prior to visiting to see what films are scheduled for viewing.

We were all in awe of the Jelly Fish exhibits, and my daughter could not get over the fact the Lion Jelly Fish tentacles can grow as long as an Olympic sized swimming pool. For more information visit www.vanaqua.org

Fly Over Canada

The Fly Over Canada ride is located at Canada Place this is the ultimate flying ride, get ready for take-off, enjoy this 8 minute flight across Canada from east to west. The special effects, including wind and mist combined with the rides motion is a magnificent experience. This is certainly a must do to put on your list. For more information on this amazing experience visit www.flyovercanada.com

STAY:

We stayed at a boutique hotel called L’HERMITAGE. L’HERMITAGE hotel has 60 rooms comprising of traditional hotel rooms and suites as well as one and two bedroom homes complete with fully equipped kitchens. We opted for a one bedroom den suite. This was very comfortable for the four of us. A supermarket was only one minute walk away which was great to ensure we had all of our must have provisions. L’HERMITAGE is only a half block from Robson Street shopping, a five minute walk to Vancouver Art Gallery and a five minute walk to BC Place stadium. This made for a perfect stay for our family.

The hotel even offers a complimentary Lexus shuttle service within the CBD. Most evenings the hotel car drove us to our chosen restaurant and we would enjoy the stroll back to the hotel with ice creams in hand. The things we really loved about this hotel, was its proximity to everything, the size of the hotel, being only 60 rooms you always felt as though you were the only ones staying and the service was so personable and exceptional. This particular hotel suited our needs perfectly and would not hesitate to stay here again. For more information Visit www.lhermitagevancouver.com

Vancouver has an abundance of accommodation types to suit all budgets and needs, there is certain to be something that will please.

Final Note – Vancouver is an amazing city, that we thoroughly enjoyed discovering. Our short stay was not long enough to discover all of the wonderful things that this city has to offer. This is certainly a wonderful destination to discover as a family, offering so much diversity. Looking forward to returning.

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