The Quick Guide to Visiting Vancouver, BC

Vancouver has been on my bucket list for quite awhile, so when my Alaska Seabourn cruise took me from Anchorage to Vancouver, I knew I had to stay a few extra days to explore the city. The last time I was in Vancouver, I was only 4 years old, so I was very excited to experience Vancouver for the first time as an adult. I’ve seen beautiful photos of Vancouver so much over the last few years on Instagram, so I knew I was in for a great trip! Check out this post for where to stay and what to do in Vancouver.

SEE ALSO: Ultimate Alaska: Cruising Glaciers and Fjords Onboard the Seabourn Sojourn

Where To Stay

Fairmont Pacific Rim

There’s a reason the Fairmont Pacific Rim hotel is often rated as one of the top luxury properties in Canada. It was definitely one of the most beautiful city hotels I’ve ever stayed in. From breakfast at The Botanist to the beautiful Willow Stream Spa to the large Japanese soaking tub in our Signature Ofuro Room, I always felt like I was in the pinnacle of luxury. It is also conveniently located nearby the cruise terminal in Vancouver, so it’s a perfect option for those cruising in and out of the city.

Japanese soaking tub inside the Signature Ofuro Room at the Fairmont Pacific Rim // The Quick Guide to Visiting Vancouver, BC #readysetjetset
The outdoor pool at the Fairmont Pacific Rim // The Quick Guide to Visiting Vancouver, BC #readysetjetset
The spa at Fairmont Pacific Rim // The Quick Guide to Visiting Vancouver, BC #readysetjetset

I recommend booking the Stay & Taste Package and getting $50 in credits towards food and beverage, which is good at several dining spots inside the hotel including The Botanist. Make sure to try one of their Cocktail Lab creations while you’re there!

The Botanist inside Fairmont Pacific Rim // The Quick Guide to Visiting Vancouver, BC #readysetjetset
The Botanist inside Fairmont Pacific Rim // The Quick Guide to Visiting Vancouver, BC #readysetjetset
Drinks at The Botanist // // The Quick Guide to Visiting Vancouver, BC #readysetjetset

Fairmont Waterfront

The Fairmont Waterfront hotel is located directly across from Canada Place in Vancouver, which is also where the cruise ships dock. It is the most convenient luxury hotel option for those arriving or leaving on a cruise - I literally just had to walk across the street from the terminal! The photos below showcase the wonderful view from the Fairmont Gold Lounge at the property.

Gold Lounge view at the Fairmont Waterfront // The Quick Guide to Visiting Vancouver, BC #readysetjetset
Overlooking the water from the Fairmont Gold Lounge // The Quick Guide to Visiting Vancouver, BC #readysetjetset

One unique feature you can find at the Fairmont Waterfront is their beekeeping. They give daily free tours from May to September of the honey bees that live on their rooftop (and their lovely rooftop garden is accessible to guests), and you can find the bee theme throughout the hotel, like on the menu of the ARC Restaurant. They produce their own honey on property, and you can find honey-infused dishes throughout the menu.

Honey bee tour at the Fairmont Waterfront // The Quick Guide to Visiting Vancouver, BC #readysetjetset
Rooftop bee gardens at the Fairmont Waterfront // The Quick Guide to Visiting Vancouver, BC #readysetjetset
ARC Restaurant cocktails at the Fairmont Waterfront // The Quick Guide to Visiting Vancouver, BC #readysetjetset

Fairmont Vancouver Airport

If you’re looking for luxury and convenience when flying in and out of Vancouver, the Fairmont Vancouver Airport is the place to stay. The hotel is situated directly on top of the US Departures Terminal, so it’s only a quick stroll to check-in for your flight or arrive from baggage claim. The hotel offers day use rooms for those only looking for refresher while at the airport, or you can drop by for their Absolute Spa to recover from jetlag. The Jetside Bar features live music nightly and overlooks the YVR runway for a unique dining and cocktail experience. During our visit, we stayed in the Jade Executive Suite, the largest and most luxurious suite on property. With 1250 square feet of room to enjoy, a jetted soaker tub, living and dining rooms, and views overlooking the mountains and runway, the Jade Suite was best way to relax before our early morning flight.

The Jade Executive Suite at Fairmont Vancouver Airport // The Quick Guide to Visiting Vancouver, BC #readysetjetset
Jetside Bar cocktails at Fairmont Vancouver Airport // The Quick Guide to Visiting Vancouver, BC #readysetjetset
Dinner at Jetside Bar at Fairmont Vancouver Airport // The Quick Guide to Visiting Vancouver, BC #readysetjetset

Must-Sees

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park is easily one of the most popular attractions in Vancouver. The biggest bridge at the park hangs an impressive 450 feet across the Capilano River, but there’s much more to see than just that. Try the CLIFFWALK for stunning views over the river, or explore the treetops across a series of 7 elevated suspension bridges. This attraction gets crowded though, so I recommend getting there as early as possible, especially if you want better photo ops. If you’re staying at the Fairmont Pacific Rim or Fairmont Waterfront, there’s a convenient free shuttle that leaves from Canada Place to go to the park, so it’s easy to get there too!

Capilano Suspension Bridge Park // The Quick Guide to Visiting Vancouver, BC #readysetjetset
CLIFFWALK at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park // The Quick Guide to Visiting Vancouver, BC #readysetjetset

Granville Island

Granville Island welcomes 10.5 million visitors each year and is one of Canada’s most popular tourist destinations. Most visitors head to the Public Market, where around 50 local vendors sell fresh produce, meat, cheese, and more. You can visit Granville Island Brewing Co. and take a tour of the brewery, try one of the many dining options, like Dockside Restaurant or Backstage Lounge, or watch the buskers perform on the street. For another fun experience, take the False Creek Ferries to get to the island!

Bike Around Stanley Park

A trip to Vancouver is not complete without a visit to Stanley Park. During our visit, we borrowed bikes for free as guests of the Fairmont Pacific Rim and completed a circuit from the hotel, all the way around the park’s bike trail, and back. This is a great way to get an Instagram snap of the Vancouver skyline from across the water, and Stanley Park has plenty to see and do beyond the views, from its beaches to the Brockton Point Totem Poles and the Vancouver Aquarium. Biking is the easiest way to get around the park!

Stanley Park in Vancouver // The Quick Guide to Visiting Vancouver, BC #readysetjetset
Views from Stanley Park // The Quick Guide to Visiting Vancouver, BC #readysetjetset

Lynn Canyon Park

If you’re looking for something a little less crowded than Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, check out Lynn Canyon. The Lynn Canyon Suspension Bridge is not nearly as well-known, so you’re way more likely to be able to get a photo by yourself on it. Best part is - this attraction is free! Once you’ve crossed the bridge, there are several trails you can go explore around the park, so plan to spend a few hours here. Also, bring your swimsuit and go swimming at the 30 Foot Pool, a natural swimming spot located inside Lynn Canyon Park.

Take The Ferry To North Vancouver

The SeaBus terminal was just a short walk from the Fairmont Pacific Rim, and we were able to easily take the ferry over to North Vancouver. There, you can check out Lonsdale Quay Market, with plenty of dining and shopping options. Just a short walk up the street and you can also find the colorful Fun Alley next to Buddha-Full juice bar and cafe. It’s a super Instagrammable spot!

Fun Alley in North Vancouver // The Quick Guide to Visiting Vancouver, BC #readysetjetset
Fun Alley in North Vancouver // The Quick Guide to Visiting Vancouver, BC #readysetjetset

Disclaimer: This post is in collaboration with Fairmont Hotels. As always, all opinions are my own.

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The Quick Guide to Visiting Vancouver, BC // www.readysetjetset.net #readysetjetset #vancouver #britishcolumbia
The Quick Guide to Visiting Vancouver, BC // www.readysetjetset.net #readysetjetset #vancouver #britishcolumbia