Although we’ve been to Vancouver several times, each visit has only served to remind us how much there is to see and do in the city and surrounding area.
Our first time there we drove to the North Shore so we could explore Grouse Mountain and the Capilano Suspension Bridge. We had a blast but didn’t get to see much of the city or anything along the water on the northern bank.
We recently spent the weekend in Vancouver and decided to dedicate an afternoon to exploring the North Shore.
We didn’t have a car so we decided to walk from our hotel in the West End along the southern bank to catch a Seabus ride across the inlet.
The weather was supposed to be cloudy and chilly our first day but the sun kept fighting the clouds and occasionally made an appearance! We walked along the water and enjoyed the boats and seaplanes as we headed downtown. There were lots of people out walking and running along the bank, and there were tons of restaurants and shops that tempted us along the way. We could have easily spent the afternoon exploring that area (on the agenda for next time!).
We had some trouble finding Waterfront Station–it was inside the train terminal along the water–but once we were inside it was easy to make our way down to the water. The Seabus is a double-ended catamaran ferry that holds 400 people, and I think we were near capacity! There were tons of people and the ferry was packed, but we sped along the inlet to the other bank in about 10-12 minutes.
The Seabus docks at Lonsdale Quay on the North Shore, which is home to the Lonsdale Quay Market. We wanted to spend some time in the market but since we had already eaten lunch, we thought we would explore the surrounding bank first and then end at the market before catching the ferry back to downtown Vancouver.
We walked west along the water and enjoyed a small sculpture garden and a series of houseboats that ran along the water with a small river in front of them. I had looked up some nearby breweries and the one appeared within walking distance so we headed that direction.
Unfortunately the map didn’t accurately capture how to walk to the brewery so we found ourselves trying to circumnavigate the train tracks and strolling through the residential area of a local First Nations tribe. We walked quickly to get back to the main road, but not without admiring some of the local buildings, including a huge church.
Once we were on the main road we were able to make our way around to the brewery, which was back in an industrial complex. It was really busy, and people seemed to have made their way there through multiple means–walking, driving, biking, etc.
The tasting room was small but they had the processing area out in the open so lots of people were wandering around and talking to one of the brew masters who was bottling a newly opened beer.
We pulled out some stools and enjoyed a pint before walking back (the right way!) to Lonsdale Quay.
After all the walking and a couple brews, we were ready for some food! The Market was the perfect solution.
We wandered around for a while checking out the fresh produce, local wines and other craftsman shops, but couldn’t resist a pizza shop in one of the center stalls that offered some high-top seating if you wanted to eat their wares on the spot.
Bowen Island Pizza Company had way more than just pizza. The sold all kinds of cheese, charcuterie, salami, olives and more. Brian decided on a slice of the prosciutto/basil/chevre while I opted for a slice of the pear/brie, and we also bought (and consumed) a bowl of marinated olives. You’ll notice a ‘slice’ is actually two– they didn’t warn us in advance, but we were starving and it was really good so we didn’t mind!
After checking out some other shops we headed to the nearby pier to watch the sunset over downtown. It was the perfect place to watch the sun go down and we took some really nice silhouette shots of the skyline.
I am used to packing an itinerary but our afternoon on Vancouver’s North Shore was just the right amount of activity. It was nice getting a flavor of the market and surrounding area, including one of the MANY local craft breweries.
I’m sure we’ll be back again with our car so we can adventure out and discover more of what the North Shore has to offer. If there’s anything we missed and should add to our agenda for next time, please let me know!