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Spend a perfect summer or spring weekend out and about in Vancouver. You'll need to rent a car to get around to some of these spots. This weekend involves a lot of activity so start bright and early after a hearty breakfast and make sure you're wearing athletic shoes! Vancouver is a laid back city, no need to look too pretty.
Head over to the North Shore in the morning to check out this pedestrian suspension bridge. Unlike the Capilano Suspension bridge nearby ($28!), this bridge is free and just as spectacular. You can also do some hiking on the trails in the area. The wooded area and the rushing water below is gorgeous. Take the Lynn Valley exit off Highway 1, take a right at Lynn Valley Road. Drive Lynn Valley Road for 2 km to Peters Street, a small street that bears right. Turn right onto Peters and drive until you hit a dead end at the Lynn Canyon Ecology Centre. Park in the lot.
After hiking and visiting the North Shore you'll be hungry. Shabusen is right downtown at 202 - 755 Burrard St. All you can eat Korean BBQ and sushi for about $12 for lunch. You grill the marinated meats at your table and the sushi is made to order. You'll leave smelling like BBQ but you definitely won't leave hungry. Really great place to go when you're starving! If you decide to come back here for dinner on your trip, the cost is a little over $20 and well worth it.
After lunch work off those calories with by biking or blading along the Stanley Park seawall. If you go counter clockwise starting from Georgia Street side of the park by the Rowing Club, you pop out over in English Bay. It takes a little over an hour to roller blade the 10.5 KM, less time if you bike. But try to take your time and stop off to take pictures of totem poles, Prospect Point, and other sites along the way. You could also drive through the park but you won't see much more than trees.
When you get to English Bay, sit and enjoy the view from the beach and have a little rest. Then take a walk up Denmen street to check out the little shops. Don't forget to get some ice cream at Miriams. On a sunny day you can watch folks play outdoor roller hockey or doing stunts on roller blades. Heading north on Denmen, you'll want to head back to your car to shed your blades or pack away your bike and get back into comfy shoes.
You don't have to spend money to enjoy Robson Street. Take a stroll on the strip, do some window shopping and people watching. On a weekday you might even be able to score samples of all sorts of products that companies are giving away out on the street, from drinks to gum to lotion.
After walking Robson, have dinner at Hon's on Robson, a low cost local favourite for potstickers and other Chinese dishes. After dinner spend a little more time roaming the Robson area as you probably just got started. Robson really comes alive at night.
End a long day by driving over the Granville Street bridge for a nice (and inexpensive) dessert. Dark and candlelit, locals love to come here late at night with a date or very small group of friends (the place is tiny). Delicious specialty coffees for $3 or less and divine desserts (not just cheesecake) for a little under $6. It's casual and romantic at the same time. After this, it'll be time to hit the sack and get ready for day 2.
Start your second day roaming beautiful and historic Gastown, with its shops and cobble street. Take a photo with Gassy Jack and watch the steam clock go off each hour. If you get thirsty, head to the Cambie Hostel (on Cambie Street) for a cheap beer. It's a bit of a dive but if you're adventurous, you'll find it a good place to meet interesting characters. If you want to blow the budget and spend $30, you might also want to go to Storyeum, an underground "live theatrical adventure." http://www.storyeum.com
Head west on Water Street out of Gastown and you'll find yourself at Canada Place, the famous five sails. Stop and take pictures. Head west some more to take a peek at our financial district.
If you like to walk, head up Granville St to Davie for lunch. Stepho's is a popular Greek restaurant at 1124 davie street. During dinner there's always a line out the door. Better to go there for lunch and avoid it the line altogether. You'll get a huge delicious Greek meal for under $10 CDN.
After lunch, walk south on Davie a few blocks and spend the afternoon perusing the interesting shops in the Yaletown area, sometimes compared to New York's soho. You might happen upon a sample sale from one of the many clothing companies headquartered there.
If it's a weekday, head over to Rodney's between 4 and 6pm. Rodney's is located in Yaletown at 405-1228 Hamilton Street. During Happy Hour, oysters are $1 each and the menu is 50% off. Great food, really fresh, and nice staff too. You definitely don't want to miss this one.
After happy hour, drive down to Granville Island to get some dinner at the Granville Island public market and then catch a Vancouver TheatreSports show there for a hilarious evening of improv. By dinner time it shouldn't be too hard to find free parking. Catch the late show for the NC-17 rated version if you like. You can get discounts by going with a group of ten or showing student ID. You can also do an "upgrade" for a few bucks to catch a second show. And you will have ended your perfect weekend laughing your head off. What could be better?