Somewhere between getting impatient of waiting at the U.S./Canada border and having children we stopped visiting Vancouver. It wasn't really a conscious decision, but something that happened, so when we first heard about Kenmore Air adding Vancouver as a flight destination we were ecstatic. Vancouver has always been one of our favorite places to visit for my husband and I. It is a world class city filled with notable restaurants, endless shopping and the perfect blend of both a city and mountain getaway. There is more than enough to keep you occupied for a long weekend. And given the current exchange rate my suggestion would be to run and not walk to book your next Canadian adventure.
With the constant buzz of passenger ferries along False Creek it is effortless to access the other side. We enjoyed an afternoon of wandering around the Public Market on Granville Island and found no shortage of delicious locally made treats to sample on.
As we boarded our early morning flight the prospect of being in another country by brunch posed such a thrill. As the city came into view and we dropped down into the harbor I was reminded how much I have missed this city. Our home for the weekend was one of Marriott's new Autograph Collection hotels called The Douglas. The Douglas is part of a larger complex called The Parq Vancouver, an entertainment destination featuring Vancouver's only casino and eight distinct restaurants and lounges. The Douglas is located next to BC Place Stadium and a stone’s throw from False Creek.
As a wonderful commencement to our trip we enjoyed a leisurely and memorable meal at The Victor, one of the many restaurants located in the Parq Vancouver. Our meal at The Victor was a constant string of culinary punctuation marks. Each and every bite we sampled tasted like the best version we had ever had. From their crab cakes to milk bread, waffle macaroni and cheese, to the grilled branzino. A meal like that needed to end on a high, sweet note so we ordered the cotton candy atop a bed of donuts. Clearly, we had started something. Every table surrounding us noticed and followed suit.
Sunday morning we hopped on the SeaBus and met up with John Gill from Outdoor Explore for a heart pumping and jaw dropping hike along Howe Sound. For those of you who have never heard about the SeaBus, it is a passenger only ferry that crosses the Burrad Inlet thus connecting Downtown Vancouver with the North Shore - making it a breeze to travel between the two. Outdoor Explore is a Vancouver based company most known for their thoughtfully procured hiking and canoeing trips in British Columbia, the Yukon and the Himalayas.
If you’re looking to plan a trip to remember, John and Drew will create a trip you will talk about for the rest of your lives. John took us on a trail we would have never found on our own. It was a busy, beautiful weekend for hiking, but far enough off the beaten path that we only encountered one other group on our way down. If seeing British Columbia in all its beauty away from the crowds speaks to you, Outdoor Explore knows the area well and will make it happen.
On Saturday, we took a carriage ride through Stanley Park learning of both the history and the surrounding area. As we skirted along Stanley Park's famous Seawall we caught glimpses of the water, mountains, sky and all the majestic trees planted in the park. If you want to cover a large area of Stanley Park in less time and from a different vantage point of being on foot; a carriage ride was a great way to see the park. Some highlights of the park included the totem poles, the rose garden and learning about a little train you can ride.
Monday afternoon, we boarded our plane and headed back to Seattle. As we took off I noticed our pilot snapping a quick photo which speaks to the brilliance of seaplane travel no matter how many times you do it. On board, we had a couple first timers who were wide eyed and eager throughout the flight. Once we landed they remarked to each other it was the "best flight of their lives". If you are a long time resident, a new transplant or just looking for a different way to travel than battling traffic or long airport security - then Kenmore Air will help you create the seamless trip of your dreams. As we caught site of the Space Needle I was reminded of how lucky Seattleites are to call this beautiful place home. Seattle is the perfect hub for adventuring and I cannot wait to discover more destinations just a short seaplane ride away.