My girlfriend and I will be in Vancouver for 1 night 2 days in August. We don't have much time so we'd like to make the most out of it. Hoping to get a locals perspective and not spend the whole time in the touristy parts.
Here's a couple of places that I hit while i was there and really like them. They are in/near the Gastown part of Vancouver (touristy area but worth strolling through) so you'll get to see some cool spots along with the touristy area.
Alibi Room had a nice selection of local beers to sample. If you're into beer, you'll dig this place.
I don't have a good seafood or beach tips, but here's a couple other noteworthy places i found while there.
Pourhouse pre-prohibition cocktail bar with great cocktails (the even make a true ramus fizz in there which is arguably the most difficult drink to make) and tasty bar snacks. First time i had a scotch egg was in there. I liked it so much here, i went back to back nights here.
Revolver local coffee shop that even the snobbiest of coffee snobs would be impressed.
Meat & Bread local sandwich place. it's one of those, "i wish we had one of these at home" kind of places.
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If your only in town for one night, I would take advantage of the touristy spots but do so in a local way. I am assuming your staying downtown Vancouver so I would hit up a local brew pub to help sort out your favourite local brew. I would start at the Craft Beer Market at Olympic Village which has the largest selection of craft beers on tap. Next door is Legacy Liquor Store to purchase some local craft beer to go.
Then make your way over to Granville Island and pick up some amazing fresh local seafood. The Lobster Man and Seafood City are my favourite places. Once your picnic pack is complete make your way to Lighthouse Park , Jericho Beach, or Wreck Beach to enjoy your local craft beer and seafood and hopefully take in a sunset.
When you are ready for civilization again, I agree with JR's recommendations below for places to check out in Gastown.
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Well theatre wasn't on your list, but I highly recommend Bard on the Beach. They put on great Shakespeare every year in Vanier Park and the main tent uses the mountains as a backdrop-- it's absolutely beautiful.
If you want to get out of the city, but not too far out, Grouse Mountain has beautiful views of the city, nice hikes, and a gondola to the restaurant at the top. It is very close, so you could spend a day or even half a day up there and the rest of the time in the city.