Unwinding in Vancouver, Canada

Vancouver – what a great place to unwind in – compact, easy to get around with great scenery on the doorstep as well as a lot of diverse districts with interesting food to be had.

Papa Joe and I always need a few days to unwind after a long flight. So we were really pleased to find that Vancouver was an ideal place for us to get over jet lag before we started our road trip through the Canadian Rockies.


Knowing we would be jet lagged we picked  ‘The Sunset Inn and Suites’ just half an hour by taxi from the airport. The rooms have a full kitchen and a dining area giving us plenty of space – ideal for when we were awake during the night! Our daughter recommended The Sunset Inn as she had stayed there with her young Mayhems.

The staff at ‘The Sunset Inn and Suites’ were very friendly and helpful. The hotel is in a quiet street in the cosmopolitan downtown Davie Street area, an ideal location full of small restaurants, coffee shops and grocery stores. We were able to walk to West End -(the city centre) Yale Town and nearby Sunset Park, which is by the waterfront at English Bay. We also strolled through the surrounding delightful residential streets to Stanley Park (about 1 mile) stopping at one of the many coffee shops on the way.

stanley park vancouver

Lovely to see Canada Geese in their homeland at Stanley Park!


Our time in Vancouver was limited so we could only sample a small proportion of what the city has to offer.

  • Granville Island. We wandered around the fresh food market, galleries and shops. There is a kids market with shops and indoor and outdoor play areas to keep the ‘Mayhems’ happy.
  • The Gastown steam clock is fascinating to watch. Every quarter of an hour the clock releases a blast of steam that creates a whistle and plays ‘music’. gas town vancouver
  • Stroll along the sea wall by the waters edge at Stanley Park. The views across the harbour are lovely.
    The park has a lot of attractions including an aquarium. beaches, children’s play areas and water park.
    There is also a miniature train that runs at various times during the year – check here for details
  • You can get great views of Vancouver by taking the Skyride to the top of Grouse Mountain. Unfortunately when we got to the base of the Skyride the weather had deteriorated and we decided that our trip would have to wait until the next time we visit Vancouver!!!!!
    We had also intended to visit the nearby Capilano Suspension Bridge Park  but again the weather was against us
  • Our first day was very wet so we went to The Museum Of Vancouver in Vanier Park. It is a small museum about Vancouver. You will come across interactive areas where children can spend time playing with old toys or dressing up.
    museum of vancouver 1 museum of vancouver 2

    Part of the building is contains The Space Centre and nearby is the Vancouver Maritime Museum.
    You can buy a combined ticket for all three museum. The museums do operate special opening times when entry is free and you are asked for a donation. Check their websites for details

  • The deck of the cruise terminal at Canada Place is a great place to see the wonderful views over the bay and watch the cruise ships leaving for Alaska. Papa Joe and I had a great time watching passengers practising their life boat drills.
    The Canada Place buildings are like ship sails and as you walk around their are displays about Canada’s history. The views over the bay are wonderful

Eating – Vancouver has a wide range of coffee shops, many attached to artisan bakeries. Being jet lagged we probably drank too much coffee!

  •  Davie Street – a lot of small friendly restaurants and coffee shops including excellent Japanese food at Kadoya
  • Granville Island – among the fresh food market, galleries and shops are plenty of restaurants to choose from. The rain stopped and the sun come out as we arrived so we had excellent fish and chips on the waterfront deck at Bridges.
  • Gastown -is full of restaurants and coffee shops. We had yet more excellent fish and chips in the Black Frog Eatery. The Spurs fans in the family were delighted seeing a Tottenham scarf hanging on the wall!
    black frog vancouver
  • Yaletown – in recent years the old warehouses have been converted into homes, shops and restaurants.
  • We had an excellent lunch in The Vancouver Art Gallery Cafe


Vancouver’s public transport, TransLink, is good and we bought the day pass which you can use on buses, trolleys, the SkyTrain and SeaCat ferry service. We found it very easy to get around the city and also used the buses and SeaCat to explore North Vancouver

You must also try to use the False Creek Ferry service. ‘Mayhems’ of all ages will really enjoy taking these small boats. We enjoyed the trip from the museums at Vanier Park to Granville Island, and then to Science World at the far end of False Creek .

rock creek ferry vancouver


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