Vancouver’s Gastown area. Photo: Grant Harder


A number of colorful, retro-tinged projects have brought a newfound urbanity to rugged Vancouver. Check into the Opus Vancouver (from $235;; 322 Davie St.; 604-642-6787), remodeled last year with faux-shagreen headboards and orange-and-periwinkle walls. Have a sunset Negroni at the Roof, a pop-up spot on the 15th floor of downtown’s 1939 the Fairmont Hotel ­Vancouver, fitted with throwback semicircle booths (it will go back to being a private-event space in the fall). End the night in the up-and-coming Mt. Pleasant district: Former porn theater the Fox ­Cabaret hosts live acts like ­comedy group the Sunday Service, as well as 1950s- and ’60s-themed dance parties. Of course, there’s also plenty of new-new to go along with the new-old, especially in the once-derelict waterfront district of Gastown, where you can browse Nolita-esque shops for recycled-leather bags by local designer Erin Templeton, and dine on braised-veal-neck croquettes at the nose-to-tail Wildebeest.

Pemberton valley bike path. Photo: Getty Images


Drive two and half hours north along the sea-to-sky highway, winding past waterfalls and snow-capped ­mountains and the busy exits for Whistler, before reaching the ­hyperfertile valley of Pemberton. One of the sources of the area’s beef and produce, the jagged-peak-­surrounded town has caught on among locavores in the past few years, becoming Vancouver’s answer to the North Fork. Base yourself at the rustic Pemberton Gateway Village Suites (from $109; pemberton­ for stunning views of Mount Currie; downstairs at the porch-front Mile One Eating House, the juicy burgers are made with Pemberton Meadows beef and the rolls come from the around-the-corner Blackbird Bakery. Ten minutes outside town—drive or cycle through the fir-shaded bike trails (rentals from $36 a day at the Pemberton Bike Co.)—you can pick your own organic strawberries at North Arm Farm. Or, if you happen to be there on August 16, join Araxi Restaurant’s annual Longtable Dinner, where 150 guests dine on four courses, like smoked sockeye salmon with beets and arugula flowers.