Admittedly Vancouver, Canada never made my travel radar.
I didn’t hear much about it. No one encouraged me to add it to our travel bucket list. In all honesty, 6 months ago I probably couldn’t have even told you where it’s located.
Our trip to the Pacific Northwest changed all of that. And now, I can say with certainty, it’s a city our family can’t wait to return to soon.
Did you know that Vancouver is rated the 3rd best city in the world to live? Or that the airport ranks as #1 in North America? People also consider it the 12th best place in the world to eat!
Having visited, I can 100% agree with all of these accolades!
Of all things, the climate impressed our family the most.
We anticipated any spot in Canada to be bitterly cold during the winter months. However, our mid-November visit proved to be incredibly mild. We also were shocked to see palm trees growing all over the city. This led us to do some research regarding the average temperatures.
Believe it or not- Vancouver, Canada has average winter temperatures very comparable to Charlotte, North Carolina. In fact, the average lows during the winter are actually higher than Charlotte!
The city has a very coastal vibe- even in the midst of winter.
A few key things and fun facts to know about Vancouver
- The city is located in the Canadian province of British Columbia which is the most Southwest province.
- At the current time, everyone flying into Canada must have a passport; However, driving across the border is a bit different. Passports are prefered, even for children. But there are other proofs of identity accepted. Much longer wait times can be expected if not crossing with a passport, so for that reason it’s best to have one.
- Depending on traffic and the line at customs, it takes about 3 hours to drive from Seattle to Vancouver.
- Vancouver is nicknamed “Hollywood of the North.” The city comes in 2nd behind Los Angeles for TV production and 3rd behind Los Angeles and New York for movie production. In fact, we saw two different film sets during our time in the city.
- Stanley Park is 10% bigger than New York’s famous Central Park (the two are very similar.)
- The city’s cruise ship terminal is the 4th largest in the world.
- It’s an extremely family-friendly city boasting excellence in safety, education and health.
Where to Stay in Vancouver Canada
Anywhere along the waterfront is ideal. The city is very spread out so if you are planning to walk to your destinations you will need to select a hotel accordingly. Keep in mind, you will pay for parking anywhere in Vancouver. Most of the downtown hotels charge a very large parking fee.
Here are a few of our top family-friendly hotel picks:
*Our family selected the Westin Bayshore and we loved it! The hotel itself contained every amenity we could possibly want (including bikes to ride around Stanley Park and downtown.) Our family enjoyed our view of the harbor and we thought the hotel restaurant food was delicious!
Top Family Activities in Vancouver Canada
- Stanley Park
- Granville Island
- Maritime Museum
- Grouse Mountain
- VanDusen Botanical Garden
- Science World
- Capilano Suspension Bridge
- Kitsilano Beach
One final highlight of Vancouver is the Sea To Sky Highway
It’s a road that stretches north from Vancouver to Whistler (total distance 120 Kilometers.) And it’s easily one of the most scenic, beautiful drives in the world. Here are a few places you’ll want to stop:
- Shannon Falls
- Garbibaldi Lake
- Brandywine Falls
- Cypress Mountain Lookout
- Mountain woMan Restaurant
- Whytecliff Park
- Brackendale Eagle Viewing
You might also enjoy reading:
The One When Everyone Said We Were Crazy
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