The nude beach and Stanley Park. Can you guess which is which?
I moved to B.C. in 2021 and there are lots of surprises that have come my way.
I came to Vancouver eager to try anything and everything, taking in the many (seriously, so many) recommendations. From food spots and hikes, to tourist attractions and weekend trips — I did them all. Or, as much as I could fit in during my short time here so far.
Coming from an outsider's perspective, I definitely have lots of opinions on what I think was well worth it, and what's not even close.
So, here are a selection of the most overrated and underrated places in B.C. that I've seen in 2021.
The Gastown Steam Clock - Overrated
It was my first weekend here and my friends took me out for dinner, and as we strolled around the beautiful area called Gastown, they brought me to the iconic steam clock.
We stood there, looking at this random clock, and eventually left before it went off.
Overall, uneventful. So much so that I didn't even get a pic.
Tofino - Underrated
People love Tofino, yes, but many don't make the trip there since it's a little isolated.
It is SO worth the trip though. It was my favourite weekend in B.C. so far.
The town is so beautiful. It's right on the ocean, the beaches are incredible, and overall it's like a little paradise.
VanDusen Botanical Garden - Underrated
I didn't hear much about these gardens before moving here, and once I went I was surprised by how amazing it was.
It is so incredibly peaceful, and there is a lot of art and cool architecture you can look at.
The Capilano Suspension Bridge - Overrated
The cost is super high and although it is stunning, there are so many beautiful bridges to go to in B.C. for free!
Norvan Falls - Underrated
There are a ton of breathtaking hikes in B.C., and waterfalls to go along with them, but this might be a favourite for me. I love it because it's not too hard, but it is a long 14-kilometre trek, so you get a workout in.
The waterfall is huge and has a pool under it that you can jump in if you're brave.
Stanley Park - Overrated
To be fair, lots of the trails were closed when I first got here because of the coyotes.
It is a stunning park, with amazing trees and beaches, but I much prefer a hike in North Van where you can get a view.
Stanley Park also tends to be busy, and the traffic going to and from is brutal.
PNE/Playland - Overrated
I went to Playland one of my first weekends here, and it was fun but didn't really live up to my expectations.
Everyone had talked it up to me but the rides were pretty basic, and there was a lot closed when I went.
Honestly, though, I'll go anywhere for a rollercoaster ride.
Lucky's Doughnuts: 49th Cafe - Underrated
The cafe that sells these amazing doughnuts is right in my neighbourhood.
It is a must-try, but warning — you may start having to visit every day.
Downtown Vancouver - Overrated
A lot of my friends who moved to B.C. went to downtown Vancouver, and most of them get sick of it fast. The traffic is wild, it's pretty hectic, and it kind of lacks character.
I much prefer the surrounding neighbourhoods, like East Vancouver, Kitsilano, and North Van.
The Grouse Grind - Underrated
I get it, people hate on this because it's super hard and honestly not that enjoyable on the way up.
But the view from the top is 10/10, and you can sit and have a meal while looking out on it. That's not something you can get with any other hike really.
Also, there are a bunch of activities at the top which are super fun to do.
Published On Main - Underrated
I got so many restaurant recommendations when I moved here but found this one randomly online. I went for brunch and everything from the decor to the food was outstanding.
The dishes are small but tasty and unique, the coffee was amazing, and there were plants everywhere which I love.
Wreck Beach - Underrated
This is a hot spot for anyone going to UBC, since it's right on campus, but somewhat looked over by other people.
It is a nude beach, so beware of seeing naked old men. That's basically the only people who are nude at the beach (even in December sometimes!)
Once you get past that whole part though, it is such a beautiful spot. It's the best place to see the sunset in Vancouver, and there is lots of space, so you aren't having to go through a crowd — thank god, given naked old men and all...
It is a long walk down sets of stairs to get to the beach, but it's well worth it.
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