North Vancouver/Vancouver – Day 9 of a 12-Day BC Road Trip
Day 9 was another Vancouver rainy day, but that did not stop our plans! The main attractions for the day were Capilano Suspension Bridge and Granville Island.
For breakfast, we had Vietnamese sandwiches (aka banh mi), which we had picked up from a local store yesterday. The banh mi has Vietnamese cold cut meats, pickled carrots and daikon, green vegetables in between a baguette with pate and mayo. There are different options for protein, but we got the cold cut meats. My favourite banh mi is with sate beef and might just be my all-time favourite sandwich! Our original plan was to go to brunch in North Vancouver, but Vietnamese sandwiches are too good to pass up!
We then went on a morning stroll to take a look at the nearby Vancouver Mural Festival (VMF) Augmented Reality (AR) artwork. The first AR artwork we stopped at was in Pink Alley. Pink Alley is a nice photo op due to the brightly coloured walls, but can feel a bit dirty due to it being a still-in-use alley with dumpsters. Cars can drive through this alley as well. We also stopped at another VMF artwork near Canada Place.
Next stop, Capilano Suspension Bridge in North Vancouver. The Capilano Suspension Bridge has a long history and was first built in 1889 using hemp rope and cedar planks. Today, it has a much sturdier design. The park has a special deal for BC residents – the cost of an annual ticket is the same as a single-day visit. There is much to see in the park in addition to the suspension bridge – cliffwalk, forest walk, treetop walk, totem poles and educational talks. It is a great way to spend the morning and we will definitely be visiting again with our annual passes.
After Capilano Suspension Bridge, we headed to Cleveland Dam. Cleveland Dam is a 91m high concrete dam which has been operating since 1954. The Cleveland Dam is located in Cleveland Park with views of Capilano Lake and multiple nice trails.
Next stop, Honey’s Doughnuts! Honey’s Doughnuts is located in Deep Cove on the other side of North Vancouver, but I really wanted to try it out. It is a popular cafe loved by locals and celebrities. They sell cake donuts, which did not disappoint and were very filling. The wait in line to the cafe was not too long. We ordered a box of 6 donuts – 2 classic honey, 2 maple, and 2 coconut cinnamon sugar. I was too excited to try them that I forgot to take a picture of the donuts themselves!
Before leaving, I snapped a shot of Deep Cove. Deep Cove is also home to the Quarry Rock trail. The 1.5 hour round trip trail is relatively easy and offers amazing views of the area. If you have some time, you should definitely check it out!
Side Note: We went on the Quarry Rock hike a few years ago. Here is a picture at the peak of Quarry Rock hike!
After indulging in donuts, we went to eat more donuts at Granville Island. Lee’s Donuts is another popular donut shop in Vancouver, which has been around since 1979. We bought a berry filled donut to share. I actually liked Honey’s more, but these were still very good. Although maybe difficult to compare to Honey’s since the berry filled donut was a yeast donut and Honey’s was a cake donut.
We wandered around Granville Island, visiting the multiple boutique and specialty stores. I bought deli meat from Oyama Sausage and soup stock from the Stock Market to take home with us. You can find almost anything at Granville Island – food, specialty brooms, blacksmith items, and much more! Before becoming the arts and culture hub it is today, Granville Island was once known as Industrial Island and home to many factories. Most of the factories have relocated (or closed) with the exception of the concrete plant which has been active since 1886. The concrete plant, located in the heart of Granville Island, reminds visitors of the once industrial space.
After wandering, we stopped at Liberty Distillery in Granville Island for a cocktail. We shared a cocktail – I cannot remember exactly which one – but I think it was an orange sour. It was good! Granville Island Brewing is also located in this area.
After the distillery, we headed to Strange Fellows Brewing for a beer tasting! We shared the flight of 4 beers – a ginger wit (Yokai), a sour (Oswald), a porter (Velvet), and a cherry oud bruin beer (Vixen). I liked the Vixen beer.
We had reservations at 6:45pm at Lunch Lady, which is where we headed to next. There is free parking in the neighbourhood or metered parking on Commercial Street. Lunch Lady is based on the restaurant with the same name in Saigon Vietnam. The original restaurant in Saigon, Vietnam gained prominence due to being featured on the Anthony Bourdain’s show, No Reservations. We ordered taro chips, sea whelks in garlic herb butter with fish sauce dip and stir fry beef noodle. Growing up in a Vietnamese household, I’ve had sea whelks before and enjoy it. He was not as much of a fan.
On the way back to the hotel, we stopped at Xing Fu Tang for their signature brown sugar pearl milk. The pearls in this signature drink are stir-fried in brown sugar. Perfect way to end the night! Xing Fu Tang has multiple locations in Vancouver. We visited the one on Cambie Street.
Complete Day 9 Itinerary
*Travel times may vary. Check Google Maps for most accurate travel details.
9:00am: Walk through Pink Alley (2 minute walk from EXchange Hotel).
10:00am: Have breakfast in North Vancouver (18 minute drive from Pink Alley).
11:00am: Visit Capilano Suspension Bridge (10 minute drive from North Vancouver).
1:00pm: Stop by Cleveland Dam (4 minute drive from Capilano Suspension Bridge).
2:00pm: Pick up donuts from Honey’s Doughnuts and Goodies in Deep Cove (24 minute drive). If you have time, hike Quarry Rock hike (5 minute walk from Honey’s) or save it for next time!
3:00pm: Visit Granville Island (33 minute drive from Deep Cove). Wander the market and visit the various stores. Have a drink at Liberty Distillery or Granville Island Brewing.
5:00pm: Have a drink at Strange Fellows Brewing (22 minute drive from Granville Island).
6:00pm: Have dinner at Lunch Lady (3 minute drive from Strange Fellows Brewing).
8:00pm: Pick up bubble tea from Xing Fu Tang (14 minute drive from Lunch Lady).
12-Day BC Road Trip Itinerary
Click “Download” below for an excel version of my 12-Day BC Road Trip Itinerary. Feel free to use the excel file as a planning template for your own trip in BC!