I was fortunate enough to spend two weeks this summer on a Pacific Northwest tour-cation. It began with the requisite three days exploring Portlandia, which was expectedly filled with Stumptown and dudes with beards. Then it was onto Washington: three oyster-filled days in Seattle, plus 24 hours of paradise in in the San Juan Islands (GO NOW). Finally, I was left with one mere week to leisure in Vancouver. "You'll love the 'Couv," friends told me before I left (don't call it that). "Definitely spend as much time as you can over there." But I was skeptical: Wouldn't a week be too much time? What's with all the fuss, eh? And yet it turned out to be my favorite city of the PNW trifecta, the only one I would consider moving to if NYC isn't faithful (no offense, Portland or Seattle, but I think it's best if we just stay friends).
Vancouver's a typical PNW city. Just look down the street and you'll see beautiful mountains in the distance, flocks of runners in Stanley Park, and vegan tacos. The weather's mostly crisp with a sense of rain. But Vancouver is more accessible than Portland or Seattle, at least to a gal traveling without a car or a bike. The seawalls are within city limits, people are both NYC-cool and Canada-friendly, and there's a great food scene without pretension.
I'd read that Vancouver's known for its sushi and Indian food, as influenced by its location and inhabitants. But there's also an American-influenced scene, complete with bacon doughnuts and a 24-hour '50s diner (Lucy's Eastside Diner, not pictured). Except for the currency and its funny slang ($1 coin = a loonie, $2 coin = a toonie), it felt like I was still in the States—hence, a good part of the week was spent eating pie. Plus, I started each morning with a new cappuccino to test the city's coffee standards, and I'm happy to report that she passed.