If you’re cruising to Alaska this summer and able to enjoy a night or two in Vancouver, we’ve put together an itinerary of our top things to do.
But First, Coffee
Like our neighbors in Seattle, Vancouver is absolutely buzzing with phenomenal coffee choices. Trendy Gastown is just steps from Fairmont Waterfront and our top pick is Revolver – both for the coffee and the overall experience. The staff here serve up supremely handcrafted, pour-over coffee in this charming shop. Grab a spot by the window for people watching or take it to go and stroll the cobblestone streets of the neighborhood.
Need a bit more sugar with your coffee? Head south a few blocks to the 49th Parallel location on Thurlow Street. A local favorite for an amazing cup of joe served alongside another local legend – Lucky’s Donuts.
The downtown core is home to many high-end shops, but the most unique shopping spot is Granville Island. This gem has many artisan studios featuring hand-made goods, artworks and other unique gifts. The Granville Island public market is also a great spot to pick up some smoked salmon and local wine.
Bonus: You can take the Aqua Bus, a cute little rainbow boat, to get there.
A Cultural Experience
Explore Vancouver’s iconic Stanley Park with a local Indigenous guide and cultural ambassador with Talaysay Tours. Listen to First Nations stories and learn about the cultural connection to Northwest coast trees and plants. Your guide will point out local plants that were harvested by Indigenous people for food, technology and medicine on the Talking Trees Tour.
Everyone knows of Stanley Park and we certainly do recommend it! But if you have a little more time and are looking for a little more adventure, Grouse Mountain is for you. Just 15 minutes from downtown (with complimentary shuttles in the summer right outside Fairmont Waterfront), and then an 8 minute gondola ride up the mountain, Grouse offers the best views of the city. Go ziplining, see rescued Grizzly bears in the wildlife refuge, stand inside the wind turbine for a 360 view or simply enjoy lunch above the clouds.
Shaken or Stirred?
This is no time to go to bed early. Vancouver’s burgeoning craft cocktail scene is not to be missed. Fabulous speak-easy style establishments started in adjacent Gastown, but have been popping up all over the city. The Diamond is a local favorite, serving up some incredible concoctions and delectable bites. If you’re in the mood for some live music (and fabulous food!), you don’t even need to leave your hotel – ARC Restaurant on the lobby level has got you covered.
Connect With Your Cruise Ship
Time to board ship? Just steps from the cruise ship terminal, Fairmont Waterfront is the jumping off point for your pre/post cruise stay. Book now & receive guaranteed 9am check-in, deluxe buffet breakfast for 2 and porterage service by our Bell Team for your luggage transfer to Canada Place Cruise Ship Terminal.