Vancouver, British Columbia, host of the 2010 Olympics and consistently voted one of the most liveable cities in the world, is the perfect destination for your next girls trip. It is the ultimate playground for outdoor activities, craft brewery tours, BC wine, shopping, farm to table food, carefully curated cocktails, beaches, mountains and exploring the Pacific Ocean coastline. Vancouver has every ingredient necessary to plan an epic girls weekend away.
Below I have outlined some fun things to do and the best places to stay, eat, and drink from a local perspective. This is everything I’d send to friends visiting for the weekend to make it the best weekend possible!
Note: Since there are so many options under each category, I’ve put an asterisk (*) next to my favorites that the girls and I frequent often.
READ ON FOR THE ULTIMATE VANCOUVER GIRLS TRIP!
Centrally located on Robson Street right across from BC Place. This boutique hotel sits right between Yaletown and Gastown, two popular districts to explore during your girls trip! I used to live in the building (they have residents on the top floors, so no views of the city from the hotel) and the guests in the elevators always raved about their stay.
Rosewood Hotel Georgia
The Rosewood Hotel Georgia is a luxury 5-star hotel right in the heart of it all. It’s a great choice if it’s a “spare no expense” type of trip. You are steps away from Robson Street, Pacific Centre, Nordstrom, Coal Harbour, Stanley Park, and Gastown. Reflections, the hotel rooftop bar/restaurant, is popular amongst tourists and locals alike.
Fairmont Pacific Rim
Where all the bloggers take those bathtub pictures 😉 The Fairmont Pac Rim is a fun spot in the summer because it’s one of the only hotels with an outdoor pool. If you don’t stay here, you should still pop over for a drink in the lounge. The people watching is not to be missed and they have fabulous live music every night!
Parq Vancouver – The Douglas or JW Marriott
The new Parq Vancouver complex consists of 2 boutique hotels, The Douglas Autograph Collection, and western Canada’s first JW Marriott. Nestled between the two lies a 72,000 sq foot casino and 8 restaurants. The seawall, Rogers Arena, BC Place, Yaletown, and Gastown are all within walking distance.
Located in the heart of Yaletown, Opus Hotel is one of the most popular hotels in Vancouver. Just look at their resume:
- Forbes Four-Star rating from 2013 through 2018
- Three consecutive years on Condé Nast Readers’ Choice Awards top 25 hotels in Canada
- Named “Top 5 Trendiest Hotels in the World” by TripAdvisor
The stylish decor, hotel bar, and onsite restaurant (La Pentola) are reason enough to book your girls weekend accommodation here. It’s right across the street from Yaletown-Roundhouse Skytrain station, making everything very accessible!
The Burrard Inn
The cutest boutique hotel in Vancouver! Taking a page from the colorful Saguaro, their blue and yellow doors surround a courtyard full of palm trees and tropical plants. You’ll think you were transported to Palm Springs or Maui. Very central with access to Kitsilano via Burrard Bridge a few blocks away.
Airbnb’s are tough to recommend because it will depend on where you want to stay and how many people you’re traveling with. Vancouver has very strict rules about Airbnb, so most of the Downtown apartments don’t allow Airbnb. Here are a few I found with a quick search. Try to find one in this area as it’s the most central:
How to Get Around Vancouver
So, Vancouver doesn’t have Uber. I know, I know. One of the biggest metropolitan cities in Canada, and we haven’t quite figured out the whole rideshare thing. Our taxi drivers have been protesting Uber for years, but luckily for residents and visitors, our public transit system is super easy and accessible.
The Canada Line runs through Downtown Vancouver, into Olympic Village and all the way out to the Airport. (A great way to get into the city from the airport).
If you’re hoping to visit North Vancouver on your girls trip, the Seabus is an easy way to get there. Catch it at Waterfront Station and it will drop you off at Lonsdale Quay, a cute market to check out before you continue on. Most of the hikes recommended in this guide are on the North Shore.
Car2Go and Evo
If you have memberships for either of these car share services you can hire your own car to go hiking or explore Greater Vancouver.
Yellow Cab, Black Top Cab, Vancouver Taxi are the main taxi companies in the city.
Downtown Vancouver is fairly walkable. You can easily walk from Gastown to Yaletown (12-15 minute walk). Robson, Granville and the seawall are all easily accessed by foot as well.
YA, DON’T PUT ME DOWN FOR CARDIO
Vancouver is a very active city. While you might find couture coats and heels on the streets of Paris, chances are you’ll find yoga pants and Nikes roaming the streets of Vancouver. If you’re interested in getting active on your girls trip, here are a few of my favorite options!
Quarry Rock (Easy)
Very popular hike in North Vancouver due to its easy terrain and short distance (3.8km roundtrip). Budget 1-1.5 hours for this hike, and make sure to stop at Honey’s Doughnuts afterward! Kate Winslet approved.
St. Marks (Moderate-Intermediate)
If you’re looking for a more substantial hike, St. Marks is a local favorite. The views at the top are worth the 2-2.5 hour climb up (11km round-trip)! It will take you 4-5 hours total, so get there early so you still have the afternoon to explore Vancouver.
Eagle Bluffs (Moderate)
One of my favorites in Vancouver! This 8km roundtrip hike will take about 3-4 hours and reward you with views of Bowen Island, the Sunshine Coast, and the Pacific Ocean.
The Chief/Sea-to-Sky Gondola
The Chief offers stunning views of Howe Sound and the Garibaldi mountains. If you don’t feel like hiking, there is a new sea-to-sky gondola very popular with tourists that takes you up to the top!
This is my go-to after work hike. It’s an easy 5km round trip route with only 34m of elevation gain. It will take approximately 2 hours to complete, and the views are worth every step! Great for all levels.
If you’re in the mood for a community sweat, here are my favorite studios in Vancouver. All of these are on ClassPass if you’re a member!
With locations in both Yaletown and Downtown Vancouver, you can drop-in to one of their yoga, pilates or cycle classes.
Expensive, but a fun, quick (and challenging!!) 40-minute reformer workout (think pilates on steroids). If you are going with a group of girls, call ahead and see what class options are best for you.
Chill studio in Gastown. I love Kate’s classes if you can make it to her 4:15 pm vinyasa on Fridays.
Located in Yaletown, perfect if you don’t want to get too sweaty but still work hard. Targets all those teeny muscles and burns them out. Fun class to take with friends. Go to Small Victory afterward and reward yourself with a homemade almond milk latte and croissant.
Infrared yoga and fitness classes. I like Eleanor’s Freedom Flow at 9:30 am on Saturdays and Ashley’s HIIT and Sculpt on Sundays. Not for the faint of heart!!
Very welcoming and not intimidating. Located on Granville Street Downtown so very central! They will supply you with spin shoes and towels.
A funky spin studio in Gastown. There are two types of classes to choose from, the Icon, which is based on the beat of the music, and the Athlete, which is more for road cyclists and in-saddle work. I prefer the Icon class versus the Athlete.
FIRST WE HAVE THE COFFEE, THEN WE DO THE THINGS
Beautiful space, great place to work if you need Wifi for any reason. One of the most popular coffee spots in Vancouver.
Another local favorite. Great space, even better coffee. Ethical, fair-trade coffee made fresh to order.
As mentioned above! Come for the coffee, stay for the baked goods. I love the breakfast croissant. They have a sweeter take on avocado toast. Feta, honey, and crushed pistachios adorn the sliced avo and lightly toasted bread.
A well-lit cafe in Gastown. They pride themselves on a great atmosphere and simple, delicious coffee.
Cause It’s 11:30 and the girls be brunchin’ brunchin’
French forward cuisine. Must-try’s: Lavender lattes and waffles coupled with raspberry caramel or lavender chocolate sauce.
One of the OG brunch spots in Vancouver. Order the Brutus if you like dill! Small space so you will most likely have to wait in line.
Another small space specializing in comfort food like red velvet pancakes, eggs benedict, bowls, and brioche french toast. Get there EARLY (before 9am) or you’ll be waiting at least an hour.
One of my favorite spots in Gastown for brunch. Lots of good vegetarian options. Large space so you won’t be waiting as long for a table.
Located at Parq Vancouver. The menu is a mix of western favorites and dim sum plates. There is a make-your-own-caesar bar too!
Located in the historic settlement building in East Vancouver, this restaurant is attached to Vancouver Urban Winery and Postmark Brewing. Go for a late brunch and order a few wine or beer flights to sip on with the girls.
A nice spot in the summer to sit on the patio watching people go by. The food isn’t out of this world, but it’s good, and the location is beautiful. Perfect for the staple girls weekend mimosa fuelled brunch.
Located at the Fairmont Pac Rim. Instagrammable decor, fresh plates utilizing Pacific Northwest ingredients, and stunning cocktails too pretty to sip (well, almost), the Botanist is the perfect spot to take the girls for brunch or dinner!
Nelson the Seagull
An airy Gastown space with good coffee and famous baked goods. Seriously, local’s order the sourdough bread weekly, and it often sells out. It’s heavenly. Try their variety of poached eggs atop their homemade bread for breakfast, or pick up a loaf for a beach picnic.
Vida Westin Bayshore
One of my favorite places to get a massage in Vancouver. If you visit in the summer, you’ll have access to their outdoor pool which is a nice bonus!
Spa Utopia at Pan Pacific
My other go-to spot for a massage in the city. They give you a glass of wine after the treatment, so you know I’m sold.
Expensive, but a beautiful experience. Bonus: Another spa that offers access to their outdoor pool pre/post treatment. Order sushi and wine after your treatment and chillllll out.
ToetoSoul Relaxation Lounge
If you’ve been on your feet all day walking around, treat yourself to an affordable treatment at ToetoSoul! A fun spot where you can chat with each other while getting foot rubs planning the evening ahead.
CHI at Shangri-La
I’ve never been here myself but I’ve heard great things about their massage treatments.
Things to Do in Vancouver
Take the Aqua bus to Granville Island
Head to one of the Aquabus pick-up points and go to Granville Island. Walk around exploring the various food, flower and coffee shops. My favorite shops are Siegel’s bagels, Kaylin and Hobbs pickles (the honey mustard pickles are sensational), and the Italian spots for fresh pasta.
If you are planning a night in to cook, come here in the morning to buy all the ingredients. Or if you’re having a beach day, come here for picnic items!
Rent a car, reserve a Car2go/Evo or take the shuttle to Squamish and experience the new Sea-to-Sky gondola. There are suspension bridges at the top and incredible views of Howe Sound and the mountains.
Capilano Suspension Bridge
If you want to stay local, Capilano suspension bridge is the perfect spot to get hot chocolate and explore the suspension bridge, cliffwalk and treetop adventures. Instagram approved.
Craft Brewery Tours
You can either do a self-guided tour via bike or on foot, or book one of the many guided tours offered in the Spring and Summer. My favorite breweries that are close to one another are 33 Acres, R & B Brewing (cider is amazing), and Brassneck Brewing.
Bike Stanley Park Seawall*
Stanley Park is a must visit regardless of the time of year, but it’s always nice to explore on a sunny day. Rent bikes and cycle around the seawall, stopping at English Bay Cactus Club for a bite and some drinks, or at Third Beach for some sun! Bundle up if you’re biking around in the Fall or Winter. It’s still beautiful but chilly on the water.
Day Trip to Whistler
Thanks to the 2010 Olympics, our Sea-to-Sky highway got a massive makeover, cutting the travel time from Vancouver to Whistler to around 90 minutes. Hit up the Scandinavian spa or shop in the village. Eat at Sushi Village or have nachos at Longhorns for more of a rowdy atmosphere.
If your Vancouver girls trip is in the spring or summer:
Third Beach and Kits Grass*
I’d say these are the two most popular beaches for locals to convene on the weekends. Disguise your wine or beverages in coffee mugs as police patrol the areas often.
If you go to Kits grass, pop over to Local patio for a lucky lemonade or caesar in a boot and fish tacos. Local tip: Go put your name down and then wander over to the beach as the patio can have quite the wait in the summer months.
Wouldn’t be a girls weekend without a little shopping, right?! If you’re from the US, everything will be 30% thanks to the strength of your dollar. Below I’ve outlined the best shopping in Vancouver.
Perfect for a rainy day. Explore Holt Renfrew, Canada’s high-end department store. Pop into YEW for a drink or walk across the street to Reflections rooftop post shop for drinks.
Robson & Granville Street
For years, Robson Street was considered the best shopping street in the city and is still popular with tourists. However, Gastown and Main Street offer more eclectic and unique boutiques. You’ll get the usual Aritzia, Zara, and Sephora’s on Robson, but if you’re looking for something you can only find in Vancouver, check out:
I love all the small boutiques in Gastown. Favorites include Nettle’s Tale, Old Faithful, Latest Scoop, and ARC (awesome environmentally conscious shop).
For a full rundown of my favorite spots to eat in this hood, check out my ultimate guide to Gastown.
Main Street has really transformed in the last 10 years. Shops I love are Nineteen Ten, Vincent Park, Welc’s, Soap Dispensary, Front and Company, 8th and Main and Much and Little.
I’ll be honest, I’m not a huge fan of outlet malls. A lot of the stuff is cheaply made specifically to be sold at outlets. Every time I go, I end up buying something I’d never normally purchase if it wasn’t on sale. If you’re a big outlet shopper though, there are two in the Greater Vancouver area, McArthurGlen Designer Outlet near the Vancouver Airport and Tsawwassen Mills (40 minute drive from Downtown Vancouver).
Movie at Burrard and 5th
Adults Only! This intimate theatre is a favorite for date nights. You can purchase bottles of wine to bring into the theater. Fun thing to do if you’re a little hungover or want to chill out.
Check out these concert listings to see if any of your favorite artists are in town during your Vancouver girls trip! Popular comedy clubs are The Comedy Club and Yuk Yuk’s.
DID SOMEBODY SAY HAPPY HOUR?
Margarita’s and tacos. Need I say more? There is a burrito bar in Yaletown but the Gastown location has more atmosphere for a sit down session with the girls.
Cheap wine at happy hour and great share plates if you fancy a snack. The brussel sprouts are insane. I also love the tomato and bocconcini salad with crispy onions.
If you’re visiting in the Spring and Summer, go to Joe Fortes patio after shopping on Robson. Really great deals and a fun vibe. Cheap wine and small plates. My girls and I love coming here for happy hour.
Sort of a staple in Vancouver, you can always count on Cactus Club for consistency. Lots of plant-based options and refreshing drinks. There are quite a few locations around town to choose from, as well as their sister restaurants, Joey’s and Earl’s.
Wood-fired pizzas, fresh pasta, negronis, and great wine. There are three locations, the original on Denman, one in Kitsilano and a new location in Olympic Village. Sooo good. Great for brunch too.
From the Hawksworth group. Salads, pizza, fresh vegetables, small plates, and sharable mains. Order family style. Buzzing bar and good atmosphere. Close to Pac Rim so you could pop over there afterward or before for a beverage.
Another spot for margs and tacos because tacos are life.
Probably the best pizza in the city. My favs are the Goldmember if you like truffle, the Yaletown and the Big Prawn. Meat lovers enjoy the Dirty. Get the 6-10 sauce. You’re welcome.
This restaurant turns into a lounge/nightclub around 10pm and it’s usually fun times. Come here for dinner or after dinner to start your night out.
The Greek by Antoli*
Delicious sangria, white negronis, greek salad, taramosalata, and mains. In the heart of Yaletown so a great jumping off point.
Where Vancouverites go to see and be seen. This iconic restaurant is famous in the city. A seat on the patio in the summer is a HOT commodity. A lot of locals choose this resto for girls dinners, so would be perfect for your girls trip in Vancouver. Older crowd. Make a reso!
Rodney’s in Yaletown
Vancouver has amazing seafood so you’ll probably want to have at least one seafood-based meal this weekend. The waiters are all dudes, they are all hot, and they fill your wine to the brim. Yah, you should probably, definitely, most likely, for sure, undoubtedly go here. Try to sit on the main floor near the bar, it’s more fun.
After Dinner Drinks
Some of my favorite spots for after-dinner cocktails are located in Gastown, like The Diamond and Clough Club. Check out this post and scroll down to after-dinner drinks for all my favs! Some other spots include:
Rodney’s in Yaletown*
If you don’t eat here, come for a bottle of wine apres.
El Furniture Warehouse
Fun dive bar to start the night. There is the OG location on Granville (fun before the Roxy or Yale) or a larger location in Gastown. Order some picklebacks and get after it.
A more sophisticated option than above ;). An intimate bar with great cocktails and good people watching. Located in Yaletown.
A newer spot that locals like to frequent after a long week. They have a Moët champagne vending machine that’s always popular with groups. Order the Bad Hombre, their take on a jalepeño margarita.
As a local, I’d recommend spending one night hopping around Yaletown going to Rodney’s, Opus (two doors away), Banter and Parlour. You can end the night at Pierre’s Champagne Lounge if you’re into the bottle service vibe, cab up to Granville or just call it after Parlour.
Ahh, the Roxy. Not sure if I should even describe it or if you should just experience it for yourself. I think you should just go and check it out. You’ll know what I mean after you visit 😉 Perfect for all ages (well, 19+). Live music, good vibes, strong drinks, carpet. Lol, figured that was worth mentioning. The smell in that bar is, errr, potent at times. Go there after you’ve had a couple.
For all the country lovers out there! Yeehaw.
Fortune Sound Club
Great sound system and music. Artists often play after shows here, especially DJ’s.
Located on Davie Street, Vancouver’s vibrant gay district, this nightclub is a popular spot for DJ shows and on Tuesday’s.
An older, more mature crowd. I’d say it is the most popular club at the moment for 24-40-year-olds.
Holy – that was 3000 words long. Apologize for all the information but this is everything I’d hope to learn if I was planning a girls trip here in my hometown. Please, please, please reach out if you have questions or can’t decide on where to go. I’m happy to point you in the right direction based on the dynamic of your group!