Days and trips out around Vancouver
Take a trip to Vancouver Island. You can catch an Island Link coach all the way, which includes a ferry ride to the island, and takes just a couple of hours from Vancouver.
We stayed in the capital, Victoria, and indulged in the world-renowned afternoon tea at the grand Fairmont Empress hotel, which provides a picturesque backdrop to the harbour. Highly recommended for a quaint afternoon's entertainment.
We managed to see humpback whales on our whale-watching trip, including a baby humpback breach out of the water. A memorable experience!
Test your fear of heights with a visit to Capilano suspension bridge, just a short shuttle bus ride out of Vancouver city. A bridge of some sort has been in situ since 1888.
Known as the ‘swinging bridge’, the park now includes totem poles, a treetop walk, a kids interactive Rainforest Explorers Program, a birds of prey display area, gift shops and a restaurant.
To experience the great heights of British Coumbia, we would recommend climbing the Stawamus Chief Mountain hike. An hour outside of Vancouver, it is one of the region’s classic hikes.
The 6.8 mile hike is fairly steep but there are steps all the way, and we all managed to reach the top, where the expansive views, and perfect picnic spot, are a great reward.You can also see Shannon Falls from the trail.
Other trips outside of Vancouver are Grouse Mountain and the challenging ‘Grouse Grind’ hike, or take a trip to Whistler, especially if you visit during winter. The famous ski resort is just an hour and a half car ride away.
What to eat in Vancouver
Vancouver is a melting pot of cuisine and has quite rightly gained a worldwide reputation for not only it’s traditional foodie fayre, but also the range and quality of Asian food to be discovered. Our favourite sushi meal was at our hotel, which was course after course of delicate, beautifully presented dishes any family would be keen to taste test.
All food at the Fairmont Pacific Rim is a culinary treat. I would recommend eating from the extensive breakfast buffet, as most of the a la carte items are available from that and you can get a taste for what you really like. Make sure to stack up the coconut and banana pancakes, topped with, of course, maple syrup. All Fairmont hotels have great offers on kid’s food and all children aged five and under can eat free from the health conscious, tasty children’s menu while kids six to 11 can eat for half price from the regular menu.
Restaurants throughout the city cater for families, and welcome them, even. The city is set up for families and they have really cracked the work/life balance we Brits seem to struggle with! Canadians were much more interested in what we do for our hobbies rather than for a job, which was very refreshing. The menus burst with fresh produce and vegetables, and food intolerances are always accommodated.
However, we put the healthy eating to one side while visiting Granville Island Public Market, which we cycled to on our way to Kits. We had an insider tip to visit Go Fish - a takeaway seafood shack at the docks, which serves up fish, caught that same day. You can’t get much fresher! The famed Public Market is a haven for foodies like us. From giant oversized fruit and vegetables, to maple syrup butter and endless counters of baked good and smouldering cheeses, we stocked up on goodies to take back for various picnics, on Grouse Mountain and on our beach days out.
For a treat, book a babysitter when staying at the Pacific Rim and head to the nearby Fairmont Waterfront Hotel, where the modern yet decadent dining room, ARC’s, specialties include fried pickles and seafood dishes: the perfect accompaniments to the gin cocktails made with fresh honey from the hotel’s rooftop hives.
It is difficult to comprehend the vastness of British Columbian scenery and the variety of natural beauty you can take in from any one spot. It just can’t be captured entirely on camera. Standing on any of Vancouver’s beaches, you can see snow-capped mountains, tree-filled forests and gleaming city skyline. It is truly a holiday to treasure.
We stayed at the Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver which offers a Family Affair Package (50% off second room)
Book two luxurious rooms or suites and the second room is 50% off. Available all year round but is subject to availability. Rates from $349CAD per night for the first room ($174.50CAD per night for the second room) – based on a Fairmont City View Room, double occupancy. No charge for children under 18 years old who share the room with an adult. Excludes tax and gratuity.