Road Trip spesh! Pacific Coast Highway 1, CA.

Freedom was ours! We were now on the road and had two weeks to get to LA. Looking back, the prospect of having a car and the flexibility that brings was very exciting! Everyone goes to America for an epic road trip and that’s exactly what lay ahead for us. In this blog I’m just going to concentrate on the Pacific Coast specifically, but I will share our full route at the end- for anyone who’s interested! We picked up our ‘luxurious’ car from San Francisco airport. We decided to use an American company called Dollar in the end (after much research!) They were the most affordable and one of the few companies that didn’t charge an extortionate ‘one-way fee’ between California and Nevada. Below, are the notable places we stopped off at en route, as well as a couple of pointers which will help the trip become a little less stressful and more enjoyable for both passenger and driver! So, let’s get to it…

1. San Jose

This was our first stop off, about an hours drive from the airport in San Francisco. Our reasoning was breakfast! Oblivious to what was going on when we arrived, we were happy to discover San Pedro Square Market was open. We are both lovers of a good, local farmer’s market and here we sampled some of the most delicious peaches I’ve ever tried!  After a hefty breakfast burrito at Peggy Sue’s Diner, we had another wander around the market stalls and left, smug and satisfied with our fruity purchases! 

San Pedro Square Market
2. Greyhound Beach

Not only did we fall in love with this beach because it’s likely a breed of dog we’ll own one day, but it also felt very special- almost like a secret. It was the perfect peach stop over, with staggering sea views. Take care on the way down to the beach, it is quite steep. You almost feel like your trespassing which adds to the idea that you’ve discovered a hidden gem! 

Greyhound Beach.

3. Santa Cruz

I personally would have loved to have spent a few days here. It honestly looks as though the whole town has a dreamy haze cast over it- just as I had imagined it! It’s the essence of laid back cool. We walked along the pier as causal as any resident ‘Cruzer.’ We passed people playing volleyball on the beach as we headed towards the amusements for a little play time on a two person game. I’d imagine the Santa Cruz Boardwalk would have been even more fun but alas our time (and pockets) were limited. Fun fact, this amusement park has been continuously operating since 1907! 

Santa Cruz Boardwalk.

4. Monterey- Lover’s Point Park

One of the destinations that draws people to this trip. The views are immense, even when it’s overcast. It’s rugged coastal line attracts tourists year on year. We stopped off to stretch our legs at Lover’s Point Park. It’s a pleasant walk (maybe a little longer than anticipated) along the coastline to the lighthouse. There are plenty of distractions though, from formidable homes to wonderous wildlife spots! We saw ‘sea’ squirrels, a playful seal and comorants. The Monterey Car Week was in full flow during our trip too so we saw dozens of exotic cars which my boyfriend enjoyed!

Cormorants at Monterey.
Sea squirrels at Monterey.
Casually watching the waves, Monterey.
 

5. Carmel by-the-Sea & Big Sur

You can stop off for a few days in this area if time permits. Not having specific boundaries, Big Sur is generally considered to cover 76 miles, from Carmel River to near San Simeon. What I didn’t realise was how lightly populated Big Sur actually was. It’s literally just a cluster of restaurants along a road, with National Parks to hike in and explore. We particularly loved Bixby Bridge, a must photo stop for the ultimate ‘Big Sur’ photo! Whatever the weather, it’s a sight not to be missed, with its plummeting cliff views, raw coastline and crashing waves. It’s has been described as mythic in reputation and a national treasure. It is the longest and most scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the U.S. 

Selfie at Carmel!
Bixby Bridge, Coast Road.
Just another “wow” view, Big Sur.

Find out more to do in this area in the link below:-

Carmel by-the-Sea

Pointer 1:-

Do your research about any closures along Highway 1! We had to double back on ourselves due to a bridge collapse back in February. This was mostly my fault though as I knew there were closures I just couldn’t work out where…! 

Pointer 2:-

Have an ‘In-N-Out’ burger. Just do it and thank me later! 🙂 

Our route:-

San Francisco – San Jose – Greyhound Beach – Santa Cruz – Morgan’s Hill (emergency stopover!) – Monterey/ Lover’s Point Park – Carmel by-the-Sea – Big Sur – Santa Maria (stopover.) 



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San Francisco, CA

Known as the “foggy city” (particularly when we visited in August!) San Fran was a place we were both eager to explore. Home to many famous sights we decided to allow four nights to take full advantage of it’s offerings. There is more to experience than just the Golden Gate Bridge and the ‘movie-scene’streets! Below, are our “best bits” of places we visited and a “top three of the trip” which we believe made our stay even more memorable and insightful. As well as this, I have included an “eye spied” section which exposes bars, restaurants and other points of interest I couldn’t help but take a shine to! So, let’s get to it…

Best bits:- 

1. Bike ride over Golden Gate Bridge. 

A feeling I will never ever forget. It was my most memorable moment of the trip so far! I had a smile like the Cheshire Cat there and back, something I’d highly recommend. Most people hire a bike somewhere near Pier 39 like us, spend a few hours in Sausalito and then get the ferry back. However we had already been the day before, which meant we could spend the minimum amount on bike hire- we actually timed it to perfection and had four minutes left to spare! 

Golden Gate Bridge.
Edit

Bike selfie!

2. Fisherman’s Wharf & Sausalito.

One of the “bucket list” things to do is to visit Fisherman’s Wharf, or, Pier 39. As expected, it was an unmistakable tourist trap. Overwhelmed with tacky souvenir shops and themed restaurants. The showstoppers were the sea lions! They were honestly in their hundreds, sunbathing out on the pier. This was something we weren’t expecting so it was a welcome surprise. One thing I will say which was definitely worth the visit, are the street performers. They are very entertaining and genuinely, extremely talented. You can book many a tour on the spot here and this was our plan. We had been advised to go and visit Sausalito by a friendly group of retirees we had met in Portland! Once home to the late Robin Williams, Sausalito is a picture perfect location. We got the ferry over from Pier 39, the number 2 best ferry ride in the world apparently! We passed the infamous Alcatraz- quite a surreal and eerie sight. It was a windy ride, but it only lasted about 40 minutes until we reached the pier. Sausalito is a beautiful sight. It’s just a small town home to 7,000 residents tucked at the base of the street hills that ring San Francisco Bay. There are plenty of very appealing restaurants and bars along the waterfront which, if we had the budget for, we would have definitely stopped by. Instead we just decided to walk to Horse Shoe Bay to get a photo opp of the Golden Gate Bridge. It wasn’t too far a walk, maybe an hour round trip. Some people head over to the Muir Woods, either on bikes or by bus, but with limited time we were unable to make the trip. 

Sea lions basking in the sun, Pier 39.
Alcatraz.
Horse Shoe Bay, Sausalito.

3. SF Giants vs Philadelphia Phillies.

We rounded off our incredibly touristy day with an almighty baseball game- my first one! We had bought our tickets online a couple of days in advance for not very much money at all (~$15 each.) Our seats were actually very well appointed too! The atmosphere was surreal, just like you see in the movies- corny but true! It was loud, intense and totally over the top. There was even a streaker! We tasted our very first corn dog at the game, it was slightly better than expected. Be warned- beers and food are outrageously priced! The Giants did end up winning too, so it added to the atmosphere!

Our view watching The Giants!

4. Corona Heights Park.

We went to four parks in one day:  Alamo, Buena Vista, Corona and Golden Gate. This was hands down the best vantage point we thought, just beware of the Coyotes though! 

Selfie at Corona Heights.
Vista of the City at Corona Heights.

5. Lombard Street.

Known for being the windiest, steepest street in San Francisco. (It’s actually not the steepest, that title goes to Filbert Street at 31% gradient.) Lombard is definitely the most popoular amongst tourists. It’s worth it for the camera shot of the cars coming down! 

Lombard Street, SF.

6. Chinatown.

The second largest Chinatown in the world- according to Lonely Planet! It is an impressive sight. Over 100,000 people live in this area! It’s jam-packed with oriental supermarkets, restaurants, cheap gift shops and bars. You can’t miss it!

Chinatown, SF.

TTT’s:-

1. Stay in the up and coming Mission District. Home to the Clarion Way graffitti landmark. We stayed at Union Hotel just metres from 16th and Mission station. We found hipster coffee shops, niche bakeries and fantastic Mexican fast food around every corner.

2.  If you don’t have the money for the cable cars then the old tram buses are just as good.

3. If you’re thinking of going to Alcatraz in the high season, then be sure to book a few weeks in advance (at least!) We were in two minds whether to go and visit or not and in the end it was too late- hence why we went to Sausalito. We managed to get a good photo from the ferry over though, which was good enough for us! There’s always next time…

Eye spied:-

Eat @:-

Pancho Villa, 3071 16th Street.

The Pork Store, 1451 Haight Street.

Tartine Bakery, 600 Guerrero Street.

Stacks, 501 Hayes Street.

Craftsman and Wolves, 746 Valencia Street.

Drink @:-

Bar Fluxus, 18 Harlan Place. 

The Irish Bank, 10 Mark Lane.

Four Barrels Coffee, 375 Valencia Street.

Shop @:-

All along Hayes Street 🙂 

Portland, OR

Portlandia, Beervana, Beertown- whatever you chose to call it, is one hell of a city. The people of Portland are known for being abundantly nice- and a bit kooky! Within our first minutes here, we saw a guy cycling with his dog on a lead who was on a skateboard?! It’s all part of the “Keep Portland Weird” thing, apparently. It has the most breweries and independent microbreweries of any city in the world! It is known as a leader in speciality coffee- home to Stumptown Coffee Roasters. And as well as all this, Portland has been credited for being one of the most vegan-friendly cities in America. So there you have it, Portland is a city for everyone! And they really do welcome everyone with open arms. Below, are our “best bits” of places we visited and a “top three of the trip” which we believe made our stay even more memorable and insightful. As well as this, I have included an “eye spied” section which exposes bars, restaurants and other points of interest I couldn’t help but take a shine to! So, let’s get to it…

Best bits:-

1. Pioneer Square

Also known as Portland’s living room, it is a public space occupying a 40,000 sq ft city block in the centre of downtown. Dozens of events are held at the square each year and we were actually lucky enough to join in the fun for the first ever Pan African Festival. There has even been an all-city pillow fight and slumber party in 2006! You also get the satisfaction of seeing the 50,000 inscribed bricks which, by selling them for $750,000, helped raise the funds needed to complete the design. This was thanks to the citizen group “Friends of Pioneer Square.” Even if you visit at a time where there are no events they have a very extensive tourist information centre below ground, where you can help yourself to as many leaflets and free postcards as you like! 

Pan African Festival in Pioneer Square.

2. Pearl District.

This is easily one of Portland’s most desirable and fashionable neighbourhoods. The Pearl District is home to some of the city’s best known chefs, art galleries, craft beer breweries and boutiques. Formerly a neglected area of abandoned warehouses and railways, the Pearl District has earned a world recognised reputation for urban renaissance. Located in the heart of Downtown, businesses range from real estate renowned advertising firms and finance. Nestled between this corporate world you will find family-friendly parks that attracts visitors and locals alike. 

Find out more of what’s on at the link below:-

Explore the Pearl.

Street Art in Pearl District.

3. Saturday Market.

If you’re in Portland over the weekend you have to go to their Saturday Market. It is the largest continuously operated outdoor market in the U.S. It is an open arts and crafts market with live music and an array of food trucks to tantalise your taste buds. It happens every Saturday and, actually, Sunday at Portland’s Waterfront Park and Ankeny Plaza. You can find some amazing unique hand-crafted goodies at every turn. It is a great start to the day! If you get a chance, and you have a sweet tooth, definitely try some “elephant ears.” They seem to be a traditional treat here. I didn’t get the chance to try them and have regretted it ever since! 

Portland Saturday Market.


4. Washington Park.

You could easily spend all day here. We only really went to the International Rose Test Gardens, but there’s lots more to keep you occupied. There are museums, the zoo and forests to walk through. I must say, the gardens are exquisite and, of course, smelt absolutely stunning! I never knew how many different varieties of roses there were- and how hilarious some of their names were?! It is free to enter the gardens too, which was another attraction for us shoestring travellers!

Washington Park.

Selfie at the Rose Gardens.

5. Oregon Historical Society Museum.

We wanted to cram in a museum in Portland as we had failed miserably in Seattle and Vancouver! The Oregon Historical Society Museum was absolutely perfect in providing insight into this incredible American state. The museum features permanent and rotating exhibits covering local history before and after Oregon became a state in  1859. There’s an award-winning exhibit: “Oregon my Oregon,” which tells the story of the states earliest inhabitants through the Oregon Trail period and early settlements and industries. Native American artefacts, memorabilia from Portland’s 1905 Lewis and Clark Exposition and even the “Portland Penny” – the very coin tossed in the air by city founders to decide it’s name! Whilst we were there they also had an incredibly interesting exhibit entitled “High Hopes: The Journey of J.F Kennedy.” This museum was well worth the fee to get in. (I think it was around £10-15) They also provided big enough lockers for both of our back packs- a massive plus! 

Oregon Historical Society Museum.

6. Powell’s City of Books.

Claiming to be the biggest independent new and used bookstore in the world, this impressive store puts our beloved Waterstone’s to shame. Founded in 1971 by Walter Powell, it is now located in the Pearl District on the edge of Downtown and run by his grand daughter. The store has around 500 employees, 9 colour coded rooms and over 3,500 different sections. I wouldn’t ever call myself a book worm, but even I happily spent a few hours browsing around in this store! 

Powell’s Books.

Powell’s Bookstore (can you spot Oli?!)


7. Voodoo Doughnuts. 

This place is definitely worthy of a “best bits” mention! If there was ever a business that captured the essence of Portland’s weird label, this would be it! Their signature doughnut is moulded into the shape of a voodoo doll, with a pretzel stake and filled with oozy blood red jam. Its a good job they always have a huge queue outside, because to decide on what doughnut you want is no easy task. You can choose from raised yeast doughnuts, cake doughnuts and even vegan doughnuts! With names such as the “old dirty bastard,” “bacon maple bar” and “cock and balls,” teamed with the elaborate designs of these doughy masterpieces, you will be hit with discombobulation! Their branding is just as wacky, over the top and pure genius! “The magic is in the hole!” 

Check them out below:-

Voodoo Doughnuts.

Voodoo Doughnuts branding.
 

TTT’s:-

1. You have to eat at one of the many food carts- this city is world known for them. I think we went around twice before deciding what we fancied! We finally chose Verona Pizza and Pasta and it certainly did not disappoint.  

2. This is more of a head’s up, Portland probably has the most homeless people we ever expected to see. Due to their friendly nature and acceptance, Portland locals live in harmony with the homeless. There are entire streets and parks taken over by homelessness at times. We had no issues during our stay, it’s just something I thought you should be mindful of.

3. Keep your eyes peeled for weird! As I explained before, the people of Portland are known for their eccentricities! It’s a great place to just sit and take it all in. We walked passed a family rock band covering Greenday songs. Dad on bass, son on electric guitar and lead vocals and the daughter absolutely killing it on the drums at about 9 years old! 

Eye spied.

Eat @:- 

Brunch Box, 620 SW 9th Avenue.

Habibi, 1012 SW Morrison Street. 

For affordable delicious Lebanese food.

Verona Pizza & Pasta, 521 SW 9th Avenue.

Pine Street Market, 126 SW 2nd Avenue. 

Food hall with gourmet vendors and a mix of counter and communal seating. We had a “Bless Your Heart” burger- it had chilli (as in chilli con carne) inside the burger too! 

Ruby Jewel, 428 SW 12th Avenue. 

Hand crafted ice cream sandwiches in unusual flavours.

Voodoo Doughnuts, 22 SW 3rd Avenue. 

Drink @:-

Bridgeport Brewing Company, 1313 NW Marshall Street. 

McMenamin’s- Al’s Den, 303 SW 12th Avenue. (Also a live music venue!)

Rogue Hall, 1717 SW Park Avenue. 

Heart, (coffee) 537 SW 12th Avenue.

Shop @:-

Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W Burnside Street. 

Flagship Nike Store, 638 SW 5th Avenue.


Seattle, WA.

“America, f**k yea!” So, we’re in the U.S of A! We only spent one full day in Seattle unfortunately. But we did a full night and day of exploring. There is a lot to see and do here and, if you have enough time, you can even do some excursions out to Mount Rainer! Below, are our “best bits” of places we visited and a “top three of the trip” which we believe made our stay even more memorable and insightful. As well as this, I have included an “eye spied” section which exposes bars, restaurants and other points of interest I couldn’t help but take a shine to! So, let’s get to it…

Best bits:-

1: Pike Place Market

I LOVED this space. The atmosphere, the architecture, the history! Spaces like this get me excited. I could spend hours just dolly daydreaming about how it looked, felt and smelt back in the early 20th Century. It’s one of the oldest public farmer’s markets continuously operating in the United States and overlooks the Elliot Bay waterfront. The Pike Place Fish Market, is one of the most famous stalls there, known for throwing fish customers have purchased before they are wrapped. So gutted I didn’t get to see this whilst we were there, but the array of fresh fish on show was an impressive sight. If you fancy, there are Market tours available focussing on food, history or both! It’s also worth mentioning, Pike Place is home to the original Starbucks. We didn’t go in, but apparently it’s just like a normal Starbucks- except you can buy expensive souvenirs and expect to wait a little bit too long for your coffee… 

Best bits of Pike Place Market.

2. Pioneer Square

This was the birthplace of Seattle and claims to be the city’s first ever neighbourhood. It is a feast for the eyes with Renaissance Revival architecture towering above you. It was once the centre of travel to Alaska during the Klondike Goldrush. In 1899 a group of businessmen stole a Tlingit totem pole and placed it in Pioneer Place Park. However an arsonist attack on the pole years later forced the city to send the pieces back to the tribe. They finally got their money back for the stolen totem and carved a brand new one for the city as a gift. This is the one you see today! A great contrast and reminder of the time. The square is bustling with business. Delicious lunch spots, hipster coffee houses and quirky boutiques- enough to get my attention! Underground tours are also available, offering an insight in to what Seattle was like in it’s gold rush days. 

3. The Waterfront

Located along Alaskan Way, Seattle’s waterfront is open all year round. It’s exactly what we expected it to be. Full of tacky gift shops and over priced, average-looking food (I can imagine any parent’s nightmare!). Embrace the atmosphere though! It’s great for people watching and it is nice to walk along the waterfront and see the sights. You’ll find Seattle’s Aquarium and the Great Wheel along here, which we’ve read are well worth a visit. 

4. The Olympic Sculture Park

This is supposed to be one of the best free things to do in Seattle, except we didn’t quite see it… It’s along the waterfront, and we actually started at the Sculpture Park, but we only saw a handful of sculptures- none by Louise Bourgeois either which I was quite gutted about! There’s a pretty good view of the skyscrapers and sea though. My advice would be, try and find it better than we did! 

Skyline with (a few) sculptures!

TTT’s
1. Don’t waste your money going up the Space Needle. I know it’s a bucket list must, but it’s not the highest point in Seattle. You can go to Floor 73 Skyview Observatory, Columbia Center for almost half the price. At over 900 ft it beats the Space Needle by nearly 400ft! 

2. Go to R.E.I We’ve been in search of large water bottles for our trip, to ensure we are both sufficiently hydrated on the move. (It’s been very hot!) After spotting a shop assistant’s bottle in Patagonia, she directed us to this wonderous place. Think “Go Outdoors” but 100 times better in every way! It’s a hiker’s, climber’s, cyclist’s, surfer’s paradise- and it even has a climbing wall going right through the centre! They’re all over the U.S.

3. Stay close to Broadway. It’s a really cool, hip area to be, with lots of niche restaurants, bars and kooky shops to check out. Remember though, if you’re after a few drinks, don’t forget your I.D- they usually except nothing less than a passport! A few places we checked out are revealed in “eye spied.” 

Eye spied.

Eat @:-

Tacos Chukis, Broadway E.

Coffee @:-

Zeitgeist Coffee, S.Jackson Street-Pioneer Square.

Zeitgeist counterfront

Stumptown Coffee Roasters, 12th Avenue.

Starbucks Reserve, Pike Street. (But go there for the design more than anything!)

Interior of the Reserve
Shopfront

Drink@:-

Garage, 23rd Avenue, Broadway.

Playing pool (probably terribly!) at Garage

Pine Box, Melrose Avenue. (We never made it here, but we were advised to go by the guy at the till in R.E.I. It’s a craft brewery in a former funeral home…!) 


Vancouver, B.C

This is where our journey began. Our heads giddy full of wonder and expectation, and smiles stretching from ear to ear. We had six incredible nights in this city. Looking back, we probably could have been a tad more restrained but hey (less of the shoulda woulda coulda’s) we were off the scale with excitement and wanted to explore as much as we could. To say Vancouver is varied is the biggest understatement going!

Below, are our “best bits” of places we visited and a “top three tips” which we believe made our stay even more memorable and insightful. As well as this, I have included an “eye spied” section which exposes bars, restaurants and home furnishing shops I couldn’t help but take a shine to! So, let’s get to it…

Best Bits:-

1. Stanley Park

This was the perfect starting activity to our trip. You’ve got to experience it. We leisurely walked around stopping at various sights to see, but a popular option is to hire a bike. We were glad we decided against this, as it looked pretty congested with tourists and families and generally people who looked like they had never ridden a bike before! In contrast, walking appeared a lot more relaxing. The scenery is just staggering along the cliff side. Sea and beach on your left, woods to your right and in the distance mountains as far as the eye could see (harder for us with all the smoke from recent forest fires mind!) Still, it is quite special. We spent a good few hours walking around taking it all in. We passed Lost Lagoon walking through the park and ventured inland after a stretch of the cliff walk to find Beaver Lake. This was over flowing with giant, gorgeous lily pads. Hidden amongst the vast park it felt magical. 

Sea cliff walk, Stanley Park.
Beaver Lake, Stanley Park


2. Lynn Canyon

Around an hour out of town by bus,(depending on how far away the cheapest Airbnb is) you will find exactly the sort of place that drew you to Vancouver. The crucial difference here is that it is completely free! Unlike attractions like Capilano. Lynn Canyon was probably the best find of the trip. Even an old park ranger after we left confirmed our feelings, and told us to “sack off Capilano, it’s a massive rip off!” Lynn Canyon offers a vast area of forest for you to explore various trails- one all the way to Grouse Mountain if you fancy! It has a suspension bridge a 30ft pool and a 90ft pool for visitors to enjoy and admire the stunning views. The park opens from 10am to 5pm and there are toilets, a restaurant/ café and a gift shop before you enter the park. We had a great couple of hours hiking here; if not a little on edge at the thought of coming face to face with a bear… No bears were spotted on this occasion! 

Check out the link below for more info:- 

Lynn Canyon Park

One of the two pools!
Tall trees!
Looking down from the suspension bridge.
Another view from the suspension bridge.
 

You cannot miss out on this trip. Even the bus journey was a treat in itself. Winding its way through all the incredible (probably extortionately expensive) roads near Lynn Canyon. I would 100% live this side of Vancouver if I was rich! We even saw a young boy selling lemonade on a quiet lawned corner, what more could we have asked for?! 

3. Grouse Mountain

We had to physically challenge ourselves one day of our stay, you know us! 30,000 steps a day isn’t enough exertion… So if you’re a couple out for a challenge, get the ferry over to Grouse Mountain. Families go here too, so the level of difficulty can be adjusted to suit all levels of fitness- you don’t even have to hike up, you can take the sky ride both ways and enjoy the facilities without the breathlessness! I’m sure Oli and Lev would have happily done the notorious Grouse Grind if I hadn’t been in tow. Instead we conquered the (ever so slightly less challenging) BCMC trail. Just under 3km with 750m of elevation. Somehow (I’m blaming the boys) we managed over 3km?! Definitely an accomplishment and definitely deserving of a somewhat expensive beer at the top! They have lots to offer when you’re up there. Incase you didn’t spot any bears on the way up (again, we didn’t) they had 2 big grizzly bears in an enclosure. There was also a falconry and Lumberjack show for your entertainment. And of course, usually, the views are fantastic. But as we learnt from our first day, the forest fires had obscured that for our stay… Oh well! Our sky ride down cost around $15 each. You can buy different packages if the climb up isn’t for you. 

Check out their website below for more info:-

Grouse Mountain

The straggler…How annoyed do I look?!
Majestic owl at the falconry show.
Glad I didn’t see this Grizzly on the climb up!
Innuendos aplenty at the Lumberjack show.
No view on the skyride down!
 

4. Granville Island

A recommendation from the old park ranger! I’m not sure we would have known to go if we didn’t see him. This is a tiny “island” in downtown where you have to get a fun looking aquabus. You cross a 5 minute stretch of water to get there. Granville island is home to a huge undercover market with arts and crafts, grocery stalls, butchers, fishmongers, and artisanal food stalls which someone like me could really get lost in! But, alas, we’re on a budget so frivolous spending, plus the limitation of space in our backpacks stopped me. We raced around the island in about 30 minutes- mainly because I didn’t want any further temptation and the stark disappointement that comes with it! Also, we were tired from a full day of walking. There are however lots of skilled metal workshops and local artist galleries you can visit and even join in with if it took your fancy. As well as this, lots of lively bars and restaurants for you to indulge in and enjoy the atmosphere. 

5. West Van.

As the locals say! We ventured over here for pretty much one reason, pie! Savary Island Pie Company is an old bakery that specialises in, yep, pies! Savoury and sweet they’ve got it all. I had a slice of cherry pie with a cup of English tea, it was heavenly! You can also have a nice little stroll along the cliff side to walk off that pie, before getting the bus back to downtown. 

Savary Island Pie Company

My slice of sweet pie.

 

TTT’s (top three tips)

1. Do a personal food tour. Eat Poutine!! Go to Commercial Street and go wild. This was an awesome way to spend half a day. Places we indulged in I have mentioned in “Eye spied.”

2. Get to the free museums! We waited too long and didn’t anticipate a massive queue! Bummer. Every Tuesday entry is free/ by donation at: Vancouver Art Gallery (from 5pm), The Observatory (by the Space Centre) and Burnaby Village Museum.

3. Take full advantage of the public transport. The metro and buses are easy and are a great way to get to know all the areas of the city. Plus, on any normal day, I’m sure the views are incredible.

Eye spied.

Eat @:-

Baodown, Commercial Street.

Belgian Fries, Commercial Street.

Fire Pizza, Commercial Street.

Pekinpa, Gastown.

The New Oxford, on Homer, Yaletown.

(Sushi anywhere in Vancouver!)

Drink @:-

The New Oxford, on Homer, Yaletown.

The Boxcar, Main Street.

The Keefer Bar, Keefer Street near Chinatown.

Chill Winston, Gastown.

Interior Shop @:-

Kaikado, Water Street.