Olivia Lopez is the visual journalist, writer, and creative consultant behind chic lifestyle blog Lust for Life. With a serious case of wanderlust, a keen eye for easy-chic ensembles, and a carefully curated shopping list, Lopez is just the person to influence your style and seek travel tips from. Find out about her weekend trip to Vancouver, Canada, below.
Los Angeles, with its relentless heat, requires an escape from time to time. In fact, our seasonal shifts offer little indication regarding what time of year we're in. Sometimes the only way to gauge winter's passage is a cool breeze and sparse hours of sunlight. With our northern neighbors warming up and the dread of California's dry and arid summers surfacing to mind, I packed my bags for a weekend in our sister city of Vancouver.
At first glance, it appears as a cool coastal city composed of super-sleek skyscrapers and waterfront views that will often leave your mouth agape with wonder. But after a few days biking around the city, I found that Vancouver blended a perfect balance between the Scandinavian quality of life and the West Coast wellness and leisure.
The city, much like Copenhagen, is walkable from one end to the other. Nature adventures and the thrills of city life are equally accessible, and often not a far walk, bike, or hop in a cab from each other. The culture surrounding sustainability, conscious conservation draws a parallel to Northern California's own, and the wellness community and fitness lifestyle rival Los Angeles's. The restaurant scene emphasizes a focus on locally sourced and innovative dishes to capture the flavor of the region.
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Where to Shop: One of a Few is a carefully curated boutique with a list of emerging designers spanning from cities like Stockholm to Silver Lake, California. It carries pieces by Ganni, Rachel Comey, Mari Giudicelli, and Base Range. Oak and Fort is a contemporary clothing store from Vancouver that sells timeless, minimalistic pieces with high-street prices. It's a go-to shop for fans of The Row and Mansur Gavriel.
Hey Jude is a vintage shop carrying repurposed pieces tailored to modern trends. Think creamy beige silks, high-waisted Levi's, and mules with a wooden stack. Neighbor Woman is a multibrand designer store with streetwear flare tailored to the downtown cool girl, carrying labels like Maison Margiela, Acne Studios, and Sophie Buhai.
Where to eat: Botanist is a Vancouver newcomer located inside Fairmont Pacific Rim. The interior design is set to a backdrop of millennial pink with midcentury furnishing. Miku is a treat-yourself dinner with views along the waterfront. It's Vancouver's most praised Japanese restaurant, approaching sushi in an innovative way by combining traditional techniques with modern preferences from around the world.
Tasting the housemade pasta at Savio Volpe was a highlight of my trip. This beautiful sun-rinsed Osteria has a seasonal menu inspired by the local produce. Birds and the Beets is a vegan café–cum–flower shop with a West Village vibe.
Where to Drink: L'Abbatoir is an industrial restaurant, centrally located in Gastown, that serves fresh and innovative cocktails infused with herbal and floral flavors. Matchstick Coffee is a cozy coffee shop that proudly serves in-house roasts and blends. Revolver Coffee is a buzzy spot for regulars and traveling coffee aficionados known for perfectly foamed milk and excellent latte art.
Where are your favorite things to do in Vancouver? Share your go-to spots for dining, shopping, and drinking with us.