This article was written by guest author, Shayla Oulette Stonechild.
When you visit Vancouver – you’re visiting the Unceded Coast Salish Territory of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh people. You can honour the traditional territory and the First Peoples here by researching which traditional territory you’re on (visiting native-land.ca), visiting Indigenous museums like the Bill Reid Gallery of Northwest Coast Art or the Museum of Anthropology, booking a night at Skwachays Lodge, dining in at Salmon n Bannock or simply by offering gratitude for the land you have the chance to visit.
I’ve curated a list of some of my favourite places and things to do while in Vancouver. Keeping in mind COVID protocols, social distancing, and following current travel requirements and restrictions. By booking through Expedia – it removes the friction in travel, allowing you to enjoy every minute of your trip.
TREATS & A HIKE
Deep Cove is a seaside village on the traditional territory of the Tsleil-Waututh and Squamish Nations. It provides beautiful scenery and the landscape to take photos, go hiking, kayaking, paddle boarding, and canoeing. Not only does the landscape offer gorgeous views but the village itself offers delicious treats – whether you’re grabbing a coffee or an ice cream. One of my favourite hikes that is accessible and only 45 minutes long is at Quarry Rock. The view at the top make’s the hike well worth the trek. Remember to pack your water bottle and a pair of shoes with good grip.
INSTAGRAM WORTHY CAFE & LOUNGE
Kevin & Kevin – 488 Gore Avenue, Vancouver BC
Kevin & Kevin is a Juice Bar and Coffee Lounge on Gore Avenue, serving a menu that can appeal to every appetite. Whether you’re vegan, gluten free or dairy free, Keto or prefer to eat meat. Not to mention, you can order a smoothie, a coffee or finish off the night with a glass of wine. I have never seen a place so versatile in their palette but also their style. Kevin & Kevin offers an Instagram worthy aesthetic and seating – which is intimate enough to share a conversation and a bite with a close friend. Don’t forget to order your very own Kevin & Kevin pressed juice.
THIRD BEACH ON A TUESDAY
In the summer, Third Beach is known to be the place to go on Tuesday’s for the infamous drum circle and to always enjoy the present moment in ease. Whether you’re dancing your worries away, singing with a collective, enjoying one another’s company or meeting people from around the world, Third Beach welcomes you in and nourishes your soul. You even have the option to bring your own drum. Since the pandemic there may be less people and you can’t socialize to that extent. However, if you create your day with a good intention, pack some hydrating snacks, your own stereo, and invite a couple friends within your bubble, the vibe will be the same.
PATIO & PLAYLISTS
3rd Floor, 1032 Alberni Street, Vancouver BC, V6E 1A3
The Roof at Black & Blue. Black and Blue has been winning awards for fine dining since the year of 2012. If you’re wanting to get dressed up to serve looks or to be served crisp steaks and service – this is your place. Offering three stories including a patio with a fireplace, a himalyan salt meat locker, and the option to book your own room for private events in dining – you will forget that this is all under the same roof.
BIKING & ENGLISH BAE
You haven’t visited Vancouver without biking around the seawall at least once and visiting Stanley Park – known as “Xway Xway” traditionally. Vancouver offers a ton of bike rentals and to make your biking experience accessible and as affordable as possible. I prefer to rent a bike near Denman, bike through Stanley Park and end the night at English Bay. When you’re finished biking, Denman Street offers food for all taste buds. Whether you’re into Thai food, or you’re looking for a quick delicious donair or sushi. If you’re not in a rush (or you get lucky) be sure to wait in line at the Cactus Club English Bay and ask for the patio side. The view makes the wait worth it.
SALMON N BANNOCK
Is the first and only Indigenous restaurant in Vancouver. Think traditional foods, herbs and recipes our ancestors may have used and now birth them into present and modern day consciousness. This is exactly what Salmon n Bannock does. When have you been able to order gluten free bannock before? Not only that but offering savoury seafood, candied salmon, and state of the art wine selection. Since COVID – patio and takeout is only available as of right now.
When you book through Expedia, you’re being provided for through each step of your journey. Just as the earth provides us with the support we need, so does Expedia. Whenever I leave a place from travelling – I offer gratitude and tobacco to the Earth that provides us with everything we need to live and to enjoy life on. I also call back my spirit to make sure I am not leaving a piece of me behind. I hope you enjoy all that the unceded Coast Salish Territories has to offer. Thank you, Hiy hiy, @shayla0h.