Highlights From Our Week in Vancouver

Dec 12, 2017

We spent almost a whole week in Vancouver and it was a magical change from our usual quick in and out weekender stints (like this one). To have some time to wander and relax made all the difference on our rainy week in Vancity. That, plus the luxury of the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel made it one of my favourite vacations of the year. We did quite a bit, so a travel diary might keep you reading for hours. Instead, I’m recapping our favourite moments and spots to give you some ideas on your next visit to Vancouver.

Read: Our Travel Diary in Vancouver

Staying at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel:

Unlike all our previous trips to Vancouver where we stayed in an Airbnb (here and here), this time, we stayed in a hotel! The main reason for our visit was a Medical Conference for Craig so it made sense to book close to the Convention Centre as well as somewhere central to still pack in activities around the day-lectures he had planned. Convenience plus luxury meant that this trip was one of the most relaxing we have taken in a while! Fairmont Waterfront knows how to make you feel at home! And I am also kind of a sucker for a room with a view!


Besides lounging in our stunning sea-view room, we also found ourselves at the hotel’s bar and restaurant almost every day and it did not disappoint. With live music playing every night and an electric buzz with guests flowing in and out, it was our go-to spot for drinks before heading out for dinner.

Walking Through Stanley Park & Along the Sea Wall:

While Edmonton (Alberta) was in full Winter mode, rocking snow-capped leafless trees, we were enjoying the last few moments of Fall in Vancouver with positive, double-digit temps and stunning red, yellow and orange trees. On our previous visits, we didn’t have anytime to check out Stanley Park so once we had checked in to our hotel, we made a bee-line to go check it out with a clear afternoon forecasted.



Our Favourite Meals:

Foodie musts include Hawksworth (a pricey dinner we return to every time we visit Vancouver), Medina Cafe (for our favourite breakfast ever), and Wildebeest (a last minute booking that we actually loved!). We also loved the more casual Nightingale (sister to Hawksworth) and Royal Dinette. Clearly, Vancouver’s culinary scene will keep you busy every meal of your visit with lots of options.

If you’re looking for more info on meal spots, check out our 4-day Itinerary from a few months ago. 

Our Favourite Coffee Spots:

Coffee Dates in Vancouver are my favourite. With a new spot for every day of the week, I was in my element. The Birds & the Beets in Gastown is a firm favourite with the locals, with some yummy breakfast options too! Besides that and the good coffee, you’ll be sure to snap an Insta-worthy shot at this cute boho spot. Check out their Instagram!

We returned to our coffee favourite in Vancouver, 49th Parallel, in Main Street — which is a bit of a drive — only to realise they have a new Downtown location on Thurlow Street. We went to both of course! Main Street is still my fave, but it’s nice to have a nearby option. And of course, most restaurants offer 49th Parallel coffee like Hawksworth, and Medina Cafe.

Christmas in November:

Waterfront Christmas Market:

I find that Christmas is always better in November. Case in point: Disneyland Paris in 2014 when we had a Christmas tree in our hotel room! Clearly, I am obsessed with this festive season — we’ve had our tree up for several weeks already. So, you can imagine my excitement to stumble upon a Christmas Market along the Waterfront. I wanted to buy everything — including the food!

Christmas in November is a thing! Check out Christmas in Vancouver! Click To Tweet

The Capilano Suspension Bridge:

Somewhat Christmassy too, is the Capilano Suspension Bridge and all the Canyon Lights. During the festive season, the Bridge, Treetops Adventure Walk and the Cliff Walk are transformed into a Christmas visual delight. Although slightly pricey, I would definitely go back to this Vancouver attraction. But if you’re nervous of heights, be aware, this isn’t for the fainthearted! Craig was too nervous to go across the bridge which is a pitty because that’s the only way to get to the Treetops Adventure (the walkways between the trees pictured below).

Vancouver Things To Do



Cliff Walk

Comment Below! 

Let me know what you thought of our favourites in Vancouver. We really do love visiting Vancity, and I’m sure in no time, we will be back again for more adventures! But for now, I am still in South Africa while Craig is in Canada. I’m hoping to have some new blogs up soon on my hometown, Durban, and then Cape Town! So exciting! What would you like to see?

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In love with Rain-couver,

~ Leigh





  1. Anna

    March 18th, 2018 at 11:50 AM

    Wow! Love the look of that suspension bridge! Though think I would be a tad scared!!

  2. lcdorkin

    March 18th, 2018 at 11:55 AM

    Haha my husband was too! So he didn’t make it across the bridge!

  3. DD's blog

    March 30th, 2018 at 12:48 PM

    You have always amazing photos and reviews. Waterfront Christmas Market sounds like a dream for Xmas lovers like me… Thumbs up 🙂

  4. lcdorkin

    March 30th, 2018 at 1:10 PM

    Ah, thanks love! We will have to bond over our mutual love of Christmas soon! Only 8 months away now till we can get in the spirit again! 😉

  5. Michelle

    March 30th, 2018 at 2:50 PM

    These photos are so gorgeous — I always love the way you capture your surroundings. You make the place look absolutely stunning. Your photos also make me want to travel all over the world — now I have to add Vancouver to my list of places to visit.

    Lovely post! x


  6. Jenna

    March 31st, 2018 at 12:38 AM

    My home town!!!!! I miss Vancouver. Isn’t it beautiful?!?! You really capture the beauty in every photo you take! I lived downtown for years and the walkability and access to beautiful parks is awesome. Never a dull moment in Vancouver. Thanks so much for sharing your visit! Makes me want to go for a visit and stay in the fairmont too. So fun!

  7. Shelley

    March 31st, 2018 at 3:08 AM

    I live about an hour away from Vancouver. It was so awesome seeing it through your eyes. I have a few restaurants I need to check out now. Blessings

  8. lcdorkin

    March 31st, 2018 at 4:20 PM

    You’re so lucky to be so close! We love it there! Let me know if you stop in at any of the restaurants, would love to hear what you thought of them! And if you try any others, we visit often! 🙂

  9. Karla

    March 31st, 2018 at 7:32 AM

    Beautiful place and love the photography! I would love to try walking in the suspension bridge with my family!

  10. lcdorkin

    March 31st, 2018 at 4:18 PM

    It’s such a divine family activity! Saw loads of families there that day!

  11. Jennifer

    March 31st, 2018 at 10:48 AM

    This looks like such a lovely and yummy trip! I love Vancouver and the general vibe there. Although I would definitely not walk across that bridge. LOL

  12. lcdorkin

    March 31st, 2018 at 4:18 PM

    Haha just like my husband!! 😉

  13. Maninder

    March 31st, 2018 at 10:25 PM

    Your pictures look amazing! And especially the food. Would love to visit Vancouver someday.

  14. lcdorkin

    April 29th, 2018 at 9:17 AM

    Thanks so much for your comment! So appreciate it! 🙂


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