As much as we love to say there's nothing to do in the city, no one can deny that as soon as the sun comes out, we all head to the nearest patio, beach, or pool to enjoy the beautiful summer day. We are also aware that Vancouver is one of the top tourist destinations in the world, which is why it's necessary to seek the less sought-after places to go.
Vancouver is home to many hidden gems. The people in Vancouver are always working hard and always flying under the radar. There are a collection of less crowded spots to enjoy some of the finer things in life and there's a reason you may not have been to any of them: exclusivity.
Can you keep a secret? Me neither. That's why I've done the research to create a definitive list of our city's hidden gems you need to try to see this summer.
1. The Westin Grand // 433 Robson St
The Vancouver rooftop #PopUpPatio is perched above the bustling intersection of Homer and Robson Streets, on the sun-drenched poolside terrace of The Westin Grand. Every Thursday and Friday this summer, the space will be transformed into the #PopUpPatio, a bustling Vancouver patio lounge. Unwind with happy hour after a hard day of work in this relaxed atmosphere with soft seating, green gardens and live DJ music.
Executive Chef Chris Savino has designed a light menu served from a BBQ action station, while the bartenders from Hidden Tasting Bar and Social Lounge will be crafting cool cocktails and a refreshing beer and wine list.
Open this summer every Thursday and Friday (weather dependent) from 5 PM - 9 PM, with happy hour from 8 PM - 9 PM.
Photo cred - @alyssaadem
2. Shangri-La Hotels And Resorts // 1128 W Georgia St
One of the city’s hotel jewels right downtown, the Shangri-La has a small but perfectly formed fifth-floor heated outdoor pool with a spacious hot tub, fitness centre and even its own smoothies and light bites bar, so you can make a day of it.
Not accessible to anyone but hotel guests or spa visitors, the rules here are that anyone who books a treatment at Chi can access the facilities before or after their treatments.
My advice? Go early with a friend, laze, splash, soak, gym, gossip then have lunch at Ginger and a late afternoon facial.
3. Dockside Restaurant // 1253 Johnston St
Hidden near Granville Island, Dockside Restaurant has one of the best views of Vancouver. Even though it's been around for years, this hidden gem is accessible by water taxi or the False Creek Village.
Dockside Restaurant is located inside the Granville Island Hotel which is at 1253 Johnston Street. When you arrive at the hotel walk straight through the entranceway all the way to the end and there you’ll find Dockside.
Dockside’s patio has been voted "Best in Vancouver" for an amazing six year in a row by the readers of the Georgia Straight. It’s open when the sun’s shining for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and drinks. Plan to find a seat and enjoy the weather while taking in all the beauty of Vancouver on the shores of False Creek.
4. Fairmont Pacific Rim // 1038 Canada Place
When it's a beautiful day in Vancouver, there is no better place to be than the rooftop pool deck at the Fairmont Hotel YVR. Enjoy the sun from under a cabana, a palm tree, or a cabana. You've probably heard about this one before, but most of us have never actually experienced this exclusive venue.
The amenities are only available to guests and residents year round, but for a fairly reasonable price you can access the pool and other amenities through the purchase of spa treatments. Pool hours are 6:00am-10:00pm and Cabana hours of operation are 11:00am-7:00pm. Cabana rentals are open to hotel guests only on Fridays, Saturdays, Sundays, and long weekend Mondays.
5. Reflections: The Garden Terrace // 801 W Georgia St
Combining downtown Vancouver's vibrant energy with the tranquility of the outdoors, Reflections: The Garden Terrace, offers a variety of seafood and light, tapas-inspired dishes in a sophisticated outdoor bar and lounge setting.
Situated within the inner courtyard of the hotel's fourth floor, this urban oasis in the heart of Vancouver delivers a laid-back vibe with foliage, vibrant flowers, sumptuous greenery, and soft lighting. Heaters and lush, warm blankets are available on cool evenings.
Open 11:30am-10:30pm daily, this is the perfect place to enjoy the up-scale eatery and killer drink menu. The vibrant colours and decor create a beautiful scene filled with greenery, foliage, and West Coast vibe.
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