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Patio party at the Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver

Please only travel when it’s safe to do so.

It’s been hot, hot, hot lately in Vancouver. And sunny!

Not that we’re complaining (only the lawns are, but they are resilient and will be green again soon enough).

Come winter, we’ll huddle under umbrellas, getting pelted with rain that pours (if we’re lucky, dribbles) for weeks on end from gloomy gray skies. And this gorgeous weather will be a distant memory…

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

For now, it’s summer!

So where do Vancouverites go when it’s hot and sunny?

We like cooling off for a dip at a local pebble beach (yes, you can actually swim in our ocean water). And hiking to a nearby lake in the forest (Whyte Lake – it’s kind of a secret, so please don’t spread the word too far), which REALLY is lovely for a swim. And renting stand-up paddleboards at Deep Cove for a little core exercise (er, tumble?) on the water.

Vancouver patios

And, like all Vancouverites, we hit Vancouver patios for a cool one, like the Patio Terrace at the Pan Pacific Hotel Vancouver.

Vancouver patios - martinis
Martinis, anyone? photo Pan Pacific Vancouver
Vancouver patios
The patio opens at 11:00 am, or you can end the day with a cool one – photo Pan Pacific Vancouver
Vancouver cruise port - Canada Place
The patio is at the back of the Pan Pacific in Canada Place

If you’ve visited Vancouver, you’ll recognize the hotel – it’s part of Canada Place, whose iconic “five sails” are featured on many Vancouver postcards.

It’s located downtown by the waterfront where the cruise ships dock (and where we recently toured the delightfully French L’Austral cruise ship, in port for the day). You can’t miss the five ginormous white sails rising up into the sky at the end of the cruise dock.

The Pan Pacific’s generous outdoor patio is on the hotel lobby level (up a set of escalators) and extends out from the back of the Café Pacifica. (We share this because we had a wee bit of a hard time finding it.)

Vancouver patios - cruise ship dock
Summer is a busy time at Vancouver’s cruise ship dock – photo Pan Pacific Vancouver

View? Yes! Right up there with the best of all Vancouver patios.

The patio directly overlooks Burrard Inlet and the Coastal Mountains on Vancouver’s North Shore. We even saw two cruise ships depart (Vancouver’s the main port for Alaska cruises).

Cool cocktails, made in Vancouver

A kale-infused gimlet – sounds healthy, doesn’t it? We’re told it’s Kitsilano-inspired. It’s made with fresh-squeezed kale – a good way to get your veggies, we think :-). Add to that pineapple and lime juices, Grand Marnier and Tanquery No. Ten (the more refined sibling to Tanqueray’s original London Dry Gin).

Well, this “Kale Gimlet” – which we tried – is just one of the 10 Vancouver-themed cocktails the mixologists shake up at the Pan Pacific.

The young and the beautiful who live in Kitsilano shop at health food stores and flex their muscles playing beach volleyball in itty-bitty bikinis and trunks.

So we kind of, sort of, see the Kitsilano link. But it doesn’t matter if you don’t. All you really need to know is that this gimlet is very refreshing. Not too sweet. A hint of bitterness from the kale. Goes down easily.

Vancouver patios - Aperol Spritz
If you’re more in the mood for a little Italy, you can order the Aperol Spritz, Italy’s favorite aperitif – photo Pan Pacific Vancouver

And then there’s the “Evergreen,” which is based on our neck of the woods, Vancouver’s North Shore.

We’re all about the forest yonder across the Lions Gate Bridge (which connects downtown and the North Shore). Black bears wander down from the mountains behind us, and trees grow so tall that neighbors squabble over cutting back some of the growth for better views – tree huggers slugging it out with view lovers (in a polite way, most of the time, as we’re Canadians).

The Evergreen blends pine syrup and juniper berries with Don Julio Blanco Chartreuse, lime juice and soda. Verdict? Another great summer sipper.

Vancouver patios
Look up! It’s a forest of trees on Vancouver’s North Shore

Another popular cocktail is the Chinatown-themed “Blood Alley” with Bulleit Bourbon, Peychaud’s bitters and blood orange syrup. Vancouver boasts the largest Chinatown in Canada (and one of the largest in North America). Many Vancouverites of Chinese origins actually live in Richmond, a separate municipality near the airport. But Chinatown, within walking distance of the Pan Pacific, still feels very authentic.

Want to buy chicken feet? Or visit the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden with its 150-year-old miniature trees and koi ponds? Chinatown is the place to go.

So what about the “Blood Alley”? Yes, delicious too.

All good evenings do eventually come to an end though, even ones happily spent patio sipping.

Afterward, we strolled the seawall along the Coal Harbor waterfront as dusk settled on the city with its soft dark hues.

Vancouver patios - Coal Harbour
Boats in Coal Harbor

Summer isn’t over yet, though. If you want to learn more about Vancouver through some nifty cocktails, there are still seven more you can try on the patio at the Pan Pacific.

If you go, let us know what you think of them… There are many other inviting Vancouver patios with great food and drinks too!

Beautiful BC Guide

Pssst! See our “British Columbia Travel Guide”

It’s packed with lots of great info on unmissable destinations, Okanagan wineries, secret places, other cool things to do in BC (like storm watching in Tofino!), epic hikes, taking the ferry between Vancouver and Victoria, the best time to visit and more…


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Jenn Smith Nelson

Monday 17th of August 2015

It's great to see you out and about exploring your beautiful backyard! Some of those cocktails have me itching to come back, especially the uber healthy kale one!

Janice and George

Monday 17th of August 2015

Vancouver is such a great city to live in - and visit. We should write more about it, shouldn't we?

Suze

Saturday 15th of August 2015

This patio sounds like paradise and what a view! Was there a cruise ship there when you visited?

Janice and George

Saturday 15th of August 2015

It was a very nice evening... And, yes, we saw two cruise ships leave - a Silver Seas ship and an Oceania ship.

Irene S. Levine

Friday 14th of August 2015

The patio at the Pan Pacific Vancouver looks like the perfect spot to sip an Aperol Spritz! Perhaps, next best to Italy:-)

Janice and George

Saturday 15th of August 2015

True, and a lot less expensive than jetting off to Italy for a local Italian drink :-).

Wandering Carol

Friday 14th of August 2015

Funny, I'll be in Vancouver in a week or so - now I know where to go for a drink. Pan Pacific here I come. (PS: What's happened to the hot weather? It's kind of cool here in Whistler!)

Janice and George

Saturday 15th of August 2015

The weather just changed! Cool and cloudy today. And it rained last evening (which the lawns are very grateful for). But the forecast is for sun again starting next week, so crossing fingers for good weather for your Vancouver visit :-).