JOIN ME IN AN INTERVIEW WITH PATRICK HORSFIELD FROM VANCOUVER, CANADA !
Patrick is the adventure-loving, culture-crazed, coffee-swilling travel blogger and photographer behind Adventographer. As a self-admitted flashpacker he writes from a budget conscious perspective but doesn’t mind spending his hard earned cash on unique destinations or experiences. Based in Vancouver, Canada when not travelling the world & writing about his experiences he’s here to share some insider information on his hometown. After all, it’s always best to hear it from the locals!
Which is the best month to visit Vancouver and why ?
The best months to visit Vancouver, Canada depend entirely on the type of traveller you are. In the summer (June/July) the city is gorgeously set against the sun drenched pacific ocean and rugged mountains. But in the winter Vancouver is a skiers paradise, with 3 local ski areas only minutes from the city and one of North-Americas premiere resorts, Whistler, only an hour’s drive away.
Which is the most convenient and favoured transport of your city ?
Vancouver has many transport options but the Skytain, an elevated monorail, is the preferred method of getting around by locals and travellers alike. Accessible from most areas of the city and relatively inexpensive the Skytrain is a shining example of what public transit should be.
What are the top 3 must visit places in Vancouver ?
To list only three spots to visit in Vancouver is a travesty, I’d suggest you four :
Stanley Park: The jewel in the center of the city, Stanley Park is 1/3 larger than New-York’s Central Park and offers variety of attractions. Take a spin around the sea-wall with one of the easily accessible rental bikes and you’ll likely encounter some of the local wildlife, otters, seals, sea lions, eagles, owls and even the occasional orca whale. Take a breath and walk the many interpretative trails while admiring and learning about the old-growth rainforest or even simply lay on the beach and soak up the sun. Vancouver’s Stanley Park is an oasis of calm in the center of the city and somewhere every visitor should experience.
Vancouver Aquarium: Killer whales, belugas and otters oh my! The Vancouver Aquarium is Canada’s premiere marine educational institution. Visitors can check out the hourly shows, experience the tidal “touch pools” and learn all about the marine environment on British Columbia’s coast. Visit in the early afternoons to find the whales and beluga’s at their most active and playful and be careful of sitting in the front rows, the whales have a “habit” of playing with the unsuspecting visitors, if you want to risk it be ready to get wet!
Science World: Sitting at the end of Vancouver’s upscale False Creek, Science World is a fun-for-all-ages attraction. This hands on learning center allows the kids (big and small) to experiment with everything from gravity to electricity in a safe environment and explore the science of the world around them. In a city where the weather is anything but predictable Science world offers the perfect retreat for a rainy day during your Vancouver weekend getaway.
Grouse Mountain: On Vancouver’s north shore you’ll find Grouse Mountain, a popular hiking & mountain biking location in the spring & summer and in the winter, Vancouver’s backyard ski hill. Local fitness buff’s compete in timed assents of what’s known as the grouse grind, a near vertical trail up the mountain’s flank to the peak. The reward at the top is a stunning view of the city (and perhaps bragging rights). Not a hiker? Never fear, the Grouse Mountain gondola will whisk you to the top in no time for an amazing in-the-city alpine experience.
Which is the most celebrated holiday of the year there ?
Vancouver loves Canada Day (July 1st) and celebrations routinely break out around the city. Enjoy the party in any of Vancouver’s friendly neighbourhoods and then head downtown to the waterfront to catch a stunning yearly fireworks show before continuing the celebrations with free concerts and street parties in the downtown core.
Which is the most happening area in Vancouver and why?
One of the most happening areas of Vancouver is the historic and lively Gastown neighbourhood. One of the original settlements in the city Gastown is a hub of entertainment, food and festivities mixed amongst historical architecture and fun vibes. Make sure to stop and check out the Steam Clock.
Where can one find amazing street food in Vancouver ?
Vancouver is a foodie’s paradise and great food can be found across the city without much effort. Try the fresh & local seafood and interesting international fusion cuisine.
Where should one head to for affordable shopping ?
Affordable shopping isn’t the first thing that comes to mind in Canada’s most expensive city but, for great local fare at decent prices check out the Granville Island Market. Here you’ll find everything from local art to artisan cheese. Grab a bit to eat at any of the great restaurants and find yourself a souvenir to take home.
Which is the most loved local food in Vancouver, both sweet and savoury?
With a diverse population and locals hailing from all corners of Asia Vancouver has some of the best ethnic food around. Sushi is a favorite among locals. With Easy access to quality ingredients and some of the top sushi chefs (outside of Asia) calling the city home it’s easy to understand why.
Which side of the road does Vancouver drive on ? Is it cycle friendly ?
In Canada we drive on the right side and are used to sharing the road with cyclists. Vancouver particularly is in the midst of the cycling revolution. The city is closing down lanes on popular streets and installing dedicated bike routes throughout the core.
Would you recommend any popular local apps to tourists for transport, food and hidden gems in Vancouver ?
While there are a lot of city-guide apps available for Vancouver my one recommended app is “Street Food Vancouver” which gives the up-to-date locations of all the city’s famous food trucks. Want middle eastern? No Problem. Asian? Got lots of that! Whatever you’re craving it’s likely Vancouver has a delicious food truck to quash your hunger! This is an app worth having when you visit the city.