written by Michelle Hopkins
Compared to most North American cities, Vancouver is relatively young. What it may lack in age, it certainly doesn’t lack in appeal. Mother Nature truly blessed this city of nearly 650,000 residents. Named after Captain George Vancouver, who laid claim in 1792, Vancouver has snow-capped mountains, the ocean, rainforests and beautiful foliage. As one of North America’s most cosmopolitan cities, Lotus Land has an overabundance of things to see, do and enjoy.
Vancouver’s historic Granville Island has long been known as a gastronomy destination. This past summer, four of Vancouver’s most celebrated chefs founded Popina Canteen. Housed in brightly colored, repurposed shipping containers, this waterfront, gourmet counter-service eatery features sustainable seafood, salads and more. Besides its bustling food market, Granville Island has also made a name for itself as a hotbed for local artisans, who regularly work in on-island studios. The city is well known for its beaches—in fact, there are nine of them, each with a history dating to the 1800s. Jericho Beach was given its moniker in the 1860s after Jeremiah Rogers, an early settler. Today, its driftwood-strewn sandy beach is a hot spot for sailing, windsurfing, sea kayaking and beach volleyball.
As Vancouver’s oldest neighborhood, Gastown was named for “Gassy” Jack Deighton, an English seaman who opened Gastown’s first saloon. Today, this historic district, with its famous landmark Steam Clock, 100-year-old lampposts and cobblestone streets, has a thriving fashion scene, décor boutiques, one-of-a-kind galleries and some of the best food in Vancouver. A trip to Vancouver is never complete without a culinary adventure. This city espoused the farm-to-table philosophy with gusto. Arguably the best foodie city in North America, Vancouver’s chefs source seafood off its shores, vegetables from farmers in the Fraser Valley and some of the best fruit and wines from the Okanagan Valley.
After strolling Gastown’s many shops, head to the nautically inspired, chic Coquille Fine Seafood, where you can warm up with a steaming bowl of lobster risotto or fillet of ling cod with basil crust while sipping on a glass of Okanagan Valley merlot.