Downtown Vancouver is brimming with spectacular views, the gorgeous Stanley Park, and an abundance of dining options, but sometimes Vancouverites like to escape the buzz of the city and take advantage of the North Shore's scenic hikes and views of downtown.
If you're not an avid hiker, Lighthouse Park is a great place to start because the two hour loop isn't overly strenuous. Plus, if you don't have a car, the public bus system has a stop right outside the park entrance, and they run fairly regularly. It's advisable to wear comfortable clothing and shoes so that your footing is balanced along some of the areas where the ground may be uneven. The elevation during the 6km loop (if you want to make it that long) is minimal and it's open year-round, so you can take advantage of it on any nice day. Plus, dogs are allowed if you want to make sure your four legged friend gets to enjoy the fresh outdoors.
The views from Lighthouse Park are quite remarkable; some areas afford views of the vast Pacific ocean, and others Bowen Island. The park has the most Douglas Fir trees in all of Greater Vancouver, so you can imagine the fragrant smells as you hike through the lush trails. There are some areas that have flat rock and picnic tables for you to take a little rest and enjoy the views, and perhaps a snack or picnic.
Salty air from the Pacific surround you — Photo courtesy of Natasha John
After you've enjoyed your time at Lighthouse Park, head back towards West Vancouver, where you will find The Beach House Restaurant & Lounge at Dundarave Pier. This restaurant is an all-in-one package, in the sense that the view is unbeatable, the food is delicious, and the service is impeccable. If the weather is nice, try and get a table on their patio, where you will enjoy views of the Burrard Inlet and Stanley Park. Should the weather turn unfavorable, the inside seating is comfortable and the views are still enjoyable. The Beach House has been restored from an original 1912 tea house, which makes it an important historic landmark amongst the North Shore's architecture.
Crab Tower at The Beach House — Photo courtesy of The Beach House Restauarant & Lounge