Our Adventures to Canada
In May 2019, we decided to take advantage of a low fare airline ticket to Vancouver, Canada. One very important thing to think of when trying to purchase low fare airline tickets is that you can’t be too picky with the airlines, for example we flew out on American Airlines, had a connection in San Francisco and then flew back on United Airlines. Our ticket roundtrip was less than $300, which normally would be near $500.
So we started our vacation traveling to Vancouver, BC and rented ebikes and rode through Stanley Park. In Vancouver they have made it very easy to ride bikes, they have a designated bike lane, even for someone not comfortable on a bike the lanes are big enough not to have to worry about vehicles. You can experience visiting Stanley Park, Granville Island- they have a new bike path that goes around the perimeter of the Island, again very easy to ride bikes on this path.
One of the days we took a float plane to Victoria and toured around the city for a bit and then took a shuttle to Butchart Gardens in Victoria. On our return from Victoria we took the ferry boat ride back to Vancouver- geez really easy to get back and forth from Victoria to Vancouver.
Take a Sea Plane to Victoria
A great way to visit Victoria is to travel by Sea Plane. I was a little nervous because I have never traveled by Sea Planes but surprisingly it was so smooth on takeoff and landing. I would definetly do this again without any hesitation. The flight time is about 35 minutes, takes you right into the harbor at Victoria, from there you can tour the town or take a bus from there into Butchart Gardens.
Visit Victoria Island
Victoria Island is quite large at 430 miles, this makes is one of Canada’s 2nd largest islands. Besides Victoria Island having The Butchart Gardens it is also home to The Parliament Building, this is very impressive especially in the evening as its all lit up, sign up for a quick tour of the building to learn more.
There are several things to do here, make sure to stop into the information tourist center right at the marina to get more details about the city. This is a cute little town with lots of fun tourist shops nearby, walk through Chinatown Victoria, Canada Chinatown and The Empress Hotel.
Speaking of the Empress Hotel, this famous hotel opened up their doors in 1908. As you enter the hotel you can feel the old world charm here, go and pamper yourself with some afternoon tea, pastries and finger sandwiches. This ranges from $39 to $57 USD.
There are so many things you can do in Victoria Island a Hop on and Hop off bus might be a better way to see some of the Best Things in Victoria if you want to go outside the Harbor Area.
This is a must see, do not miss out on the opportunity to visit the Gardens. This was my second visit to the Gardens and it did not disappoint, with 55 acres of beautiful maintained landscaping walking through the gardens again is breathtaking.
The Garden is open from 9am to 4pm daily, you can take a shuttle from Downtown Victoria gardens, our cost was $52pp. Organize your time to catch the shuttle, you just don’t want to feel rushed when you are at the Gardens. Best time to visit is during Tulip season which is around the first week of April.
Click here to book your excursion to Butchart Gardens
amazing things to experience in Canada
Where we Stayed….. Holiday Inn Downtown Vancouver
So this hotel is in a great location, just 10 minutes from the train station its an easy walk to the hotel. Keep in mind that Vancouver does not have Uber so you have to take a taxi from the airport to the hotel, the train picks you up right outside the airport really easy to locate. So the cost from the airport to the hotel in a taxi will run you approx. $38USD, while the skytrain runs about $5USD depending on time of day.
The hotel is close to the waterfront as well as shopping is nearby. They have a full service restaurant on the main floor but we always try and get out to get some local food, many restaurants and coffee shops nearby, in fact Starbucks right across the street. Our favorite breakfast restaurant is called Two Parrots, which is just right around the corner from the hotel, they also have bar food in the evening. FYI they are only open during the weekdays for breakfast.
The hotel also has parking available in the basement but it will run you about $26 per day. Rooms are very clean and even have a small fridge in your room, they are busy most of the time so if you are expecting to upgrade your room at the time of check-in you may be out of luck. Honestly the best part of the hotel is that they have a concierge in the hotel lobby that will help with excursions, we worked with 2 different people there and were treated really well & found the best deals. Make sure to ask them about things to do in Vancouver. Click the link below to be taken directly to the website.
My favorite products to take to Canada
Don’t forget your sunglasses especially if your near the water riding bicycles or taking in a boat ride. These are great stylish sunglasses found on Amazon, click on the link below to check them out.
On average Vancouver, Canada gets 166 days of rain every year. That means, your chances of getting caught in the rain are relatively high. This is my favorite jacket that is lightweight on the outside but lined with fleece material inside, so you will feel soft and warm all while staying dry.
When on the water or just riding your bike sun screen is always a must have. This is my go to brand! This SPF 50+ will protect you from the harsh sun reflecting off of the water or just out and about enjoying your vacation. Never leave without it!
Under Armour Shorts
Comfortable shorts are a must have when in Vancouver! These 100% polyester shorts last forever and are the perfect combination of comfort and style. If you’re planning a summer trip to Canada, these Under Armour shorts are highly recommended!
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