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The Incredible West End of Vancouver

Posted by on May 1, 2014

One of the first things we do when planning a trip is decide where to stay. We prefer vacation rentals (VRBO) over hotels, and we were excited to find accommodation in a heritage building in the character-laden West End.

The West End is on the peninsula of Vancouver with Stanley Park on one side and the downtown core on the other. It falls mainly within three streets—Davie, Denman, and Robson—with the fitting tagline of “Three great streets, one amazing neighborhood.”

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The neighborhood is indeed amazing—altering between historic buildings on quiet streets with gorgeous landscaping, to whimsical parks, dynamic Davie Village, and a plethora of wonderful restaurants and cafes, not to mention Stanley Park and English Bay Beach, where it’s easy to get as much nature, or exercise, as you like.

We were delighted to find such unique character and quickly fell in love with this area. We will happily stay here again!

Here is a brief look at the different areas of the West End. More information can be found in the caption of each picture in the gallery (hit “i” on PC or button with 3 lines on ipad).

  • Stanley Park: Stanley Park is the largest park in Vancouver (1000 acres [400 hectares]) and is surrounded by water on 3 sides. It’s most famous attraction is likely the seawall, a 13.6-mile (22km) walk and cycle path along the water, 5.5 mi (9km) of which are within Stanley Park. The Vancouver Aquarium is another popular site  in the  park (great for rainy days). There are a variety of trails throughout the park.
  • Davie Street: Home to Davie Village, the gay area of town, where rainbow flags proudly line the streets. The area is filled with energy, great food, and a community garden that I fell in love with.
  • Denman Street: Denman Street connects Davie to Robson with wonderful restaurants and shops lining the street. The West End Community Center, a hub for locals, is also located on Denman Street.
  • English Bay Beach: On the corner of Davie and Denman, English Bay Beach is a wonderful place for West Enders and tourists to enjoy the beach, or jog or cycle onto the seawall.
  • Robson Street: If you want to shop, look no further! Robson Street has no end of high fashion, malls, restaurants, and coffee shops. It’s an easy place to spend a day and your money…
  • Neighborhood streets: Within the 3-street boundary, West Enders have kept the interior streets safe with a small town feel by limiting thru traffic, lining the streets with gorgeous flowering trees and perennials (taken care of mainly by the residents), establishing many parks, and having walk and cycle lanes that are safe for kids and adults alike.

We hope you enjoy these images of the eclectic and welcoming West End.

West End, Vancouver

Panorama of the West End
Panorama of the West End
Stanley Park Horse Drawn Carriage Ride
Stanley Park Horse Drawn Carriage Ride
The view of downtown Vancouver from Stanley Park
The view of downtown Vancouver from Stanley Park
The Totem Poles in Stanley Park
The Totem Poles in Stanley Park
The gardens at Stanley Park
The gardens at Stanley Park
Girl in a Wetsuit
Girl in a Wetsuit
Prospect Point in Stanley Park
Prospect Point in Stanley Park
The Sea Wall in Stanley Park
The Sea Wall in Stanley Park
A huge old stump cut out to make a chair in Stanley Park
A huge old stump cut out to make a chair in Stanley Park
Dolphins at Stanley Park Aquarium
Dolphins at Stanley Park Aquarium
Beluga Whales at Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park
Beluga Whales at Vancouver Aquarium in Stanley Park
Colorful birds at the Vancouver Aquarium
Colorful birds at the Vancouver Aquarium
Tulips along English Bay Beach
Tulips along English Bay Beach
I LOVE THIS PARK!
I LOVE THIS PARK!
People frolicking amidst the Whimsical Statues
People frolicking amidst the Whimsical Statues
Adults frolicking in the park
Adults frolicking in the park
The heart of Davie Village
The heart of Davie Village
A farmer's stand in Davie Village
A farmer's stand in Davie Village
The community garden at Davie Village
The community garden at Davie Village
The Greenhorn Cafe on Nicola Street
The Greenhorn Cafe on Nicola Street
Yum--coffee and breakfast at the Greenhorn Cafe
Yum--coffee and breakfast at the Greenhorn Cafe
Color and heritage amidst the West End side streets
Color and heritage amidst the West End side streets

 

We highly recommend the West End if you are looking for a place to stay in Vancouver. If you are thinking of staying here, one thing to keep in mind is whether or not you need a car.

If staying local to West End and downtown, the area is definitely walkable and a car can be more trouble than it’s worth (it’s pricey to park everywhere in Vancouver). That said, having a car is great for those looking to take day trips farther afield.

In our case, our wonderful VRBO owner got us a temporary parking permit that was good in the West End for the week.  So if you have a car, check out this option—the parking permits are obtained through the West End Community Center on Denman. But remember, the later you get home at night, the harder it is to find a spot!

For those of you visiting Vancouver in the near future (and we know there are several of you), we hope you have a great time!!!!

2 Responses to The Incredible West End of Vancouver

  1. Antonio Bogaert

    Dear friends,
    I appreciate your efforts with your beautiful travel blog !!!
    Lovin it !!! all the best and enjoy life !!!! Antonio & Bobbi

    • Jen

      Hey stranger!!! Glad you are enjoying the blog/travel diary. I wish we could travel and blog more! Hope you guys are doing well!!!

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