Canada Travel Guide: Summer in Vancouver is Short, But Sublime

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Illustration by Amélie Tourangeau

Summer in Vancouver is reminiscent of when Cinderella flies around in ceremonial dress, or when Maria sings in West Side Story – it’s a city-scale makeover montage that starts off strong with cherry blossoms and continues to move up the dial until we’re all so saturated with natural splendor we need a solid nine months of damp gray just to bring us back to Earth.

In Vancouver, summer is precious and fleeting. Follow me on a bluebird day and you’ll probably end up lounging on a rock near Whytecliff Park with one hand in a sweat bag of nectarines and currants bought from a farmers market. Or you could jump into the alpine waters of Cabin Lake atop Cypress Mountain, or cool off your bones in the blue-green pools of the Capilano River, which winds through the forest from the heights of the Coastal Mountains to Burrard Inlet. . The North Shore, home to our local mountains, is where I pursue my favorite seasonal traditions: hiking the trails, picking blueberries and diving in streams. This is also where we begin (according to travel advisories in the event of a pandemic) many adventures further towards Squamish, the islands or the Sunshine Coast.

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In the city proper, summer is a great time to go hungry loafer. You can walk for hours, along the sea wall, over the Burrard Street Bridge, to Kitsilano, having snacks along the way. When I take this route a Rain or Shine Chocolate Honeycomb Ice Cream Cone at the end is a must. You can visit the Robson Street Weed Dispensaries, buy a Korean corn dog, sushi roll, bubble tea, or a box of frozen silvanas, and take your loot to English Bay to watch the sunset. Our beachfront concession stands have produce like local kombucha and vegan gelato these days – the one in Second Beach even has ramen. I’m not saying you have to like the idea of ​​beach ramen, but it’s about the most Vancouverite thing possible.

If you get hot after all this walking, go to Kits Pool, a beautiful body of water right next to another beautiful body of water (the Pacific Ocean). Sit on your towel and admire the 18 different sources of saturated blue in your field of vision. Then, enjoy a beer on one (or more) of the city’s many brewery patios.

Whatever you do in the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, you will feel nourished by your surroundings – never so gently as in summer, when every scenic moment, walk in the forest and swim in the ocean reminds us of what is important – and also notice what needs to be fed. We have so much to celebrate and so much to protect.

Whatever you do in the traditional territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, you will feel nourished by your surroundings.

Mike Seehagel / Document

Hotel news

After a one-year closure, the Rosewood Georgia Hotel resumed reservations for the night of June 1 (with two freshly renovated VIP suites available), and reopened Reflections, its rooftop garden slash bar-terrace – a very stylish hangout spot. the Fairmont pacific rim, never short of incredible dining options, announced the addition of Giovane Bacaro – a Venetian-style wine bar, dining room and lounge. More at Shangri-La, the new Miantiao restaurant combines Italian and Chinese cuisines. Located in the Lower Lonsdale Shipyard District, North Vancouver Seaside Hotel offers views of downtown towering over the ocean and close proximity to the mountains.

In Vancouver, you hardly need to leave the city to experience nature.

Albert Normandin / Document

Urban adventures

In Vancouver, you hardly need to leave the city to experience nature. Start by taking a Stanley Park Indigenous history walking tour with Talaysay tours – your local Indigenous Ambassador guide will explain how people lived here sustainably for thousands of years before the city existed. Don’t forget to take a stroll through Lost Lagoon, keeping an eye out for blue herons and other wildlife. Explore the shore by kayak with Water adventures in Vancouver, which offer daytime and sunset tours, as well as stand-up paddleboarding lessons and boat rides along the beautiful coastline. For more wilderness, go with Deep cove kayaking – on their summer nighttime visits, you might just see the water light up with bioluminescence.

Most of Vancouver’s local mountain biking terrains are challenging, but experienced cyclists looking for an excursion can contact Endless bike to organize everything from rental to transport to the local mountains. Some Vancouver activities are classics for a reason: Visit VanDusen Botanical Garden – especially in early summer, when the yellow cytellae are in bloom – is a lovely way to spend an afternoon. Verification Capilano suspension bridge and climbing the local conifers as part of their Treetops Adventure course is especially fun for kids. While on the North Shore, don’t miss Lighthouse Park, where you can hike a number of mostly short and gentle trails through old-growth coastal forest.

Livia Sweets in Vancouver, where you can enjoy a mortadella and egg breakfast under striped umbrellas, or simply order coffee and pastries from their take-out window.

Eva McMillan / Document

Restaurant information

Let’s talk about outdoor bites. If you fancy eating amazing sushi on an elegant patio overlooking the ocean, this is Miku you look for. The restaurant launched a new kaiseki (traditional Japanese multi-course dinner) is appearing this spring and looking to extend it into the summer. If you want premium takeout sushi to eat sitting on a log in Sunset Beach, head over to Sashimiya, a new Japanese restaurant and grocery store from Chef Taka Omi, formerly the Fairmont Royal York hotel and the Fairmont Pacific Rim Raw Bar.

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Drink BC wine and eat locally sourced ceviche and octopus on by Dachi cute patio, then try a spiked frosting for dessert (they also have local picnic boxes to take out), or visit Keefer’s Court, Chinatown’s lively outdoor destination for cocktails, peking duck pancakes and mini golf. Need a terrace for breakfast? Try Livia Candy, where you can enjoy a mortadella and egg breakfast sandwich under striped umbrellas, or simply order coffee and pastries from their take out window.

Speaking of take out, support the new restaurants that opened during the pandemic, such as Superbaba (delicious wraps and bowls from the Middle East), Make Chay Yaletown (mainly vegans and Vietnamese vegetarians), Lunch lady (recipes adapted from a traveling merchant in Saigon approved by Anthony Bourdain), Oca Pastificio (homemade pasta), Potluck Hawker Eatery (Asian cuisine inspired by street food) and Posted on Main (modern comfort rate on the west coast).

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About Linda Jennings

Linda Jennings

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