Vancouver is home to the majority of my family, so it’s usually where we go on long weekends – especially during summer. It gets a bit dreary in the fall and winter though, so we try to make our visits at that time short or bring raincoats.
One of our favourite places to go is the Park Royal Village in West Vancouver. Compared to other areas in Vancouver the parking is not too challenging and is also free. Park Royal has indoor and outdoor shops with lots of cafes and restaurants. It is stroller friendly and there are lots of things to see walking through the stores. We went to Park Royal when Madi was an infant and often go there now when she is a toddler.
When Madi was an infant, Graeme and I really enjoyed happy hours on Alberni Street.
There are many fun restaurants with great happy hours including Coast, Black+Blue, Italian Kitchen, and Joe Fortes.
Graeme and I would get my parents to drop us off and we would easily spend 2 to 3 hours having snacks, drinks, and people watch. It is more difficult now that Madi is a toddler to hit up several hot spots in one afternoon, so now we usually go to one place for happy hour.
Another area we really like to visit in Vancouver is Ambleside Park.
There is a great play area for kids with a beautiful view of the beach. One of our favourite things to do since Madi was an infant and still do now is pick up a coffee from a local café on Marine Drive and then walk around Ambleside and let Madi play in the play area. There are a bunch of different restaurants with views of the water near Ambleside Park and we normally grab lunch after spending an hour or two walking around.
Stanley park is another great place to spend a morning or an afternoon. There are lots of bike rentals and great views of the water.
Tips for travel to Vancouver
- Bring your appetites, Vancouver has some of the best food in the world!
- Bring rain gear no matter the season you are visiting. We always carry an umbrella in the car and the stroller cover to protect Madi from the rain.
- Expect bad traffic, especially when driving across Lions Gate Bridge. We often plan drives around Madi’s naptime.
- Bring comfortable shoes for lots of walking.