Award Trips

21 Hours in Vancouver: Rainy Day Siteseeing and Squamish Falls

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Our flight arrived late, 30 minutes after the rental car counter was supposed to close, so we hustled through immigration and out to the rental car area. There was still an agent at the Budget counter and I rushed up, commenting I was glad he was still open. “Actually I closed half an hour ago.”

But he was kind enough to open back up AND upgrade us to a Premium car, which wound up being a blessing since we would be doing a lot of driving the next day.

Budget Rental Car YVR premium upgrade

We woke up to a rainy, foggy, cold morning with freezing rain and snow in the forecast. Our plan had been to spend the morning walking around downtown Vancouver, the afternoon at Stanley Park, and the evening on the Capilano Suspension Bridge. But both our spirits and our plans were a little a dampened.

Keri Shawna rainy Vancouver weather

We started at Holy Rosary Cathedral on Richards St, which still had a lovely nativity scene set up.

Church of the Holy Rosary Vancouver BC (1)

Church of the holy Rosary Vancouver BC interior

Emerging into a persistent sidewise rain, we abandoned our idea of walking down Robson Street and trudged over to the Vancouver lookout a few blocks away. After looking at the $16.25 per person admission price and speculating on how much we’d be able to see in this weather, we kept going instead to the Tourist Information Center several blocks down.

Vancouver BC visitors center

They had a whole list of rainy day suggestions, but none caught our fancy until Whistler was mentioned. John, the rep helping us, was really nice and helpful, giving us maps and ideas, and candid advice on what would be worth seeing in this weather. We finally decided to drive towards Whistler, taking in some waterfalls, scenic points, and lots of fog along the way.

foggy drive to Whistler

One of the things that delighted me most on the drive was the ice cascades on the rock cliffs. It looked like gushing waterfalls, though it was just ice dripping down the sides.

ice cascades vancouver BC

Not even an hour later we were pulling into the Squamish Falls parking lot and heading up the trails to see the falls. Between the running water, the ice alongside, and the nearly frozen stream, it was amazing!

Squamish Falls vancouver BC

Frosen stream Squamish Falls vancouver BC

Definitely worth the drive and the hike. Though I wished more than once that I had known we’d be hiking trails instead of sidewalks so I could have packed more sensible shoes. My Baretraps knee boots did a great job on the gravel inclines and I wasn’t too footsore, but for actual hikes I prefer sneakers and hiking shoes rather than heels.

Keri hiking squamish falls knee boots

On the drive back some of the fog was starting to lift and we had some great views from Porteau Cove.

views from Porteau Cove Vancouver BC

view from Porteau Cove Vancouver BC

Our search for a local restaurant along Marine Drive found us a little too late for lunch, so we grabbed some delicious takeout from the Fresh St Market in West Vancouver and headed over to the Capilano Suspension Bridge before night fall.

Capilano Suspension Bridge Vancouver BC

We were just in time to catch one of the last nights of the Canyon Lights exhibit, which blew our minds. I’ll be doing a separate post about all the attractions, but in a nutshell, it’s definitely worth seeing!

Canyon Lights Capilano Suspension Bridge

After 2 ½ hours we were satisfied and chilled so decided to head back to the airport a little early for our 9:50PM flight.

Verdict on Vancouver: It’s definitely a place best seen in good weather. So if you’re not into skiing it would be best to go late spring through fall. If you love Holiday lights, go before Christmas as many of the top attractions like Stanley Park and Capilano Suspension Bridge have special exhibits.


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