Have one last free weekend before the New Year begins? Spend your last days of 2016 on a quick, green getaway to Vancouver. As the largest city in British Columbia, Vancouver has plenty of options when it comes to hotels, restaurants and local attractions. Explore your way through the city by marking some of the more eco-friendly destinations below on your list.
Rest up in a sustainable hotel
Booking a hotel room is always one of the most important parts of any trip. Set your travel plans early and learn more about one of many Vancouver hotels below and its sustainable efforts.
The Burrard Hotel
A mix of a modern design and decades of history, The Burrard Hotel has amenities and rooms that’ll make your stay even more memorable. A restored motor hotel from the 1950s, this hotel has more than 70 rooms available for guests in four different styles. Not only do you get to enjoy room perks such as free Wi-Fi and your own Nespresso machine, but you also have the luxury of being located right in Vancouver’s city center. Also, The Burrard Hotel is located on a bike route and encourages its guests to opt into alternative transportation during their stay. Use one of the hotel’s 17 free Brodie Cruiser bike rentals to exercise or head to local restaurants, parks and popular social spots.
Rosellen Suites at Stanley Park
With less than 30 rooms, the Rosellen Suites at Stanley Park is a quaint hotel located in West End, just blocks away from the English Bay and Vancouver Harbour. Although the hotel considers itself a “small residential suite hotel” on its site, its green efforts have earned it a three Green Key eco-rating. Also, guests have access to free passes to the Vancouver Aquatic Centre and Denman Fitness Club as well as unlimited movies and free Wi-Fi. Better yet, you’re just minutes away from park trails and great shopping!
Indulge in local food selections
Whether you’re out for brunch, happy hour or a fancy dinner, explore local restaurants that value sustainability and use Vancouver-grown ingredients.
“Fable (farm to table) sources ingredients for its meals from local farmers, creating meals and their accompaniments from what is seasonally available.”
From its brunch to dinner options, Fable Kitchen uses fresh, local ingredients to deliver on its farm-to-table concept. Dishes are prepared from scratch every day and change based on a seasonal schedule. Guests who visit this month can enjoy the current menu, including eggs benedict with an olive oil hollandaise, a bacon sandwich and chorizo wrapped pork loin. There is also a variety of vegetarian choices available. Located a short bike ride or walk away from Vanier Park, Fable Kitchen is a popular foodie stop you won’t want to miss.
“Mission Kitsilano is a tasting menu concept restaurant that has a focus on sustainability with a true ‘nose-to-tail’ and ‘root-to-tip’ philosophy. Products are sourced from local farmers, which results in a reduced carbon footprint and the freshest of ingredients in the plates presented to our guests.”
Discover a special Vancouver dining experience and spend a romantic night out at Mission Kitsilano. The restaurant creates unique dishes based on the region’s ingredients. Mission Kitsilano has tasting menus for four- and six-course meals, as well as optional wine pairing selected by the restaurant’s sommelier. In addition to dinner, the restaurant also makes handcrafted cocktails, small plates and brunch selections.
Grab a quick pastry or sit down for lunch at Terra Breads in between your city adventures. This bakery café has four Vancouver locations and focuses on delivering fresh food that’s sourced from sustainable and free-range ingredients. It offers 22 flavorful bread selections such as rosemary and olive oil, Italian cheese and cranberry pistachio. If you’d prefer sweet treats, try Terra Bread’s Belgian chocolate brownie or pistachio granola. Whether you’re ordering lighter fare or a full meal, you’ll know the ingredients you’re getting are high quality.
Add green activities to your weekend schedule
Touring the greater Vancouver area doesn’t have to involve sitting in traffic or using a car. Fill up your itinerary with eco-friendly activities that are just a walk or bike ride away!
Nat Bailey Stadium Winter Market
Every Saturday from November 5 to April 22, the Nat Bailey Stadium Winter Market is open to Vancouver community members and visitors. Guests can check out more than 70 different vendors – including local artisans, farmers and fisherman – from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. to purchase seafood, meat, produce, crafts and more. The market has seating and warming stations so you can take a break from shopping, listen to live music and grab something to eat from a local food truck. Also, the Nat Bailey Stadium Winter Market has zero waste policies for the event. It encourages visitors to bring reusable bags, recycle plates and return serveware to food truck stations.
VanDusen Botanical Garden
Explore your way through a variety of blooms and berries while visiting the VanDusen Botanical Garden during the colder months. You might even spot December’s featured tree: the Japanese umbrella pine. Aside from the Tree of the Month, the garden is recognized for its leadership in sustainability and plant conservation, according to its site. During the holiday season, visitors can even enjoy the garden’s Festival of Lights, where the grounds are decorated with more than one million lights and transformed into a winter wonderland.
Spend the day in Victoria
Have time to travel outside of Vancouver for the day? Victoria, located on Vancouver Island, was named one of the Top 25 Best Cities in the World by the 2016 Condé Nast Readers’ Choice Awards. A 90-minute ferry ride away from Vancouver, the city is the perfect place for craft beer drinkers, eco-friendly explorers and nature lovers.
“We commit to sustainable business practices across all aspects of our operation and were a finalist for Victoria’s Greenest Restaurant. We maintain a comprehensive compost and recycling program, and partner with local suppliers throughout the year to use fresh, seasonal, local products in our menu. Greens and produce are delivered by bicycle from a local urban farm called Top Soil Urban Agriculture, which is located less than 500 meters from our waterfront patio.”
Located in downtown Victoria, the Canoe Brewpub boasts waterfront views, a daily happy hour and handcrafted brews. You can even stop by every Thursday or Friday night to try the menu’s daily drink feature and listen to live music. Not only does the brewpub value natural brewing processes, but it also focuses on sustainable efforts. It recycles, composts and works closely with local food producers and growers. In addition, Canoe Brewpub donates leftover food to Our Place, an organization that serves more than 1,500 daily meals to Victoria community members in need.
The Pedaler Bike Tour
Want to explore Victoria without having to rent a car? An environmentally friendly alternative is to book a bike tour or rent a bike through The Pedaler. Choose from food and drinking tours, landmark tours and more. You can even select the type of bicycle you’d like to rent! The Pedaler offers road bikes, tandem bikes and kid-friendly bikes. It also has electric-assist bikes available for those who can’t operate a pedal bike, but want to tour the city in a greener way. In addition, The Pedaler is eco-conscious in many aspects of its business. It provides recycling bins in its shop, recycles and reuses paper and encourages its employees to bike to work.