We arrived in Vancouver via train after spending a wonderful week on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State.
We only had a few hours to explore this beautiful city, as we’d be leaving for our week aboard the Island Princess heading to Alaska the next morning.
Much like a lot of things in Canada, accommodations did not come cheap. We coughed up a decent amount of money to stay at a lovely 4-star hotel just 3 blocks from the cruise terminal. (It wasn’t much cheaper to stay in a lower-ranked hotel, so we decided to splurge a little bit.)
The Metropolitan offered a touch of a luxury for a fairly affordable price (given the other nearby options in its class).
We had no complaints about our room and even got to stay on the top floor, as requested!
I had done a little bit of research prior to our visit and I knew of one location in Vancouver that I just HAD to visit!
Those who know me, know I LOVE cheese, so we were on a hunt for Mom’s Grilled Cheese Truck! Fortunately it wasn’t parked but a block or so from our hotel!
Sam was able to indulge with me, as they offer customers gluten-free bread as an option!
I even tried their famous spicy gaspacho, which is a flavorful tomato soup served chilled with a pickled green bean.
I guess this city landmark is worth mentioning, although as a self-proclaimed germaphobe, I found it to be rather gross. The “Gumhead” statue was on display in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery for a limited time and we just happened to visit during its debut!
We made our way to the Gastown region of the city, which is said to be the city’s oldest neighborhood.
It’s also home to the world’s oldest, still-functioning steam powered clock.
After wandering the streets and perusing the shops of Gastown, we felt it fitting to stop by and enjoy a quick bite and a brew at Steamworks Brewery & Restaurant.
Steamworks has a fun atmosphere, good food, and their own hand-crafted beer!
Vancouver wins points in our book, as they appear to be very gluten-free friendly! On the menu at Steamworks you will find the option to order your pizza with a gluten-free crust!
Ok, so now we’ve had grilled cheese and pizza today… time for a nice long walk!
Heading down to the waterfront is the perfect way to exercise and see the city’s beautiful skyline! Ideally, you would walk the 1.5 miles to Stanley Park, Vancouver’s 1,000-acre public park, but we simply did not have the time.
We first stopped by the cruise terminal (pictured below), so we knew where to go the following morning to catch our cruise!
As I mentioned, we didn’t make it very far along the waterfront walk, as the sun was starting to set and we didn’t want to go too far in the dark.
LOVE the way this city lights up at night.
Now, I must warn you, as I had no idea and nearly peed my pants, when the 9 o’clock gun went off! I thought a bomb had detonated nearby and wondered why no one else seemed too worried! After some quick research I found out that this cannon goes off from Stanley Park every night at 9 pm, as it has for the past 107 years! You’ve now been warned!
The following morning, we ate breakfast at Bel Cafe, located a block from our hotel.
Before long, we were checked out of our hotel and aboard the Island Princess, ready to set sail on a week-long Alaskan cruise!
Sail-aways on a cruise are always so much fun!
We watched the skyline fade into the distance…
… as we passed Stanley Park (which we will certainly go back and visit someday),
… and had an incredible view of the North Shore Mountains in the background.
As we left Vancouver Harbor behind in our gentle wake, we knew that it would be a place we’d want to one day come back and visit. We typically don’t like big cities, but Vancouver had a unique appeal to us. It felt clean and welcoming and there is certainly a lot left for us to explore!