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The Weekender: Nonstop to Vancouver
Jenna Scatena | Photo: Images courtesy of Tourism Vancouver; Hawksworth; Wildebeest; Jenna Scatena (2); Keefer Bar; Salt; Burrard; Opus | January 17, 2013
Our comprehensive guide of all that’s cool in our thriving sister city in the north.
Spend a morning riding a bike along Vancouver’s sea wall (Opus and the Burrard rent them to guests for free). Think of the waterfront as a multi-mile long outdoor gallery, with dozens of oversized art instillation. Sculptures like a life-size pixilated orca and a space ship saluting the 1930s comic hero Brick Bradford (and granite capstones engraved with comic book panels) line the way to Stanley Park, one of the largest urban parks in North America.
Vancouver Art Gallery is the best place for an art fix. It has a wealth of historical and contemporary works, with a healthy dose of pieces from British Columbia artists. Save time for a pit-stop on their terrace for a cappuccino.
On the water taxi ride from Yaletown to Granville Island, get your elbows ready... you’ll need them to get a place in line in the tightly packed isles at Granville Market. It’s sort of like the San Francisco Ferry Building on steroids: A chockoblock of artisan, locally-sourced and finely-crafted foods, with goodies like “prosciutto of the week” at Oyama Sausage or cannolis “hand painted with chocolate” at Dusos Italia. Hint: Save room for the arctic char sandwich with serrano aioli and duck fat frites at Edible Canada, Granville’s new relaxed farm-style bistro.
The Opus Hotel is a modern design geek’s dream come true. The lobby of this stylish boutique hotel is a living room of electric pink mid-century modern chairs with silver chain curtains separating the large space into smaller, more intimate sections. The rooms are of similar accord: playfully decked out in local art (mine had watercolor paintings of squirt guns), fantastic pops of colors, and thoughtful perks like a complimentary iPad (score) and fresh bedside orchids. Rates from $179/night. Bonus: Location. Take a 15-minute Skytrain ride from the airport and you’ll pop out right in front of the hotel. It’s also in the heart of Yaletown, Vancouver’s posh nightlife and shopping district. Hint: Ask for a corner room. The extra windows are worth it.
If retro chic is more your style, The Burrard, a 72-room former motor lodge has been reincarnated into a funky swank Mad Men-era hotel, smack in the middle of Vancouver’s chichi downtown. Plus it has a lush palm tree oasis courtyard (think Palm Springs circa 1962, but with a dash of attitude). Rates from $89/night Bonus: Complimentary bikes for cruising town.
Find more weekend getaway ideas here.