V is for Vancouver and Victoria, British Columbia

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Floral Bicycle, Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Floral Bicycle, Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Vancouver, British Columbia, is one of the grooviest cities I’ve ever visited. It has a bohemian, creative, chic-vibe similar to San Francisco with a dash more international flavor. Granted, I’m basing this on only visiting twice plus a visit to nearby Victoria, but it’s a destination I hope to visit again.

Stop and Smell the Fresh Flowers at Granville Market, Vancouver, B.C., Canada

Stop and Smell the Fresh Flowers at Granville Market, Vancouver, B.C., Canada

My visit to Victoria was somewhat spontaneous because the Icelandic volcano in 2010 changed my 40th birthday plans. Rather than jet-setting off to Europe with BFF ZeldaMae, we ended up in the Pacific Northwest including a stop in Victoria.  If you ever find yourself there, be sure to have breakfast at the Blue Fox Cafe. Yum! Yum!

Terimayo Japadog and Fries from Japa Dog on Robson Street, Vancouver, B.C.

Terimayo Japadog and Fries from Japa Dog on Robson Street, Vancouver, B.C.

Where to Eat in Vancouver

As for Vancouver, in addition to amazing sushi restaurants find a Japadog cart and eat one with a sprinkling of seaweed. The city also has a flourishing food cart scene and I had the opportunity to taste Feastro last summer. I tapped my inner-vegetarian with a fabulously delicious lunch at Brixton Cafe. (212 E Georgia Street)

Cafe Brixton for Lunch in Vancouver, B.C.

Cafe Brixton for Lunch in Vancouver, B.C.

Where to Play in Vancouver

What to do? A must is a visit to Granville Island, a public market and foodie’s paradise with fresh seafood, baked goods and everything else delicious to the eyes and stomach. Gastown is touristy but a must, it’s the city’s first downtown area named after “Gassy” Jack Deighton, a steamboat captain and barkeeper. If you’re feeling adventurous, walk over to Chinatown. Since you’re there, see the Olympic Caldron. (And that’s the short list of things to do.)

Canoeing with Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, Vancouver, B.C.

Canoeing with Tsleil-Waututh First Nation, Vancouver, B.C.

I explored a little historical gem, the Vancouver Police Museum. Having no personal connection to the city, I found the collection fascinating including the old morgue! I also paddled in a very large canoe with Takaya Tours to learn about the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation.

2010 Vancouver Olympic Cauldron, Jack Poole Plaza

2010 Vancouver Olympic Cauldron, Jack Poole Plaza

Watch Your Cellphone Data Usage!

Of course, if you’re not on a Canadian cellphone plan, talk to your carrier before visiting. During my weekend trip last year, I racked up a $700+ phone bill. Thankfully AT&T worked with me and changed my plan so I didn’t have to pay that.

Have you been to Vancouver and/or Victoria? Did you love it?

This post is part of the 2012 Blogging from A to Z Challenge. Check back daily for a different letter!

Author: Solo Travel Girl

Originally from Buffalo, N.Y., a hiking trail led Jennifer Huber, aka: Solo Travel Girl, to a career path in tourism. She has worked in the tourism industry for more than 20 years including 10 years with a park management company in Yellowstone, Death Valley and Everglades National Park. She currently lives in Southwest Florida, and maintains this travel blog with the goal of inspiring others to travel alone, not lonely.

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2 Comments

  1. Lived in Victoria for nearly a year in the late 1990’s – a very pretty place for newly wed and nearly dead, what the Victorians called it. Vancouver is my number 2 city in the world. Stunningly beautiful and so much to do. Going back in July to both. Thanks for giving me something to check out.

  2. Ooh, I always wanted to see Vancouver. Nice post!

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