Just a quick 4-hour drive or 45-minute flight from Kelowna,
the city of Vancouver is the West Coast’s Shining Star.
At Jane Hoffman Realty, we know how lucky we are to live in the stunning Okanagan. With its comfortable climate, gorgeous natural beauty, and world-class wineries, it’s no wonder so many people choose to vacation here. Many visitors come back again and again… until one day they call the Okanagan home! But where do locals go to get away?
As much as Jane loves Kelowna and the sunny Okanagan, she also loves to travel. During her travels to some of Canada’s most exciting destinations, Jane has taken notes on her favourite hotels, restaurants, events, and “must-sees.” Join us for our new Travel Series, where we detail Jane’s finds at each of these extraordinary places.
Fairmont Pacific Rim
Among the exceptional hotels that abound in Vancouver, Jane loves staying at this always-on-point retreat. Its perfect downtown location—walking distance to the city’s best dining, shopping, and culture—and five-star service make it really feel like an escape. With luxurious rooms and phenomenal views over the North Shore, it’s no wonder the Pac Rim is a global standout. Conveniently, it’s also home to some of the city’s most acclaimed restaurants and lounges as well as live music!
Always Time for Play
The lush, ancient rainforests that run along the coast offer some of the most inspiring walks in the country. Fortunately, Vancouver offers spectacular access to nature on the doorstep of downtown, at Stanley Park. If you’re feeling adventurous, head across the water to Grouse Mountain, to ride the gondola up to the peak for a hike with unparalleled views over the city. Or visit North Vancouver’s Lynn Valley or the University Endowment Lands to immerse yourself in the area’s peaceful, old-growth sanctuaries.
Tidepools and giant logs and sunsets, oh my! A visit to any of Vancouver’s beaches is always worthwhile. The variety of comfort, activity, and people-watching is wide, depending on the shore you choose, but you’re sure to find a little respite from the busy city at the gorgeous Third Beach in Stanley Park, or farther afield in quaint Deep Cove. If you simply want to-die-for ocean views, a walk or bike ride along the Seawall, or an evening harbour cruise is ideal.
Museum of Anthropology
The University’s magnificent temple of global arts and culture, the MOA is always worth a visit. Housed in a mid-century contemporary space, the galleries inside offer an outstanding showcase of Canada’s First Nations, as well as travelling exhibits that highlight the stories of indigenous communities from around the world.
Vancouver is truly a hotbed of artistic talent. On any given day, you’ll find live music from every imaginable genre, theatre, art-house films, dance, and more! Looking for something less-structured? Drop in to see a show at one of the city’s swanky jazz clubs, Frankie’s downtown, or Blue Martini in Kitsilano. In the summer, the city’s cultural calendar fairly overflows with outdoor events. Take in a concert or musical theatre performance at Stanley Park’s Malkin Bowl, or enjoy a little Shakespeare at Bard on the Beach.
Light Up the Night
Vancouver simply sparkles in the evening, when the city lights reflect off the water and the glass towers. But certain times of year, this glow is enhanced, and it’s really something to behold. At the height of summer, Vancouver hosts the Celebration of Light, an international fireworks competition choreographed to music. December in the city is equally illuminating, when the Carol Ships fill the bay, bedecked in glittering holiday lights. Public and private boats take part in the Parade of Lights, and you can book a seat on a cruise, or simply enjoy the pageant from the shore. Either way, it’s cheerful and breathtaking.
Sometimes, a visit to the Coast is more than just a getaway; sometimes, it has a pace and a purpose. Vancouver’s famed Sun Run attracts more than 1 million athletes each spring. The 10K run through downtown and Stanley Park is a celebration for participants and spectators alike.
Chef David Hawksworth’s namesake fine-dining restaurant is a shining star on the national culinary scene. Overlooking bustling Georgia Street and the Art Gallery, it is tastefully understated, with a timeless sophistication in each of its unique salon-like rooms. The dynamic menu showcases exceptional Canadian flavours. Additionally, Hawksworth has an enviable wine list and boasts a remarkable cocktail bar.
At once casual, trendy, and eye-catching, Nightingale sets a standard among the Vancouver foodie scene. Deceptively simple food that highlights the flavours of the season is paired with exceptional BC wines and craft beers and innovative cocktails. This downtown hotspot is deliciously cool.
Blue Water Cafe
If you’re dining on the coast, ocean bounty is a must. Yaletown’s Blue Water has long ranked among Canada’s best restaurants. The menu focuses on sustainable seafood (with an impressive land-based selection, too) with a definitive BC flavour influence. Impeccable service and an upscale, loft-like ambiance makes this one a can’t-miss experience.
Tucked neatly into Canada Place, enjoy a freshly-made treat at this artisanal gelateria overlooking the harbour. The seasonal menu changes every day, but includes traditional Italian flavours, Canadian favourites, and unique nods to Vancouver’s Asian influence.
Craft Cocktails & Wine
This cocktail bar is a brilliant gem of Vancouver nightlife. It’s got a casual, old-school vibe just right for its Gastown setting, but the innovative and delicious drinks menu (and food, too!) and vibrant buzz offer excitement in-the-rough. The wine list, appropriately, includes plenty of bubbly, because everyone knows that pairs best with jewels! This established local favourite continues to shine.
Science meets style at the Fairmont Pacific Rim’s beautiful Botanist bar, a graciously understated collection of sleek art deco curves, subtle colours, and hits of gold. The Cocktail Lab menu offers some of the most creative drinks you’ll ever see, served in incredible, custom-made glassware. Savour the excellent wine list and elevated barroom snacks in an atmosphere that’s hopping, but comfortable enough for late-night conversation.
Once you stumble into the cellar of this underground downtown lounge, you’ll never want to leave. It’s lavish, tactile, and sophisticated, with impeccable service and magnificent and inventive drinks. This place calls itself a speakeasy, but it is no hole-in-the-wall. With such glamour and indulgence, you will feel like you’re breaking some kind of law here!
Enjoy your trip to the shining city of Vancouver! When you’re ready to come home, the experts at the Jane Hoffman Realty can help you find the perfect spot for your permanent Okanagan staycation. Because the world is amazing, but there’s no place like home. Contact us to learn more.