Review of Vancouver

My Trip to Vancouver, BC

There I was living in Seattle. I was a recent import, and between finding a place to live and working, didn't really stop to explore. While growing up, I had visited Seattle plenty of times, so I knew the area well. When it came time to decide on an adventure, Vancouver seemed like a great idea. It wasn't far, only a few hours north of Seattle, and many people had told me about how beautiful of a city it was, and about how much there was to see and do there. Not wanting to go alone, I recruited my roommate, and we set about planning our trip.

There are plenty of ways to get to Vancouver. You can fly, drive, bus, or, as in our case, take a train. Amtrak offers a train service from Seattle to Vancouver called the Amtrak Cascades. Having had bad luck traveling via train in the past, I was skeptical about how this trip was starting. Luckily, this train ride was amazing. It only took a few hours and the view of the countryside was spectacular. We arrived in Vancouver early in the morning, and the best part, the train station is very close to downtown.

Only having a few days to spend in the city, we decided to start exploring right away. Getting around Vancouver was easy. Not knowing much about public transit, we took what seemed the easiest option, the SkyTrain, from the Amtrak station to get near downtown. We ended up primarily relying on Vancouver's public transit to get around the city, and I must say its efficiency is impressive. Driving in Vancouver looked like a frustrating task, but the public transit system was easy to navigate and timely. Our first stop, and where we would end up spending most of our time, was the Gastown-Chinatown section of the city.

The Gastown-Chinatown area is home to a few of Vancouver's beaches. On the first day we made a short foray to Sunset Beach to enjoy the view of the water. Neither of us are really beach goers, so after a few minutes we decided to explore. I learned later that this is one of the oldest parts of Vancouver. The area's architecture has a much older feel than most of Vancouver. A quick internet search for a restaurant turned up Chill Winston. Their menu includes bison burgers, which was the selling point. After filling ourselves with bison meat and french fries, we both wanted to check out the beer this city had to offer. Canada is famous for its love of beer, and we hoped this equated to a love of making beer. I had heard of a brewpub called Steamworks and decided it was our next stop. This place had an awesome atmosphere and great beer. Indoor seating was comfortable and they also have an outdoor patio. The beer selection was huge, and most importantly, delicious.

We only had a few days to make for this trip, so we weren't able to explore Vancouver as much as we had wanted. The city has so much to offer that a person would have to spend a good amount of time there to take in all in. There are festivals year round, outdoor activities, sports events, and many neat neighborhoods to check out. I'm hoping to make it back soon. I think this time I might try to take in a hockey game and spend a little less time at the pubs.

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