Living in Seattle we are SO lucky to be equidistant between Vancouver and Portland which are two excellent food hubs in the northwest and both cities are only about a 3-hour drive away. This makes Seattle such an excellent starting point if food is a reason why you travel. It is also pretty convenient to get to either city with an electric car as there are Tesla supercharger stations on the way to both cities too.
Vancouver is my hometown so it’s always an easy choice, but right now a strong American dollar makes Vancouver an especially fabulous destination for Seattleites. We usually travel with our two 7-year-olds and there are lots of fun things to do with kids in Vancouver, but our recent visit ended up being an impromptu kid-free trip!
So what do we do without kids in Vancouver?
First we needed to find a hotel that can charge an electric car. There is no Tesla supercharger yet in Vancouver so finding a place to plug-in is always an adventure. We do use plugshare a lot and we’ve found great places to charge in the past year too.
One awesome plug-in we’ve found is at Ikea in Coquitlam because the spots are near to the shopping entrance and charging is free.
There are a few hotels in Vancouver that have chargers, and I ended up choosing the Opus hotel because they are a beautiful boutique hotel that is bookable through Expedia where I do a lot of my travel bookings and I noticed they had a VIP option which has been a great benefit of doing a lot of travel through that site. The Opus hotel has a Tesla charger and their valet will park and charge the car for you. What I didn’t know is that electric car parking is complimentary at this hotel and since Vancouver parking is on the spendier side, this is such an amazing perk for having an electric car.
Family has been raving about the Peaceful Restaurant and we decided that we would love to eat hand-shaved noodles for lunch. One location was really near Cycle BC where we thought it might be nice to rent bikes and ride around the city. The cool thing about Cycle BC is that they also have scooters you can rent and zoom around the city at a little faster pace than a bicycle. You need to have a driver’s license and they show you how to ride and since we had NO kids with us that day, this was the perfect day-date in Vancouver. I had visions of the hubby and I sharing a scooter but because we hadn’t ridden before we had to ride our own. I was a little worried at first that I wouldn’t be able to handle my own scooter, but our teacher was amazing and told me he wouldn’t let me drive on the road unless were we both confident that I could do it.
So eventually I passed the test and off we went. At first I only rode around the neighborhood and it would have been okay if we just did that. Earnest Ice cream was there and Terra Breads and a little farther away was Olympic Village where we noticed even more yummy places to eat and pretty things to sight-see.
But the hubby really wanted to go around Stanley Park and promised me an evening of shopping….
I’m totally glad I didn’t chicken out. Scootering is an exhilarating way to see the city and it is pretty easy to do. We have driven and biked parts of this route, but scootering made it feel like a totally new experience. I felt like I should have been wearing a more stylish leather jacket, but it was a chilly March day and I was so thankful for my down coat. Even when it started to rain a bit, and the wind picked up and people started to call out to us “are you still having fun?” I couldn’t have imagined a more awesome day in Vancouver.
We warmed up with noodles and onion pancakes and ate ice cream in the rain like true Vancouverites. Peaceful Restaurant is delicious and Earnest Ice cream is pretty iconic in Vancouver. (I really love the Earl Grey tea flavor) Elysian coffee is also a great choice nearby if you love a well-pulled coffee shot.
As promised, we finished the day off with shopping in Gastown, walking Robson and Granville Street, and checking out the Vancouver Art Gallery.
The Mashup exhibit that is on until June 12th is VERY cool and VERY modern. I loved seeing giant Andy Warhol prints. I also could have spent a lot more time in some rooms that were full of color and black and white. We weren’t there for very long so I know we’ll definitely revisit.
I also had a lot of fun checking out a Montreal-based candy company called Squish and a funky Canadian-themed pop up called Drake General Store that was in Hudson’s Bay. Nordstrom Vancouver is also really new and such a beautiful store too.
Opus is really close to a fun Japanese restaurant called Miku in Yaletown that is known for a pressed type of sushi called aburi. We like to eat mostly vegetarian so we ordered some vegetarian sushi too and I loved how beautiful it looked.
Exploring Vancouver without kids was such a fun adventure, but now I can’t wait to vacation back here with them too!
(PS. Thank you so much Tourism Vancouver with helping us with our trip and Cycle BC for letting us use your scooters-I was not required to post, eat ice cream or have a good time-these views are definitely my own.)
(PPS. We have been to the Tesla electric car charger in Burlington but not the one in Centralia yet. Have you been?)