A Long Weekend in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Long Weekend in Vancouver, BC

At the end of February Ben and I hit the road for a weekend in Vancouver, BC. It’s become one of our favorite cities to visit, and there’s something about crossing an international border that makes it really feel like a getaway. (I do always triple-check that I have my passport with me in the car.)  

Vancouver is about three hours from Seattle, though the time to drive up there can fluctuate depending on how long the wait time is at the border. We got lucky on this trip and breezed through the border crossing both coming and going.

We stayed at the West End Guest House, which was cozy and inviting, and in an extremely walkable neighborhood. We left our car parked the whole weekend. The traditional “bed and breakfast” style that includes conversation over breakfast with strangers is not totally within my comfort zone, but in my experience it’s always worth it for the interesting people you meet. The West End Guest House’s breakfasts were amazing too…I’d talk to strangers any day to eat breakfast there again 🙂

Ben and I have been to Vancouver three other times, and we keep saying “we should come back and do ____.” This trip we decided to do all those things. We went to a hockey game–my first time at a hockey game ever–explored the Granville Island Public Market, went showshoeing, and visited the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park. The weather all weekend was perfect.

We got to Granville Island on tiny little ferries that probably fit 15 people max. (Ferry info here.) That may have been my favorite part of the trip, or a close second to snowshoeing. The market went on forever and we easily could’ve spent a whole day there exploring and eating.

The Capilano Suspension Bridge Park does have an admission fee, but it’s worth it. The bridge is so high and the trees surrounding you are enormous. The bridge shook as we walked across it a bit more than I expected but I felt confident it was sturdy so I wasn’t too freaked out about it. The park also has a “treetop walk” with a series of small bridges high up in the trees, and a “cliff walk” which is a very tiny pathway along the edge of the cliff. Some of the cliff walk is glass-bottomed so you can look down into the valley. The whole park made me feel so tiny.

We rode a free shuttle to the park from downtown Vancouver and back, which was very easy. I also used a AAA discount for a tiny bit off of the ticket price.

We chose to snowshoe at Dog Mountain, which I found by googling “snowshoeing near Vancouver BC” on the morning we decided to go. Our original plan had been to leave Vancouver and go snowshoeing at a spot we like in Washington state on the way home, but the weather in the spot we had in mind was iffy, so we quickly made a plan B. (As I already mentioned, the weather in Vancouver was perfect all weekend.)

I’m still amazed our snowshoe adventure worked out. After getting some Canadian cash, we drove to a shopping center and caught a shuttle to the Mount Seymour Provincial Park ski area, which we learned about here, and then we followed instructions on this blog post to find the entrance to the Dog Mountain trail. The snowshoeing wasn’t too difficult, especially since the trail was well packed. In fact, I saw several people in regular hiking boots making it along without too much trouble. The views of downtown Vancouver at the top of Dog Mountain were gorgeous.

We ate chili and poutine in the ski cafeteria when we finished showshoeing and then caught the shuttle down the mountain and headed back to Seattle!

Pretty much a perfect weekend, eh?

I’m usually a slow poke about blogging so, as always, see more photos in real time on instagram @elizabeth_blanton.

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