Driving Distance, Vancouver: The North Shore

Originally known as Moodyville, Vancouver’s North Shore was the first settlement where Western Canada’s vibrant forestry industry began. Full of activities and sites, this is one of the few spots where you can golf in the morning, ski in the afternoon and dine exquisitely in the evening.

The staycation trend is blossoming now more than ever. Pack a bag and check yourself into the Pinnacle Hotel at the Pier in North Vancouver. Located right on the waterfront with views of the mountains, this boutique hotel doesn’t miss details such as fresh cream in the mini fridge, hotel bikes available for cruising around the shore, and outstanding dining at The Lobby Restaurant. A jacuzzi, steam room, 25-metre pool, and fully equipped fitness room will keep you feeling fresh and fit. There are even personal trainers and Zumba classes.

The North Shore offers everything from water sports to skiing. With three separate mountains, the summer brings hiking and the winter snow sports. Check out Grouse Mountain this winter for zipline tours, snowshoeing, outdoor ice skating and sno-limo tours. delete extra space Christmas spirit soars with displays of reindeer, visits from Santa and holiday carols. The Grouse Mountain Skyride takes you to the top in style, giving you one of the best views of both the North Shore and Vancouver. Dine on the mountain at the more casual Altitudes Bistro or the high-end The Observatory, and always save same time for an après-ski beverage.

If cycling is your sport, there’s everything from world-class mountain biking to more forgiving trails. Check with one of the local bike shops, who will school you on what’s best for the season. Sea lovers can rent kayaks, and there are plenty of golf courses to keep golfers happy.

Also check out the Capilano Suspension Bridge, situated in the west coast rain forest and resting 230 feet above the Capilano River and spaning 450 feet. Interactive ecotours are available, or you can just wander about on your own. Treetop Adventures, on-site, allows you to wander along various suspension bridges; for those craving a bit more excitement, The Cliffwalk juts out from the granite cliffs, right above the river.

If you’ve checked into the Pinnacle Pier Hotel you can wander down Lonsdale to the charming little Lonsdale Quay, where everything from fresh produce to fashion and gifts are available. The quay is where the seabus arrives from downtown Vancouver, so it can be accessed conveniently. Walk back up the street to Obsession Bikes, where the team will find the perfect ride or accessory for you, head to the Love Nest for some romantic accessories and sexy novelties to make your stay even hotter, or check out one of the local galleries for original art pieces by local and international artists. There are a handful of malls in the area, but why not give your business to independent retailers?

Sip and Dine
There’s everything from small ethnic restaurants to large chains in North Vancouver. If coffee is your thing, The Café for Contemporary Art is worth making time for. Sip freshly roasted coffee and sample sinful desserts while checking out the current exhibit. Great lunch spots include the International food court at Lonsdale Quay, Yaas Bazaar at 1860 Lonsdale for Persian, and Burgoo on lower Lonsdale for hearty soups and stews.

In the worthy dining room list The Lobby Restaurant in the Pinnacle Pier, The District or Fishworks on Lonsdale offer great eats and are particularly strong on seafood, Quattro is best for superb Italian and Bistro Chez Michel for fine French cuisine.

The area’s not known for much night life, but local pubs such as Pemberton Station and Queen’s Cross will provide a good place to watch the game while snacking on decent burgers, nachos or wings.

Image courtesy of Vancouver North Shore Tourism Association.


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