Hidden Gems: Vancouver Travel Guide

Hidden Gems: Vancouver Travel Guide // Feast + West

So excited that Melissa of Melrosa Avenue is here today with a fabulous Vancouver travel guide! I must visit this city — and soon.

It’s considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world. It’s been rated as the best place to live in North America. It’s got rain, and it’s got sun, it’s Vancouver, British Columbia. Vancouver is located on the west coast of Canada and is surrounded by the world’s nature beauty.

Hidden Gems: Vancouver Travel Guide // Feast + West

The mountain, the trees, the ocean… Vancouver’s view is absolutely breathtaking. I’ve been lucky enough to live in this beautiful city for five years. I started as a newcomer, but throughout the years have seen and experienced all that Vancouver has to offer. Now I want to share it with you!

Click through to read the rest of Melissa’s Vancouver travel guide!

Hidden Gems: Vancouver Travel Guide // Feast + West
Wooden Spoon Co.
Hidden Gems: Vancouver Travel Guide // Feast + West
Eat + Drink
  • CinCin is the place to go for an upscale Italian delight. On one the busiest streets in the city, this restaurant is a highly popular one – and for good reason! They have a seasonal menu that makes this restaurant always fun and exciting.
  • Milestones is a great place for a girls night out, especially for their fancy cocktails and bucket of ice cream dessert. I highly recommend their Bellini’s – a peachy cocktail over crushed ice.
  • The Keg has one the best surf and turf dishes around. They have a bar area for a casual evening or a dining room area for a more classy feel.
  • Burgoo has the ultimate comfort food, perfect for when it’s rainy in Vancouver. Their After school special dish (sandwich and a soup) can’t be ignored! For ultimate comfort, I highly recommend the grilled cheese paired with butternut squash soup.
  • Wooden Spoon Co. is a new player in a suburb away from Vancouver. If you’re looking for a short distance getaway and for delicious brunch, this is your spot. It has a hipster vibe to it, with mason jars a plenty. I highly recommend their Sweet & Salty dish, which features two French toasts, bacon, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce.
  • Cactus Club is another well-loved west coast dining restaurant, perfect for happy hour or a girls night out. Cactus Club not only offers a variety of dishes and drinks – they also sport large screen TVs, which is perfect for viewing our national sport, hockey.
  • Italian Kitchen is a great spot for a light lunch after touring around the city. The extensive menu offers salads, pastas, pizzas and much more. If you’re up for it, stick around for dessert – you can’t miss out on their Italian doughnuts!
  • Joe Fortes is perfect for when you want to splurge a little on good surf and turf. On one of the busiest streets in the city, make sure to sit on their outdoor patio in order to take in the bustling views of Vancouver.
  • Giardino is the newest gem in Vancouver, bringing back the infamous Umberto Menghi to the scene. The owner originally had a restaurant in the city but had closed for almost 3 years. They recently re-opened with a new name, at a new location, and the menu offers some well-loved classics.
Hidden Gems: Vancouver Travel Guide // Feast + West
Stanley Park
Hidden Gems: Vancouver Travel Guide // Feast + West
Granville Island Public Market
Hidden Gems: Vancouver Travel Guide // Feast + West
English Bay
  • Visit Stanley Park to see B.C’s breathtaking nature. Spend a day walking around through the gigantic trees, or take in some sun on the mini-beaches.
  • Walk, or run around the SeaWall. The SeaWall surrounds Stanley Park and gives you the views of the City, North Vancouver, and Kitsalano.
  • Visit the Vancouver Aquarium to see rescued sea life. From dolphins, to penguins, to jellyfish, there’s plenty to gaze at and learn about at this local attraction.
  • Granville Island is a small town located off of Downtown Vancouver and has plenty of local stores, restaurants and a farmers market. Granville Island also has plenty of water activities for you to enjoy, including paddle boarding, canoeing and/or boat tours.
  • Vancouver has some beautiful beaches to see, such as Wreck Beach or English Bay Beach. If you happen to visit during the summer, you may be in luck and get to see a firework show from the beach!
  • Stroll through Gastown for local shops, restaurants, bars and the famous steam clock. It’s a historic town with plenty of things to see and do right off the downtown core of Vancouver.
  • Another hip town to explore is Yaletown, which is a heaven for foodies. Yaletown is another historic town but is considered to be more hip and stylish, with plenty of restaurants and bars to offer. In fact, you’ll likely see more locals than tourists in this spot!
  • Get active at Grouse Mountain, where you can either hike the trails in the summer, or ski down the slopes during the winter. Known as the peak of Vancouver, no matter what time of year you visit, it’s bound to take your breath away.
  • Holt Renfrew is Canada’s luxury/premiere shopping destination. Whether you want to splurge or simply window shop, this department store can not be missed!
  • The Bay is one of Canada’s oldest department stores, some say it’s part of our heritage! Fun fact: It has recently been renovated to make this shopping destination hot again.
  • Aritzia is a Canadian gem that is located in many malls throughout Vancouver. This store carries casual yet chic clothing perfect for the relaxed vibe the city boasts.
  • Metropolis at Metrotown is one of the largest malls we have to offer. Located in Burnaby, a short distance from Downtown Vancouver, this mall has it all – including a movie theatre. You can definitely spend the whole day here.
  • Granville Street in Vancouver is filled with local boutiques and well-known shops that will have you shopping till you drop. While you shop at this location, you get to see new sights of Vancouver.
  • Richmond Night Market (only available in the summer) is not at the center of Vancouver, but not too far either. Take a 15 minute train ride and you’ll be able to enjoy the many things a summer market has to offer.
  • McArthurGlen Outlets offers designers shops at discounted prices and it is conveniently located near the airport, so whether you have just arrived to Vancouver or are about to leave, this shopping destination is worth checking out.
  • Main Street offers local shops and boutiques that are far different from your well-recognized brand name store. If you’re looking to bring home a souvenir that is unique, you’ll surely find it on this street.
Hidden Gems: Vancouver Travel Guide // Feast + West
Hidden Gems: Vancouver Travel Guide // Feast + West
White Rock
Road Trips
  • Whistler – Now you can see the city where the 2010 Winter Olympics took place, up close and personal. If you’re the city in the winter, make sure to ski up blackcomb mountain. If you’re in the city in the summer, you can enjoy a lovely hike on the mountain
  • White Rock – Mentioned before, this beach town is located within 45-50 from the city of Vancouver. White Rock has a fishing pier and has plenty of restaurants and bars to enjoy with amazing beach side views
  • Kelowna – If you’re looking for weekend getaway with wining and dining, this is it. Kelowna boasts with amazing wineries and lake side views. Take a drive up around the mountains, go on a few wine tastings and enjoy the scenic views.

Hidden Gems: Vancouver Travel Guide // Feast + West Hidden Gems: Vancouver Travel Guide // Feast + West

Melissa AriganelloMELISSA ARIGANELLO //  hg-facebook hg-pinterest hg-instagram

Melissa Ariganello is a lifestyle blogger at MelrosaAvenue.com and a PR professional studying and living in Los Angeles. She blogs about travel, food, and offers career tips to young career-minded individuals. When she’s not blogging, she’s attending graduate school at USC and enjoying every bit of what LA has to offer. She enjoys finding new restaurants, hiking new trails, and binge-watching on Netflix.

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  1. Courtney Leigh says

    I’ve been to Vancouver twice but didn’t really know what to do. This is an amazing list! Especially all of the nearby nature stuff. Next time I’m there, I will definitely be hitting up some of your recs, Melissa. Thank you! <3

  2. Crystal says

    Vancouver is one of my favorite cities in Canada. Sometimes, as an East Coaster, I have serious West Coast envy. This post took me right back to many of my favorite places and made me miss Cactus Club like woah! 🙂

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