Since graduating college and moving out to Seattle, Drew and I have made it a priority to seek adventure whenever we can. We are big believers in traveling and experiencing all that is around us, and doing it in a non-expensive way. This past weekend we road-tripped up to West Vancouver! We want to share our guide with you so you can build your own adventure!
A few things you should know about the way we travel:
- Always ask the locals for recommendations. They love sharing their favorite spots in their hometown, and 99% of the time they are places you would have missed.
- Pack snacks. No one likes to be hangry on vacation and no one wants to be with a hangry person on vacation. You can find some ideas for snacks here.
- Put your phone down and embrace where you are. Often times we will set our phones on airplane mode during the day, except for when we need directions, and trust me, it is actually so refreshing.
- Just go! Life can quickly be filled with the day-to-day tasks, so it is always a great idea to plan an adventure every couple months..or every other weekend. Your choice.
- International day pass with your cell-phone provider (it was $10/day for us)
- An on-point Spotify saved playlist
- Passport (obviously)
- A rain jacket and rain shoes
- The Outbound App (the best place to find hikes and adventure spots)
Drew and I intended on leaving at 7AM Saturday morning but in reality we were out the door at 8:30. We learned our lesson the hard way: wait times at the border can be up to an hour or more. So it really is worth leaving early, even on the days we all love to sleep in.
After crossing the border and figuring out how to navigate the old school way, we made it to Horseshoe Bay in West Vancouver. It was even more beautiful than we thought possible. With sailboats in the bay and giant ferries coming and going, it was really sweet to just stop and soak it up.
After this quick stop, we headed to Whytecliff Park where we saw wild life (like seals and harbor porpoises!!), locals scuba diving, stunning views, and a really cool rock bridge that leads to an island. I tried to say hello to a local but then realized they only spoke French and the situation turned awkward quickly. Classic. Also, there is a picnic table sitting on top of a hill which overlooks the Howe Sound where we ate our lunch. 10/10 would recommend having a picnic there.
From there, we headed North on Highway 99 that hugs the coastline. It’s like you’re hiking but you get to eat banana bread and chill in your reclined comfy seat.
I recommend making stops at Porteau Park and Shannon Falls. Porteau Park offers stunning views and you can also camp there! Shannon falls is a quick hike that leads you to a 1,000 foot (!!!) waterfall.
After exploring, we headed back into town and grabbed a glass of wine at Troller Ale House where we watched ice hockey with the locals who knew each other by name and practiced saying “eh?” at the end of our questions. Before heading to dinner, we checked into our Airbnb which was right downtown and just a short walk from the ferry. Our host was very hospitable and we would definitely stay there again.
Dinner impressed us as well too. Our Airbnb host recommended Olive & Anchor located just a block away from where we stayed. With views of the bay, a cozy fireplace, and incredible food, this is a must for anyone staying in Horseshoe Bay.
I was determined to see the sunrise over the mountains and begged Drew to wake up and see it with me. Of course it was rainy and cloudy so there was no sunrise to see but if you go in the summer, let me know how it is!!
We brought our own breakfast from home, but if you are looking for a breakfast spot Butter Lane looked quite tasty to me. Before heading into Vancouver, we went hiking at Brothers Creek Loop starting off with a view over-looking Vancouver, and wooded with all the pine trees you could ever dream of. There were lots of locals with their dogs and they all let me pet them. Even the Bernese Mountain Dog.
For lunch we headed into Vancouver and ate at Dinesty , a Chinese restaurant recommended by our local friends. We attempted to use chopsticks, ate pot stickers and dumplings, and sipped tea with our pinkies up. From there, we made our way to 49th Parallel and pretended to be coffee connoisseurs and ate a Lucky’s Donuts. If you are wanting to do a little shopping, the Kitsilano neighborhood where 49th Parallel is located provides lots of shops and restaurants ranging from ramen to farm-to-table. We wandered from store-to-store before making our way back to Seattle.
This was the perfect weekend get-away. There is so much to be explored!I hope this gives you a foundation for your own trip. Cheers to adventure!