Whistler is in a very unique location. We have the wilderness of the Pacific Temperate Rainforest on one side, the Lillooet Range with its deserts and ranches on another, and the cultural metropolis of Vancouver is our closest city.
There is a lot to see and do around our small mountain town, so we’re starting a series of posts to share with you our favourite places to visit on day trips, weekends or just as you travel to and from Whistler. Our first post is starting out by introducing you to the Yaletown neighbourhood in Vancouver.
Our favourite Yaletown spots
Yaletown is a stylish, historical neighbourhood renowned for its sophisticated, hip and cosmopolitan boutique shops, cafes, brew pubs and restaurants. Here’s a collection of our hand-picked favourite places to visit when we’re in the big city:
1. Barber & Co.
Steeped in generations of honest tradition, Barber & Co. is a union of full-service barbershops for the modern gentleman. With locations in Gastown, Yaletown, Financial District, Cambie and on Main Street, their shops offer sharp expertise in the craft of barbering artfully blended with the comforts of a social club.
2. Raw Canvas
Raw Canvas’s core offering is human connection through eating, drinking and painting… or as they have branded it “Art + Social”. This unique little place is half bar and half public art studio creating a beautiful and comfortable environment that facilitates the chance to be an artist. This is our favourite place to spend the evening.
3. The Opus Hotel
Named in the “Top 5 Trendiest Hotels in the World” by TripAdvisor and the only boutique hotel in Vancouver to receive the coveted Forbes Four-Star rating in 2015. OPUS is more than somewhere to rest your head, it is somewhere to experience. A couple of blocks in either direction from Opus you have some of Yaletown’s best restaurants and shops, and you’re only two blocks from the marina and sea wall to take in the amazing city sunrise.
4. The Flying Pig
The Flying Pig is not all about pork. The name “Flying Pig” represents the restaurant’s wish for you to see the impossible happen every time you visit. Their background is influenced by a strong Canadian work ethic and their roots are planted in kitchens all over Vancouver. The Flying Pig is sometimes called a “nouveau Canadian Bistro”, we just love them for their simple, seasonally inspired menu with fresh, local ingredients at a great value.
5. Homer St. Cafe & Bar
Homer St Cafe and Bar is a contemporary restaurant housed in two of Vancouver’s most historic buildings. The restaurant features two spaces that consist of an open concept kitchen “Chef’s Bar” where you can get up close and personal with the culinary team, and a stylish private dining room with reclaimed factory windows, bespoke seating and antique tiling.
6. Small Victory: Coffee & Bread
Life is made out of moments minute to minute, hour to hour. Our morning ritual can make or break the rest of our day. When we’re in the big city, whether it’s for work or play, savouring fresh-baked bread and fantastic coffee with friends is a definite victory over the rest of our day.
That’s a quick run down of a few of our favourite places in Yaletown, but the best part of traveling somewhere new is making these discoveries for yourself. Finding the cute little places, off the beaten path that you can share with others.
These are great starting points, but we recommend just taking an afternoon to wander. Let your nose be your guide and please fill us in on any new gems, via the comments section below.
Quick history of Yaletown
As with much of Vancouver, the Canadian Pacific Railway had a huge influence on the shaping of Yaletown. In the 1880s, the line had reached Yale, a then-large town and the former centre of the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush 150 or so miles (240 km) to the east of Vancouver. As the line extended into Vancouver the Yale residents followed and soon dubbed their new home Yaletown.
The Yaletown tourism website: yaletowninfo.com
Happy urban exploring!