One Day In Vancouver BC

We spontaneously decided to spend one day in Vancouver BC while visiting my parents in Northwest Washington! My husband had never been and it was only a 90 minute drive to the Canadian border, so why not?

One Day In Vancouver

Gastown District

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Gastown

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Portland Ads in Gastown

Gastown is the perfect area to wind through sidewalks and alleyways, stopping every block or so to taste something new or pop into a boutique. We especially loved checking out the architecture and reading all the historic plaques.

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Gastown
Steam Clock

The Steam Clock is the big attraction in Gastown. It’s fun to watch, but I wouldn’t care to stand there for more than a few minutes. Long story short, it’s a steam powered clock that was put there in the late 70’s as a way to put an annoying steam vent to work. The city of Vancouver will probably never move it because it weighs about a billion pounds. It runs partially on steam power and partially on electricity. It cracks me up that this thing looks like it’s from the 1800’s because it’s actually less than 40 years old!

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Steam Clock, Gastown

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Craft Beer

There were quite a few craft beer places around Gastown, but Steamworks Brewing on Water Street stood out to us. Eric loved the Jasmine IPA and I was really digging this refreshing Cucumber Ale.

Cucumber Ale at Steamworks Brewery on Water Street in Gastown. One Day In Vancouver BC | canada travel explore wanderlust walking districts neighborhoods free cheap granville island gastown steam clock craft beer food waterfront views lookout point tower british columbia b.c. day trip staycation road trip quick stop unique history historical public market restaurants
Cucumber Ale at Steamworks Beer on Water Street
Steamworks Brewery. One Day In Vancouver BC | canada travel explore wanderlust walking districts neighborhoods free cheap granville island gastown steam clock craft beer food waterfront views lookout point tower british columbia b.c. day trip staycation road trip quick stop unique history historical public market restaurants
Steamworks Brewery
Poutine

While we were at Steamworks Brewery, we ordered our first ever plate of a popular Canadian dish called poutine. I wanted to hate it because it’s so unhealthy, but it was impossible to feel disgusted after tasting something so comforting. Poutine is french fries topped with brown gravy and cheese curds. I normally avoid fried things, gravy, and dairy, so  naturally it ravaged my sensitive stomach, but I would still highly recommend it. It’s so flipping good.

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Vancouver waterfront
Lookout Point

After a pint, I was dying to find a good view. We asked the bartenders and were recommended a lookout spot in a building nearby. After strolling into what we thought was the right building, we were quickly escorted out by an understanding security guard. Turns out we were in the United Nations building… oops. Luckily, the security guard was able to recommend a great viewing point nearby: the roof of a popular restaurant called Cactus Club. I definitely enjoyed it, but I’m not fully satisfied. Next time we’re in the area, I’ll probably fork over the $16 admission fee to access the Vancouver Lookout Tower.

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Granville Island

Granville Island is full of art, craft food, the cutest market ever, and ferries. I recommend arriving an hour or two before sunset to give yourself time to explore the public market. After a gorgeous dockside sunset, grab a waterfront dinner at one of the island’s restaurants.

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Granville Island Ferry Dock
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View from Granville Island
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Granville Island
Dock of Bridges Restaurant. One Day In Vancouver BC | canada travel explore wanderlust walking districts neighborhoods free cheap granville island gastown steam clock craft beer food waterfront views lookout point tower british columbia b.c. day trip staycation road trip quick stop unique history historical public market restaurants
Dock of Bridges restaurant on Granville Island
Granville Island Public Market

I wanted to eat everything at the Granville Island Public Market! Everything. Next time I come back here I want to allocate at least an hour to food shopping. We ended up walking through the market pretty quickly, but if you’re a foodie in the slightest, I would highly recommend you give yourself the time to browse slowly and drop a little bit of dough. It’s open from 9am to 7pm, so be sure you get all your shopping in before dinner!

I left with a a loaf of organic bread, a chocolate peanut butter cookie and some kind of crazy maple pastry. Everything was delicious, but I wish I had given myself time to taste more.

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Granville Island Public Market

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Ocean Concrete on Granville Island turned their silos into art a few years back. One Day In Vancouver BC | canada travel explore wanderlust walking districts neighborhoods free cheap granville island gastown steam clock craft beer food waterfront views lookout point tower british columbia b.c. day trip staycation road trip quick stop unique history historical public market restaurants
Ocean Concrete on Granville Island turned their silos into art a few years back
Dinner at The Sandbar

We ended our evening with a delicious meal of fresh, wood-fired fish at The Sandbar seafood restaurant, waterfront view and all. Unfortunately I was so hungry when our food came I forgot to take a picture. The Sandbar restaurant is a little on the expensive side, but the fish I got tasted incredible, and the server’s wine recommendation was on-point. Plus, we were seated at a window with an awesome view!

Have you ever been to Vancouver BC? Leave your recommendations below!

Thanks for reading! Talk to you soon,

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P.S. I took all the pictures above on this DSLR camera, which I highly recommend for beginners! I’m loving it.

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One Day In Vancouver BC | canada travel explore wanderlust walking districts neighborhoods free cheap granville island gastown steam clock craft beer food waterfront views lookout point tower british columbia b.c. day trip staycation road trip quick stop unique history historical public market restaurants

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