11 Essentials for Visiting Our Hometown – A Vancouver Travel Blog

This Vancouver travel blog is your gateway to discovering even more detail on the city we grew up in, including the best neighborhoods to explore and stay in, inside travel tips, unique restaurants, non-touristy things to do, and true must-dos.

Vancouver, Quick and Easy

This Vancouver travel blog gives you a quick and easy understanding of what's where, what's good, and what's special (and not so special) about Vancouver.

That way, you'll be prepared to hit the ground running and make the most of your stay.

As born-and-raised Vancouverites, Kim and I have helped hundreds of visitors discover the city while working in and owning hospitality businesses here and hosting guests in our apartment through Airbnb.

And, when it comes down to it, everyone asks us the same 11 questions.

So we've put together this Vancouver travel guide to answer them for you. Quick and easy.

Vancouver lookout and Gastown's Blood Alley
Two of Vancouver's top tourist attractions in one photo: The Vancouver Lookout and Gastown's Blood Alley. Check out our Where to Stay in Vancouver to see how Gastown ranks among the city's neighborhoods.

1. Why Vancouver?

Hanging out on Jericho Beach
  • Everything's close: Vancouver doesn't have freeways and is surrounded by water and mountains, so it's super compact and walkable / bikeable / busable.
  • Fresh air: Forests, mountains, beaches, and ocean are everywhere.
  • No worries: No matter where you wander you're totally safe, even in our infamous skid-row, the Downtown Eastside (a.k.a. "Shitshow" in the map below).
  • Good for your health: Like in any great beach city (and Vancouver is one) we Vancouverites feel the pressure to have beach bodies. And we have limitless options for doing so. You won't help but be compelled to be more active and eat more healthy than usual.
  • Open-minded: Vancouver's a diverse and accepting place where you'll feel comfortable no matter who you are, what you believe, and how you look.

2. Why NOT Vancouver?

Abandoned building in the gritty Downtown Eastside
Vancouver is far from perfect.
  • Van-boring: Compared to other cities of its size and reputation, there aren't many parties, events, or cultural happenings going on in Vancouver.
  • Van-cliquey: Locals are generally friendly to newcomers, but hard to actually befriend.
  • Rain-couver: If you visit between September and May and don't get any rain, that's probably because it snowed (which is super rare. Lucky you!). It rarely rains hard, but it's always dreary and grey.
  • Van-stolen: You won't get in any trouble unless you really ask for it, but if you leave things lying around they will be stolen. Petty crime is a big problem in Vancouver.
  • It's freaking expensive. Everyone wants a piece of Vancouver, but it's a small place, so prices of everything keep rising and rising.

3. What's Where?

Know the Neighborhoods

Boring But Useful Map of Vancouver's Neighborhoods:

Vancouver neighborhood map
A normal, boring Vancouver neighborhood map (source: Faith Wilson Group)

Entertaining, Un-Politically Correct, But Reasonably Accurate Map of Vancouver's Neighborhoods:

Funny Vancouver neighborhood map
A more, um, descriptive Vancouver neighborhood map. (Source: Unknown)

Geography Crash-Course

Super quick info so you don't get lost:

  • The mountains are north.
  • The airport is south.
  • Downtown and Stanley Park are on a peninsula at the north of the city where 98% of tourists are, so be part of the 2% from time-to-time. 
  • Outside of downtown, numbered streets go east-west and named streets go north-south.
  • East Vancouver (brown areas in the map above) used to be poor. Now it's hipster.
  • West Vancouver (green neighborhoods in map above) was hippy (Kits) and humble (the rest). Now it's too expensive.
  • The West End (downtown neighborhood) is not the same as the West Side (half the city) or West Van (a suburb across Lions Gate Bridge).

For forty of our our top-recommend spots in Vancouver, see our Treasure Map, below.

4. Where's the Best Area to Stay in Vancouver?

Vancouver West End and Sunset Beach viewed from Burrard Bridge
Downtown's West End is our top pick for where to stay in Vancouver.

Our Top Pick

As we write in our post where we rank Vancouver's best neighborhoods across various criteria, the best place to stay in Vancouver is in the West End.

It's a relaxed but densely-populated local area within walking distance of everywhere downtown and close to the SkyTrain to the airport.

Look to stay in the area between Davie, Denman, Robson, and Burrard streets we've zoomed into here:

For a More Unconventional Trip

For a cheaper and less conventional alternative, consider staying near Broadway and Commercial in Vancouver's Eastside.

Commercial Drive is probably the most culturally diverse street in the city. There are restaurants with cuisine from every continent, ethnic food stores, cultural community centers, and a wide-ranging mix of incomes and ages.

Try to stay as close to Broadway (which is 9th avenue) as you can. That way, you'll be right by the SkyTrain, which takes you downtown or the other way to very uncharted tourist waters like Burnaby's Crystal Mall, and the 99 B-Line express bus, which can efficiently take you to Kitsilano and UBC.

Vancouver Neighborhood Guide

Our Where to Stay in Vancouver guide explains our top-recommended neighborhoods (and ones we don't recommend so much), then helps you choose for yourself by scoring each across various categories like fine dining, proximity to attractions, and affordability.

5. What's the Best Way to Get Around Vancouver?

Our Dos and Don'ts for Getting Around Vancouver covers this in full, but here's the short version:

Kim by statue by city hall in Vancouver
Vancouver is very walkable because it's compact, there are no big freeways, and not even that many hills.

How to Get to and from the Airport

Skytrain and plane.
The SkyTrain is a quick and handy way to get to the center of Vancouver from the airport.


If there are there or less of you in your group, take the SkyTrain, Vancouver's subway, from the airport into town.

It'll get you downtown in half an hour, connects with all the city's other transit lines, and costs $9.25 each (the standard $4.25 2-zone fare plus a $5 airport fee).

Hold onto your ticket if you're transferring because you'll need it as proof of purchase.


If there are three or more of you, a taxi can be cheaper than the SkyTrain (though, depending on where you're staying and the time of day you arrive, not always faster).

There are fixed rates (PDF) depending on the area you're going to. For example, it's currently $31 plus tip from the airport to the center of the city.

How to Get Around Town

Arbutus Greenway bike lane with bike-specific traffic signals
As long as the weather's nice, there's no better way to see Vancouver than by bike.

Don't rent a car.

Parking's a huge pain and it's easier, cheaper, and even sometimes faster to get around without one.

Rent a bike if it's nice out.

Vancouver's so bike-friendly that car-lovers are always complaining that bike lanes are taking over the city.

You can't beat 'em, so join 'em.

The cheapest way to do so is to use Vancouver's shared bike system, Mobi, which costs about $10 a day.

For bigger bike rides rent a better bike for $30 to $50 a day. We strongly recommend the route we outline in our post on our favorite 7 Non-Touristy Things to Do in Vancouver,

Also, take public transit (it's safe, clean, and efficient here), walk (the city's compact), and, only when you really have to, use ridesharing (finally allowed in the city as of Jan 2020).

Check out our Dos and Don'ts For Getting Around Vancouver guide for a handful more tips to help you cover more ground in less time and for less money.

6. What Are the Most Popular Things to Do in Vancouver?

Entrance to Granville island
Granville Island, under the Granville Street Bridge, is one of Vancouver's top tourist attractions.

This isn't our person top ten things to do, but no Vancouver travel blog is complete without at least mentioning these.

Here's our honest take on each:

1. Stanley Park

Lots of trees right beside downtown. It's nice to bike around it on the Seawall as long as you avoid the crowds. Head to Lynn Canyon for a more beautiful forest.

2. Granville Island

Fish, arts, crafts, theatre, and markets on an island peninsula under the Granville Street Bridge. Take a little ferry there from downtown.

3. Gastown

Vancouver's "old" town is good place to go for dinner and drinks… and kitschy, overpriced souvenirs. Our Vancouver neighborhoods guide provides a lot more info.

4. Canada Place 

For whatever reason, it's Vancouver's tourism epicenter. Flyover Canada may be overpriced and gimmicky, but it's something to do when the weather's crappy.

5. Museum of Anthropology

Go if you're interested in the British Columbia's Aboriginal culture and history. If you're out that way in the summer, start at Wreck Beach, stop at the museum, then bike back along the beaches (see Vancouver's best bike ride).

6. Capilano Suspension Bridge

Many locals, including Chris, have never been. It's not obligatory for you to spend $50 to go either. Consider Lynn Canyon's suspension bridge as a free alternative.

7. Vancouver Lookout

The needle-topped, space-ship-looking building in Vancouver. Go in March for the Urban Grind. Otherwise go elsewhere—like Grouse, Cypress, or Locarno Beach—for city views.

8. Grouse Mountain

Forest, views, grizzlies, lumberjack shows, hikes. Do hike up in the summer, but instead of the often unpleasantly-busy Grind consider taking the locals' route that we share in our guide to our favorite non-touristy things to do in Vancouver.

9. Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden

It's a nice garden. Give it a quick walk-through if you're in the area, but don't go out of your way to see it.

10. Science World

It's the golf ball-looking structure at the end of False Creek. It's mostly for kids, though once a month they have the adults-only Science World After Dark and every February there's the Science World of Cocktails

7. What Should Visitors REALLY Do in Vancouver?

Doing a group workout at Kits Beach in Vancouver
Join a fitness group in Vancouver to show off your new Lululemon outfit, meet some people, and work up an appetite.

Do these Types of Things

Instead of telling you exactly what to do in Vancouver, here are the types of things you really should do to get a true feel for the city:

1. Experience the Asian side of Vancouver

Vancouver is the most Asian city in the world outside of Asia. Dive into it (and dig into the food).

2. Get into the woods

Go even if it's raining. It's a rain-forest after all.

3. Eat by the sea

There's something about the salt in the air that makes the food taste better. We recommend a couple of places in our Only-in-Vancouver Dining Experiences post.

4. Try some Canadian food

There's no such thing as Canadian cuisine, but there are a few things you should try while in Canada such as poutine, Nanaimo bars, and Caesars.

5. Go to the beach

In the summer this is a no-brainer, but even in the winter, you should go for the views and fresh air. Our guide to Vancouver's beaches will help you find the best one.

6. Get out of downtown

The views are nicer. The people are too. It's cheaper. And who knows what you'll discover.

7. Exercise

Vancouverites famously don't always work hard, but they do work out hard. Join the fun. Yeah, fun. As we wrote in our tips for staying fit while traveling, not only will you feel better but you'll meet some cool people and have some of your favorite travel experiences doing so. Join an outdoor bootcamp, drop in at a yoga studio, go to one of the city's calisthenic parks, or, if you're a bit crazy, try a beach rock workout.

For complete details on all of the above, read our 7 Things Everyone Must Do in Vancouver.

Try these Non-Touristy Things to Do

Whenever friends visit, these are the things we always recommend they do.

Our Non-Touristy Things to Do in Vancouver post has the full details, but if you're lazy or short on time here's the recap:

  1. Have a sunset picnic on the beach
  2. Hike up Grouse Mountain the other way
  3. Go foraging
  4. Play the People’s Golf, frisbee golf and pitch 'n' putt
  5. Laugh with them (or at them) at a comedy club or improv show
  6. Dabble in Vancouver's marijuana culture
  7. Do Vancouver’s BEST bike ride from UBC to downtown

8. Where Are the Best Spots to Eat and Drink?

You'll be as impressed as Kim was by this huge chicken galbi platter at a Korean restaurant on West Robson.

Go to the Dining Districts

When you're hungry, walk along the following streets. You'll be sure to find something to your cravings, whatever they may be.

  • Alexandra Road: An easy SkyTrain ride south to Vancouver's southern suburb of Richmond. You'll be overwhelmed by the 200+ mostly Asian restaurant options.
  • Main Street: Hipster mile. Tons of vegetarian and vegan options and casual spots to "nosh," or whatever they say these days.
  • Commercial Drive: As explained in Where to Stay, it's got options from all corners of the globe.
  • Gastown: Definitely the most popular area of the city for a dinner out, with tons of reasons why.
  • Yaletown: Where the yuppies go to pre-game and spend more than they should.
  • West Robson: Japanese and Korean row. Tons of ramen spots with ever-present lines.
  • West 4th Ave: The birthplace of Lululemon, with plenty of spots that cater to Lululemon-types. Go to Maenam for Thai food.

Try Some Only-in-Vancouver Dining Experiences

There are plenty of hip and/or fancy places that serve "better" food than the following places, but you'll find similar restaurants in any American city.

On the other hand, here some dining experiences you can only enjoy in Vancouver:

  • Snack on unpretentious food while enjoying unbelievable views of the mountains and downtown Vancouver at The Galley Patio and Grill
  • Drink your favorite chocolate bar or fruit in a wild and crazy bubble tea from Bubble Queen
  • Fill yourself up on samples of crazy flavors before settling on one or two at the pink palace, La Casa Gelato
  • Put a cap on another great day with a picturesque picnic at Sunset Beach

For some more detail on these and more recommendations, check out our full Only-in-Vancouver Dining Experiences post.

Drink Craft Coffee and Beer

Just like its fellow Pacific Northwest cities, Portland and Seattle, just about everyone in Vancouver is passionate about starting their day with a brew (of coffee) and ending their day with more brews (of beer).


Cafes are everywhere, so we won't even bother trying to recommend which one to go to…

..But if you insist, we'll give you one:

If you stay in the West End, as we recommend (see: Where to Stay), check out Greenhorn Cafe for a small-town vibe in the heart of the big city.


With regards to beer, there are a couple of microbrewery districts to do a beer crawl at:

  1. On and around Main Street between 1st and 7th.
  2. Along Powell Street between Clark and Victoria.
2 chill ice cream almost made it out on top for our best ice cream in vancouver taste test
For such a health-conscious city, it's surprising how big of a deal ice cream is in Vancouver

Savor Vancouver's Best Ice Cream

Rumor has it that Vancouverites consume the most ice cream per capita in the world.

We doubt it's true, but what's undeniable is that everyone here has strong opinions on whose ice cream or gelato is best.

So, as we love to do and recommend you try too, we blind tested the best to put an end to the debate. The winner was…

…hipsters and buy-local-supporters are going to hate this…

Haagen Dazs.

The local favorites, Earnest, Bella, and Rain or Shine, came in 3rd, 4th, and 5th respectively. 

Competitors in our taste test to find Vancouver's best sushi
To find Vancouver's best California roll sushi, we taste tested a lot of them.

Eat Vancouver's Best Sushi

Vancouverites eat so much sushi that there's a company that designs furniture with all our used chopsticks, and, like with ice cream, everyone has their own opinions about whose sushi is best.

Once again, we did a blind taste test to find out.

Surprisingly, we discovered that the best California roll sushi was not from the restaurant where it was invented (and costs $18 a roll!), Tojo's, but from the all-you-can-eat place across the street, Tomokazu!

Dos and Don'ts

Get about fifteen helpful tips for finding and enjoying great food and drink in our Dos and Don’ts for Foodies and Drinkies Visiting Vancouver.

Grouse mountain gondola at sunset
The views, sunset, and gondola ride down from Grouse Mountain is way better (and $40 cheaper) if you hike up.

9. Where to Go Outside of the City?

As we explained in our 16 Best Countries to Visit for 16 Unique Types of Trip, Canada is the best country to visit to connect with nature, so you really should escape the city and do so.

Here's some inspiration:


One thing that makes Vancouver special is that in as little as half an hour you can flee the city and be immersed in full-fledged, watch-out-for-bears-and-cougars, Canadian wilderness.

If you're short on time, consider hiking up Grouse Mountain (and maybe try the local route). Or, if you're short on fitness too, walk around Lynn Canyon. Both are nice.

But, if you're able to, go for a real hike.

In general, the harder the hike is to get to, the better it is. It'll be less spoiled by hordes of others and more beautiful. To whet your appetite, here are a couple of hikes that we've put together detailed guides to:

Anvil Island

Hike up to the top of Leading Peak on this essentially uninhabited island just outside Vancouver and enjoy 360-degree views of Howe Sound and the surrounding mountains from the helicopter pad up top. The only thing is you'll need to hire a boat or rent a kayak to get there. Here's our Anvil Island guide.

Brandywine Meadows

If you can find someone with a high-clearance four-wheel-drive vehicle to get you there, it's one of the fastest ways to get to the B.C. alpine. Come in August or September and you'll be rewarded with wildflowers galore as you explore the waterfalls, creeks, and mountains in this alpine playground. Read more about hiking Brandywine Meadows here.

If you want other suggestions, let us know what you're looking for in the comments and we'd be glad to help.

Kim and her family's dog Monty in the mountains outside Vancouver
If you head into the mountains bring a fierce dog like Kim's parents' dog Monty, pictured here, as bear protection. (But really, don't worry about bears.)

Nearby Destinations

Squamish and Whistler

If you're more into mountains than beaches, head up the Sea-to-Sky corridor to Whistler.

But, before going straight to Whistler, consider stopping half way in Squamish.

Squamish is Canada's outdoor adventure capital. It's famous worldwide to rock climbers, mountain bikers, and kite surfers, but unknown otherwise. It's kind of like what Whistler was thirty years ago.

We have no posts about Squamish to share with you (yet), but Chris used to own a hostel there and his brother owns a cafe, an ice cream shop, and a climbing gym in town, so we're definitely qualified to answer any questions. Ask away in the comments below!

Squamish is also way cheaper than Whistler. And since it's only forty-five minutes away it's worth considering staying there to save money. But if you insist on staying in Whistler, at least save some money by checking out our post on how to find cheap(-er) accommodation and our guide to Whistler's hostels.

Vancouver Island

Some common misconceptions among visitors to Vancouver (which we cover in our Vancouver Travel Tips post) are that Vancouver Island is A) really close to Vancouver and B) not that big.

The truth is it's as big as Belgium and takes at least four hours to get to from Vancouver. Go if you have more than a few days to explore it.

Cover image for the Savary Island travel guide: A pair of deck chairs on the beach with a flapping Canadian flag.
For an almost tropical getaway from Vancouver, consider unheralded Savary Island.

Savary Island

Only 140 kilometers (less than 100 miles) from the Vancouver is a little, totally overlooked, and borderline tropical island called Savary.

It's unlike any other island in the Pacific Northwest (maybe because it's really just a giant sandbar). And they say it's got the warmest water of anywhere on the Pacific Coast north of Mexico!

The Okanagan

Located about a four-to-six hour drive from Vancouver, the Okanagan is BC's mini Sonoma Valley.

In the summer months, you can bike from winery to winery, lay by the lake in the dry heat, and munch on the fresh berries and local produce the valley produces every summer.

10. What Else Should Visitors Know Before Visiting?

Here are some tips and insights that other visitors we've helped have found most surprising and helpful:

  • Vancouver is tiny. The entire city of Vancouver is only 115 square kilometers (44 square miles), so everything is within easy biking (or even walking) distance.
  • Free water. Our tap water is potable, clean, and delicious. It comes from up high in the beautiful mountains that help make Vancouver one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
  • Take ID. If you want to drink something more alcoholic than water or get into any place that serves drinks, you'll need to show ID, even if you're well past the legal drinking age of 19.
  • You’re safe on your own. Everywhere. There is no unsafe part of the city, no matter at what point of day or night.
  • Your stuff isn't safe on its own. Never leave any personal items unguarded in Vancouver. There is a large underworld of thieves who prowl the city waiting for the chance to grab your stuff when you're not looking.
  • Free Wifi. Save on roaming fees and enjoy free internet throughout the city by connecting to any of the 550 (and counting) #VanWifi hotspots. Here's the map.

These are just seven of the 50+ helpful things to know before you go to Vancouver that we share in our Vancouver Travel Tips post.

Guy ordering chicken at Crystal Mall in Burnaby
One of seven things all visitors to Vancouver must do is experience our Can-asian heritage.

11. What Are Other Good Sources of Vancouver Info?

Other Helpful Vancouver Guides

  • Airbnb's City Guide. A little-known experiment by Airbnb, it's a compilation of all the insider tips from hosts around the city. It's better than Google Reviews, TripAdvisor, Yelp, or whatever else.
  • Vancouver Tourism's Story Sheets. These aren't meant to be seen by the public. They're made to help tourism "insiders"—influencers, agencies, and media—come up with fresh things to write about. Why not skip the middleman and go straight to the source?
  • The Daily Hive. Most of their content is BuzzFeed-esque mental fast food, but it is the best resource there is (for now) to find out what's going on in Vancouver.

The Rest of Our Vancouver Blog Series

To help you plan most memorable Vancouver trip possible, don't miss the other four posts from our 5-part Vancouver Series:

12. (Bonus) How to Get an Answer to Any Very Specific Question

Ask us in the comments!

Kim and I would love to hear from you and will do our best to help.

Disclosure: Whenever possible, we use links that earn us a cut if you pay for stuff we recommend. It costs you nothing, so we'd be crazy not to. Read our affiliate policy.

19 thoughts on “11 Essentials for Visiting Our Hometown – A Vancouver Travel Blog”

  1. Very impressive collection of information. My wife and I are visiting the latter part of October to visit my son and his girl friend and big question is money or more to the point, what is our best option on exchanging US$ for Canadian and where? what credit cards are better to use as well.

    Thanks in advance and really love the insider information.

    Clarence Palmer

    • I'm glad you found our Vancouver blog posts helpful, Clarence!

      Your best bet is to get an exchange-rate free credit card. That'll save you the 2.5% foreign exchange fee plus whatever extra margin the credit card companies add between their rate and the true rate. I've only studied Canadian credit cards (this post), but am sure you can find even better ones for Americans.

      Otherwise, if you have a bunch of US cash you want to exchange to CAD, the best rates are at the Vancouver Bullion & Currency Exchange, which has a couple locations in town.

      Enjoy your trip!

  2. Hi,

    can you recommend itinerary for January trips let's say 3 days 2 nights. I am planning to drive from Seattle to Vancouver. Thanks a bunch

    • Hey Novi. A whole itinerary would be another post in itself. Weather will be a big determinant. Since you have a car, drive the Sea-to-Sky highway at least to Squamish and back. Eat at my brother's funky and very popular cafe, Zephyr, while you're there. Maybe do a meal in the Alexandra Rd area of Richmond in your way in or out since you'll be driving by. Go to a comedy and/or improv show. Eat some poutine. Walk around Lynn Canyon Park. Eat at Salmon House on the Hill or in Deep Cove, maybe.
      It's especially tough to give recommendations to a Seattleite since our cities are so similar. I guess you can compare each city's areas too: Pike Place vs Granville Island Market, Pioneer Square vs Gastown, etc.

  3. Hi,
    Fantastic blog! Love it! Very informative.

    I'm travelling to Seattle in January. Planning to go to Vancouver from Seattle for a couple days (about 2 to 3 nights stay). Have heard Whistler is an expensive but very pretty place to check out.
    What's your recommendation for transport up to Whistler?

    Alternatively, would it be advisable to rent a car from Seattle, drive into Vancouver and back to Seattle? (I'll have to get back to Seattle for my flight home)

    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Hi Yen, Would a rental car company allow you to cross the border without too much additional fees? If so, definitely consider that. The drive from Seattle to Vancouver is meh but from Vancouver to Whistler it's spectacular, and worthy of taking your time on. Here's a post I wrote a while back for the hostel I used to co-own on attractions to check out along the way: https://www.squamishhostel.com/blog/sea-to-sky-highway-attractions. Some are more summer-friendly, but others are worth seeing any time of year. Then, to save money, you could stay in Squamish instead of Whistler. Enjoy your trip! (And hopefully you like Vancouver more than Seattle, haha. The cities are quite similar so there's a bit of competition between the two… an unfair one in favor of Vancouver if you ask me!)

  4. Hi! Great blog post (https://theunconventionalroute.com/vancouver-travel-blog/).

    My friend and I are so excited to visit Vancouver. We live in Chicago (me) and right outside NYC (her) , and will be coming to town for our birthdays. We're aiming for early September, but…. when does the rainy season start? And is there a cut-off date you'd say not to come, b/c of the rain? Realize it's hard to predict exactly. We plan to stay 4-5 days, although it's early planning at this point.

    Thank you – Suzanne (who's happy to offer Chicago or NYC travel tips, if needed)

    • Hi Suzanne. September's one of the best times to visit Vancouver. It's way less busy (and cheaper) and the weather's still generally not so bad. The later in September, the less likely you'll have rain, so early September you should be ok. Once you hit October, all bets are off.

      Kudos for being super proactive about planning. I couldn't imagine researching 9 months in advance, but it makes sense for more availability and better prices. And thanks for the offer for NYC / Chicago tips. Kim and I aren't shy about taking these types of offers, so if and when we go you can expect to hear from us! Enjoy Vancouver and let us know if you have any questions leading up to your trip.

  5. Hi, great post.
    I might be in Vancouver for a few months, what would be the best way to pay for public transport? I tried to research the Compass card but found it quite confusing!

    Thank you, Gem

    • Hi Gem. If you're going to be using public transit regularly, definitely get a Compass card. It's actually pretty straightforward. You pay the refundable $6 fee, load some credit (which you can set to reload from your credit card automatically), then ride to your heart's content at a lower rate than if you paid individually every time. Or get a bike if you're living centrally, sporty, and are coming during the nicer months.

  6. One of the best blogs i've ever read! Thank you very much for all the information. I am going on a hike alone by myself by the end of August. I only have 2/3 hours for it. What would you recommend me: Murry loop hike or Stawamus Chief (only first peak)? Thank you in advance (and greetings from Mendoza, Argentina)

    • Gracias, Val. The upside of The Chief is it's more exercise, you get higher up, and it's maybe more of an accomplishment to go up and down a little mountain. But it also gets CRAZY busy in the summer. Murrin will be more peaceful—physically and in terms of people. Hope that helps.

  7. Loving all the content on your blog about Vancouver! I'll be going next month and will also be heading up to Squamish for a few days for some hiking and camping. Do you have any recommended spots to camp (front-country)? Or must-do hikes near Squamish? Thank you!!

    • Hey Cari. Cool. No specific recommendations, sorry. Generally (and logically), the closer to Squamish you get, the busier the campsites and hiking. So the Chief and Sea to Summit are great, but also teeming with people when the weather's nice. Go deeper down Squamish Valley, for instance, and you'll find quieter places to camp. Or cross the Squamish River to try Lake Lovely water, for example. Curious to know what you settle on. Enjoy!

  8. I tried to get your free Treasure Map (twice) but nothing seemed to happen. I thought I might get an email from you, but no. I'm using Chrome on a Mac.



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