One Amazing Winter Day in Vancouver

Downtown Vancouver with snow on the North Shore Mountains.

Downtown Vancouver with snow on North Shore mountains. Photo: Destination Vancouver/Clayton Perry

From beach walks to ski slopes with breaks for incredible food, sightseeing, and art, you can experience Vancouver’s nature, adventure, and culture all in one amazing winter day.


Breakfast in Kitsilano

Start your day in the Kitsilano neighbourhood, known as just “Kits” to locals. If you’re looking for something light, check out the incredible coffee and artisanal doughnuts at 49th Parallel on West 4th Avenue. But if you want a sit-down breakfast, head across the street to Jam Cafe. It’s one of the top brunch spots in the city and famous for its innovative eggs Benedict options. Pro tip: Go early as there is often a line.

Brunch spread at Jam Cafe

Photo: Jam Cafe/Instagram


Walk Along the Beach

Once you are fueled up, take a stroll along the ocean. From West 4th, head downhill on Yew Street to Kitsilano Beach. In the summer it is packed with sunbathers, but it is still worth a visit in winter for the incredible views of the snow-capped North Shore Mountains, downtown Vancouver, and Stanley Park. Continue your walk by turning right and heading along the oceanside path past the Vancouver Maritime Museum and through Vanier Park. Follow the seawall under the Burrard Street bridge into False Creek. A few minutes later, turn right and visit Granville Island.

A runner on the oceanfront path at Vanier Park.

Runner along the footpath at Vanier Park. Photo: Destination BC/Grant Harder


Browse the Galleries on Granville Island

Granville Island’s rabbit warren of buildings was once an industrial space but now is a thriving community of artists, boutiques, restaurants, and food shops. Take some time to browse the galleries in the Net Loft and Maritime Market buildings. You’ll find unique clothing, jewelry, pottery, prints, and more. Be sure to visit the Eagle Spirit Gallery, Inukshuk Gallery, The Raven and the Bear, and the Wickanninish Gallery to see art from Northwest Coast First Nations artists. And if you’re travelling with kids, don’t miss the Kids Market with tons of fun shops and activities geared for children.

Wickanninish Gallery on Granville Island

Photo: Wickanninish Gallery


Lunch on Granville Island

By now, you will have worked up an appetite. Head to the Public Market and wander through the food stalls until you find something that calls to you. You’ll find food from all over the world. Grab tacos from Alimentaria Mexicana, vegan Vietnamese food from Chau Veggie Express, ramen or Japanese rice bowls from Fuji Corner, bratwurst and sauerkraut from Kaisereck Delicatessen, or a sizzling hot pizza from Pizza Pzazz. If you’re craving dessert (or want to pick up a snack to enjoy later), head to Lee’s Donuts. They have been making their much-beloved Honey Dip donut since 1979.

Vegan Vietnamese spring rolls from Chau Veggie Express on Granville Island in Vancouver

Photo: Chau Veggie Express


Ride the Aquabus or False Creek Ferry

The best way to get downtown from Granville Island is to take the ferry. Both the Aquabus and Granville Island Ferries ply the calm waters of False Creek in adorable little passenger ferries. You can take the ferry straight to downtown. But if you have more time, go for a cruise and enjoy the views of Science World, Olympic Village, and Yaletown.

Aquabus in False Creek, Vancouver

Aquabus in False Creek. Photo: Tourism Vancouver / Tanya Goehring


Go Night Skiing

From downtown Vancouver, head to the North Shore to go night skiing. There’s nothing more magical than seeing the sunset and the glittering city lights from the top of a mountain, and then swishing downhill through the darkness on the illuminated ski runs. All three of the North Shore ski resorts (Grouse Mountain, Cypress Mountain, and Mount Seymour) have discounted lift tickets and rentals for evening skiing. It’s also easy to get to the ski hills by bus. Cypress and Seymour have shuttle buses and you can take public transit to Grouse.

Night skiing at Grouse Mountain near Vancouver

Photo: Grouse Mountain


Apres Dinner and Cocktails

After skiing, head back to the city to warm up with dinner and cocktails. If you’re feeling upscale cozy, you’ll love the gorgeously decorated Reflections Winter Terrace at the Hotel Georgia. Start with a hot toddy from their warm cocktails selection, then move on to their small plates menu and try innovative takes on classic finger food like lobster tacos or Wagyu beef dumplings.

But if you’re feeling more down to earth, head to Burgoo in North Vancouver’s Lonsdale neighbourhood, which is an easy stop on the way back from skiing. (They also have locations in downtown Vancouver and in the Mount Pleasant and Point Grey neighbourhoods.) Named for a type of stew, Burgoo specializes in comfort food from around the world. After an evening on the slopes, you’ll want to tuck into their hearty Beef Bourguignon or bread-crumb-topped baked mac and cheese. Or treat yourself to their decadent cheese fondue!

Reflections Winter Terrace at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia in Vancouver

Reflections Winter Terrace at the Rosewood Hotel Georgia. Photo: Rosewood Hotel Georgia

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