Life File: How to Spend a Weekend in Vancouver

If there’s one thing I learned from my recent trip to Vancouver is that the city has so much to offer it’s basically impossible to get bored, even more so if you’re the outdoors-y type and love nature. To put it simply, it’s an outdoor playground. Whether you’re interested in winter sports, hiking, being surrounded by nature, exploring and wandering the city, admiring breathtaking views, or just any type of recreational activity (cycling, rock-climbing, camping, kayaking, you name it!), Vancouver has it.

I thought I’d share with you this 2-day hiking itinerary in case you ever need ideas as to what to do and how to organize your day. From the best spots to fuel you up before your hike to some great trails to do on the same day, below you’ll find one way to fill two days of adventure 🙂

Have breakfast at Pure Bread Canada (see here for all locations, but for reference, the one in Olympic Village is way bigger than the one in Gastown) and grab a Go-Go Bar (made of nuts, seeds and dark chocolate, it’s perfect to boost your energy levels!) to take with you to snack on your hikes.

Pure Bread Bakery – Go-Go Bars

Drive over to Deep Cove (approximately a 30 min drive from Vancouver) where you’ll get to enjoy the most beautiful views of the sea, the mountains, boats….it’s such a peaceful place! Park the car (there’s a 3 hour free public parking right on the road) and make your way to Quarry Rock. The trail is not difficult at all and takes about 30 minutes to complete. Once at the top you get to enjoy the most stunning water and mountain views. The spot is pretty quiet and calm so I recommend taking some time to sit at the top and take in the scenery. 

On your way down and before you head out of town, make sure you walk around the marina and stop at the coffee shops for a break and some treats. We made a quick stop at Honey Doughnuts & Goodies because they are famous for their freshly baked doughnuts, and then took a longer break at Cafe Orso (I heard that their waffles are a big hit!) before wandering around town with coffee and tea in hand.

Cafe Orso

After getting your energy back, drive to the Grouse Grind and take the BCMC trail which is known to be less busy but just as difficult (approximately a 3km hike with 853m of elevation). Once you’re at the top at the Grouse Grind Chalet, catch a breath, maybe a drink, wander around and then take the gondola on your way down to avoid the lengthy and steep descend 😉

Before calling it a day, I highly recommend grabbing a delicious (and well deserved) meal at any of these restaurants: Heirloom, Buddha Full, Tacofino (sooo good!) or Tractor (ate there way too many times during my stay!)

Rise bright and early and make your way to Savary Island Pie where you can grab some mouthwatering baked goods (the cinnamon rolls are enormous!) or a delicious breakfast while getting a peek at how pies are assembled one after another (I found this to be the best part and what makes the whole experience truly unique!).

Drive up north to Squamish and get ready to tackle some steep steps! The Chief is one of the most popular hiking spots in Squamish and it’s located right besides the Sea to Sky Gondola. Here you can decide to hike all peaks (there are three) or just a section. We climbed up to the first peak where we enjoyed spectacular views before making our way down and up to the top again via the Sea to Sky trail.

The Sea to Sky trail is probably twice as long as the Chief’s First Peak trek and instead of a steep ascension of mostly steps, the trail goes up and down and continuously winds around the mountain taking you up and down until you make it to the top where the lodge is and where you can grab some lunch, enjoy the views, and wander around. I strongly recommend taking some water and a snack for the the whole adventure as it ends up being 3 1/2 hours or so. 

Once you’re ready to go back home, take the gondola down and once you make it back to the city I recommend eating at Nicli Antica Pizzeria (they have two locations, one north and one south) and then indulging in a frozen treat at Ernest Ice Cream (they have tons of non-vegan flavours but my faves were the vegan peanut butter chocolate pretzel and the vegan toasted coconut, both SO GOOD!)

With another trip booked in a couple weeks I can’t wait to continue exploring this beautiful city and sharing back with you all the great things it has to offer 🙂