Fall is a great time to plan an escape to Vancouver, British Columbia, because of the mild climate, which is ideal for outdoor fun such as hiking, biking and water activities.
Visitors also have an opportunity to enjoy the fall foliage and take advantage of shoulder season rates at most hotels.
A bustling spot with lots to offer, it’s one of the most diverse cities in Canada.
Here are a few of our tips and recommendations if you visit Vancouver.
Book a stay The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver. It’s located in the downtown where there’s easy access to shopping, restaurants and lots of activities. Historical with architecture that’s been preserved, the property offers more than 500 guest rooms and suites with a full-service day spa, 24-hour fitness center and an indoor pool. For extra indulgence, book a room on the hotel’s Gold Floor, which offers luxe amenities such as breakfast, afternoon tea, hors d’oeuvres and nighttime snacks along with beverages throughout the day. If you’re a fan of cocktails, make reservations at the hotel’s uber-chic restaurant notch8which serves up delicious food to match its swanky drink creations.
The Shangri-la Hotel, also located in the heart of the city, is a boutique hotel offering luxurious rooms and suites featuring sleek and sophisticated décor. Book the 90-minute Blood of Fruit treatment at the hotel’s award-winning spa Chi. The service begins with an invigorating body scrub, followed by a steam shower and ends with a relaxing massage using botanical body cream to make you melt. Be sure to check out the highly acclaimed Pug Restaurant, which serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. Be sure to try the indulgent waffles for breakfast and leave room for dessert after dinner.
For vegetable lovers, look no further than The Acorn Restaurant, which offers creative meals made from fresh, locally sourced ingredients. The menu changes frequently to highlight the change of seasons as head Chef Devon Latte works with local farms and businesses to bring true-to-form farm-to-table cuisine. With dishes such as hay roasted kohlrabi with garden shiso and Du Puy lentil pate de Campagne and smoked beets, you’ll never view plants the same way again.
The Vancouver Art Gallery is minutes away where visitors can browse the largest art museum in Western Canada. Save time and buy your tickets in advance online. Make sure to visit The Gallery Store, or gift shop, which offers a large selection of Canadian products to take home.
For some outdoor fun, drive over to Stanley Park and partake in a 90-minute Forest Bathing adventure through Talaysay Tours. Founded by Candace Campo, the company offers an authentic Aboriginal cultural and eco-tourism experience. Forest bathing, also known as Shinrinyoku, is the art of engaging the senses in nature as you walk among the trees. This wellness practice doesn’t require experience or props. It’s a way to experience the outdoors that doesn’t call for a destination or purpose. Lead guide Taylor McKee takes participants on a journey to relate to nature on a new level — sight, smell, touch and sound without the distraction of technology.
For more of an adrenaline kick, head over to the Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, where you can easily spend 2 or 3 hours. The suspension bridge, for which the park is named, is nearly 460 feet long and 229 feet above the Capilano River. The walk makes for a fun activity for kids and adults who don’t mind heights. Within the park, there’s the Treetops Adventure, a series of seven suspension bridges attached to magnificent 250-year-old Douglas fir trees. Fun fact: These bridges were built to allow for the continual growth of the trees by attaching the platforms using a tree collar system.
To stay healthy on vacation, take a 50-minute Control Pilates class at Core Community Pilatesa bright and modern studio with expert instructors who encourage movement and proper form on the Reformer, which is a type of Pilates equipment used to strengthen the core and improve flexibility and mobility.
Granville Island, a peninsula located in the Fairview neighborhood of Vancouver, offers a different experience for visitors. In the late 1970s, the area was transformed into a haven fostering arts and culture. Today, it’s Canada’s second-most visited destination.
Stay at the Granville Island Hotel, situated right on False Creek. Rooms are modern and spacious, featuring minifridges for convenience. For added comfort and larger families, book the penthouse suites with kitchens and whirlpool tubs. Start the morning with a walk along the waterfront, where stunning views will make you feel like you’re not in a city.
The hotel is the central location for the popular Public Market, an indoor offering of food, produce and local crafts. Grab breakfast at one of the food vendors and browse the nearby artisan studios that sell pottery, textiles, jewelry and much more.
If you are in Vancouver, you’ll want to do the less-than-2-hour drive to Whistler, British Columbia, one of the largest and most popular ski resorts in North America. Best known for its skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing and tobogganing, Whistler Blackcomb is an all-season destination for families, couples and girlfriend getaways. The site of the 2010 Winter Olympics, the area also offers mountain biking, hiking and watersports such as SUP, kayaking and swimming.
Book Fairmont Chateau Whistler as your home base because of its convenience and many luxe amenities such as large and recently remodeled rooms, an outdoor heated pool, several outdoor whirlpools, a dry sauna and two eucalyptus steam rooms.
Schedule some time in a private cabana where food and beverage service are available or perhaps head out to the 18-hole Audubon-certified championship golf course for a round. The resort offers so much to do for those of all ages through its signature “Whistler Experience Guide” program, which offers daily excursions such as hikes, bike rides, skiing and much more, all at no additional cost to hotel guests. Guides are knowledgeable and provide a safe environment for learning.
Many families choose Fairmont Gold because of the convenience of sophisticated dining options and personalized services. For those checking in under the label, most can skip long check-in wait times along with the privacy of a lounge for remote working or just relaxing.
The hotel also offers diverse dining options ranging from fine dining at Wildflower to a pub-style menu at The Mallard Lounge. Wildflower is excellent for a special occasion or if you are just looking for elevated food. Order the beef tenderloin or the halibut and ask your server for optimal wine pairings. The Mallard Lounge’s vibe is more casual, but the chicken wings and the hothouse tomato salad shouldn’t be missed.
Despite being such a large hotel, the Fairmont Chateau is committed to sustainable practices such as reducing plastic consumption and changing to compostable whenever possible. Stewardship and community are important to the brand as it partners with the local food banks to reduce food waste and promote food accessibility to all. The hotel tends to an edible rooftop garden with a pollinator bee hotel so that it makes their own honey.
The outdoors is what makes Whistler so splendid. Right out your front door is a hiking path to Lost Lake, where trails aplenty are ripe for discovering. Warning signs for bears are present, so always be mindful of your surroundings and if traveling with a four-legged friend, refrain from letting them run free.
A short drive or shuttle ride gets you to Rainbow Falls, which is an easy 1.3-mile loop that takes you to a scenic waterfall where visitors like to cool down in warmer months. Whatever you have in mind, Whistler Blackcomb has more than 8,100 acres of skiable terrain, 16 alpine bowls, three glaciers, over 200 hiking trails, and a fun PEAK 2 PEAK Gondola connecting the two ski areas.