Vancouver is a city that doesn’t beg for attention. Lush, green forests collide with modern, silver-toned buildings in a place that has just as much history as it has things to do on a Saturday night. But it doesn’t need to be the best, the greatest, or the most of anything at all. Instead, it welcomes you with a warm heart and never tries to talk you into staying—even though you’ll inevitably want to.
Canadians are known for their friendliness. Ask any American who’s made it up to the northern neighbor, and one of the first things they’ll gush is, “Canadians are just so nice!” It might be annoying if it weren’t actually true. I’m convinced I could have arrived in Vancouver without a single plan and managed to fill up an itinerary of wonderful things to do based on recommendations from friendly strangers alone.
But even the things you already know about and don’t expect to like that much but know you should see anyway are unbelievable, too.
What I remember: Twirling as I swing dance the night away, beads of sweat forming on my hairline. Pedaling through the drizzle in Stanley Park, stopping every minute to take more photos of the water and the views. Gently rocking side to side and up and down over the trees, wondering how safe this bridge actually is. Staring up at totem poles that seemed to touch the clouds. Listening to jazzy music in a dark, underground bar with some of my best friends.
Four days was not enough. It’s never enough, is it? I know I have a tendency to sort of fall in love with all the places I visit, but Vancouver is truly something special. I know that when I head back it will welcome me with open arms.