My Summer Bucket List
Brace yourself, because summer is here and if you’re anything like me, summertime means ice cream on hot days, cold beers on the patio, sand in your purse from the beach, and evening sunsets at your favourite lookout.
Despite all the obvious outings, summertime also means endless weekend plans and lengthy bucket lists with all the things you dream of completing in those short three or four months.
From year to year, my bucket list is not static; it shifts tremendously according to changes that occur in my personal life, and the things I enjoy I doing. This year, that translates to a lot of good vegan food and numerous hiking expeditions. Why? Because who doesn’t love to spend their hard earned dollars on delicious food, and well, if you know me at all, hiking is at the very top of my list of priorities (and it’s free for the most part).
So what will Worldly Wandering be getting up to for the next three months (all the while keeping a mindful eye on my not-so-abundant bank account)? Well, let’s take a look:
Day Activities and Hikes:
- Mount Cheam
- Seldom do I ever drive East on the highway from my house for a hike, but I’ve heard fantastic things about this 9.5 km roundtrip hike that overlooks the Fraser Valley with a 360 degree view from Chilliwack.
- Lynn Peak ✅
- A local’s favourite, this 9km hike is a less busy version of the Grouse Grind, and is comparable in difficulty when you factor in the longer length and slightly less vertical terrain. The trailhead starts from Lynn Headwaters Regional Park but the it’s a bit tricky to find your first time, so follow directions carefully. Warning: this hike is a bit of a scramble in many parts because of how rocky it is.
- Sea to Summit Trail ✅
- This hike starts on the famous (and incredibly crowded) Chief trail and then continues parallel to the Chief until you eventually reach the Sea to Sky Gondola, which is a relatively new mountain destination attraction built in 2014. Up top you can find lookouts, more trails to explore, a restaurant, and bar—all with spectacular views. It’s recommended you pay the $10 to download on the gondola.
- Rollerblade the seawall ✅
- I know what you’re thinking… The seawall? How passé is that? But this is a classic, and it’s one that I grew up doing on a daily basis with my dad. It’s a quick activity when you’re on rollerblades, but it’s an excellent workout and a fabulous choice if you want to stop at Third Beach to watch the sunset or cool off in Second Beach Pool afterward.
- Buntzen Lake: Diez Vistas
- The name of this hike wasn’t picked for sh*ts and giggles; it represents the ten stunning views you’ll have along the duration of the 14km trail as you meander your way above Buntzen Lake. Have a swim in the lake afterward, or, if you’re in a split group of outdoor enthusiasts and beach bums, leave half your group at the lake for the day while the other half makes this lengthy but rewarding journey.
- Brohm Lake:
- Brohm Lake is located between Squamish and Whistler, and is the perfect spot to escape to if you’re in need of a way to cool off on a hot summer day. Park in the parking lot and swim off the large rocks close to the trailhead entrance, or, if you choose to take the longer walk over the bridge and around to the other side of the lake, you’ll be rewarded with a rope swing.
- Lions Bay cliff jumping:✅ Walk over the train tracks (illegally, I might add) and find yourself at Vancouver’s most popular cliff jumping spot. Please note: this is an activity you should do at your own risk, and it’s highly recommended that you go with someone who has been there the first time.
- Grouse Bluffs: This is a secret hike that I will sadly not be giving details about due to its high level of secrecy. Hint: Grouse Bluffs is the unofficial nick name and the hike has a section with a rope and mini waterfall/stream. That’s all I’m disclosing!
- Norvan Falls ✅
- This is more of a forested stroll, which takes you to a majestic waterfall after 7km. The website says it takes 5 hours, but I would half that time if you’re a more experienced hiker.
- Sunrise/sunset at Dog mountain:
- Dog Mountain is a repeated offender of filling up your Instagram feed, but at sunset or sunrise there will be fewer people and the view will be spectacular.
- St. Mark’s Summit ✅
- This is a hike I’ve done before, but it’s one of those fantastic picks that offers the perfect ratio of difficulty to reward (view). One day, I’d like to continue on this trail to complete the rest of the Howe Sound Crest Trail, which is a multi-day excursion (but first, purchasing hiking boots might be a good idea…).
- Hanes Valley Trail:
- This is not a trail that most people have heard about (whether you’re a local or visitor), as it is an extension of Lynn loop that travels for 16km to Grouse Mountain. This means that you will have to park two cars at different locations, or brace yourself for public transit after a very long day back to the Lynn Headwaters Regional Park.
- Picnic at Caulfield Cove ✅
- Take a blanket, a few Whole Foods items (or bring your own if you want to save money because despite being delicious, Whole Foods is not cheap!), a bottle of wine, and an S.O. and make your way to Caulfield Cove to enjoy an evening sunset and picnic on the rocks.
- Crankworx: August 12-21, 2016
- This is a multi-day mountain biking festival and competition where tens of thousands of visitors and spectators gather to watch the sport’s top talent compete, drink beer, and enjoy patio dining. Whistler is a happening place in the summer, especially during Crankworx, so make sure you book a place to stay early.
- Ambleside Live:
- This is a relatively new tradition where Vancouverites and tourists can pay a fairly cheap price to watch concerts at Ambleside Beach. In the past there have been performances by Kenny Chesney, Jake Owen, Chase Rice, Ed Sheeran, Rudimental, and Tegan and Sara. This is a great way to see big names at a lower cost.
- Friday nights at the Shipyards Night Market ✅
- Delicious food trucks + live music + local vendors = an eventful Friday evening in the Lo Lo area (lower Lonsdale). This event will be hosted every Friday until the end of the summer.
- Keats Island:
- Keats Island has zero grocery stores, zero restaurants, but all the tranquility of a much needed outdoor getaway. I plan on camping on Keats Island overnight at a friend’s cottage, exploring the island by dirt bike, and possibly even getting a water ski in.Photo: Sophie Williams
- Beach camping on Thormanby Island ✅
- This spot is a little harder to access than the Sunshine Coast, but it’s well worth the journey for the added seclusion. To get there you will need to drive to the Horseshoe Bay ferry terminal, take the ferry to Langdale, then drive another 30-45 min and take a water taxi to the island.
- Garibaldi Lake to Panorama Ridge
- This is a hike I did last summer, but I didn’t hike past Garibaldi Lake. This time, I’d like to pack camping gear, make camp at Garibaldi Lake, then continue on to Panorama Ridge or Black Tusk the next morning.
- Camping at Jones Lake:
- Jones Lake is a natural beauty but getting there may require a 4×4 off-road vehicle. There’s no hike associated with this one, but I’m just interested in getting away from the city for the night when I decide to go.
- Lake Lovely Water ✅
- This hike is a best kept secret in the Whistler area (you’re lucky I’m sharing it with you!). Access to the Lake is difficult, as you must book a reservation with a boat to get over the Squamish River. Alternatively, you can take your own canoe to get across the river and tie it up on the other side. The trail is rugged and long, but camping for the night will provide the necessary rest for you to make your way back down the next morning.
All of the below restaurants/shops have plant-based options, and all are fairly self-explanatory; mouth watering food and treats that I’ve wanted to try for quite some time!
- Earnest Ice Cream
- Nice Vice
- Chau Veggie Express
- Meet in Gastown
- Vegan Pizza House
- Donair Dude after a night out
- Heirloom Vegetarian