Feeling the Holiday Spirit in Vancouver, B.C.

During a whirlwind Christmas vacation back in Seattle, I wanted to take a couple of days away from the madness of last-minute shopping and marathon baking to enjoy a winter getaway with my loved ones. Reservations booked and bags packed, we set out early and headed across the border to spend the night in the regal Fairmont Hotel Vancouver—courtesy of a Trazzler travel writing contest I won.

Our Gorgeous Hotel: The Fairmont Hotel Vancouver

Though I’ve been to Vancouver a few times, I was excited to see it with new eyes, as my previous visits were more of a rowdy college weekend spent checking out the bars than seeing the sights, sampling the local food and getting a good feel of the city.

Downtown Vancouver at Night from Stanley Park

After checking into our hotel, our stomachs were rumbling, so brunch was definitely in order. On a recommendation from a good friend, we located a delicious creperie simply named Café Crepe.

This North American chain, with locations in both Canada and the U.S. has an (obviously) heavily European-influenced menu, an extensive coffee selection and just about the best darn crepes—sweet and savory!—you can get your hands on.

Café Crepe, Vancouver B.C.

Refueled and ready to explore the city, we headed toward the Bavarian-inspired Vancouver Christmas Market to sample the schnitzel, drink mulled wine and peruse the holiday handicrafts.

Though the Vancouver Christmas Market is quaint, it was the perfect way to get in the holiday spirit and be transported to the famed holiday markets of Europe.

Afterward, we explored downtown, did some window-shopping, and walked along the harbor at Canada Place; a landmark/convention center jutting out on the shore with stately sails reminiscent of the Sydney Opera House. This is located right next to the Vancouver Convention Center, where TBEX 11’ will be held in June.

We then stopped by the friendly and helpful Tourism Vancouver office for directions, hopped on to a bus to the “Bright Nights in Stanley Park” and entered a winter (and very Canadian!) wonderland:

After walking around, admiring the millions of lights strung in Stanley Park and breathing in the smell of roasted chestnuts, we headed back to our hotel downtown to put on more layers and map out a plan for the rest of the evening. But as the sun set, little did we know just how light and bright things would become…

Author: Christine

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