Victorian Hotel: One Perfect Day in Downtown Vancouver

Vancouver is a swoonworthy city with tons to see and do, but sometimes you’ve only got a day to spare. The good news is if you’re staying at the Victorian Hotel, you’ll be perfectly positioned to enjoy some city highlights before returning to your comfy boutique accommodations at night.

The Victorian Hotel is located at 514 Homer Street, which places it right in the heart of downtown Vancouver. Four of Vancouver’s trendiest districts—Gastown, Yaletown, Robson, and Chinatown are within walking distance of the hotel, which features 47 beautifully appointed hotel rooms.

If you have just one day to spend in Vancouver, begin with breakfast at a local café. Vancouver is a big coffee town. Venture over to touristy Gastown for a jolt of java at their one-of-a-kind cafes. One of our favourites is Buro, which is conveniently located at the entrance to Gastown. Overflowing with natural light, the artfully poured espresso punctuates the fresh French pastries, banana bread, and house-baked muffins, which are always fresh and delicious.

After breakfast, you’ll be positioned to do a little shopping. Gastown has evolved as an epicentre for fashion and style. From fabulous Fluevogs to your new favourite t-shirt, Gastown is known for procuring some of the most interesting, well-made and genuinely beautiful items to wear and to hold.

Next, head downtown for some cuisine and culture. You could swing by the hotel to drop off your wares and then head off to Robson and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Spend the afternoon exploring a highly acclaimed collection of national and international contemporary art. Don’t miss the permanent collection on display by the legendary BC artist Emily Carr. The Satellite Visitor Centre on the south-west side of the gallery is a great source of great information and tips.

Next, for a casual west coast lunch, try the Smokehouse Sandwich Company, which is just a short walk on 700 Georgia Street W. Indulge in premium quality smoked meats and delicious sandwiches sourced from local farms. The restaurant has developed their own specialty meats, spice rubs, and sauces, resulting in inventive fusions such as Sarah—which consists of pulled Tamarind Chicken with Aioli, Sesame Ginger Oil and Asian Slaw.

After lunch, you’ll want to walk off those calories. Cab or bus to Stanley Park, a 400 hectare (1,000 acre) jewel right at the end of the downtown peninsula. For a close-up experience, rent a bike and ride the 9-kilometre Seawall path. For the less actively inclined, the park has regular horse-drawn tours that let you meander in comfort through the natural beauty of Stanley Park. A professional guide fully narrates the tour, which highlights Deadman’s Island, Vancouver Harbour, Lions Gate Bridge, a Coastal Red Cedar Forest, and includes stops at the iconic Totem Poles, the Girl in a Wet Suit Statue, the S.S. Empress of Japan Figurehead, and the Rose Garden.

For dinner, head back to Vancouver to take in the eclectic nightlife of Vancouver’s famous Chinatown. As a neat bazaar overflowing with live music, noodles, and bubble tea, it’s a gastronome’s paradise wrapped in an eclectic fusion package.

End the night close to the hotel and venture back to Gastown as the nightlife really kicks off. Vancouver is famous for its hot and cold brews, and the Steamworks Brewing Company exists among some of the city’s best watering holes. Other points to check out include the Alibi Room and Gringo, an upbeat but inexpensive taco bar.

When you’re done, your hotel will be within walking distance, so you can get back safely to the soaker tubs, pillow top mattresses, and bask in the comforting glow of the room’s LG flat screen TVs.