Vancouver, Vancouver, it's a hell of a town...
September 4, 2010 11:00 PM   Subscribe

What are some fun things to do in Vancouver as an adult?

I grew up in Vancouver and left when I was 9. When I've visited since it's to see family and revisit things I'd seen as a kid, like the aquarium.

In a week I'll be staying there for a week with a friend who's got an apartment in the middle of the city and it'll be my first time there as an adult without elderly relatives around.

posted by Silentgoldfish to Travel & Transportation around Vancouver, BC (10 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
The Anthropology Museum is wonderful, unique to Vancouver in its Native American exhibits.
posted by anadem at 11:06 PM on September 4, 2010

Vancouver has earned a title of "No Fun City."

Depends on what you mean "as an adult."

The only thing that's gotten better about the city is the food. How many years ago has it been since you where 9?

There are a bunch of good isakaya (Japanese tappas) places that popped up and stayed in the last decade. Guu, Happa, are kinda like the Cactus Clubs of isakaya - the top spots flop about.

Ajisai is a great sushi place - but it's hard to find even if you're given directions - it's in Kerrisdale behind the London Drugs and the Liquor store on Boulevard/41st.

Bard on the Beach is still on, for a couple more days...

There's tons of hiking within public transport distance. Lots of great hiking if you have a motor vehicle.

This is a weird part of the year - the zenith of stupid 17-23 year olds on campus and plugging up the public transport system, and the heat didn't last this year (but might go back up) - there's Wreck Beach - a public clothing-optional beach on the N.W. edge of campus. If you're serious about nude sunbathing, though, take SW Marine up a 0.5km N and E of the main entrance down the stairs and you'll find another set of stairs to a much more "private" beach where people are more into tanning and being naked over being naked and showing off/trying to provoke with their hairy ugly nakedness.
posted by porpoise at 12:42 AM on September 5, 2010

Response by poster: Hm, I should probably provide a couple more details about myself I guess - I'm 28 now, and coming from Australia so beaches aren't really something I'm after in a trip to Canada! Thanks though :)
posted by Silentgoldfish at 12:45 AM on September 5, 2010

The Eatery is pretty fun, with a lot of delightful sushi combinations.
posted by redsparkler at 2:40 AM on September 5, 2010

If you want something adult and unique to the area that you can't find anywhere else, find a car and go hiking; perhaps a two day trip to the island if you are willing to spend some time away from your friend (assuming they're working). I've been a bit of a world traveler in my day, and this place is magnificently unique in the trees and rocks department.

For adult type bar fun, I've always preferred Gastown over the other the other options. You have a better chance of random conversations with strangers and a better chance of having fun.
posted by sleslie at 8:24 AM on September 5, 2010

I was back in Vancouver last year for the first time after many years (used to live there). Izakaya-hopping is fantastic. I started at Japadog on Burrard, then moved on to Guu on Thurlow (my favourite of the new spots, full of Japanese students), down Robson to Guu with Garlic, over to Denman to get yakitori at Zakkushi, then winding up at Kingyo. There are other places along the way (and new ones added since last year, including the lovely-looking Guu Garden on Nelson). Don't miss the opportunity to drink loads of Tantakatan, a delicious shiso shochu.

If you like wilderness but are tired of Stanley Park, take the SkyTrain out to Burnaby Lake Park. I used to live up the hill and loved spending an afternoon hiking around the lake - it's one long oval-shaped trail that passes through a variety of ecosystems, from rainforest to horse trail to boardwalk marshland.

In the last few years Main St has become the place for quirky independent stores (although in the last year it's also been hit hard by some fires that took out a lot of businesses). Pulpfiction Books at Main & Broadway is one of the best bookstores ever.

Other than that, No Fun City still seems to apply. I spent a lot of time wandering around and seeing how the city has changed. It may be bigger/shinier/wealthier but a lot of the character is being lost. I didn't even have anyone try to sell me drugs once. (Not sure if that means the city has changed, or I have).
posted by Gortuk at 8:49 AM on September 5, 2010

Speaking as a non-Vancouverite who travels there regularly for work...

I would check out the food court in the Yaohan shopping center on Number 3 Road in Richmond. The Canada Line goes right there. Yaohan's food court has probably the best concentration of cheap yet high quality authentic Asian fast food in the city. The selection is incredible.

During a trip to Richmond, you can also watch the jet come in to land on the north runway at the airport, or watch them take off from the south runway... You'll need a car.

If you do head out to the Museum of Anthropology, try hiking at Pacific Spirit Park.

MacLeod's Books is a great used bookstore, too.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:03 AM on September 5, 2010

Before labeling Vancouver as "no-fun", check out the Granville Street block party on Friday and Saturday nights. The entire street from Robson to Drake is free of automobile traffic and full of people, and there should be a bar or nightclub that appeals to your tastes.
posted by KokuRyu at 9:05 AM on September 5, 2010

Best answer: What do you like doing? I'm a 28-year-old female, but I hate the nightlife on Granville St. Too club-y for my tastes. Going out for a drink, I prefer a place like the Billy Bishop Legion in Kitsilano -- small, plush, inexpensive, and not filled with people too cool for their own terrible haircuts. That's just me, though. What is 'fun' to you?

Nthing the Museum of Anthropology at UBC. There's also a new(-ish) Bill Reid Gallery downtown that has wonderful BC art.

If you walking in nature, the suspension bridge at Lynn Canyon in North Van is lovely (and unlike the more touristy Capilano, it's free). You can take public transit there if you don't have a car.

Commercial Drive (accessible from downtown via Expo line skytrain -- get off at Broadway and start heading south, at least five blocks, but more is better) is a great Portuguese-Italian neighbourhood with nice coffee, pastries, and restaurants.

Main Street (especially between about 20th and 29th ave) has lots of small, independent cafes and stores like Smoking Lily and Barefoot Contessa and the Regional Assembly of Text. Has a similar feel to Greville Street in Prahran, but there are more shops, and they're more spread out.

4th ave west of Burrard also has good shopping, but it's more expensive. Gravity Pope is on 4th. Lots of nice cooking-stuff stores, though, like Motiv.

I always like the market at Granville Island, especially the little mexican place and the donuts. Granville Island also has Paper-Ya and some nice First Nations art stores. From downtown, you can get there via watertaxi, if you want. Alternatively you could take the ferry over to North Van to go to the market there at Lonsdale Quay.

If you go to the aquarium (it's still fun!), you can also walk around the seawall at Stanley Park. There are lots of points at which you can leave the seawall, too, and head into the forest. I like the Beaver Lake loop.

Denman Street in the West End (downtown, so closer to your friend's place) has lots of good sushi and gelato and cupcakes.

If you do go out to the Yaohan shopping centre, I recommend also going to Aberdeen Centre (a mall at Aberdeen Station) to hit up Daiso.

Those are some of the things that I like to do when I'm in Vancouver.
posted by monkeymonkey at 7:42 PM on September 5, 2010 [1 favorite]

Shabusen Sushi is a great all you can eat sushi place with a fun atmosphere. I always try to check it out when I'm in town.

The Grouse Grind is a nice hike up Grouse Mountain in North Van. Takes about an hour to walk up and it's a pretty good workout even if you're in decent shape. At the top you get a great view of the lower mainland, and you can take the gondola back down.

Go to Deep Cove in North Van and rent a kayak. Paddle up the Indian Arm for great nature just outside the city.
posted by auto-correct at 8:37 PM on September 5, 2010

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