By now, we hope you’ve heard about the Vancouver Waterfront. Whether you last visited a decade ago or just a few months back, you won’t believe your eyes, and its high time you head back over and see everything that’s new to experience.
It’s been a few years since the first restaurants opened on the newly developed Vancouver waterfront, and a celebration marked the first time in more than 100 years that residents and visitors gained urban riverfront access. Quickly becoming the most Instagram-worthy locale in the city, the Grant Street Pier gives a unique experience of standing over the river, and people from all walks of life enjoy the outdoor amenities.
Perhaps the addition that garnered the most excitement when open in the past was the Headwaters Wall, a family-friendly water feature and play area in the City of Vancouver’s Waterfront Park. Crowds of children with their parents splashed around in the shallow stream, while onlookers marveled over the hand-etched map and topographical cast. In the evening catch the sunset while taking a stroll along the Waterfront Renaissance Trail, and savor dessert at The Yard Milkshake Bar for some over-the-top ice cream creations.
Casual and upscale dining options joined the line-up of riverfront eateries, including Willamette Valley Vineyards, in the Don Building above Maryhill Winery, Ruse Brewing Crust Collective, a Portland-based brewery serving Detroit-style pizza, and The Waterfront Taphouse, serving upscale pub fair from its second-story spot overlooking the Grant Street Pier. Find Stack 571 grilling up mouth-watering gourmet burgers with an impressive list of whiskey to boot. Plus, WildFin and its seasonal, newspaper-themed walk-up window for a quick grab-and-go bite. Portland-based casual pasta shop Grassa just jumped the river with their opening in summer 2022.
Waterfront Wine and Cocktails
The Waterfront has become prime real estate for tasting rooms on the Columbia River. Find eight tasting stops (When Evoke Wines opens in 2023) within .2 miles of each other for a make-your-own Waterfront Wine Walk that won’t disappoint. Amavi Cellars and Pepper Bridge Winery, Valo Cellars, and Barnard Griffin Winery join Brian Carter Cellars, and Airfield Estates, in an esteemed line-up.
For cocktails and tapas find DOSALAS Latin Kitchen + tequila bar with its elevated Mexican and Caribbean flavors at its polished second-story space overlooking the Grant St. Pier.
Where to Stay
Opening its doors to the public in June 2022, the AC Hotel by Marriott is the first modern hotel to hit the Waterfront. It brings sleek, contemporary designs with a European flair offering a truly modern lodging experience. With panoramic views of the Columbia and a combination of quality, timeless design, comfort, and authenticity, it encourages guests to connect with the city in a unique new way. Don’t skip on food, located on the ground floor, guests will find the AC Lounge. Enjoy elevated Mediterranean dishes, with perfectly curated flavors, and enticing cocktails. And don’t forget to book a spa treatment at the on-site Vancouver Wellness Center.
Next door, Hotel Indigo, delivers stylish décor and a fun atmosphere. Delight in exceptionally curated rooms and spaces, and innovative comforts. Traveling with your furry companion? Not to worry, as the Indigo is a Pet-Friendly hotel, welcoming your fluffy friends. Visitors are also invited to sample some premiere Northwest restaurants within the building like Portland steakhouse El Gaucho and Seattle mainstay 13 Coins.
Downtown’s Hilton Vancouver and the east waterfront’s Homewood Suites by Hilton are your best bets for nearby lodging outside of the Waterfront. The Hilton is less than a half-mile walk from the waterfront and located across the street from Esther Short Park, where summer festivals and concerts keep it buzzing. Local breweries and eateries are a short stroll away. Homewood Suites (less than two miles from the new section) is near the “old” waterfront and shouldn’t be overlooked. McMenamins on the Columbia and Beaches Restaurant are Vancouver favorites, and the Waterfront Renaissance Trail runs five miles along the shore, connecting the somewhat dichotomous sections intersected by the Interstate Bridge.
Be on the lookout for our new Travel Magazine that details the past, present, and future of the waterfront with sample itineraries and more. To pre-order your free copy, write “2023” in the “Company” field of the online form. You will receive a copy in April.